We have just returned from a week's ski holiday in La Plagne (5th - 12th Jan 2013) booked through Ski France. We stayed in Chalet Des Alpages. We have used Ski France before and they are usually okay. Our rep, Frankie was very knowledgeable, helpful, gave us all the information we required and could speak French beautifully. However, I think Ski France needs to have much more rigorous criteria in the selection of the Chalet hosts. Our chalet host, Harry, was covering for the actual chalet host, Luke, for the week while he was off on leave.
The meals were generally good and tasty, except there was no toast or fruit at breakfast which I found rather disappointing as they are good alternatives for someone who doesn't eat cereal or hot breakfasts. The portions were tiny which left some of us still hungry and asking for seconds. Sadly, we were also served out of date sausages at breakfast for two days in a row until somebody checked the meat left at the bottom of the fridge which was 6 days past eat-by date. Luckily nobody in our chalet fell ill (that we know of), mostly because we refused to eat the sausages. The afternoon cake was a real treat coming in from a long day on the mountain. However, more than once we were left without teabags, butter, sugar or coffee for our meals which was more than just annoying. This also occurred on Harry’s day off which left me having to go round the other chalets in the complex begging for sugar and teabags. We could've also done with a small soap in each bathroom instead of having to use our own shower gel!
The cleanliness of the chalet left much to be desired. The carpets, floor, sink, kitchen area and dining area were filthy. Some of the other chalet guests took it upon themselves to bleach and clean those areas and sweep because even after they complained about it, it still was not done. The dishwasher failed to wash the dishes properly so we kept having to ask the chalet host to reclean the dishes before we used them, or we just had to do it ourselves. Halfway through our stay, the dishwasher leaked all over the kitchen floor due to a blocked drain, but this was sorted out by the maintenance man the next day – and then amazingly, the dishwasher started washing perfectly! Fancy that.
The overall look of the chalet was slightly shabby, mainly because of the curtains half hanging off the railings and it wasn’t as clean as it should’ve been. There were still pine needles from the Christmas tree strewn all over the floor and the Christmas tree stashed on the balcony. The chalet apparently doesn’t have a hoover (!!) which meant that the pine needles kept getting stuck in people’s feet, socks and in their beds when they ventured off into their rooms. Our bathroom (shared facility) was not cleaned once during our stay. All the chalet guests also complained that we only got one towel for the whole week we were staying there. Surely it would not kill Ski France to provide a fresh towel or two halfway through the week?
The rooms at the bottom of the chalet were small but then again, we were not there to spend all day in the room so it didn’t bother us much. However, the sheet on our bed was too small for the bed so we would wake up with the sheet scrunched between us every morning. On the second day we asked the chalet host for another, larger sheet and he said he would get one for us – but nothing materialized the whole week we were there. All the guests complained about the pillows. They were small, lumpy and uncomfortable. We asked for additional pillows which were only given to us a couple of nights before we were due to leave. If I have any advice, it’s BRING YOUR OWN PILLOWS.
The advert for the chalet also boasts a warm log fire. We had to literally beg the chalet host to find us some wood so that we could make a fire. It was only on the second last night before we departed that we got the log fire that was advertised. And then I think we ran out of our quota of wood for the chalet so we never got another one before we left. The sitting area only had two couches – only enough for 4 people to SQUEEZE onto, so the unlucky 2 people who didn’t manage to bag a seat (there were 10 guests) had to get one of the dining room chairs or sit on the floor. See what I mean by ‘budget’?
Our chalet was located at the bottom of a really steep flight of stairs, not easy to lug bags up and down. Our host also didn’t bother shoveling the snow from the front door, so by day 3 this had turned to black ice and had everybody slipping and sliding down the path. My husband got the shovel and tried to cut through the ice but it had compacted far too much for this to make a dent. Surely this is something that should be done regularly to ensure the safety of guests?
Other than the gripes about the chalet service, we had a fantastic week at the resort. We shared the chalet with some lovely people and spent some of the days skiing with them as a group. It is always good coming back to the dinner table with group ski stories that you can all have a laugh or natter about.
The chalet is perfectly situated for a ski in / ski out onto a blue run which was great. The Le Bergerie lift is also only at the bottom of the slope, some 100m away from the chalet. Got the ski pass for the whole area including Les Arcs and we spent two days over there because conditions seemed better as Les Arcs gets more sun during the day. It’s a massive ski area so would not recommend buying the full pass if you’re not intermediate level or above. The discovery pass which allows one day in Les Arcs is a good one to pick otherwise. We had sun for most of the week which was beautiful and then had a huge dump of snow on the Thursday which left us with a fantastic powder day on Friday.
There are two ski hire shops close by, Ski 2000 just across the road and Skiset just across the piste near Monica’s bar (great for après ski). We also spent two nights of après at igloo igloo bar in Plagne Centre (which is very easy to get to from the chalet either by bus or telebus which is located just outside the chalet at the top of the stairs).
Thankfully, the fantastic ski conditions and the friendships we built far outweighed the disappointment we had in our chalet and the service provided by Ski France.
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- Also Known As:
- Eurogroup Chalets Des Alpages Hotel Macot-La-Plagne