News You Can Use

This year is the 30th anniversary of Lindenmeyr Travel. I’ve purposely kept the company small. I believe it’s important to know personally what’s being recommended to you, the client, and to share first-hand knowledge. Personal insight is maybe why so many of you return year after year. Small, and to our travelers, perhaps, significant.

Four pages are added to the brochure this year to include four-storied time-tested trips: “Music in the Mountains,” to Switzerland, of course; “The Cuisine & Culture of Unknown Italy;” “Jewels of Central Europe,” to Budapest, Vienna, Prague, and Berlin; and skiing “Rifugio a Rifugio” in the Dolomites. Join the 30th anniversary celebration! There are a great many specials in the brochure so go ahead, take advantage of one or two!.

In The Resorts

The biggest, most important news this winter is in the Arlberg, the areas of: St. Anton, St. Christoph, Lech, Zürs, and their many neighboring hamlets where this summer a four-lift complex is being built that will, in 6/7 minutes, connect St. Anton with the Lech/Zürs side of the Arlberg. The Flexenbahn, two Trittkopfbahns and Albonabahn II gondolas, heated and with wifi, will create the largest interconnected ski area in Austria. The total terrain will be almost as expansive as the 60,000 acres of the Trois Vallées of Courchevel and Méribel.

Speaking of French resorts, all now offer shared-shuttle van service from Geneva Airport to a resort hotel. It’s really good news, especially for Val d’Isère fans. No more sitting for four-hours on a bus making three or four stops in tiny towns where maybe 1 or 2 get off while the majority of passengers wait for the last stop, Val d’Isère!

Comparing ski pass prices in Europe and the States, St. Moritz’ still wins hands down! Guests ski a half-dozen interconnected areas for $35.00/day or $215.00 for six days. Compare that to Vail’s window price of $175.00/day last year with a six-day cost of $708.00/adult. Zermatt’s pass is the highest of our 17 resorts, $388.00 for six-days, the same as last year, and if you want, tag on a day in Italy!

Alps vs. The Rockies

This brings up other cost comparisons of the Alps vs. the West. Here are samplings of how Europe’s always less, with much better value for your dollar. Each estimated/person package includes round-trip transfer, seven nights’ accommodations, six-day adult ski pass. European packages include the meals indicated:

January 21/28 Tivoli Lodge (4*)
Vail – $3,3100/p
Grand Hotel des Alpes (4*) with breakfast daily
Chamonix – $1,490/p
February 18/25 Hotel Jerome (5*)
Aspen – $5,220/p
Kulm Hotel (5*S) with breakfast & five-course
dinner daily, St. Mortiz -$4,300/p
March 11/19 Sundial (2/3*)
Park City – $1,965/p
Edelweiss (2*S) with breakfast & four course
dinner, Davos – $1,575/p

Yes, air out West is currently $300/500.00 less than Europe, but one still has to add-on ski transport fees of about $150.00 round-trip, food and dining. You can see, in my prejudiced eyes, of course, Europe is a no-brainer…!

In Our Hotels

One new change is, I’d say, 90% of all hotels no longer require seven night stays. The exception is Christmas/New Year’s; but at least 14 nights are no longer required.

I’ve added three hotels. One is in the Jungfrau region, the Hotel Schönegg, a tiny, hands-on three-star superior in picture-book pretty Wengen. It’s the second resort I ever skied in Europe, and it broke my heart not to have it in the program. Then the you’ll-love-dining-there Rosengarten, a lovely four-star near Kitzbühel is back. It’s back with its fabulous two-star Michelin chef, Simon Taxacher. Then in Méribel’s center, a long-time favorite four star returns: Le Grand Coeur, one of the village’s originals that still beats with a great heart.

Quips & Comments

Happy New Year, Chippy! Thought I would update you on our travels. We worship you! You didn’t miss anything! We had everything we needed…every voucher, every direction, every suggestion. Easy-Peasy. No confusion. Skies were blue, the food divine, der Waldhof perfection. Cheers, Spike

A ’Travel & Leisure’ Internet article by Shax Riegler writes: “Dozens of agencies specialize in all-inclusive week-long ski trips to Europe. I decided to go through one company. We were given a choice of Wengen hotels…I made a choice. Two weeks passed without confirmation. When I called, no reservation. The agent couldn’t have been less helpful telling us to change our destination. A friend suggested Chips Lindenmeyr at Lindenmeyr Travel. I called fully prepared to pull our booking and use her service. She patiently listened to my tale, and instead of stealing our reservation, she offered some simple advice: we should push the company to work harder to find a suitable hotel. She then recommended a few more in Wengen which is where we wanted to be and ended up.” Thanks to the article, it brings new clients each year.

Where I’ve been, where I’m going

Last January I attended a Vienna conference and visited Innsbruck and Salzburg, cities I hadn’t been to for a while.

In March it was a ski conference in Switzerland’s Crans-Montana. We had a mountain gourmet ski day, in a blizzard. The dining was great, the skiing less so. After two of us skied Kitzbühel staying the week at the wonderful Tennerhof. What superb dining each evening – no wonder it has a Michelin star! After, it was to the Ötztal for a luxury ski conference. A great day skiing in Sölden, a new area for me, was topped off by a fabulous lunch at Ice-Q, a glass mountain restaurant where part of 007’s “Spectre” was filmed.

So as I may have written before, it’s a tough life keeping standards high for all of you – but it’s obviously also such a pleasure.