Where do I start?
So much snow! Being British we travelled up to La Joue Du Loup independently booking all aspects of our ski holiday separately ie. flights, accommodation, car hire etc. What a fantastic way to do it. Ok, it may not be for everyone, but considering the holiday we had I doubt we would ever do a package tour ever again.
We were a group of four friends staying in a 7 person Chalet. The chalets are semi-detached with a sizeable 'garden' and parking space. The chalet was warm, comfortable, well equipped complete with ski locker and set in a beautiful location. Although it suited our needs perfectly, I think any more than 5 people would create a feeling of claustrophobia.
The important thing to note is that if you intend to self-cater, then be aware that there is no oven. We knew this before hand and produced a daily menu accordingly and to be honest we ate VERY, VERY WELL. We took the advantage of having time to shop prior to arrival, although the logistics of fitting all the shopping in the hire car along with 5 pieces of luggage was interesting!
We did our one and only 'Big Shop' at LIDL located in Vizille which from Grenoble airport is the last large town before the ascent up the hill. WOW!
Why can't LIDL in the UK be like the ones on the continent? We bought purely French provisions for meals consisting of Venison, Magret Canard, Confit Canard etc. Along with a large selection of regional cheeses and enough Aperitif, Digestif and anything in-between to satisfy even the strongest of hardened alcoholics! That is in addition to provisions for lunch, breakfast and canapés which consisted of smoked salmon blinis, charcuterie and Foie Gras to name but a few.
The total of this gastronomic indulgence... EURO 220! I never thought I would say this but: GOD I MISS LIDL
If you are hiring a car then you must put considerable consideration as to whether to hire snow chains. We did, and we definitely needed them the entire week. We paid EURO 50 at Hertz at Grenoble Airport and it is possible to buy a set cheaper at the local supermarkets but for ease and indulgence we coughed up. I would strongly suggest that you familiarise yourselves on how to fit them prior to arrival; we did via watching instructional videos on the internet and it still took circa 40 minutes. If you don't have them, then be prepared to make an unscheduled hike of around 30km!
The resort itself is small, pretty and very French, which is exactly what we wanted, however we had no problem with regards to communication in English. Due to the lack of British visitors (we met none), it is a great opportunity for the locals to practice their English and Vice Versa.
We ate out on two occasions. Once at Les Trois Gourmands Disent and once at La Grange. Both meals were exceptional and reasonably priced. We tried to book Lou Patou for our final evening, though it was fully booked...
Aperitif wise, be aware that some restaurants after 5pm only have a license for serving alcohol to customers taking a meal. We went to Les Cocons de Neige for our aperitif nightly and found the owners to be very warm and welcoming despite a small linguistic barrier.
The ski area is fantastic and I was incredibly surprised at the infrastructure and investment for such a local resort. The pistes are fabulous and well groomed and the extent perfect for a weeks holiday for a family who like to clock-up the miles. Visibility was an issue on several days due to the sheer amount of snow especially on one particular day where we didn't even bother putting the ski boots on. Instead we enjoyed the facilities available such as the pool and sauna and had a great time building a snowman of epic proportions on our 'land'.
In summary, we had probably one of the best winter holidays in the past 10 years. The accommodations location makes it impossible to 'ski-out' from the chalet and involves a brisk 5 minute walk. Snow permitting, it is possible to describe it as a 'Ski-in' location - which we did every day via the path!
I know not many Brits visit this area and it is quite difficult to find any English reviews, so please do not hesitate to send me a Private Message if you have any questions.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located close to the heart of the station, a 2 steps from shops and restaurants, the 3*** residence ''Les Flocons du Soleil'' offers a stunning view of the massive Grand Ferrand. Its location at the heart of the Southern Alps is ideal to enjoy the sunshine. The 30 wooden alpine chalets are spacious and comfortable. Each one is divided into 2 duplex apartments all equipped. This family residence also has an indoor heated pool and sauna, for a moment of relaxation. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Les Flocons Du Soleil France/Agnieres En Devoluy