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“"If I didn't need the money I would kick you out"”
Review of Chalet les Frenes

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Chalet les Frenes
Ranked #11 of 30 Chamonix B&B and Inns
Reviewed December 5, 2011

Upon arriving, we had difficulty finding the place as it was dark, so we had to call and ask for directions numerous times. After calling Phil several times and not receiving an offer to pick us up (as the website states), we were forced to hitchhike. Phil greeted us at the front door and was nice. He showed us our rooms, and thought we had booked 3 when we had only booked 2, which was fine though because there wasn’t anyone else staying there. Phil then showed us the kitchen and told us we could use the kitchen facilities such as knives and plates and also told us we were welcome to use the hot tub.
Later that evening we all went out to a bar in the town and had a few drinks. Phil then drove us back in his van to the chalet and my friends and I proceeded to use the hot tub. That night, we had forgotten to close the lid on the hot tub, but we had turned it off. We also left the kitchen untidy. In the morning, Phil was furious, and told us if he didn’t need the money he would kick us out. He demanded an explanation and ownership to the issue of the hot tub and kitchen. We understood where he was coming from. It was offensive to him and the hospitality he offered us. Acknowledging this, we gave him an explanation for everything we had done, and profusely apologised. What we were most shocked by was the way in which he handled the situation. After apologising for the hot tub lid and the kitchen, Phil made us feel so incredibly unwelcome and awkward in his non-response that we moved to a hotel which was much better located in the central Chamonix and reasonably priced. After being made to pay for 3 nights’ accommodation when we only stayed for one, we realized his true intentions. If you are only accommodating travellers purely for the money, the stay customers have in your B&B will always reflect these intentions and attitudes. Other reviews we have read only validate this feeling. B&B’s are generally warm and inviting environments. Chalet Les Frenes, was not.
What topped everything off was releasing that 3 out of 5 of us had contracted bed bugs at Chalet Les Frenes. Not in five months of staying in European hostels (some fairly filthy) have we had this issue until now...
Judging by past reviews, we are expecting everything in this review to be rebutted and made to be a lie. Thanks Phil for the stay in your “Shitlay”.

  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled with friends
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2  Thank babybianca
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
philhennem, Owner at Chalet les Frenes, responded to this reviewResponded December 8, 2011

Ah yes, we remember Lucy and her friends! We saw this review coming. Lucy is only telling half the story so I shall fill in the gaps and it might make more sense to you.

I’ll start with the misquote which she titles her review with. I did not say “If I didn't need the money I would kick you out". The morning after the “incident” they were mortally embarrassed and knew they had messed up. They asked if they were going to be thrown out. I replied that if I did, I would have to reimburse them and I could not afford to do this.

I’ll start from the beginning though, it’s a good story. They turned up Friday night about 17.00. 4 girls who all seemed perfectly decent young students taking a weekend off from their studies in Lyon. A lift from Les Bossons station is offered on the website but Lucy and her friends did not ask for this. In fact when they first called for directions, they were already in a car getting a lift. Myself and my girlfriend were going out to a bar that evening. We thought they might enjoy it too so we invited them along and offered them a lift into town. They had to meet a friend so left for town earlier than us and took the train. I walked them to Taconnaz station to make sure they found it OK.

We met up in the bar and had a good time. They met another 2 guys who were staying elsewhere. I offered to give everyone a lift home in my minibus (even their friends). They asked if their friends could come back to the chalet to use the hot tub too. I said they could, why wouldn’t I, they seemed like good kids. They had all been drinking a bit so I impressed on them several times and so did my girlfriend that rules apply concerning the hot tub. Firstly, shower before you get in, secondly, no noise. It was late and I try to respect my neighbours. Lastly, when finished in the hot tub, it is imperative to put the cover securely back on. It costs a fortune to heat a hot tub in a ski resort and a cover left off means costly heat going straight into nowhere.

They didn’t make too much noise but the surprise came when I woke up to make their breakfast. The cover was not put back on the tub, there were soaking towels littered around the garden, hot tub and entrance area, and someone had taken it upon themselves to come upstairs and invade our private kitchen eating a substantial amount of our food. The kitchen window was open so the house was freezing, there was cutlery left stuck in opened cheese in the fridge, they had taken the lids of soups and sauces and just left them like that. There was burnt toast just laying around, an untold amount of food had been stolen. There was also a towel jammed in the entrance room door so the whole downstairs was cold too. They also helped themselves to our linen supply and we found 10 soaking towels when they left (we gave them all towels when they arrived too).

3 of them came up for breakfast quite late and I expressed my disappointment. They apologized but of course denied all knowledge. They were asleep and knew nothing. I quickly realized that they weren’t really taking me very seriously and I got the impression that they thought it was all a bit of a giggle. This angered me so I gave them an ultimatum. The people responsible offered me an explanation and an apology, otherwise they could all leave my house.

Later on they did come up with a sort of explanation and did indeed apologise. I accepted their apologies but they decided they wanted to pay and leave and find accommodation elsewhere. I did not ask them to leave. They said they felt uncomfortable at the chalet as they had abused my trust and hospitality. They weren’t wrong there. They asked if I could give them a lift into town with their bags which I gladly did.

Summing up, this was a bunch of youngsters from privileged backgrounds. I went out of my way to try to make their stay more enjoyable. I offered them lifts, offered them bikes to get about, invited them out for a drink. They repaid this by dumping on me from a great height and stealing from me. They are obviously angry with me that I held them accountable for their actions and hence this review on TA. This is probably the first time these spoilt young people have been asked to account for themselves.

Don’t be put off by this review, you are always welcome at Chalet Les Frenes if you are a decent respectful person. And Lucy, if you read this, I hope you learn from your mistakes. Grow up and take some responsibility for your actions, treat people with respect and life will be kinder to you. Don’t take advantage of people then write a less than truthful account of it in the public domain.

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33 - 39 of 64 reviews

Reviewed November 23, 2011

We ended up at chalet les frenes by chance, getting a last minute deal. We liked it so much we stayed an extra 2 nights! Phil is a superb host and couldn't do enough to help. We had come during the ski season but didn't plan to ski so he lent as his ski shoes for a couple of days! The hot tub is a great added extra. Being outside of the town makes it much more peaceful and there is a great little local restaurant. Buses to get into chamonix are regular and easy to walk to. A lovely little chalet with genuine owners who make u feel at home.

  • Stayed: March 2011
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1  Thank Munrokirriemuir
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 28, 2011

While relatively inexpensive, this place was a rip off. 5 couples shared 2 dirty bathrooms, which of course got worse. After 8 people left, still no cleaning! No top sheet on the bed. One of my windows has no curtain, and I am on ground floor. Lighting too dim to even read by. Owners show no pride of ownership. Paper-thin walls we found during the night while one of many neighbors snored. After 4 weeks in Europe, this was by far the worst, and I can put up with a lot. Please replace toilet brushes and provide spare toilet paper. Not to mention basic hand soap. Beautiful scenery. (my mother always told me to say something nice). They ran out of croissants for a family of 4, giving them burnt toast. The owners were gone golfing, leaving a nice young girl in charge. Unfortunately I had to show her how to remove grinds so the coffee maker would work. The owner walked in our room while we were reading to show our room to someone else - he knocked but then walked right in!

  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank MarciaBdcm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
philhennem, Owner at Chalet les Frenes, responded to this reviewResponded August 31, 2011

This couple obviously didn't know what they had booked. Firstly, they were disappointed that they didn't have en-suite bathrooms. It is very clear on the website where they booked that bathrooms are shared.

"A rip off"? At 30€ per person per night for bed and breakfast, what are they expecting? The Ritz? Go into Chamonix and you will pay 20€ for a bunk in a shared room and not get breakfast.

There are in fact 3 bathrooms shared buy 5 rooms and they are regularly cleaned. Each bed has clean linen (a fitted bottom sheet, a duvet cover and a pillow case) so I don't really understand the comment about no top sheet. In Europe, we have no top sheet, the duvet cover is cleaned after every use. Their linen was clean. They didn't air their feelings on this, they chose to help themselves to extra linen from our private linen cupboard. Thanks! Extra laundry to do.

Walls are not paper thin, they are in fact 2 layers of 12mm fermacell fibre board with insulation between, (I put them up myself). I cannot be responsible for someone snoring in another room, sorry but some people snore, some don't - maybe you do.

"Please replace toilet brushes and provide spare toilet paper" ???? Replace toilet brushes? I don't understand this complaint, sorry. Spare loo paper? There is always spare loo paper, sometimes people use a lot and even steal whole rolls so if that's the case and there's no toliet paper, you can always ask. But they were Americans and I guess to mention the word "toilet " would send them into a fit of puritanical embarrassment.

I have no recollection of walking into their room. Maybe when they arrived, they asked for towels and went upstairs to get them, a minute later I would have returned with said towels and knocked on their door before handing them through the door.

I have been doing this long enough to know that for some people, you can never do enough, or get anything right. If someone is determined to be unhappy, they will be.

Oh, and they asked for a discount for cash. I of course refused.

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Reviewed July 17, 2011

My girlfriend and I stayed at the Chalet les Frenes for only two days, unfortunately because then we took a train to visit Nice afterwards. Biggest mistake! We wish we could have stayed in Chamonix at the Chalet for our entire 2 weeks instead. The Chalet is so quaint and comfortable, and offered at an exceptionally great price given that a full breakfast is also included. The owners are so friendly and accommodating and made us feel right at home. They went above and beyond what was expected of them during our stay to make sure we had a comfortable stay and enjoyed ourselves. The view from the bedroom is incredible. Mont Blanc is in plain sight, it was breathtaking. We both felt so at peace. I hope we will be back soon, and this is the only place I will accept staying at.

  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Akugler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 4, 2011

I came here to ski for the weekend after a business trip. Unfortunately, the snow had melted and I was close to canceling my trip -- but I'm really glad I didn't. The Chalet had a beautiful setting in the Chamonix Valley, and the owners could not have been more hospitable. I arrived late at night to a warm and cozy room. Breakfast the following day was delicious and copious -- pan de chocolat, cereal, tea, juice, fresh-baked bread... One of the owners was also around to give me suggestions to do for my non-ski weekend. He also loaned me a bike to get around town (less than 10 minutes away), and let me borrow a pair of sneakers because I had forgotten to pack non-dress shoes! I had to leave early the following day, and they helped me to arrange a cab and set the oven timer so I had a warm pan de chocolat for the trip back to Geneva. My room was small, but the bed was incredibly comfortable and had 2 windows looking out onto the lawn. The bathroom was spotless.
The location is not ideal for going to a pub or skiing, but there are buses in the morning if you're skiing, and town is not such a long walk away. And everything else more than makes up for it!

  • Stayed: April 2011, traveled solo
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2  Thank me6ra
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 9, 2011

The Chalet les Frenes is a quality place, the views surrounding the Chalet were amazing, everything you need is a short walk away, for skiing its right in the middle of choice, also party time is a short 10 minute ride to Chamonix central, Michele who welcomed us at the Chalet was totally the perfect hostess, friendly, outgoing and made us feel right at home, I can't recommend this place enough !!

Room Tip: All are adequate !!
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Stayed: March 2011, traveled as a couple
1  Thank ThomasP26
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 30, 2011

If you like to stay in a more authentic chalet with a personal atmosphere than you're here at the right address. Cosy twin rooms, basic breakfast, great views, quiet surroundings but easy transportation to Chamonix center and very friendly hosts.
This is a place where I'd come back in summer for some hiking/mountain biking!

  • Stayed: March 2011, traveled with friends
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Thank Eli079_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Chalet les Frenes

Address: 637 route de Vers le Nant, 74400, Chamonix, France
Location: France > Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes > Haute-Savoie > Chamonix
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking
Hotel Style:
Ranked #11 of 30 B&Bs / Inns in Chamonix
Price Range: $71 - $105 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:1 star — Chalet les Frenes 1*
Number of rooms: 7
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Free breakfast, bike hire and jacuzzi. A typical alpine chalet offering an economic alternative to costly hotels and catered chalets. The chalet is set in the corner of an alpine meadow and looks up at the mont blanc massif and it's glaciers. There are 5 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, a terrace and huge garden for you to enjoy. ... more   less 
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