Episode 4: Cold-Tub

Getting to where we are now has involved more ups and downs that your average week on the slopes. So how exactly did we get here?

During our first season we wrote a weekly ski blog about our experiences, mainly to keep family and friends up-to-date. Now, for the first time, we’ve decided to share this blog with you.

We hope you enjoy reading about the adventures and the misadventures of our first winter season in the Alps.

Names have been changed to protect both the guilty and the innocent.


hot-tub sign

This week, our main problems were not caused by heavy snowfall, delayed flights, injuries or errant guests. No indeed. This week, our problems centred around the fact that both the chalet hot tub and the tumble dryer obviously decided that ‘being hot’ was getting boring and they could do worse than giving ‘being cold’ a go. So they did.

The chalet dryer packed up on a Friday when I was halfway through washing the mid-week towel change.  As Saturday is transfer day and Sunday is a Sunday, we couldn’t even get in touch with the maintenance company until Monday. So, from Saturday until Thursday (when it was finally repaired) I had to carry bags of heavy, wet towels down to the road to another chalet to dry them and then lug them back up the hill again. I can’t be sure but I am convinced my arms are now looser in their sockets.

At least with the dryer, the guests weren’t directly impacted by its decision to go on strike. The hot-tub on the other hand, is a major draw for guests and they use it pretty much constantly. This means that its refusal to act like a normal hot-tub and simply ‘be hot’ was cause for an increasing amount of concern.

Now, I might as well be honest and admit that there was no love lost between us and the hot-tub to start with, so this latest episode was doing nothing to enhance our relationship.

Our strained relationship with the hot-tub began during training week when an English chap came round to provide ‘hot-tub training’, after which I can safely say we’ll never own one and might never use one again.

The golden rules of hot-tub ownership (or guardianship in our case) are as follows:

  1. The hot-tub must be tested three times a day for chlorine and PH levels and it must be drained and re-filled once a week.

Yes. That’s right. Three times a day. It’s worse than having a baby. If anyone falls ill then the authorities come round to test the tub and check the log-book (oh yes, you have to keep a diary too) to make sure you have been looking after it properly. If not, it’s curtains for you.

Small wonder then that the nominated hot-tub technician (Graham) quickly becomes a paranoid hot-tub bore, pacing around the tub murmuring things like:

My PH is still high. I need to put some more of that stuff in

My temperature is too low. It’s only gone up by one degree in the last 24 hours”

“I’m sorry but I can’t help you with that, I’ve got to drain and refill my hot-tub”

  1. Guests must shower before using the hot-tub.

Now, I thought this rule was in place to prevent any unwashed stinkers having an adverse effect on general guest relations, but apparently not. The reason you must shower beforehand is to prevent a layer of body fat building up in a disgusting plimsoll line around the side of the tub. Yes, it’s not dirt, it’s body fat.

  1. No glass in the hot tub.

Now this is a fairly obvious one, but there are still some people that need a little hand to put two and two together. Fortunately the hot-tub chap had some nice stories about people sitting or standing on broken glass in hot tubs to help us illustrate the point to guests.

  1. No heavy petting in the hot-tub.

They are not dubbed the ‘tub of love’ for nothing. We’ve been lucky enough to avoid incident so far (to our knowledge) but one of the other chalets had their tub shut down by the resort manager after a couple were caught ‘frolicking’.

So, given how high maintenance the tub is to start with, we weren’t best pleased that the tub had developed issues with being hot.

All week long the tub randomly dropped or increased in temperature, keeping the guests guessing as to whether they’d actually be able to use it or not. It got to the point where we were having to provide a twice-daily ‘hot tub update’. Eventually, after two visits from the resort manager, two visits from the hot-tub maintenance man, three new filters, and a few swift kicks when nobody was looking – the problem was diagnosed. One new hot-tub cover later and the temperature slowly crept back up to 40 degrees and stayed there.

Needless to say, everyone was happy with the outcome. The guests were at last able to bubble away in the tub for hours. I was relieved not to have to come up with anymore original content for the twice-daily hot tub Q&A, and Graham was content to go back to wandering around the hot-tub with his PH testing kit comparing ever-so slightly different shades of pink.

Ladies and gentlemen, normal service has been resumed.

About Kelly Taylor

The Alpine Generation

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