First, the positives. Les Balcons has an unbeatable position, with great views and a short traverse to a beginners’ Poma which will take you up from where you can ski down close to the base of the Brévent gondola. Returning to the hotel from the gondola is even easier because after walking across the road and putting your skis back on it’s downhill and the traverse is even shorter. Also, the staff are uniformly charming and helpful and make you feel very welcome.
However -- I stayed for six nights in a studio apartment at Les Balcons. You do expect your bed to be made when you arrive at any hotel, let alone a 4-star establishment. In my room there were some folded sheets tossed onto a very uncomfortable single sofa bed, which I had to dismantle and make up. A small thing, perhaps, but we’re not talking about some cheap hostel accommodation.
Next, whenever I stuck the key card into the slot to turn the power on, about 50% of the time the master fuse blew. Again, not a huge problem, you just need to reset the switch in the fuse box by the door. But it’s irritating, especially at night with no light, fumbling around the fuse box, using your mobile phone for illumination.
Then there was the Wi-Fi. It was basically completely unreliable for the first couple of days, dropping in an out during my first 36 hours there, and unfortunately I needed the internet for professional reasons and so was forced to use my mobile phone hotspot and endure the expensive international roaming charges. It recovered the next day, and then occasionally dropped out again. When a hotel offers Wi-Fi, it ought to be reliable. Perhaps it was just an isolated glitch that could happen to anyone.
They are miserly with toiletries – I had to go down to reception and asked for toilet paper and more soap!
I don’t often write these reviews, and when I do I tend to be generous, accentuating the positive. This is the most critical review I’ve written. What with the uncomfortable, unmade bed, the unreliable Wi-Fi, the stinginess with the toiletries and the interesting electrics, they need to try just a little harder at Les Balcons. But having said all that, I would probably come back for the location alone if I was returning to Chamonix.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Luxury Suites Hotel with suite from 45m2 to 85m2. In each suite : bedroom, living room, kitchen, bathroom, balcony terrace, view on the Mont-Blanc range. - Swimming pool - Sauna & steam bath - Fitness - Arcade - Concierge 24/24 - Private underground carpark - Apres-ski bar / Tea room ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Les Balcons Du Savoy Hotel Chamonix
- Les Balcons Du Savoy Chamonix