I'm going to start by saying that I booked the Chamois for a large ski group (43) , and yes I was concerned having read some of the 'older' reviews, but needn't have been; the recent reviews are the ones to take notice of, last couple of years really.
I checked with the tour operator (Ski Val) who provided me with really useful and accurate information about the style, size, rooms, decor etc and after they had obtained info from the hotel manager (outside of the ski season) I decided to book - we wanted good value in Val, so this fitted the bill. I usually read TripAdvisor reviews before booking anywhere so have decided to repay a lot of the hardwork that others put into their reviews with one of my own - I hope this helps people put the Chamois into perspective.
Firstly, Ski Val booking and reservations.... absolutely faultless service from Sam. Booking a large group is difficult at the best of times, but when you have families, people who change their mind, groups size changes and last minute name changes you do need a personal touch - which is exactly what I got.
Ski Val hotel Management (Dave) gets 10/10 from me and the rest of the group. He could do no wrong and went well out of his way to help everyone during the pick up, the week and the drop off. He took a group (including half a dozen youngsters) out on a social ski day (guiding....) and looked after the kids like they were his own - absolutely perfect day, best days skiing I have had (and my wife and kids) for a very long time. His staff and the resort rep were all friendly, helpful and courtious - no worries or complaints there. The Chef.... how he prepared the quality of meals for the price he probably gets is beyond me, meals you would be happy to pay very good money for in a nice restaurant my only comment would be I personally would've liked more veg with the meal, left me more room for beer though I guess ! Breakfast nice, cereals (good selection), porridge, cheese, ham, yoghurt, coffee etc and a hot option, bacon/eggs, sausage/tomato, sausage/hash brown, sausage/beans etc. Afternoon tea the usual bread, butter, jam, nice cakes, hot drinks. Kids meals also very good - the type of food mine like to eat (sausage/chips/beans, nuggets/chips, burger/chips, pork chop, chilli con carne) - with some nice afters - no complaints from my kids, even though yes I would've liked them to have much healthier meals, its a holiday for them after all so happy for them to eat what they liked (and they usually don;t want healthy meals anyway !!)
The location.... blimey, could not get much better for a gregarious group who want to ski..... just walk out the door, 20 yards, pop your ski's on and ski to the bottom of the Olympic gondola or the Solais chair (you could even walk down the driveway to the Solais cable car if you wanted). getting back, for those that can ski Le Face - direct to door, for those that may choose the blue back - within yards. Even getting the Olympic gondola back would mean just a 50 yard walk along the Piste to the chalet. If you ski to Le Fornet or La Daille then grap the rouge bus to the central point which is a few mins walk back (or if really lazy like I was one day, depart red bus, jump on green for one stop which takes you to the bottom of the driveway) - Simples. A walk into town is 5-10 mins, or a few mins to the rouge bus stop. This is also near a couple of restaurants for chalet staff night off - Pizza Paulo is really nice, good service.
The Chalet - Downstairs which was the Lounge area with bar, dining area, kids room office etc - absolutely fine. Sign on front says 2 star but easily passes as 3. The lounge area is a really lovely meeting place after skiing or before dinner, an awesome huge fireplace, lit and roaring every day and someone serving drinks at the bar. And I must say, pricing at the bar..... really pleasantly reasonable prices when considering Val prices in general - 3 Euro for a pint in happy hours (4 otherwise), 3 Euros for double spirit/mixer in happy hours, 1Euro for soft drinks, 2 Euros for some superbly made vodka shots (great work Iain) - no real need to go into town to pay more expensive prices.
The chalet and the rooms were always really warm
The bedrooms - We had a family room which was a twin and a second twin (with sloping ceiling) next door - perfect for us with a 10 & 11 year old. Yes it was smaller than some rooms we had previously been used too, but we spent very little time in it anyway so no problem. Our bathroom was fine, 3/4 bath with shower over, toilet & sink - only real compaint was there was no shower curtain and with 4 showering in the room we did use up a fair few towels to mop up the splashes. A shower curtain would've cost a few quid ! just enough hanging space, but could do with a bit more storage/drawer space (just being picky now)
We were lucky to avoid (by design) some of the rooms that had 'swing doors' into the bathrooms, did not even see these, but can accept that they may not be suitable for everyone. Generally acceptable comments from everyone, some rooms more quirky than ours (eg top floor, bunks & bathroom plus spiral staircase to twin) - not suitable for everyone but no probs for us.
The chalet is a little tired (crikey its over 60 years old so deserves to be !). The owner (not ski Val) is not prepared to spend any money on it, but just a few grand would make a big difference. Some of the seating probably needs replacing (actually some of the whicker seats did have parts of staples showing so should really be dealt with, nothing that a hammer or bit of gaffer tape won't fix), the kids room seating is old, but given that our 9 kids usually left it in a bit of a mess anyway, that was not much of a concern - they certainly did not complain they had tv's, dvd players, music systems, games etc. All doors had keys & locks, and there was an entry code to the chalet. Free Wifi was a nice bonus - I was on 2nd floor and it worked there as well as ground & 1st.
I really can't think of much else to write, and I've probably written too much but I do want to provide as much feedback to potential travellers as I would want. What I will say is if you are wanting a 4 or 5 star chalet, look somewhere else, but you'll pay through the nose in Val. For a really nice, exceptionally run 3 star, at a fantastic price - the Cham is the one for you. When we were there the chalet was visited by the owners of Ski Val, unannounced, checking the food, cleanliness etc - unfortunately I missed them but had I been available I would have explained all this to them personally - in fact , they will get this feedback exactly how its written.
Hope this helps everyone who reads it.
- Also Known As:
- hôtel Hotel Val d Isère
- Hotel Restaurant Le Chamois D'Or France/Savoie