My group recently finished our ski vacation to Zermatt, Switzerland. The arrangements were made by David Court of Alpine Exposure. Mr. Court booked our 3 bedroom apartment, ski tickets, train tickets, taxi service from the train station to the apartment, set up ski equipment rentals and provided a tour of Zermatt and two days of guided skiing in Zermatt and Cervinia. The taxi was waiting for us with David when we arrived. The apartment was excellent. Close to the centre of town and a beautiful view of the Matterhorn. The ski rental shop was small but provided excellent service and allowed us to keep our equipment on site.
Our group was made up of a family of four with two young children and myself and my husband. Our skiing levels varied from absolute beginner to advanced skiers. We understood this would be challenging and expected to break our group apart during the vacation to accommodate everyone's need. Mr. Court was expecting the children's ski level to be better than it was and got flustered when the first ski run resulted in crying children. He recovered enough to get us to a beginners area where the children were able to get some practice on the slope. The children's parents stayed with them and Mr. Court took my husband and I skiing off piste in excellent terrain.
The skiing was exactly what we wanted but some of Mr. Court's banter was inappropriate or somewhat derogatory in nature. Later, I skied with the children while their father, the other advanced skier, and my husband went with Mr. Court. The children's father wanted to ski on piste and rather than stay together, Mr. Court left him alone while he skied the powder with my husband. Mr. Court had the habit of stopping to talk with friends and ignoring us.
Later discussions about skiing with the children and where to take them were very confrontational and there were numerous instances of derogatory comments that got all the adults in our group on edge.
Our second day of touring with Mr. Court in Cervinia went very well. We were only advanced skiers which made the trip easy for everyone. The banter, though, still contained backhanded compliments and comments that would be better suited for a group of bachelors.
It was clear that Mr. Court is better suited to guide advanced skiers who want to party and get rowdy than married couples and children. There were several instances where some passive/aggressive actions by Mr. Court left us in the lurch. He was supposed to arrange our taxi pick up at the end of the trip to bring us back to the train station. That morning he arrived to show us to a nearby restaurant and collect some money we owed him. He advised us the taxi would be at our apartment by 10 am and suggested we just pay him part of the money we owed and use the rest for the taxi service (which was previously included in our package). The taxi did not show up and Ashley, the owner of the apartment called to find that none had been arranged by Mr. Court. None were available last minute and we dragged our bags through the snowy streets of town to the station, instead.
We had a wonderful trip and Alpine Exposure did many things well despite our conflict with Mr. Court. However, I cannot recommend their services given our experience.
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