The perfect pad
Independent ski travellers need to find suitable places to stay; owners need to advertise their chalets or apartments for rent or sale. Often that means hours of searching effort, or a hefty fee. A web outfit called Skipad.co.uk aims to put you in touch easily.
Skipad.co.uk is a specialist ski property website offering affordable private accommodation for rent, to all sizes of group and budgets. So, if you’re struggling to find the right kind of chalet, or perhaps an apartment big enough for your group, the site is a useful starting point.
When you use Skipad.co.uk, you are dealing directly with the property owners; there are no hidden fees or agents. A key feature of the site is to provide a simple pricing structure and as much upfront information as possible to help you choose your lodging.
What you get are reviews, images and details of a particular chalet or apartment, the layout of its rooms and the location, as well as an average price – often that may be in local currency, but you can get an equivalent in pounds.
What’s more, the directors have launched a free iPhone app so you can search quickly and simply through their lists of accommodation while on the move – or share the results with friends. It provides instant access in digital format, with the accommodation being categorised by type. Many of the site features are applied too at the tap of your screen, such as location maps and property details.
Another attractive addition, which also features on the iPhone app, is the Wishlist – which gives itself away in the name, but basically allows you to shortlist and compare any potential properties as you track them down. And then you can email or phone the owner directly.
The accommodation features mostly in Alpine Europe, but with some in eastern Europe and the US too.
We had a quick look through and found short stays, such as a small and beautifully modern apartment in Bulgaria that you can book for three nights. Perhaps you fancy a week in a chalet in Morzine with English owner the Edge Chalet company?
The brainchild behind Skipad.co.uk, Gary Hector, found it difficult to market his own ski apartment at a modest price and so wanted to create a portal that made sense for owners as well as potential renters. Teaming up with keen skier Matthew Pyke, the pair launched the website at the end of 2010.
Skipad.co.uk is also a portal for ski property sales. So far the site covers France, Switzerland and Austria. So, if you’re in the market to buy that dream chalet … Private sellers can update their listings as often as they wish via the site and there’s no commission charge; there’s a small flat fee for either a three or six month listing.