By my counting, this was the 4th time we have flown to Chambery and only the 2nd time we've managed to land there. The previous times we have been diverted to Lyon and Grenoble and this attempt boded no better as we sat on the runway at Edinburgh waiting for a slot at an allegedly fog affected Chambery. We landed 2.5 hours late, waited a further 30 minutes on the aircraft for a bus, then waited 30 minutes to get off the bus, then waited outside for an hour as the single immigration 'official' tried to deal with a plane load of Russians. This is a truly dreadful little airport.
Thankfully we had arranged a private transfer who sped us to Les Arcs by way of a large supermarket. Nevertheless we still arrived over 4 hours later than our anticipated ETA. Our driver was somewhat confused by the layout of Arcs 1950 and he tipped us out at the Manoir Savoie, where we eventually found reception and were told that we were to check in at Auberge - just across the street. We explained that we had lots of baggage and they arranged promptly for the Auberge concierge to come and get us and guide us through the maze of underground parking to Auberge reception - where again we had to negotiate throngs of our friends from Moscow. By this time our patience and holiday excitement had disappeared and we searched for our apartment in Source de Marie -yet another block. As we stood outside the door we all just hoped that the accommodation would be nice given the tribulations of the day.....thankfully it was wonderful.
We had booked a large 2 bedroomed apartment, and it was superb. The apartment was on the top floor with vaulted ceilings, 2 large double bedrooms, both with en-suite bathrooms, a large open plan dining, lounge, kitchen area, a large balcony and a superb log burning fire. Joy! We were so surprised as this is easily the most spacious ski accommodation that we have ever had. There was plenty of storage and the kitchen although small was well equipped and efficient. The HDTV was a great surprise also, especially as it had BBC and ITV channels - great when you wanted to veg out after a day's skiing.
The hotel is in a superb location in 1950. So close to everything and genuinely ski in / out. Nothing is more than a 2 minute walk - the small supermarket, ski hire, the baker, restaurants and cafes. The ski hire shop is another story as it seems to be run by the same people who run the airport - chaotic and under manned.
Having filled up on provisions en route, we had breakfast in the apartment and also ate dinner there on 3 occasions. The local supermarket, although small is really good and has excellent selections as has the bakery. We also ate out at Hemmingway's, The pizza place, the creperie and the truly excellent Savoyard restaurant. They were all great value, however they all seemed undermanned and unable to cope at peak times. We actually walked out of one other place at lunchtime as we were never going to get served.
The service at Source de Marie was excellent. The concierge made a fire up for us on a couple of evenings and small requests were attended to quickly. The staff were efficient, helpful and attentive at all times.
We used the outdoor swimming pool twice and it helped being hardy Scots. The steam rising from the pool was somewhat misleading as it was certainly no warmer than a municipal pool and consequently much too cool for an outdoor 'luxury'. It was however great fun to be outside in the pool as the snow teemed down. The sauna and Hamam rooms were very good but were very much monopolised by our Russian friends who seemed to spend most of their time either there or shopping. The boot room was absolutely fine and of a decent size and well located. Unfortunately these tight spaces require a bit of etiquette which some guests lacked in lorry loads.
Any down sides? The pool was too cold and the jacuzzi was even colder. The rooms in our apartment were huge but the furniture was rather sparse. A nice big lounging sofa would have been lovely. The grouping of the buildings and levels was quite confusing for a few days. There were also some slightly uncooth guests who would leave refuse bags in the corridors and barge around the place in fur and sequins slamming doors in your face with a complete lack of class. It does seem that 1950 does attract more of this than other parts of Les Arcs.
Altogether however, we thought that our experience at Les Arcs 1950 was wonderful. The accommodation was very much the icing on the cake for a superb new year skiing holiday.
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- Also Known As:
- Radisson Blu Resort, Arc 1950 Hotel Les Arcs
- Radisson Les Arcs
- Radisson Bourg Saint Maurice
- Les Arcs Radisson