If you spend so much time in one resort, you get to know it inside out, and with that wealth of knowledge & experience Kim Rippin set up Simply Val d'Isere. They've got literally hundreds of chalets and apartments and around 30 hotels on their books & pride themselves on being able to offer a personal service and advice to all their clients.
Kim is a busy woman.. the summer season is about to start in Val d'Isere with lifts opening this coming weekend and they're already taking plenty of bookings for next winter. We managed to grab a few minutes with her to learn a bit more about her business and find out some of her top tips for places to go when you're in Val d'Isere..
Tell us a little bit about your business, how it started out and where you're based etc...
Simply Val d’Isere is the ultimate niche travel & accommodation agent as we deal exclusively with Val d’Isere. We work with practically every accommodation provider in resort from hotels, to apartment agencies to all the chalet operators. So we deal with all sorts of requests from budget apartments for the boys, to luxury stays for corporate groups and everything in between. Having spent 16 years in Val d’Isere and being based here each winter we know the resort backwards so can offer probably the most personal service possible!
How long have you been in your current role and how long have you been with the company?
After 8 years as resort/area manager for one of the major Tour Ops, I set up the business in 2007, so now we’re just coming up to our 8th Simply season. I still recall how terrified I was when we took our first booking!
What are the best bits about your job?
Easy. I’m passionate about Val d’Isere as a resort so love to talk about it. My job means I get to tell people about this great place every day. Sounds cheesy but true!
And the worst bits?
Working on a sunshine powder day!
What is in store for the future with your business, any exciting projects in the pipelines that you can share with us?
I looked at expanding to other resorts but I decided I would lose the personal aspect. So I’m sticking with just Val for now which keeps me extremely busy. We have some new projects on the go with large groups for next winter so I’m really excited about that at the moment.
Where would send someone who was after that something 'something special' in resort, to stay, eat or drink?
We have some amazing catered chalets on our website ….For me though, Hotel Blizzard every time. It's a gorgeous Alpine hotel. Also my secret pleasure for a quiet evening... comfy sofas, fireplace, lovely atmosphere, glass of wine…bliss!
Your favourite place for lunch or dinner?
Well as one of my favourite things is a rosé lunch with the girls, I could go on forever here.. I’ll go for Perdrix Blanche and Tufs in resort, especially on a sunny day. Taverne d’Alsace is a great place for dinner too.
Where will we find the best coffee or hot chocolate?
What has been your best ever day in Val d'Isere?
Where do I start? It’s home, I have great friends, I love my job, I live in one of the most beautiful places there is..…every day!
What do you do in the summer?
Simply Val d’Isere is busy year round now already booking ski holidays over a year in advance! I do though try to have a bit of a break, visiting family and friends, plus usually a few music festivals over the summer.
Which is your favourite shop in resort?
Never mind the shops, I love the market on a Monday! There's a heap of variety, with very affordable and they do some great niknaks for pressies!
Where are we most likely to find you for après-ski?!
I’m very often found dancing on a table in the Chalet Bar to my favourite band Mullit. Or anywhere with live music to be honest.. Moris, Petit Danois etc. Sitting on the terrace of the Rosee Blanche in la Daille is also a great place to be on a sunny afternoon.
Skiing or snowboarding? What's your preference & why?
I went to the dark side many years ago. Snowboarding all the way for me. I confess I’m not that great at it though!
If you're planning a visit to Val d'Isere and you want to speak to the local experts, get in touch with Simply Val d'Isere!