A long time ago, on a trip to South America a plan started brewing…
Once upon a time there were two brothers…
One was a very talented chef (Luke Turner) and the other a web designer (Dominic Turner). One sunny day the chef (Luke Turner) graduated from hotel and catering school and said “Mum and Dad, I am going on a culinary quest to South America”.
Fearing for his safety the parents asked if the older brother (Dominic Turner) would go along for the first few weeks to make sure their youngest was safe. Contented in the shire of Albury (the village which Dominic had no desire to leave) Dominic reluctantly agreed to join Luke for 4 weeks and a day, since Dominic had never really travelled before and this was the longest time that his job would allow him.
After 2 weeks Dominic phoned his work, he was going to be late returning to work, in fact he was having such a good time his did not know if he would return to work. The brothers spent 5 months in total in South America. During the 4th month the younger brother (Luke) decided that he did not want the adventure to stop and that they should work a ski season together. Brother Dominic did not even like skiing however one night had a vision, a flash forward to the future whereby his future children deemed Luke to be the cool uncle since he was a better skier. Determined to show future generations that he too could be cool, Dominic reluctantly agreed to look for work during the forthcoming Winter season.
The brothers had talked during their travels about starting up a business together however had no experience of working together so finding a job together seemed the next logical step.
Due to Luke’s highly qualified C.V the brothers received lots of offers to interview. They had their first interview via web camera in an Internet cafe in the jungle of Bolivia. The second in an Internet cafe in the world’s highest city, La Paz and so on. The interviews were a breeze for Luke. Dominic however would have one eye on the webcam and one eye on Google and was able to bluff answers to questions like “how do you make a souffle rise?”.
The brothers received several offers and chose to go to Val D’isere. They flew from Brazil to home, swapped flip flops for winter clothes and off they went on their next adventure.
In 2005, the brothers completed their first season and safe in the knowledge that they could work well together decided to start up their own business. They had saved everything they earned that Winter to fund a summer trip around the Alps, to find the perfect chalet to rent in the perfect resort. Initially looking for a large chalet that they could run as a hostel their first trip to the Alps was sadly a disappointment. The brothers had decided to start their business during a boom time in the Alps when hardly any chalets were available to lease. Money was running out and faced with being able to afford either washing up liquid or shampoo the brothers returned home (with washing up liquid in their hair). Glumly they both went back to work to save for another trip to the Alps. The second trip however was full of good omens, better weather and a free upgrade on the rental cars! Pre-armed with extra shampoo the brothers set off on another adventure.
Relentlessly they looked for their ideal resort: a large interlinked ski area, reputably shorter lift queues, untapped powder and of course a bit of night life (something for everybody). When one filters resorts by these criteria, surprisingly few make the grade and of the qualifying ski areas the Grand Massif offered the most skiing.
Sat outside a bar in Morzine because it had free wifi and making phone calls via Skype the brothers discovered a chalet whereby the tenant had just broken the lease in Les Carroz. The brothers truly had luck on their side this time. 45 minutes later they were at the chalet. It had been so hard to find a chalet of that quality and they were glad it was not of the hostel type. During their return to the U.K someone had commented that ‘Skiology catered chalets’ was a much better name than ‘bro-tel, the hotel run by brothers’. In fact ‘Bro-tel’ was only one letter short from being completely the wrong idea! They gave the owner the rest of their pennies with promises of more when they sold our first holiday. Perhaps because of their shampooed hair and fancy hire car he agreed so they shook on it and went about drawing up a lease to be signed. Neither of the brothers had any legal experience so they offered to babysit a lawyer’s children in exchange for drawing up a commercial contract.
During the drafting of the lease. Dominic made the website. Luke wrote the menu and both of them decided on what DVDs they should buy for the chalet.
Our first season was 2005 and as demand for our holidays has grown so too has our company. We now lease 6 chalets and have had met some wonderful people along the way. Luke had offers of a job at the Fat Duck with Heston Blumenthal and was even asked to make Christmas dinner for Margret Thatcher. Dominic met his wife and now lives full time in the Alps. Things have developed as time has gone by however Luke still writes the menu every year even though he went on to be a development chef at Fortnum and Mason’s. Dominic and his wife now manage Skiology looking for the next generation of aspiring brothers, sisters, friends and individuals to come and run chalets for them.