The Mountains -– grow unnoticed --
Their Purple figures rise
Without attempt -– Exhaustion --
Assistance -– or Applause --
In Their Eternal Faces
The Sun -– with just delight
Looks long -– and last -– and golden --
For fellowship -– at night.
By Emily Dickinson.
Sergey Sekretaryov «The morning in the mountains», 2013
Persona Grata SKI FORUM Ukraine 2013 – Crans Luxury Lodges Switzerland represented by its Director, Julien de Preux.
Skitours: Ukrainian tourists-skiers with pleasure choose Swiss ski resorts to enjoy in full the excellent winter holidays. Therefore, everybody would like to know much more about Crans Luxury Lodges in Crans-Montana, your establishment history and conception.
Crans Luxury Lodges: Crans Luxury Lodges is a young company with an old history. Everything started 400 years ago when my ancestors (de Preux) first arrived in the land that will become long time after Crans Luxury Lodges. It is with sacrifices and hard work that my family kept these lands though generations. And one day, my father had a great idea while skiing down the slopes of Crans-Montana. He said: «why not building some luxury chalets» but he wanted to offer something special to our future customers. Therefore he asked me if I wanted to use my hospitality knowledge in order to create a unique product at the border between the qualities of a high standing hotel service and the intimacy of a private house. Therefore after some work and studies, on the 23.12.2010 Crans Luxury Lodges were born.
The idea was to offer the best quality service, equal that the one that people could find in a 5 stars boutique hotel in a private chalet. If I could use only one term to define our concept I would say it is a «home away from home» idea. As a matter of fact everything is organized and designed to offer our guests a home feeling. While is being served and taking care of all their desires.
Why Crans-Montana? First of all we have our lands in Crans-Montana for years and second, this ski resort is one unique place in the Alps. It has much to offer in terms of ski, shopping, restaurants and so on. I like to see Crans-Montana as Crans Luxury Lodges, it is an old historical resort but still really young in its potential and international visibility. Crans Montana is the best place for a concept such as Crans Luxury Lodges.
Skitours: Switzerland isn’t the cheapest country for skiing, and Crans Luxury Lodges is a winter fairy tale for skiers, hidden on mountain slopes of the Bernese Alps, and it is considered to be a luxury hotel. In what price range do prices for your hotel fluctuate? To what extent does your pricing policy flexible? Who are your clients? Do tourists for Russia and Ukraine stay at your hotel?
Crans Luxury Lodges: As I like to say, luxury and quality have their prices. However I situated the Crans Luxury Lodges as an affordable luxury. Indeed, our price range starts from CHF 14’000. – until CHF 23’800 during the ski season. All our rates include the final cleaning, continental breakfast, concierge service and on demand shuttle. Then we like to say that our guest tailor make their stay.
Should they require a private chef for breakfast, lunch and dinner or a daily housekeeping, SPA treatment, ski passes, private shopping. all is possible!! We are totally flexible in terms of the range of services that we offer. At Crans Luxury Lodges it is the guest who chooses how he wants to spend his holidays.
Our clients are mainly families as we are totally family friendly and come from all around the world. However since the beginning we start to work with the Eastern Europe as one of our priority market. Today I am quite proud to say that Russia and Ukraine are ones of our top markets with more than 30% of our winter occupancy and the major part of our total incomes. We start to work with these markets since 2010 and every year it has been growing considerably.
Skitours: The winter holidays are in increasing demand, and now ski resorts are making the last arrangements for the winter season. In what way are you preparing for the beginning of the season 2013/2014? Is there any early bird reservation at your hotel? What new specialties and services are you going to offer your guests this season?
Crans Luxury Lodges: I think to get prepared for the winter season is an all year work. Not only in our in house offer but as well in our communication and marketing strategy. The winter season is the most important period of the year, it will define if you will have a good year or not.
Today we do offer special condition for early booking but only from the 11th of January. I am happy to say that we are almost fully booked for Christmas and New Year. This satisfying result is the consequence of 2 years of hard work.
This year we decide to push our F&B services, we will propose a new menu to our guests that will be available all day long as an in room dining offer. We will also try to offer an «aprÈs ski to our guest» where we will serve some beverage and some traditional Swiss finger foods. Another service that we will offer to our guest that did not choose a full catered option is the possibility to have a unique private chef experience for one night. Imagine, you are in family or with some friends and you do not want to go to the restaurant but you want a unique experience! What option do you have?? Well, we can bring the restaurant in to your chalet an offer you a dinner with a private chef!
One last think we try to push is some outdoors activities in order to discover the beauty of the Swiss Alps! We will offer some tour around the Alps with a small plane for up to 8 people. It is an incredible experience that has to be lived once in a life time.
Skitours: SKI FORUM Ukraine has already become an annual event in Ukraine, where the representatives of skiing business gather, for whom mountains are the essential part of their lives. It is likely that you have already taken part in the work of SKI SALON in Moscow? Will it be the first acquaintance with Ukraine? What are you expecting from SKI FORUM in Kiev?
Crans Luxury Lodges: Well I believe that Ukraine is a market that cannot be ignore today. To be honest it was my first time in Kiev. I have already been more than 10 time in Moscow for different events and shows. I was quite surprise of the difference between these 2 countries. I only stay few days but it was quite enough to realize that it is 2 different countries with some similarities yes! But much deference as well! I especially liked the people opened minded and keen to hear about new product and concept. I left Kiev with the desire to learn more about you. I really like my job in this aspect, it makes me realized that the world is full of surprises and Ukraine was one of this good one. I will surly come back and start to know better and better this interesting country.
Skitours: Thank you very much for the interview!
Crans Luxury Lodges: Thank you as well!
Text: Mariia Golodiuk, Personal-Assistant-Translator of ski portal skitours.com.ua
The author style and punctuation are reserved.