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“Great for beginners” 5 of 5 stars
Review of M Vacances - Le Domaine de l'Arselle

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M Vacances - Le Domaine de l'Arselle
3.5 of 5 Condominium   |   Centre station | Lieu-Dit Bachat Bouloud, 38410 Chamrousse, France   |  
Hotel amenities
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
“Great for beginners”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 1, 2012

We were a group of 7 post graduate students/young working people, and most pf us had never skied. We love the trip and really had a phenomenal time at the resort and on the slopes. By the end we could all ski with a level of confidence despite not really getting any lessons.

The service of the Snowtrex team was excellent, responsive and helpful. The accommodation was very small, but as we were skiing the whole day and at the sauna in the afternoon, it just meant we drank wine in a cozy atmosphere in the evening. The snow wasn't great, as we were there the week leading up to Easter, but there were loads of green and blue runs leading into the resort, so it meant that there was a lot for beginners to do comfortably. The red and black runs on the other side of the mountain were easy for the thrill seekers to find, and they were happily occupied too!

We took our own salt, pepper, cleaning cloths, sheets and towels, so there were no extra costs. And there was a small grocery store - Sherpa, at the resort, a 5 min walk from us, so we bought detergent, baguettes, cheese, wine and dinner there - the selection wasn't big but with some creativity we were fine. Our best meal was Raclette - the Sherpa store lent us the machine for free and then sold us the ingredients for 5 euro a person, which was so much fun!

We were worried as some of the reviews were awful for the rooms or equipment, but we had no problems, except that some of the activities didn't seem to be running as it was towards the end of the season (husky sledding, night skiing etc) which was a bit disappointing.

I would go on a Snowtrex holiday again, the value was great and the experience was once in a lifetime!

Room Tip: the more expensive rooms looking over the mountains must be nice - we didn't get one
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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136 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (15)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Polish first
  • Any
English first
London, United Kingdom
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 15, 2012

We booked a 1-bedroom apartment for 6 (for family of 4) last minute with Snowtrex - very cheap for the last week of the season. The first apartment we were allocated was horrible - facing the road & not the mountain view and dirty with broken glass and rubbish on the balcony. However when we complained we were immediately given a very nice 2 bedroom apartment with fantastic view of the mountains and pine forest. We really liked this apartment. We would have been very unhappy with the original one.

We were lucky to have good snow this week. We booked childrens ski lessons direct with ESF website which was better value than with Snowtrex. Our girls (7&9) were complete beginners and they made great progress, skiing red runs by the end of the week. The ESF instructors were good and spoke good English.

The resort is perfect for beginners as it has mainly blue and green runs with a good beginners slope at Domaine Arselle. You can ski from the very top, just on blue runs if you want. Scenery is great with lot of trees and nice mountain views in good weather. Also nice views down to Grenoble. The 3 linked resorts (1650, 1750 & 1700) are not particularly pretty though. The Domaine Arselle resort section itself is quite attractive.

The free pool and jacuzzi at Domaine Arselle is great. We used it every day - the kids
loved it.

Our only major criticism of Chamrousse is that it has almost no accessable on-piste cafes/restaurants and even the ones in the resorts are not very good for sitting out and enjoying the great views. Other resorts in Italy, France and Austria have been much better in this regard.

There were 3 restaurants in Domaine Arselle. The Pizza restaurant we thought was not good - I don't think the French really understand how to cook real pizza!. The large restaurant above the pool was somewhat better in the evening and the the Crepe restaurant was quite good. Much better restaurants are available in the 1750 resort - take the free bus there or ski there.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bromsgrove, United Kingdom
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 9, 2012

We stayed in Chamrousse over Christmas 2011. The apartment was typically French,small by U.K. standards! Apartment was right by the slopes, you could literally ski to the door! Skiing area is small but well suited to beginners and early intermediates. We travelled with Crystal and cannot praise the reps Amy and Jess enough. They were helpful at all times and very knowledgeable about the resort, Amy in particular had a great knowledge of the slopes and the runs. They have my admiration for being able to deal effectively with checking in guests for the M Vacance people, who were so badly organised as to be laughable! Cleaning arrangements were a problem but again M Vacance were at fault. Not much to do in an evening but Igor and Dou Dou's restaurant was excellent and K Docs bar could be lively. All in all a good value resort to learn to ski in, well suited to families.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hull
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 5, 2012

We stayed at appartments Asters E from 11/2/2012-17/2/2012. Two grandparents, two parents and two boys 11 and 8 years. We had an appartment for 6 and from previous experience of French accommodation were a bit apprehensive. However, the two bedrooms were of adequate size. Grandparents slept on a sofa bed which meant moving the table but it was not a problem. The appartment was very clean with good storage space and separate B'room and toilet, much appreciated. Ski storage good. After reading previous reviews we took mugs and travel kettle. Well worth it. Don't bother with TV only French programmes.The two local shops, Casino and Sherpa, were well stocked but can run low on fresh goods during the week. The free lift passes, for how long I wonder, made this an excellent value for money resort. The lifts were very close by at 1750 but could be busy first thing and after lunch.Best to go before or after the rush and the same applies to the mountain cafes. We tended to have a light late morning snack and an early evening meal because, as usual we were worn out after skiing all day.1750 tends to have the easier slopes compared to1650 so is better for beginners. The access to the piste from the road can be very slippy and could be improved with a metal stair. Unfortunately one of our party slipped and broke her hip at this point so take care! The access to the apartments at 5.0pm is a nuisance but is the fault of M Vacance not the reps. Suggest you ensure good grips on your boots for walking round the village, pack warm clothes near the top of the bags together with "bum sledges" to occupy the kids on the nursery slope. Fetching the linen is a minor nuisance but is not far from the appartment.
The cleaning arrangements are a problem. There is only a brush and dustpan and hand brush provided. You are expected to leave your card details on arrival and there is a fine of 47 euros if you do not clean well enough. If you have an early departure,before inspection, there is a risk that it will be deducted from your card even if you felt that you had cleaned adequately. If you can afford it I suggest paying for cleaning in advance.
Finally, we cannot praise the Crystal reps, Jess and Amy, too highly. Not only did they show calm control dealing with 160 arrivals and their problems, they were always at their contact points and when our accident occurred they pulled out all the stops to help us with all the necessary paper work and making alternative travel arrangements.
Overall a very good resort, we have been to over 50, which is well worth a second visit.

Room Tip: Rooms facing south are sunnier and quieter. Check the floor areas for different appartments.
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  • Stayed February 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dublin, Ireland
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 27, 2012 via mobile

Visited the area over the new year, views are beautiful, my apartment was at the bottom of the slopes about 1 minute away from the slope skiing, the people were very friendly, we ate in chez doudou several times, lena is very friendly! le bachat the other restaurant was always a little too full. the pool area there was lovely and refreshing after a days skiing! the apartments are very clean but the rule is make sure it's as clean when you're leaving as when you got there! There's a shop there called sherpa which is good value!

  • Stayed December 2011
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
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Herne Bay, United Kingdom
1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 19, 2012

We have just arrived home after a weeks skiing in Chamrousse. We loved it!! We are a family of 6..at differing skiing abilities. Our apartment was so much better than we expected, having read reviews we were a little worried...but we were very impressed...the view from our balcony was amazing and the apartment itself was very sweet and perfect for our needs. We booked our children into private ski lessons with ESF and they proved to be marvellous. The snow fall was brill and the slopes just fab...perfect for us and our children. The restaurants we ate in were the Creperie and Le bachat...both were pleasant and adequete for us...although you do have to make sure you book. Overall we loved Chamrousse and will definatetly return next year!!

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ipswich, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 19, 2012

We booked through a groupon offer - our first surprise was that although groupon had taken the money from my credit card for a 4 bed apartment, snowtrex informed us we had to pay an extra £250, because none of the 'sleeps 4' apartments were available. Replacements offered were not seemingly at an offer price, so we committed to pay the extra for a 'sleeps 6' apartment. As we are a family of 4, we looked forward to some extra space, only to be surprised again by the small size of the apartment when we arrived. For 4 people there was just enough room, with almost no storage space at all. We had to live out of suitcases and 'stack' clothes on the floor. Hardly any hooks or anything to hang clothes on, we used the extra 2 chairs, but not ideal. 6 people living here for a week would have been very difficult, as it was hard enough for the 4 of us.
The balcony faced south and had a good view, with south east aspect.
We had booked ski hire through snowtrex, as it was the easiest option. So had everyone else it seemed and snowtrex had sent everyone to the same shop, at the same time. So after a hard day's travelling, we waited 3 hours in a long queue, only to receive very poor or no fitting help at all. Poles for my 9 year old were way too long, but when I asked about this, was told they wre fine. (ski instructor sent us back to get them changed after the first lesson and the shop tried to say they had not given them, and that we must have got someone else's). They took very little time or care over sizes and didn't seem to know who was doing what, ad the shop was absolutely rammed with frustrated customers, waiting their turn. It was chaos.
When I returned the equipment at the end of the week, it was not much better, despite trying to finish a little early to avoid the queue. At this point I was told my skis were 'broken' and I had to pay 120 euros. There was a hole 50mm x 3 or 4 mm on the underside, which I had not seen, but looked repairable to me.. I'm not a great skier, (have been a few times) but didn't notice it while skiing and hadn't skied anywhere other than on the pistes. Anyway, I was told that although I hadn't paid for extra insurance, they would charge me the insured price of 120, otherwise a new pair would cost me 500 euro. I argued but felt I had no choice, realising afterwards that this was effectively blackmail. I was tired but should not have given in... Easy to say now. The company is called 'SKI SET' and would recommend that you avoid this shop if you can. There are 2 others in the Areselle area and the inter sport was very good when I bought an extra pair of gloves/mits for my 9 year old. I complained to snowtrex, since I booked through them. They were sympathetic, but ultimately unhelpful, and asked me to email my compaint on my return.
The skiing itself was good for families. Snowtrex had booked lessons for us at different times, but after complaining that this was obviously no good for a family who want to spend time skiing together, changed them to the same times. If you book lessons, make sure you check times and starting points, so you all start at the same place as well...
We enjoyed the lessons and managed to ski almost all of the rest of the time together. There are enough reds and a few blacks to keep the better skiers interested and plenty of blues and greens for the kids while they get confidence on the first day or 2 back on their skis.
Make sure you book your meals out in advance, as the few restaurants within walking distance get full very quickly. One night we went home hungry because everywhere tried was full.
The local shop is ok, with good fresh baguettes etc.. Not cheap, but as you might expect for a captive mountain audience in France.
Lifts were about 100+m away, with 10 + mins wait sometimes, and about a 5 min wait on average, although if you timed it right (early, late or at lunch) you could get straight on.
Overall we had a good time. With the benefit of hindsight we would have got a better holiday deal elsewhere though. Snowtrex make their holidays look good value but apartments are small and ours was scruffy, with several bits broken and no storage a big problem. The ski hire company, SKI SET, were definitely the worst part of our holiday experience though, which I blame snowtrex for, as they did little to help and even seemed to be aware of the problem when I complained about being ripped off at the end of the week..
We were lucky and had great snow, even though it was exceptionally cold.

Room Tip: Spend the extra to get a larger apartment if you can.
See more room tips
  • Stayed February 2012, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about M Vacances - Le Domaine de l'Arselle

Address: Centre station | Lieu-Dit Bachat Bouloud, 38410 Chamrousse, France
Location: France > Rhone-Alpes > Isere > Chamrousse
Amenities:
Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 5 Specialty Lodging in Chamrousse
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3.5 star — M Vacances - Le Domaine de l'Arselle 3.5*
Number of rooms: 415
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Also Known As:
m Vacances - Le Domaine De l`Arselle Hotel Chamrousse

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