A genuine holiday specialist providing unique and unforgettable holidays
in Europe’s most majestic mountains
Thank you for your interest in us. We might specialise in summer walking holidays and winter snowshoeing & skiing holidays, but our offices are in gently-undulating Essex. More precisely, we are in the market square of the charming town of Saffron Walden and it is from here that a team of people pull the strings that define our reputation and the quality of our unique holidays.
Nearly every member of our management team has lived and worked in one or more of our destinations, fallen in love with it and then come to join us on a full-time basis. Rest assured that, whoever you communicate with, we will provide the highest levels of personal service and attention to detail from your initial enquiry, through to the end of an unforgettable holiday.
Tom & Dee Collett
Tom and Dee founded Collett’s Mountain Holidays in 1997. They met in the Dolomites in 1995 when Tom employed Dee to work for the small ski chalet specialist he was running at the time. They married in 2002 and now have three daughters. As Managing Director, Tom is actively involved in all aspects of Collett’s, both in the UK and abroad, notably in the Dolomites, where he has many friends. Dee has overseen our office procedures since the outset. She now comes to the office three days a week. Having recently overseen the installation of a new bookings system, her main priority is the administration of our bookings, ultimately ensuring that the various aspects that comprise a plain-sailing and successful booking are all taken care of. The picture of Tom, Dee, Daisy, Martha and Georgie (left) was taken in the Dolomites above Badia at the recent wedding of another colleague, Phil Melia…
Phil is one of four directors at Collett’s. He joined us in our very first summer season in 1998, originally as our resort artist in the Dolomites. He then did eight consecutive summer seasons based in the Dolomites, making him a real authority on the area. In 2012 Phil married his long-time girlfriend, Kamila, in Corvara. They met in the Dolomites when Kamila came to work for Collett’s in Summer 2000. Like everyone at our UK office, Phil is involved across the board. However, his key responsibility is the recruitment and training of our seasonal staff, arguably the most important role of all. He spends hours poring over applications, chatting with candidates, seeking out that special ‘something’ that makes them the right person for the job. Those of you who have holidayed with us will know how utterly effective Phil has been in this role.
Sam has worked for Collett’s since Summer 2000 when he joined us as a Via Ferrata organiser whilst still at university. On completing a degree in Photography, Sam came on board full time, splitting his time between the UK and the Dolomites, where he was our Resort Manager. Sam has taken on many responsibilities, notably in sales, advertising, marketing and IT. We turn to Sam when a computer fails or the broadband goes down. Sam has contributed significantly to the design and production of our brochures, website, online activity, advertisements and promotional material, not to mention our ‘Ideas & Information’ files, which are so pivotal to our walking holidays in Italy and Spain. In July 2011 he got married in Sicily to Jennifer (Jen), a former Collett’s walks organiser. In February 2014, they had a son, Max, who is now a regular visitor to our offices In Saffron Walden, which are short walk away from his nursery.
Viv has been with us since 2001 and has been the mainstay of our office during that period. Her interest in the Dolomites was nurtured primarily by her friendship with Tom & Dee Collett and then by two Collett’s walking holidays in the late 1990’s. Soon after she joined Collett’s with responsibility for the administration of our bookings. After that, she gallantly tried one of our skiing holidays, but decided to stick to the walking! As many of you already know, she ensures the booking process is plainsailing, pleasurable and trouble-free, taking outstandingly good care of all aspects of our bookings day in day out, whether it concerns your accommodation, car hire, ferries, airport transfers, holiday insurance or payments.
Lisa joined Collett’s in Summer 2002 as a Walk Organiser based at Haus Valentin in Badia. After doing Summer 2003 and 2004, she became full time in October 2005. She split her time between the Dolomites and the UK, taking on seasonal roles such as Chalet Host, Via Ferrata Organiser and Resort Manager, then returning to the UK to administer sales and bookings in the off-season. She knows every nook and cranny both here at our UK office and also out in the Dolomites. With Lisa’s fluent German, she has nurtured many of our key supplier relationships in the Dolomites, which has helped us to acquire attractive accommodation and to develop our winter business. Since October 2008 Lisa has been permanently based in the UK, looking after sales and managing contracts and relationships with our suppliers in Italy. In July 2010 she married Pete, a former Collett’s Via Ferrata organiser. They live near Cambridge, proud parents of Elsie (3yrs) and Jacob (1yr), which is also why Lisa currently works on a part time basis.
Tony & Jane Stirland
Tony and Jane set up and developed our holidays in the Pyrenees and the Picos de Europa which we launched in 2008 and 2011 respectively. Prior to joining Collett’s they both had successful office jobs – Tony as a corporate lawyer in London and then Leeds; Jane as an Environmental Consultant. In 2005, they both decided to quit the ‘rat race’ and set off in search of somewhere to set up a walking business. They fell in love with the Pyrenees and the rest is history. Tony is now our Commercial Director, responsible for all things financial. They know both the Pyrenees and Picos inside out, so if you have any questions about either, they will almost certainly have the answer.
Kelly joined Collett’s in the summer of 2010 as a Walk Organiser in the Spanish Pyrenees. She loved the area and we loved Kelly! Unsurprisingly, she returned the following year as our Resort Manager in Panticosa. Then we tempted her to the Dolomites for Summer 2013. She joined us full time in January 2014. She was immediately given the task of overseeing our first season in the Austrian Alps. She excelled in this role and it was a considerable success. Then we asked her to develop our interests, concerning self guided walking on the Camino di Santiago, a work currently in progress. As a Spanish speaker, Kelly now co-manages our holidays in Andalucia, the Picos de Europa, the Pyrenees and the Camino de Santiago, whilst also being responsible for Collett’s in Austria. Many of you will have met Kelly in the mountains and will therefore know how dedicated she is to ensuring every holiday is a complete success.
Jenny Allan joined us in September 2014. She became a friend of Tom and Dee Collett’s through the local village pub about eight years ago. Along with her husband, Doug, she is a keen walker and inevitably took great interest in Tom and Dee’s line of work. Soon they had visited most of our destinations as genuine holidaymakers in both summer and winter. They also became familiar faces at our B&B in Leyburn in the Yorkshire Dales. And when Jenny relinquished her stressful job at a city bank, Tom had her in his sights for our sales and administration team here in Saffron Walden. The rest is history and Collett’s is delighted to have Jenny on board, ably assisted by her handsome labrador, Fogerty, one of three office dogs at Collett’s.
Call us on 01799 513331 if you require help or advice. Collett’s is small enough to deal with every booking with great flexibility and in considerable detail, so you get exactly what you want from your time in the mountains.
Collett’s Mountain Holidays
3a Market Hill