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“Summer holidays with Esprit”

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Chalet Hotel Mariandre
Reviewed August 14, 2012

We stayed at the Mariandre for a week in July and had a fantastic summer holiday! We had previously skied with Esprit and loved their childcare, the quality of the dining, in fact, pretty much everything about the trip! I can now confidently say that their summer holidays are just as good, with a a much less hurried pace and a relaxed and friendly atmosphere throughout the hotel all week.

Yes, the Mariandre could do with an upgrade to its decor and furnishings, but I think this has happened in the lounge area and all areas are kept clean which is a higher priority for me as a mum. Focus instead on the amazing cuisine (thanks to Chris and his team), the quality childcare and the stunning views. Alpe d'Huez is alive and kicking during the summer months thanks to the biking fraternity(mountain and road), this made for plenty to do out of the hotel and plenty of choice for eating out.

The week we were there, most families had driven out but we opted to fly/drive through Geneva and this worked well. All in all a great trip which we hope to repeat again next year. Thank you Esprit!

Room Tip: Book early for a suite or inter-connecting rooms.
  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank EasyWales
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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57 - 63 of 67 reviews

Reviewed April 30, 2012

Booked after much research taking my 10 year old daughter on her first skiing trip.
lets start with the flights and transfer. Gatwick to Chamburey was delayed and after an early start this was frustrating but not the end of the world, Arrived a few hours late to be met by a very efficient Esprit rep. First class and guided us to our coach for a 1hour 45 min journey to the resort. Not a bad journey and a relief that the transfer time was short. The rep organised the essentials for the week on route i.e ski passes, hire equipment etc. very organised.
The Hotel itself was clean and tidy and the room was fine for the 2 of us with 2 single beds small bath with a shower. Plenty of hot water. Could have done with some more chest of drawers and the decor was looking a bit tired. However it was clean and tidy and the reception area which includes the bar was comfortable. Food while not Michelin standard was good with only a few hit and miss courses with free wine, Watch out for the bar bills though. While not silly it was easy especially with a young one to rack up a fairly high bar bill . Booked with Esprit as I wanted half board and lessons and cover for my daughter. What can I say but excellent. One could see that the staff were chosen carefully to ensure that they could entertain and mix with the children exceptionally well. When my daughter went on her lessons not only was all the skis transported but a ski ranger from Esprit went with them for extra cover and the normal things like slapping on extra sun tan lotion. My daughter loved the children's club which gave me the opportunity to ski from 9am to 2pm and then meet up with her and by midway through the week we were skiing together albeit only on blues but hey my legs are getting older. In the evening most of the children joined the club which went from 7.30 to 10am .I had to prize her away .
In terms of child care,safety and brilliance I cannot recommend Esprit highly enough. Make sure though you book lunch for your child if they are old enough and the evening club. One word of warning if you need some lessons book in advance for morning ones as when I arrived all the ski schools were full. Ski Ecole is not the only one in France. Look online in advance. Apart from needing a refurb and I am being a bit niggley here the holiday was fantastic and my daughter loved it. I have created a very expensive passion for her. I did travel in term time late Feb and got a very good deal with half board, ski equipment and passes. Final note the Hotel location is very good close by to the lifts and chairs and I mean close by. Easy to launch your tired legs and body for another days full on skiing.

  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled with family
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9  Thank Graeme D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 22, 2012

First the plusses.......great location within 30m of the lift to take you and the children up to the ESF Ski School meeting place or to get onto the main pistes. As always the Esprit staff are a credit both to themselves and their Company.....full of energy ,enthusiasm and nothing is too much trouble. The childcare is excellent although aimed at the 4-8 age group rather than anything older......our eldest two children (11 and 10) found it a bit babyish.
Now the negatives......My family and I have just spent an enjoyable week in Alpes D’Huez staying with Esprit in the Hotel Mariandre. I say that the week was enjoyable …..this was notwithstanding the hotel rather than because of it. The resort is very pleasant and the staff charming. Sadly neither of these words could be used to describe the accommodation which is scruffy, tired, neglected, poorly furnished and crying out for updating.
My family of two adults and three children aged 11, 10 and 7 stayed in the grandly titled “Suite 1”…….upon our arrival we soon discovered that the only thing faintly grand about it was the title. It basically comprised one medium sized room that had been poorly subdivided with stud partitions into three cramped bedrooms only one of which had proper natural light, the middle room having a small window into the front room and the third “room” having no natural light at all. It was spartanly furnished with cheap, outdated and scruffy furniture which could not have been designed to be more uncomfortable. To say that the room and its furniture had lost its charm would incorrectly imply that it once had some. Upon settling down to sleep it became very obvious that no consideration had been given to sound proofing. The bunk bed located in the third “room” was reminiscent of something provided by the Third Reich to downed Allied airmen…..it’s quality was so poor that it did nothing but creak loudly at the merest hint of movement by its occupants, thus denying them and (due to the aforementioned soundproofing) all other occupants of the “suite” the chance of sleep. In the end we gave up and put the mattresses on the floor !
In the corner of the front room was a TV set as shown in the brochure. Dated though it looked I did assume that it would actually work as, after all we were staying with “The Number 1 For Family Skiing” Company , who surely would realise the benefits of a working TV for providing some evening entertainment for their young guests. With hindsight I should have known better…..it didn’t work.
The “suite’s “charms didn’t end there though! The loo was lit by a bare lightbulb fitted into a hole in the ceiling……is it too much to expect a light fitting? But at least we had a Jacuzzi bath…………with a broken filter cover. The consequence of this was that when my wife ran a bath and turned the pump on it spewed out an extensive collection of previous user’s hair which formed an attractive layer on top of the bathwater. Suffice is to say that we showered thereafter.
If you have visited the Mariandre you will know that there is quite a steep spiral staircase leading down to the ground floor. On our arrival this was unlit and frankly dangerous……when I enquired I was told that “parts were awaited”. This went on until Wednesday when my wife mentioned it to the assistant manageress who said that it needed a new bulb and that she would get someone to pop up to the Spar shop and get one. It was then fixed within minutes.
On a number of occasions at breakfast there was a shortage of crockery or cutlery.
The dryer was turned off in the bootroom overnight “to save electricity” so boots were more often than not damp the following morning.
The last three points may seem minor but they really shouldn’t happen if the place was being managed properly.
The food could only be described as average at best. The vegetarian mushroom roulade was a sight to behold…..it is a shame that Astroturf has already been invented otherwise the chef could have been on to a winner!! Numerous children, including two of mine went down with stomach bugs during the stay. As they only ate in the Mariandre it does tend to lead one to suspect that the kitchen may have been the source of that bug.

Overall the quality of the accommodation was substandard .

Notwithstanding the above comments I would like to stress that without exception the staff we encountered were superb and a credit to Esprit…..nothing was too much trouble for them. Nonetheless it must be dispiriting for them to have to work in such outdated premises which are so crying out for investment. Esprit market themselves as a premium brand providing first rate skiing holidays for families. In the Mariandre they have fallen well below that mark. Had this been our first holiday with Esprit we would not book with them again.

Stayed: March 2012, traveled with family
4  Thank adrian s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
EspritHolidays, UK Head Office at Chalet Hotel Mariandre, responded to this reviewResponded March 30, 2012

This review is the subject of a formal complaint received in our UK office to which Esprit Holidays will respond following further investigation.
We would encourage other travellers to read a selection of the reviews here to gain a balanced view of other families' impressions of the Mariandre hotel.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 6, 2012

We booked this holiday as family ski holiday and once again were not disappointed by the Ski esprit team. The kids (2 and 5) loved the staff who made the holiday memorable.

I would definitely recommend the hotel it is near the lifts and easy access to the slopes and there is a slope suitable for the kids within 20M of the hotel.

Many thanks to Ruth, Kara, Alice, Jade and Anna.

The Peasey Family

Room Tip: Excellent Views from the front of the Hotel and the Cremerie is a good restaurant for the staff day...
  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank ParkerLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 28, 2012

Esprit really do cater for families. The childcare is fantastic, the staff are very proactive, they don't just sit there watching while your child amuses themselves, they really get involved by playing games, singing songs, taking them sledging, making stuff with them, the list goes on! They had great energy and enthusiasm, and our two children (aged 5yrs and 8yrs) who usually never want to go into any kind of "kids clubs" on holidays, could not get enough of the snow club and cocoa club. Another good thing about going with Esprit is that the children ski with the other English children from the same chalet hotel and also an Esprit rep skis with them. We have skied with Crystal Ski before and our daughter was stuck in ski school with a load of French kids she'd never met before and couldnt talk to plus a French instructor of course, and she hated it. Her experience this time could not have been more different. She loved it, as essentially she was skiing with all her friends from the chalet hotel. Although Crystal offer good skiing holidays, their childcare does not compare to that of Esprit. I also liked the presentation ceremony of the badges by the ESF ski tutors at the end of the week. Although the hotel needs a refurb, it is certainly clean and adequate for what you need, and the food is good. The main bar area is quite large and was a good social area to relax in and chat to other guests. However, the best thing about the holiday was the staff. I cannot praise them all enough, and they were so accommodating to any request that we had. The manager, Ruth, was fantastic, as was Anna Banana (!) the primary childcare rep. I can highly recommend Esprit for a family skiing holiday. Thank you all, from the Allonby family x

Room Tip: Try and get a suite at the front if you can, you get a balcony and the view of the mountains is amaz...
  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled with family
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3  Thank Elly A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 28, 2011

We stayed at the Esprit run Hotel Mariandre in Alpe d'Huez for two weeks in July. The hotel is in a great position in the lower older part of the resort. Our room was more than adequate but the staff were absolutely outstanding. The childcare staff looked after our two daughters ( 20 months and four) brilliantly, the managers and activity staff met our every need, the hotel assistants worked very hard and kept everything superbly clean and tidy, and the kitchen staff...Wow. Incredible meals every night! Everyone was exceptionally friendly, efficient and professional. We will definitely be going back. Thank you Esprit.

  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled with family
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8  Thank patagoniapete0
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 3, 2011

What makes this Chalet Hotel worth a visit is the fantastic Esprit team. They are so organized and knowledgeable. From the moment we landed Ali, our resort rep greeted us with enthusiasm and a big smile. She was very helpful during the week answering our queries and was always available if we needed her. The manager, Chloe is brilliant, she seems to be everywhere and helping everyone! We did have some minor problems with our room but she sorted these out quickly. The child care team, under the guidance of A J was amazing, they are young but the children all seem to love them. and they work extremely hard. Although we didnt travel with our children we observed all the fun they were having. I agree with some of the other reviews that this Hotel is a bit tired looking but it was clean and the staff work hard to keep it up to a high standard. I definately feel that the food exceeded the 3 diamond rating given. The variety of food offered and the wine was excellent. The Hotel is in an excellent location, everything you need is nearby and we had no problem with noise from the resort (maybe because its coming to the end of the season). All in all a lovely holiday if the Hotel had a bit of a facelift it would be brilliant.

  • Stayed: March 2011, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Suzi58
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Chalet Hotel Mariandre

Address: Place Joseph Paganon, 38750 L'Alpe-d'Huez, France
Location: France > Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes > Isere > L'Alpe-d'Huez
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #7 of 30 Specialty Lodging in L'Alpe-d'Huez
Price Range: $63 - $175 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 23
Also Known As:
Chalet Hotel Mariandre France/Rhone-Alpes

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