Having booked very last minute thru Igloo.co.uk, and not having visited Meribel before, we were unsure as to what we were letting ourselves in for with this holiday. We got very, very lucky.
The flight was roughly on time, from Heathrow with BMI, the transfer was 2 hours on a coach where Meriski provided some refreshments and video entertainment.
Meribel, is quite a hill staggered village, which is probably great when you can ski back to your door, but a bit of a trek in ski boots when there is no snow in the village. However, Meriski offer a free mini bus service, which takes you from your chalet in the morning at a time to suit you (between 8.30 and 10 ish) to the lifts and ski school meeting point. They then pick you up after your skiing. Our lovely drivers took us to a couple of the apres ski venues to save us hiking up hills and to the town centre to save our aching leg muscles for the white stuff.
The chalet sleeps 10 guests and is of ample size for all the guests to lounge around the fire on sofas, the majority of the rooms have balconies, as does the lounge and dining area. The week of our holiday, the chalet was full of couples that had never met before. Again, we were exceptionally fortunate to have timed our holiday with a great group of people that were sociable, fun and considerate. The majority of us spent the chalet staff's evening off, together at the Rond Point watching the band Mullet (and the slightly bonkers crowd surfing -with ski boots on?!?!) then onto the restaurant opposite.
The skiing was fantastic despite the glorious sun reducing the lower runs to a porridge consistency in the afternoons and a fresh snow fall being a little overdue. The three valley region is vast - catering for boarders and skiers alike. The lifts are fast and we encountered very few long queues. The views from the top of each of the Mountain ranges are spectacular.
More than anything though, our holiday was made extra special, by our chalet host and chef, Liz and Nick. Both were really friendly in a relaxed fashion (invited us all out on a couple of their nights out regardless of our age differences). Not once did we feel like it was their holiday, and not ours, which is not something I can say about other tour op's staff. The chalet was always clean, totally accessible to us throughout the day, the wine and beer were free flowing and the food was exceptional. We all agreed that we had eaten at top restaurants that didn't produce the level of food that Nick cooked for us. Some of the canapés with the pre-dinner champagne were absolutely delicious, it was hard not to dive in for seconds and deprive other guests of theirs!
Every single member of Meriski that I encountered was personable and professional, my impression is that they run a very slick operation, and although we benefited from a last minute price reduction, I think they would be worth the extra ££. I would not hesitate to book again with them or recommend them to friends.