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“wonderful staff, perfect ski chalet for families”

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Chalet Hotel Annahof
Ranked #34 of 48 Hotels in Saas-Fee
Fanwood, New Jersey
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“wonderful staff, perfect ski chalet for families”
Reviewed November 22, 2011

This was our first Esprit vacation. It was pricy, but well worth it. Being American, we hadn't ever stayed at a chalet before. The rooms and bathrooms are all separate, but the rest of the space was communal, including restaurant, bar, tv/lounging room, childcare area and ski storage and changing area downstairs. The kids loved meeting other children and getting to eat, ski and play with them the whole week. My husband and I enjoyed adults only dinner, a guilty pleasure, for sure. We made some friends we hope to keep forever.

Keep in mind that this is a ski chalet, first and foremost, and not a 5 star hotel, and you will be extremely happy.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Trish A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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44 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (13)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Andover
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed November 20, 2011

Having had a great family ski holiday with Ski Esprit in La Rosiere in January we thought we would try one of Esprit Holiday's summer Alpine Adventures holidays. What can we say about our week other than fantastic - the Annahof hotel was spotlessly clean and well maintained, as was our room, the bar and restauarant, spa and sauna area. The food was great, the staff were exemplary and our five year old daughter had a fantastic week in the Mini Alpies and can't wait to go back on another Ski Esprit holiday. Saas Fee is beautiful in the summer and traffic free. The only downside to travelling there in the summer is that you have to make your own transport arrangements to get to Saas Fee as flights and transfers aren't included in the holiday price. Having said that we booked flights with Easy Jet from Gatwick to Geneva, and bought a Swiss Card which included a return train ticket to Visp and return bus journey from Visp to Saas Fee. Our daughter travelled free and we got 50% off all the cable cars for the week, which was very good value for money. Considering we were travelling on what was meant to be the busiest weekend of the year, all our flights, trains and buses ran on time and it was stress free getting there. Our only regret is that we didn't book 2 weeks. We will definitely go on another Ski Esprit/ Alpine Adventures holiday as Esprit cater perfectly for our family's needs.

Room Tip: When you book with Esprit the staff are really knowledgeable about which rooms have the best views a...
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  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Andovercrew
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bristol
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed March 8, 2011

We have just returned from the most amazing holiday staying in the Chalet Hotel Annahof. The staff were all very friendly and willing, the manager is a great host, and the food every night was top rate!

The hotel location could not be better (except maybe two doors to the left!). Every morning the children met downstairs and were taken off to ski lessons, singing songs and having fun. The meeting point for the skiing lessons is literally a minute (walking in ski boots) away from the back door of the hotel. There is plenty of space for all of the ski gear downstairs and the boot room is far to hot to stay in, so everything gets nice and dry.

The village of Saas fee is "traffic free" which means the coach drops you off at the top of the town and then you have to walk down (about 10 mins walk) The staff were helpful and brought buggies to those with young kids. The luggage is taken for you in the electric cars and is waiting in your room when you get there. The traffic free part of Saas Fee is a bit of a myth because instead of cars there are electric buses, cars and lorries hurtling round the streets - so you have to be careful - electric vehicles are quieter than petrol!

The hotel rooms were basic, but clean. We had a room for 2 adults and 2 kids which had a balcony. It was difficult to get onto the balcony because the sofa bed was in the way of the door. All in all the bedroom was a place to sleep and it was fine for that.

Child care was brilliant. We had the kids in lessons each morning and then off for supervised lunch. We picked them up at 2pm and then had the afternoon to do things together. Kids went for their tea at 17:15 and again we picked them up at 6 and then took them off to bed for 19:30. Everyone was shattered after a busy day so it worked well.

Baby sitting service in the evening was also really good. There are only about 6 rooms per floor, and someone sits on each landing listening out for any children crying / shouting / fighting etc. If there are any problems they will radio downstairs for the parents. It works perfectly.

Evening meals were fantastic every night. Chef was very good. Staff worked very hard in all departments. We were with the same couple every night and we got on really well. If you want to be moved the following evening you can ask (apparently). I had thought they were going to swap people around each night but they didn't seem to.

Bar was well run and you could keep a tab running - fortunately it wasnt horrific at the end of the week, all though it is Switzerland. It was about £4.50 a pint. or £3.50 for a G&T.

This really was a great place for a holiday. We are going to go back, my only change would be to try and get one of the bigger rooms, but if they were not available I would still go back. Esprit Ski have got the whole family ski holiday model spot on!!

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
4 Thank Westy08
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed February 28, 2011

Resort
The resort is very snow-sure (this was a bad year, apparently, and seemed just fine for Europe to me) and pretty. The hotel is very close to the lifts, the town and the ski school and childcare is on site. Everything is very convenient.

My only criticism of the resort is the organisation and marking of the runs. The Swiss system is blue, red, black and yellow (yellows being ungroomed pistes that tend to be black in practice) but that's applied pretty loosely and quite often our instructor would be saying: "don't take that way down, it's marked a blue but it's very narrow and full of tight turns: the red is much easier" or "whatever you do, don't go right here, it's marked red but it's a very dark red indeed" or "this is a red now but tomorrow once the snow is packed down it will be black so don't come back till there is fresh snow" - and you'd look around and think "yes but where the hell are we?". The signing isn't 100% clear and the piste map is even harder to reconcile with reality than usual. This is compounded by the geography: the type of runs that you want to ski can be quite widely scattered and the runs and lifts don't link together particularly well. So although it is a great resort for beginners with easy runs very close to the resort, once you get to that early intermediate stage you need guidance to plan your day's skiing; it's the sort of place that is great to ski once you know it. The Esprit staff were very helpful with this and I'd strongly recommend sending at least one of your party out on their free ski hosting sessions.

We were there in half term and the resort and particularly the adult ski school was very busy. Our class size varied through the week from 9 to 13 which was too many really, but private lessons were very hard to come by.

The hotel
The Rooms are fine - clean but basic though the layout of the hotel means that rooms of the same "grade" are quite varied. Our room for 3 was cramped and had shower not bath (tricky with a shower-phobic five year old) and Esprit charged us a supplement for 3 of us in a 4-person room ... when we got there we found a double and a fold-out single and simply no floor space for anything else: there is no way you could put another child in that room unless they shared their parents' bed. Words will be had with Head Office - though from what I've read of their Customer Services I expect to hear "computer says no". The towels are small, there are no flannels and though there's a table and chair tucked under a desk there's no room to pull it out and actually use it. We could definitely have done with more storage space. Having said that, given the huge turnover the hotel has in the winter, the furnishings are clean, modern and in good condition.

The staff
The staff are fantastic, I cannot praise them highly enough. Everyone we came in contact with was positive, helpful and as keen as mustard though it was getting quite late in the season and the arrival of another lot of squealing kids must have been less than exciting. Of course I can't say how many of the same team will be in place next year, but this year they were ace and whatever Esprit's recruitment policy is, it is working.

They have good relationships in place with the ski shop and the ski school (they try to make sure all the people teaching your kids are native English speakers).

The food is good. The buffet breakfast is supplemented by changing hot options, and there is always soup and bread and homemade cake waiting in the afternoon. Most days the adults didn't want lunch at all, which is handy when food in the resort is terrifyingly expensive. Children in childcare do seem to get a slightly pizza-and-chips menu at lunch, but tea time is better so unless you're very particular about their eating it's just fine. Adult evening meals were surprisingly good and wine was plentiful.

The childcare for our age group (5) seemed very good: a mix of indoor and outdoor activities and excursions and the staff who were effectively herding hyperactive cats managed this with good humor and enthusiasm throughout.

Overall, an excellent holiday and though Esprit's Ryanair-style system of surcharges and disappearing discounts meant it ended up being expensive, it was worth it.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
3 Thank missusbandit
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed February 23, 2011

This is my 5th holiday with esprit and altrhough ok, it was definately the worst. The chalet manager and assistant manager were fabulous as was the bar and catering staff.The food was lovely
Unforutunately this is the first time I have ever encountered a child care manager who appears not to like children. I didnt like this lady and felt sorry for the poor staff that she kept taking to one side and publicly debreifing them!!
The chalet was slightly disorganised and nobody communicated with you what to do on arrival, although I would admit it was early season staying over new year.
The chalet was nice and clean but i felt that this chalet looses some of the personal touches that other esprit chalets have got.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank maxie24
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Glasgow
Level 3 Contributor
23 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed January 27, 2011

stayed hear twice so far on Esprit holidays last time being April 2010. It's right at the bottom of the slopes and couldn't be handier. The best rooms are on the top floor. They are more spacious as it can be a bit of a squeez in the rooms that sleep 4 on the lower floors. The sauna, steam room and jacuzzzi are very nice with views of the mountains and best to use during kids high tea or you'll be sharing the jacuzzi with lots of kids.

  • Stayed April 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank BellamandPom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Essex
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed January 27, 2011

We stayed in January, with 2 young children. This was our first family ski trip and the Esprit staff made it so easy for us. The kids were booked into nursery and snow club and were so well taken care of. The hotel is geared up for kids- no frills and very basic rooms but it was clean, warm and there were plenty of highchairs, booster seats, plastic cutlery etc.
The location of the hotel was excellent - at the rear you are pretty much as close as you can get to the lifts etc and at the front you walk out the doors and you are in the lovely village of Saas Fee.
The food was much better than expected and always served by polite and courteous staff. The kids' food was of a good standard, they tried some new dishes and they seemed to enjoy the variation. We were not so keen on being sat on tables of eight or so every night and were pleased to have a 'night off' where we were allowed to visit a restaurant in the town. The baby listening service is fantastic.
All in all, we felt the holiday provided excellent value for money and felt that the staff, from the General Manager down, were genuinely helpful and polite.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank laurielooEssex
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Chalet Hotel Annahof

Property: Chalet Hotel Annahof
Address: Chalet Hotel Annahof, Saas-Fee 3906, Switzerland
Location: Switzerland > Swiss Alps > Canton of Valais > Saas-Fee
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Spa Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #34 of 48 Hotels in Saas-Fee
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 17
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Annahof offers an unbeatable mix of the absolute prime location in the whole resort, beautifully refurbished bedrooms and lounge area, and our Esprit Chalet Hotel catering and service. Our friendly, professional team of staff look forward to welcoming you to Saas Fee and the Annahof this winter. ... more   less 

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