IMPORTANT INFORMATION

Accuracy of website

All information on this website is to the best of our knowledge and belief correct at the time of publication. However, we reserve the right to make changes to information contained within our website and will advise you of these changes at the point of booking or when they are known to us. This advice will be limited to that which is fundamental to the contract or which we believe may affect the enjoyment of your holiday. If any facility detailed in this brochure is essential to the enjoyment of your holiday, please advise us at the time of booking and we will try to advise you of the latest information. However we are sure you will understand that at times certain advertised facilities may not be in operation and we may have no information or prior warning of such matters. Many pictures are included for their attractiveness and general relevance: those with specific notation refer to hotels or relevant features. Photographs of rooms represent the type of accommodation available, but not all rooms will be the same and room sizes will vary, particularly in older or historical buildings. Where a property is described as having skiing to/from the door, this is naturally subject to the individual skier's ability and normal snow conditions in that resort at the time.  

Early and Late Season

Due to poor weather conditions, or low number of tourists in resort, particularly in early or late season, cable cars, chair lifts, certain sporting activities or other facilities such as saunas, swimming pools, ice rinks etc., may not be operational. Decisions to operate such facilities are not made by ourselves and we are not always advised of such decisions by the operators. Also ski and public bus services may not be fully operational.

Après Ski Events

The advertised programme of events is dependent upon achieving a minimum number of participants and, therefore, some events may not always be available due to insufficient demand or, in some cases adverse weather conditions. All ‘Recommended' restaurants and other venues featured in this brochure which are not owned by Specialist Travel Consortoum Ltd (STC) are not under our direct control and have not been inspected by us. Therefore, any recommendation is merely an indication that these facilities have proved popular and are worthy of mention and not a personal recommendation by STC.

Hotels and Rooms

a) Properties in this brochure have been carefully chosen and are considered to offer suitable accommodation for the cost shown. In the case of Austria and Italy, the star rating shown is that of the national tourist authority but in other destinations we have featured our ‘rating equivalent' to help you choose from the various properties on offer and to compare from one country to another. To avoid confusion, many properties featured are described as hotels as, in our view, terms such as Pension, Gasthof and the like, do not always reflect the quality of the properties and are usually an official grading for tax purposes.

b) Annexe Accommodation may be part of the main hotel or in a separate building which is guaranteed to be within walking distance. It should be borne in mind that chalet/annexe accommodation, though it may give access to facilities at the property through which it is sold, may not offer rooms to the same star level as the associated property where your main meal may be provided. This is reflected in the cost reduction.

c) Prices are based on accommodation in standard twin/double bedded rooms unless otherwise stated.

d) Baths may not always be full size and showers may not always have a shower tray or curtain.

e) Soap is not always provided in rooms

f) Many hotels/properties as a matter of policy require an imprint of your credit card to be taken at registration for security reasons. This is particularly common in the USA and Canada, where credit cards are favoured by most suppliers and the majority of commercial outlets in preference to cash, so we recommend carrying one or more of the recognised cards. Visitors to Austria will generally find that credit cards are still not widely accepted.

g) Free Drinks: Please note that unless specifically stated ‘Unlimited' the number of FREE drinks will be at the discretion of the hotel owner. This will normally include one drink with evening meals, usually a choice of beer, house wine or soft drinks and will not include spirits etc.

h) Check-in at hotels is normally between the hours of 1200-1500 hours and you should anticipate having to vacate your room by 1000hours irrespective of the time of your departure.

i) Full and Half-board: A  table d'hote menu is usually offered to all customers who book meal arrangements, with limited or no choice of menu, unless specifically stated. Meals usually start with dinner on the first day of your arrival in resort and finish with breakfast on your day of departure. If you arrive after 2000 hours it is likely that a cold platter will be provided and if you have an early morning departure hotels may not be able to provide a full breakfast. Sometimes hotels may allocate tables on a shared basis and in some countries it is common for individual napkins to be re-used if clean and re-presented in a personalise envelope.

j) Packed Lunches: Where applicable these may sometimes be made up by the guest from the breakfast buffet.

k) Balconies: The payment of a supplement for a balcony facility does not guarantee a specific view or that it will be private, unless stated.

l) Smoking restrictions: throughout most European countries and in many states of America smoking is increasingly prohibited in public areas. It is your responsibility to obtain information from the relevant tourist offices before you book if such restrictions would affect your holiday enjoyment.

m) Cots are usually available and should be requested at the time of booking. Any additional payment for food/cot hire must be paid directly to hotels and cot linen is not usually provided. Please note we cannot guarantee that cots will meet British Safety standards and that the inclusion of a cot may restrict room space.

n) Hotel facilities: Leisure facilities, saunas, whirlpools and other facilities advertised as available at an hotel, unless specifically stated as being ‘FREE' will carry a charge payable to the hotelier. Children may not always be allowed in hotel bars, particularly in North America, even when accompanied by their parents.

m) Fitness Rooms/Health Suites: Facilities will vary and we cannot guarantee the range or type of equipment provided will be as extensive as in a purpose built gym.

o) Late night entry: Please ensure you always check the arrangements for late night entry in the event your hotel closes the main door at a specified time.

Room Descriptions

Single rooms may not always offer the same facilities or location as twin rooms and the payment of a supplement does not necessarily mean that a twin room will be provided for sole use.  Often single rooms are purpose built and intended for sole use only. 

Eaves rooms are so described because they have sloping roofs and beams, often with skylight windows and reduced headroom.

Triple rooms are usually based on a standard twin room for two persons with an additional couch/put-up bed added for the third person, which may restrict space.  Purpose built, triple rooms are rarely available.

Four-bedded rooms are sometimes available, particularly in North America, and may be based on two queen beds or a king bed with additional couch/put-up beds, which may restrict space.  Please refer to brochure description for type of beds provided.

Quad rooms are also sometimes available in our European destinations.  Such rooms normally comprise a standard twin room with additional couch/put up beds being added for third & fourth occupants.  This arrangement may restrict space.

Twin-bedded rooms in Austrian resorts are normally one large base with two mattresses/duvets.  Separate twin beds are rare and cannot be guaranteed as available.  Some twin beds may be in a head to head position.

Accommodation Categories

Rooms described as superior, suites, junior suites, apartments etc., offer a variety of facilities and room configurations.  As these descriptions vary considerably from country to country it is not possible for us to provide a standard description which will adequately cover all the variations.  Therefore, please make specific enquiries when booking to ensure the accommodation meets your requirements, particularly for suites and apartments.  Accommodation facilities are abbreviated in the brochure price panels and will be confirmed on your invoice as PS - private shower, PB - private bath, PSWC - private shower with toilet, PBWC -private bath with toilet, B- balcony, TR - terrace, MV - mountain view, LV - Lake view, FV - fjord view, NF/SF - north or south facing, PF - piste facing, NV - no view, RV - restricted view, SUP - superior room, DLX - deluxe room, Basic/H&C - wash basin in rooms, Q - one quad room.  Rooms that are small, located under the eaves, cabin rooms, in annexe accommodation and suites will also be highlighted in the price panels

Rooms booked without private facilities within them may require you to pay a nominal fee for showers provided at that property.

Studios and Apartments

All bed linen costs (although not towels unless specifically stated) and local taxes are included in all prices.

Accommodation is normally available from 1700 hours on the day of arrival and you should anticipate checking out by 1000 hours on the day of departure.  All accommodation is basically equipped with cutlery, crockery etc.  Kitchenettes offer only hot plates and not ovens, unless advertised to the contrary.  Items such as toasters and kettles are not considered to be essential kitchen appliances in Europe and are, consequently, rarely provided.  Customers are normally expected to make their own beds on arrival.  Please also note that ‘starter' packs are rarely provided and you should therefore, anticipate purchasing items such as milk, toilet roll, etc. on arrival (or the following day if you arrive late).  When more than one apartment is booked of the same or different type, we cannot guarantee they will be in the same block, although a request will be accepted wherever possible (see Special Requests).  In some Austrian apartments, electricity charges based upon use may be payable locally.

Inventory Deposit

In studios/apartments, an inventory deposit against damages or breakages will be collected on arrival or in USA/Canada an imprint of your credit card may be required.  This will usually be between £100 - £165,(but up to £250 for some larger apartments) per studio/apartment and is refundable on your departure, or later, directly by the local agent if, for example, you are obliged to depart early.  It is in your best interests to leave the accommodation as it was found, as deductions for breakages, damage or leaving the accommodation unclean can be made by the local agents. 

As deposits are normally held by the accommodation owner/management and not the operator, we cannot become directly involved in situations or disputes that may occur.

Crèche / Club Facilities

Resort kindergarten and ski school facilities are independently operated and will comply with local regulations.  Therefore, we have not inspected these facilities or premises and are unable to guarantee that the level of care provided will suit your requirements.  Should you have any queries or wish to make a booking please contact the local tourist office, numbers available on request.

Hotel crèches and other children's facilities are not operated by us and therefore we have no control over their operation and cannot guarantee the level of care provided will suit your requirements.

Food

Vegetarian/Special Diets:  Vegetarianism is still relatively uncommon in some areas of Europe, so customers requesting such meals may find choice limited in some hotels.  Similarly, it may be difficult for some hotels to cater for the needs of clients with strict special diets.

USA/Canada

 Cutomers travelling to Canada or the USA who hold a full passport allowing the right of abode in the UK and who are unable to comply with the USA Government immigration requirements can use the Visa Waiver scheme and generally need not apply for a visa. Holders of British passports issued before 26th October 2004 can continue to use the Visa Waiver Scheme upon entry into the USA. Passports issued after this date need to be biometric and , if not, a visa will be required.

However, as requirements vary it is important that all EU and EEA citizens check general visa requirements at the time of booking.  All non-UK passport holders are responsible for making their own enquiries with the relevant Embassy.

Any customers who may require a visa and intend to leave and re-enter the USA must ensure that their visa has multiple entry status.  The US Government no longer issues indefinite visas and have changed the regulation invalidating these after ten years.  Customers who hold an indefinite visa issued more than ten years prior to the date of return travel should contact the US Embassy to apply for a new visa.

Excursions/Activities

i) Heli-skiing opportunities offered in the brochure, or locally, are arranged with the best local operator.  As with all adventure sports, you partake at your own risk and you will be required to sign a disclaimer prior to the activity.  Please also note that if, due to adverse weather conditions, or other circumstances beyond our control, the heli-ski package is unavailable during your stay, our liability is limited to a full refund of the cost paid.

ii) Any other excursions or hazardous activity in which you partake locally, such as tobogganing, paragliding, inner-tubing or snow-mobiling etc. are at your own risk and liability and may not be covered under the terms of your holiday insurance.  Please check the details of your individual policy before participation.

Elderly, Special Needs, Disabled Customers: We are happy to advise and assist elderly, special needs or disabled customers to choose a holiday.  However, some of the properties featured in this brochure may lack even the simplest facilities such as ramps for wheelchairs and lifts etc.  Therefore, we must be provided with full written details of any disability or special requirements before booking to ascertain whether the holiday of your choice is suitable.

Similarly, if you have a medical condition which necessitates special seating requirements on the aircraft or wheelchair assistance at the airport we must have written confirmation from your doctor prior to booking.

Failure to advise us of any such requirements prior to booking may result in the chosen holiday being unsuitable and may cause inconvenience and distress to all customers on that holiday.  In that case we reserve the right to terminate your holiday arrangements with us, for which we would not be liable to make alternative arrangements or to make refunds or pay compensation.

The Foreign & Commonwealth Travel Advice Unit

The Foreign & Commonwealth Travel Advice Unit may have issued information about your holiday destination.  You are advised to check this on the Internet under the address http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/travel-and-living-abroad/travel-advice-by-country/

Know Before You Go

We are working with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to do all that we can to help British travellers stay safe overseas.  Before you go overseas,, check out the FCO web site at: http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/travel-and-living-abroad/travel-advice-by-country/

Ski & Snowboard Safety

Like any activity in the mountains, skiing and snowboarding can be classified as dangerous sports but the risk to yourself and others is easily minimised by following a few simple guidelines.

Choose Your Resort Carefully

Mixed ability groups, in particular, must remember that skiing should be safe and fun for everyone.  Do not encourage fellow skiers to venture onto slopes that are beyond their capabilities.  It is also worth noting that because of their steep terrain some of the resort favoured by experienced skiers may carry an increased risk of avalanche.

Avalanche Danger

In extreme weather conditions, any resort may be at risk, so never ignore warnings.  Signs and flags around part or all of the pistes indicate that avalanche danger is present but do not rely on these alone.  Local experts are there to help so ask for advise from the local Ski School or Ski Lift Company on a daily basis. When necessary, resort authorities may close some or all of the pistes.Remember this is done to ensure your safety.Never attempt to ski on runs which are closed, or go under a boundary rope into an area not part of the prepared ski area.

Off-Piste

If you are able to ski off-piste you must have appropriate insurance and employ the services of a qualified guide.  Never ski off-piste during risk of avalanche.  For more detailed resort information including recent snow and avalanche records please see Chris Gill/Dave Watts "Where to Ski Guide".  We find it invaluable for accurate and impartial advice.  It also lists telephone numbers and websites for tourist offices/avalanche centres throughout the Alps and North America.