Nice to meet you, Morzine!

My name’s Lauren Lane. I’m 19 and from Leicester. My ambition is to one day become cabin crew for a major airline. But before then I’m hungry to learn, gain experience, and expand my horizons within the travel industry. When I spotted the opportunity to join Simply Morzine, a leading ski and family holiday company, I had to seize it. The interview process was tough but I must have done something right. Because here I am. Sat proudly at my desk at Simply Morzine’s UK office. I’m doing a Business Admin Apprenticeship, having started in early August. Since then I haven’t looked back. I’m mainly providing office support and helping with sales, but the role’s so varied and challenging.

I’d never skied or even been to Morzine before – until now. What a beautiful, magical place. It reminds me of a fairy tale. Let me explain how my visit came about. In my first week at Simply Morzine my boss Gareth asked me if I’d like to go to Morzine.  Of course, I said yes!! I knew this would be a great experience, to have fun and enjoy myself whilst learning about our Morzine accommodation portfolio (chalets, hotel and apartments). I’d meet the Simply Morzine resort team and our suppliers. It became clear that this was my chance to absorb all that Morzine is and understand why Simply Morzine holidays are so successful. It felt like being let into a secret group where I’d discover the answers. I was given a detailed brief explaining my objectives and what was be expected of me.  It listed all the info I’d need – my itinerary, activities I’d be doing, things I needed to find out, people I needed to meet, places I needed to go and goals to complete.

Let my Morzine adventure holiday begin!

On Saturday 26th August 2017, I travelled to Morzine with my colleague Lewis Stott. It was nice to get to know Lewis a little better, away from the office formality. Lewis explained lots of information about how Simply Morzine holidays operate, which was really insightful.  We caught an early train to Luton Airport for a 12:30 flight to Geneva. When we landed the weather was lovely and warm and a complete contrast to the UK. Our transfer was booked with ‘Skiddy Gonzalez’, who work in partnership with Simply Morzine to transport guests to and from Geneva airport. I was excited to meet one of our key suppliers. During the transfer to Morzine I took in all the mountain views which were nothing like I’d ever experienced before.  The alpine scenery was breath-taking, I loved the traditional wooden chalets and the way everywhere and everything looked well taken care of.

Our hotel in Morzine, France

We arrived at the Simply Morzine hotel, Chalet-Hotel la Chaumiere, to a warm welcome from the owner’s son, Giuseppe, who showed us to our rooms. Quickly I could see why people say this hotel in Morzine is so special. I felt at home and I was drawn to the cosiness. I noticed so many individual touches. This is how I imagined a traditional French hotel in the mountains would look, feel & smell like. I felt lucky to be there. In the evening Lewis and I had a traditional French meal in the hotel restaurant with Gareth, his wife Caroline and young sons Joseph and Edward. Again, it was nice to spend less formal time with my boss away from the office. I’ll always remember the moment Gareth and Lewis presented me with my staff uniform – my very own Simply Morzine t-shirt!! I felt very proud. After supper, I was thrown in the deep end – but not in the hotels swimming pool! We wandered the few minutes into the centre of Morzine to meet the Simply Morzine resort staff for drinks. It was nerve-racking. We went to Le Crepu Bar, which I thought had a nice chilled low-key summer vibe. It felt like another world to the pubs at home.  I was pleased to meet the Simply Morzine resort managers Hamish & Rachel, who I’d chatted to on the phone and by email whilst working in the office. They were funny and kind and put me at ease.  I also met most of the team including chalet hosts Daisy, Ffion & Alice, reps Andrew, Brain & Mel & chef Ian. A good time was had by all and I began to really feel part of the Simply Morzine team.  I went to bed exhausted, but happy!

My summer holiday in Morzine. Day 2.

Today was an activity day – the famous Simply Morzine walk from Morzine to Lake Montriond and back, with a splendid picnic at the lake and an afternoon swimming, relaxing and sunbathing.  Led by rep Andrew, we set off with three other families, staying at the hotel and other Simply Morzine chalets. In the office, I’d liaised all these guests before the holiday, so enjoyed putting faces to names.  When we arrived at Lake Montriond, Lewis and I helped to set up the banquet picnic, which was genuinely impressive even if I do say so myself! It looked so good that other people at the lake thought it was an open invitation to help themselves – before we quickly told them otherwise! ‘Excusez-moi Monsieur, non merci’ I cried!’ Sitting down to eat with the Simply Morzine guests helped build my confidence and develop relationships with them. After all, personal service is what we’re all about.  They asked me questions and told me about their previous holidays with Simply Morzine. I liked seeing Andrew at work and observing the staff in action. I took the chance to ask lots of questions. I can now tell potential Simply Morzine guests all about this activity day and why things like this help Simply Morzine to stand out from the crowd. The Lake Montriond walk is a brilliantly unique activity to do on a family summer holiday in Morzine. Back at the hotel and tonight we were privileged enough to dine with the owners, the lovely married couple Michele and Franck Blanchi. Now we’re properly acquainted I’ll be able communicate with Michele about bookings easily. They were so kind to me and I guess this is why our Simply Morzine guests say such nice things about Michele, Franck and their lovely little hotel in Morzine.

Morzine in the summer. Day 3.

Another summers day, another chance to try something new in Morzine! This time it was canyoning. Eek!  But I wasn’t moving out of my comfort zone alone, so was Fiona, a Simply Morzine guest staying at one of our chalets.  Neither of us had done anything like canyoning in Morzine, so we helped each other through it. Our Morzine canyoning instructor was Philippe, a rugged Frenchman who I could tell had spent a lot of time in the chilly mountain river!  Phillipe’s reputation for being the best proceeds him and I’d already heard of his tales in the canyon being part of Simply Morzine folklore.  People say Phillipe has a knack of making people at ease and he did just that. I was slipping, sliding, jumping and abseiling down a raging canyon, but I could not have felt safer.  The hardest part was squeezing into my wetsuit! I can’t wait to tell potential new Simply Morzine guests all about our canyoning activity in Morzine, with Philippe, the best guide in France.  Tonight, we enjoyed at meal at Chalet-Hotel la Chaumiere in the company of Simply Morzine resort managers Hamish and Rachel.  I enjoyed getting to know them even better, which in turn will help me when I’m back in the UK office. By now I was really feeling at home and also comfortable to chat to other Simply Morzine guests at the hotel. I asked about their day and hoped to give a good impression of myself and all the Simply Morzine holiday experience as a whole.

Mountain biking in Morzine – not for me, thanks! Day 4.

I’m not the biggest adrenalin junky in the world, so this day inadvertently turned into probably my favourite day during my summer holiday / inspection trip in Morzine. I’d originally planned to join the Simply Morzine mountain biking activity, but that didn’t quite work out for me!  Once we’d been kitted out with our bikes and protective wear, we all had a little practice with our guide (Laurent). I’ve not really done too much mountain biking before and I soon realised that I didn’t feel confident doing it in Morzine. I’m glad I decided not to carry on! Not my cup of tea (or café en Francais), so they say! On the plus side, I was pleased to have met all the staff at our bike hire shop (Felix Ski in winter), see the equipment and get a feel of what mountain biking in Morzine is all about. Maybe next time! As I made my way back to the hotel I bumped into a lady on holiday with Simply Morzine – Margaret. Her husband Nigel and son Bradley were part of the mountain bike group I’d just left behind. Margaret asked if I wanted to go on a walk around Morzine with her. I said this was a brilliant idea and that I’d love too.  Under the warm alpine sun, we explored Morzine on foot for a good three hours. We discussed many things, from our jobs, where we lived, Margaret’s skiing history, her family and much more. We stopped for lunch at a popular Morzine restaurant called L’Etale, where I enjoyed a pizza. I had such a nice day. I was disappointed about the mountain biking, but by the end of the day, I felt the total opposite. I enjoyed developing a relationship with a regular Simply Morzine guest. Margaret even told Andrew the rep that she had a lovely day, which made me feel much more confident about my job with Simply Morzine. After a setback, I felt things were starting to click.  After our evening meal, Lewis and I popped next door to Chalet des Montagnes, to watch the legendary Simply Morzine summer weekly Table Tennis tournament. Now this is something to be seen! As you can see from the photo below, guests Myles and Jessie were battling it out to be the Simply Morzine champion, with Myles eventually picking up the crown. I chatted to a lady called Kris, who gave me some great advice from her experiences throughout life. It was a lovely, balmy long summer evening in Morzine and I enjoyed every second. I felt on holiday.

A summer walk in Morzine Avoriaz. Day 5.

I’d quickly learnt how mountains make the ideal walking trails, so today we headed off on another Simply Morzine activity, the Fantasticable Adventure.  Our rep leading this walk was Mel and I took the chance to listen to everything she was telling our guests. She was a fountain of local Morzine knowledge. It was nice to spend time with a female rep as well. The walk took us through Morzine village, up the Super Morzine bubble and on to Avoriaz, where the jagged tall, thin buildings were in total contrast to those in pretty Morzine. We continued for over 2 hours until we reached the ‘Fantasticable’ near Chatel, which I’d describe as 2 huge zip wires crossing the high mountain tops with people flying across them like superman! Scary!!! I thought I’d give it a miss, so whilst the guests were doing the zip wire we relaxed and enjoyed lunch in a mountain restaurant.  Afterwards, we walked back to Morzine as the group chatted about chalet holidays in Morzine and travelling generally. Spending time with people in such a relaxed and peaceful environment really seemed to bring everyone together. That night I was shattered (it must be the fresh alpine air) so it’s safe to safe I wasn’t’ the life and soul of the hotel and went to bed early – eagerly awaiting the morning.

White water rafting in Morzine. Day 6.

More alpine water sports for me today – this time, white water rafting! I’ve never done this before so didn’t really know what to expect other than what I’d seen on TV. It was brilliant, fast, scary, bumpy thrilling and WET! We even stopped to jump off rocks into the rapids. In total, there were 3 boats packed full of Simply Morzine families who by now were getting to know each other well on their holidays. Before we set off, one child shouted ‘yay, Lauren’s coming in our raft!’, which made me smile 😊.  Rafting is a brilliant activity to do on your Morzine summer holiday and I’d highly recommend it. Back at base, I was introduced to the rafting instructors and office staff.  Tonight, Lewis and I would dine at Chalet des Montagnes with the guests. The aim was to give me experience of the type of food and drink served on a Simply Morzine chalet holiday and to understand how the chalets operate differently to our hotel.  The meal was tasty, fresh and I felt like I was dining in a high-quality restaurant. I enjoyed the opportunity to socialise with other guests during their Morzine summer holiday. Sharing anecdotes of the day’s activities is great fun!

Visiting our luxury ski chalets in Morzine. Day 7.

Today was insightful and a huge help with my product knowledge. Manager Hamish gave me a guided tour around all of the Simply Morzine ski chalets and apartments. We spent considerable time in each accommodation. I made notes, asked questions and familiarised myself with them all. As Gareth advised, I tried to focus on the details, like inventory, layout, décor, specifications, views, location. All the things I thought a potential Morzine holidaymaker may ask me by phone or email. I thought to myself just how high the standard of the Simply Morzine accommodation portfolio is. ‘I’d love to have a holiday here with my family one day’, I thought to myself.  I now feel confident in my knowledge of the Morzine chalets which will help me massively.

End of the summer holiday season in Morzine. Day 8.

The final guests of the summer departed today. By now, I’d got to know Morzine itself. I’d got to know the Simply Morzine chalets, hotel & apartments. I’d spent time with our guests and met key suppliers. Now was the time to muck in with the staff and get my hands dirty! Today was spent cleaning – or helping with the end of season ‘closedown’ to be precise.  This deep clean of all properties takes place at the end of every winter and summer holiday season. I noticed how much effort the team were putting in. Everything was being cleaned from top to bottom. Our maintenance team fixed any small problems. I spent most of the day with host Daisy helping her to clean a chalet. This gave me an insight into things the guests don’t see. Things like where all the cleaning products, linen and towels are kept. It was eye opening.  We strictly followed a tick list to ensure everything was done correctly and nothing was missed. To be honest, I’ve never cleaned like it!  And the funny thing is, the team have a full week of this ahead of them. ‘It’s part and parcel in the life of a seasonaire’ Daisy chuckled. That evening the staff had a meal at Chalet des Montagnes. A few of the team went out into Morzine afterwards but myself and some of the others stayed at the chalet and relaxed in the hot tub. An end of season perk, I’m told, and definitely what I needed after a long day cleaning!

Goodbye summer in Morzine. Day 9.

Home time! After an amazing holiday in Morzine, Lewis and I were heading home. I couldn’t wait to see my family, especially my little brother and sister. We arrived back in Leicester at around 14:15, to even worse weather than when we left! I miss Morzine already! A few weeks later and I’m now back into the 9-5 swing of things in the UK office and really enjoying using my knowledge of Morzine. It’s like a new door has opened, I’ve walked through it and I’m thriving. I’m working on my phone skills, so I can chat with authority and confidence to potential guests. The same goes for email enquiries. I’m so confident with them now. Hopefully I give all information required to help people towards booking a holiday with Simply Morzine.  And if I do need a hand, Lewis, Ben and Gareth are there to help me. My trip to Morzine means I’ve now been there, done it and literally, got the t-shirt.  Until next time, Morzine!

If you need any help in booking your holiday with Simply Morzine, please feel free to call me on +44 (0) 1664 568 902 or email me. I look forward to hearing from you soon!

Thanks for reading about the time I met Morzine!

Lauren Lane

Trip Advisor Simply Morzine
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