Perfect ski holidays? I don't think so

Sometimes ski tour operators talk about 'perfect ski holidays'. In reality these don't exist - and you probably wouldn't want them to

By: Daniel Elkan
Tue, 23 Apr 2024

I’ve had some great ski holidays. Some really fantastic ones. 

But I’ve never had the perfect ski holiday. Have you? 

I’ve noticed that some ski tour operators talking, on their websites or in email communication to potential clients, about ‘finding you the perfect ski holiday’.  

I know it’s only words, but they are promising the impossible.

Imagine the ‘perfect’ ski holiday? Where nothing at all went wrong. It would be awful.

You arrive at th the resort exactly on time. At your accommodation, the lobby, the lounge, your room is exactly as you want it to be. Rose petals and kittens are on the bed (if that's your thing), until you don’t want them there anymore. Then they disappear to the place where rose petals and kittens go when they are no longer needed. 

Dinner is all the things you love, cooked exactly to perfection, arriving at your table at just the right moment. Your friends or family are all equally delighted with their meal.

The next morning you walk out of the front door and your skis are there waiting for you and you are at the top of the best powder run that’s exactly right for your level and also all those perfect people you are skiing with are the best ski buddies and you never once get lost once and then the apres ski… 

Hang on a minute, this doesn't sound too bad.

But it doesn’t sound perfect. 

Because in a perfect world, things aren’t perfect.  

If things were perfect all the time, there would be no challenge – and therefore no meaning. 

So by being perfect, things would not be perfect. 

Now we are in a philosophical loop.  

To be perfect, some elements must be wrong. But if they are wrong, then it’s not perfect. 

Don’t worry: if your ski holiday is by train, the journey won’t be perfect either. 

The train won’t depart from outside your front door. You’ll have to get to St Pancras station. Perhaps not as far as the airport, perhaps further, but either way you can’t get there wearing your slippers. 

And then, at St Pancras instead of floating onto your seat on a magic carpet made of silk interwoven with jasmine, you’ll have to walk through check in and security. That’ll be annoying, although less annoying than the equivalent at the airport.  And on board the train, the views out the window will sometimes be stunning; but sometimes they’ll just be mildly pleasant. That’s hardly perfect. 

But at least they won’t be playing Coldplay on a loop. Or at all. The staff won’t be trying to sell you scratch-cards (like they do on Ryanair) or strapping you to your seat using fishing tackle (like they don’t on Ryanair). 

And at the other end, the transfer from the station will be much shorter than from the airport. But there might still be a transfer.

Hopefully your train journey be mostly enjoyable, comfortable and feel adventurous. With some ways that it could be better.

And that’s what life is. 

I think that by promising ‘perfect’ ski holidays, ski companies are starting out on the wrong foot. 

Which, in a way, is just perfect.