• Eddie Hpper from Woking, Surrey

    March 2010

    Aoste-Pila ? Ski-trip with a ?Difference.?

    My daughter and I spent a weeks ski-ing in Aoste Pila - March of this year, which will always be remembered as a ?Ski-trip with a Difference.?

    The resort offers ski-ing for all levels, with good nursery slopes for beginners.

    We were first taken back by the hospitality that Dave & Jane showed, making us feel very much at home.

    We enjoyed being waited on and the cooking was superb, which we preferred to eating out.

    The rooms were very spacious, well furnished, nicely decorated and clean.

    We both being very spoilt, being driven to and from the Ski-Lifts and escorted around the resort.

    But the difference for me was that I was used to being dragged around mountains, playing catch up with a bunch of guys who wanted to ski the resort as fast as possible, then go out on the Piste till the early hours of the morning ? Thinking I could ski ?

    It was not until the end of the first day, when I mentioned that my toes were crunched up inside my boots and that I had a lot of discomfort in my thighs.
    Dave took me to one side and went through the basics of ski-ing ? and pointed out the bad habits I had got into.

    Both Dave & Jane are Level-2 Instructors and should anyone take the opportunity of asking for their advice as I did, then they are more than willing to help ? My daughter is a Boarder.

    This made the holiday for me, as I always had it in mind to go ski-ing on my own and practice on slopes I felt comfortable on.

    However this would have been a waste of time as I would not have known what I was doing wrong.
    This would inevitably have lead to having lessons and for me ski lessons had always been disappointing, due to language problems and time spent, as 3-Chair lifts and the lesson is all over.

    Having one to one makes all the difference - although I was conscious of the fact that you say you understand, but really, you don?t.

    It took 2 to 3-Days for it to sink in, until one afternoon I felt the ski?s carve and felt more relaxed, letting the ski?s do the work and taking the pressure off my thighs.

    So for me this was ?My Ski-trip with a Difference?, and one, which will always stay with me.

    So a special thank you to Dave & Jane.

    From Eddie the : Sh-ad-ow.

  • Rachel and Peter Jones from Milford, Surrey

    26 March - 1 April 2010

    What more can we say that hasn't already been written? We concur with all the other reviewers' comments as Jane and David are Italian skiing's hidden gems.

    We had a wondereful week and certainly intend to return. Our 2 boys (14 and 10) went from being complete novices to descending black runs and going off-piste within the week. This was due to the excellent tuition and patience shown by David and Jane. And not to mention some very useful tips on improving our own techniques!

    Having Jane and David's knowledge and experience of the mountains provided a great headstart to the week's skiing. They definitely took all the headaches and stress away from our first family skiing holiday, and we had endless laughter and fun.

    To quote our children, when I asked them what more could they want from the holiday, they replied "to stay another week". Says it all!

  • Seb , Joanna, Richard & Andrew from Northampton, UK

    13-17 March 2010

    We've just come back from staying with Jane and David and I feel compelled to promote their hospitality which was genuinely warm and inviting. Our accommodation was very clean and comfortable. Jane and David guided and assisted us through the hiring of equipment and passes and dedicated their day time to providing us with ski tuition. I (Joanna) left for this short ski break resigned that for me the skiing would be a waste of time, but more importantly that my boys should enjoy it ? they did! However, I came back to the UK having achieved the impossible - with a beaming smile and wishing I was still in Pila, all thanks to Jane & David's perseverance and encouragement. I am longing to go back to Pila and ski on those slopes again. Thanks to Jane & David, my boys gained more knowledge and progressed in their skiing ability. Having skied in Germany and France, we found that Pila's slopes provide a great place to ski. There is a wide variety of runs which are suitable for all standards and are set in a picturesque Alpine setting with some more challenging off piste sections and mogels for the more advanced skiers as well. The magic carpet is a dream for beginners (no horrible drag lifts). We went to Italy with preconceived ideas and found them to be incorrect. We found the Italian people to be helpful and pleasant, with none of the aggressive pushing onto the lifts, found in other countries. The infrastructure was excellent and so was the beautiful weather. David and Jane were incredibly flexible in accommodating our needs with going into town in the evening etc, which was very much appreciated. I write this testimonial with a heavy heart, as advertising a ?gem? means sharing it with others, but we feel that Jane and David need our support in order to continue and we would love to be their guests again the future. Good luck to Jane and David, may you long continue to provide the service you have established. Thank you.

  • Vanessa Watts from Godalming Surrey

    21 February 2010

    We have just arrived home following a fantastic holiday with Jane & David.We stayed for 6 days with our 3 boys (aged 8,11 &13) and did 5 full days skiing. We have only skied as a family once before so were all in need of tuition which Jane & David provided free of charge all week.We all went to the slopes together each morning and David took our boys off for lessons whilst Jane taught my husband & I. The boys improvement in skiing in just a few days has been incredible (as has my husbands & I's)and we are all able to easily ski together now,including off-piste which we have never done before.The boys really enjoyed being with David too - his sense of humour and relaxed nature was a real hit . My husband & I equallly enjoyed having fun with Jane too who has managed to miraculously teach both of us more in 5 days than I would have thought possilbe.Our skiing is unrecognisable to that of the start of the week .After our lessons we met for lunch and then all skiied together with Jane & David as our personal ski-guides in the afternoon which really took the effort out of getting to know the mountain ,including the best restaurants which were much cheaper than we experienced in France before on our only previous family ski holiday. We could eat & drink for 5 euros each and a coffee is only 1 euro !
    We hadn't heard of Pila before but it has made a great impression on us with a range of skiing to suit any abiility and there are some fun runs & jumps too. Lift queues were non-existent and there are no drag-lifts which is another bonus. We went to Courmayeur one day for a change of scene too .It is only 20 minutes away, higher, bigger & more expensive although for us there is more than enough skiing in Pila .
    The chalet was lovely & warm and the bedrooms very spacious.We were fed delicious food in the evenings and home-made cakes every day after skiing and breakfast was as much of whatever you wanted. I really don't know where they got their energy from, nothing was too much trouble. David dropped us off at the local city of Aosta on a couple of evenings which was full of a huge variety of shops, and restaurants & culture if you want it .Eating out was as cheap or expensive as you wanted to make it.
    Pila is apparently Italys' hidden gem and so is Jane & David's hospitality.We were sorry to have to leave.We had such a good holiday and I would recommend it to anyone and we will definitely be back!

  • Bob Williamson from surrey



    I?m here with David and Jane now and would certainly recommend you book up ASAP.

    Over the last 30 years I?ve been lucky to stay at some amazing accommodation in the mountains ? in particular over the last 5 years due to the voluntary work I?ve done with the British Ski and Snowboard Federation.

    Rarely in that time however have I witnessed such attention to detail and complete ?customer service? ? starting from the moment David collected me from Geneva Airport. David and Jane are doing everything to make sure my and my fellow guest?s time in the Aosta Valley is perfect. Every meal is made fresh (mostly using local products bought fresh that same day) and the excellent local wine they serve during the meals would not be out of place in many a good restaurant.

    The Pila ski area is more than adequate for everyone from complete beginner to expert. And the lift queues are no problem even at the busiest times (probably because there?s not one drag lift in sight!). The mountain restaurants / cafes are also great value ? none of this ridiculous EUR 9.00 for a beer like I recently paid in Meg?ve!!!

    Tomorrow, as a further example of David and Jane?s excellent customer service, they are driving us to (and hopefully back from!) the nearby resort of Courmayeur.

    One final note: at Chalet Enchante you do not get skiing to and from the door . . . . its even BETTER!!! Just call David and he collects you from the gondola station, or a bar, or shops, or another bar, or maaabe even anosha baaar . . . . . .

    What?s the point of being over there complaining about how rubbish the UK is at handing snow-falls ? get yourself over here ASAP and have fun in the Aosta Valley snow!!!



    Bob Williamson MBA

    Commercial Director


  • David Peck from Walton UK

    2nd January 2010

    This was our first skiing holiday. Pick up and drop off from Geneva airport went well. David picked us up in a 9 seater mini-bus. The transfer took 1 & 1/2 hours going through the Mount Blanc tunnel. We arrived at Chalet Enchante around 6pm on Saturday 2nd January. On arrival Jane had a nice warm (alcoholic) welcome which was really appreciated by my wife Andrea.
    We woke up nice and early the following morning to clear blue skies and an amazing view of the Aosta Valley. After a hearty breakfast we were taken by David and Jane to the Gondola (The bubble) which took 2-3 mins. The ski pass and the ski hire shops are right next to the Gondola. There are two choices for ski hire we found Gal Sports to be the best.
    Myself, Andrea and our daughter Lauren aged 13 had never skied before, so we arranged for David and Jane to show us the ropes and give us lessons, both are level 2 instructors and training to do their level 3. From the Gondola there is a 3 seater chair lift to take you to the top of the nursery slopes, this is where all the runs come back to and most of the restaurants are in this area. We spent the first morning learning the basics, Jane took Andrea and David took myself and Lauren, there is a magic carpet left for beginners on the nursery
    Lunch was provided by Jane and David as they had made sandwiches that morning and brought them with them. We finished around about 4.15 and as you can imagine we were all pretty tired.
    Later in the week the 3 of us stayed at a local bar and had a few drinks. We rang David and he kindly picked us up.
    We had a freshly cooked 3 course meal, 5 out of the 6 nights, which included complementary wine and beer. Dinner was usually around 8pm.
    On the Wednesday evening David dropped us off in the town centre (which was a hidden gem!!)
    We found a restaurant which we can highly recommend called Brasserie Du Commerce.
    The overall experience was fantastic , there was great service (teaching),great food and hospitality, great venue, great apartment

    Thank you Jane and David, we will be back.