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“Summer oasis”

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Chalet Hotel Ambassador
Ranked #29 of 48 Hotels in Saas-Fee
Milnthorpe
Level Contributor
14 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Summer oasis”
Reviewed July 16, 2012

We stayed in the Ambassador for a summer week's walking (July 4th 2012) after being encouraged by the excellent reviews the place had already received. We were not disappointed. I suspect the staff were different to those resident during the winter skiing season, but the standard set by Paul the manager and the chef (ex. Chamonix) was very high. All the staff were friendly and helpful and the food was excellent. Breakfast consisted of the usual stuff with a cooked option, packed lunches (on 5 days) were substantial (honey soaked flapjack was particularly good) and the evening meals were all of a very high standard. The latter started with canapés and a free drink in the lounge, followed by three courses with free wine (2 red and 2 white to choose from) and the meal was concluded with coffee and cheese if you wanted it. The main courses included two meat/fish options and a vegetarian alternative. Between breakfast and the evening meal tea and coffee were available and afternoon tea was served from 4:30 to 5:30 during which freshly baked cake/biscuits/scones were available. Just the job to round off an active day's walking.

Rooms were ok with a balcony and plenty of room (easy chairs/settee). TV in the room had mostly foreign channels, but a television in the lounge provided all the main BBC options. So keeping up with the weather at home or the sport was straightforward. The location is on the outskirts of the village but close to the main street, so it was both quiet and easy to get into the main centre.

Gripes - not many. The carpet in our room was stained and looked in need of replacement. The downstairs lounge had dark carpets and dark curtains and would benefit from being lightened up a bit.

One thing to beware of is that the Ambassador is a British owned (Inghams) chalet hotel, which means your company for the week is likely to include only Brits. It is also run on the basis that you share meals with other people, there being only a few tables with just two places. The staff arrange it so that people mix who they share an evening meal with by allocating you a different table each evening, but it does mean that you have to socialize, which may not always be to everyone's liking. If you preference is for a quiet week, keeping yourself to yourself, a chalet hotel may not be for you.

Unlike most other hotels you are also expected to fend for yourself for one night of the week so that the catering staff have a night off. This means eating out in the village which can be an interesting and enjoyable experience there being many options to go for. But this is Switzerland and nothing is cheap (budget on at least £50 per couple to eat out). Balanced against the excellent value the hotel provides (free wine, lunches afternoon tae etc.) and the fact that recently Saas Fee have provided hotel guests with free lift and bus passes, this is a small price to pay.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank Peter M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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121 reviews from our community

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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (43)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
10 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed April 8, 2012

I stayed in the Ambassador for a weeks skiing it is amazing.The service was great all the staff were very nice aspshely the bar man Andy.The rooms were tidy and clean.I loved the food it was amazing .I also enjoyed the entertainment we had quizzes and talent shows.I also loved the pool and sauna it was lovely the sauna was nice and hot and the pool was just the right temperature.The lounge was great nice and comfrey sofas.The bar was fantastic full of great achol and also kids drinks.I really enjoyed my stay and the Ambassador and I will be staying there again.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
4 Thank Willem123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
19 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed March 27, 2012

I can not say enough about how good the staff were at the Ambassador. From the staff cheerily serving breakfast to the fantastic chef's producing amazing dinners and of course Andy the barman they were all fantastic. They have raised the standard for any future ski holidays as this is now how I will be comparing things too. The rest of the hotel is comfortable and simple and does exactly what you need it for. Easy access to the slopes and to the town.

Room Tip: Room 31 looks out between two other hotels straight up the slopes and Room 32 has a hugh balcony ove...
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Slowstu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Penrith, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed March 12, 2012

We stayed here for a week's skiing and were most impressed with the facilities and position of the Ambassador, it was possible to almost ski to the door. The food was terrific,lots of it, cooked to a very high standard and we greatly appreciated the generous afternoon tea which was waiting for us after a hard day's skiing.All the Staff were, without exception incredibly friendly and helpful; they were eager to share their knowledge of the resort and ran the hotel most effectively. The bedrooms were comfortable, clean and warm with plenty of room.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Helen55555
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Woking, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed March 8, 2012

outstanding week at the Ambassador, The staff were so helpful and accomodating and nothing was too much trouble. They are a great group of young people doing a job that they should all be proud of and are a credit to the company. The food was outstanding, great quality and so much of it! Rooms warm and comfortable, great lounge area and bar, The pool was great and refreshing and despite other comments was fine if you actually got on and swam in it! Everything you could want was on the doorstep. No one in our chalet that week had any complaints and many said it was the best chalet holiday they had experienced. Who ever wrote the review about it being a shambles must of either been rather pompous or in a different hotel altogether! Thank you for a lovely week

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Claire H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
England
Level Contributor
14 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed March 8, 2012

We stayed here for a the Feb half term week and really loved it. The staff were all fab and the hotel was really welcoming. The slopes are 2 minutes away and it is virtually ski to door. The rooms are a little dated but clean and welcoming and plenty of space. Food was good though on some nights it was a bit more miss than hit but we didnt go hungry! there is delicious soup and cakes in the afternoon so never short of food. The staff were all very friendly in particular the barman Andy who was fab with all the children and teens alike. They are very strict with the over 13s in the dining room rule but were willing to make special arrangements if we had wanted our 3 to eat together by setting a table in the lounge area so that the teens could have adult food and my 11 year old could have his kids option at the same time... as it happened this was not an issue. The restaurant were accommodating of our frequent table rearrangements as we made friends through the week and chose to eat as adult tables and teen tables. Over all we had a fab time. The only note is that many of the more experienced skiiers felt that the resort lacked enough challenging runs and The lift system is a bit tiresome, but having said that the resort is spectacularly beautiful and worth a visit just for the amazing views....

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank lovetoholidayEngland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
The Hague, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
28 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed February 28, 2012

We stayed here for a week with Ski Total. The chalet hotel is rated 3-4 stars, but really it is no more than a 3 star.

The hotel was clean with comfortable beds but it does look a little bit tired with lots of pine panelling and odd coloured bathrooms. There is a small pool area with sauna, jacuzzi, etc, but that too is a bit dark and slightly tired looking. As noted by other reviewers, the pool is really quite cold and so our children didn't much use it. The jacuzzi too is tepid at best, and is not something you'd use to ease tired muscles. Again, like other reviewers have noted, the whole pool area needs sorting out a bit. In fact, the hotel could really do with a bit of modernizing - little things that irritate could easily be sorted, eg providing a hair dryer in each room rather than having to go down to reception every night to borrow one (which must be irritating for the staff too), and perhaps a change of carpets in the bedrooms.

There is a very nice lounge area with sofas and a real fire, and the bar is here too which is nice. Andy the barman was great and even hooked up his laptop so guests could watch the rugby.

The position of the hotel is very good - you could almost ski back and it is only a very short walk to the slopes in the morning. We hired skis through Ski Total and this was very convenient, but looking at pricing in other ski shops I'd do it independently if I went again.

We used Optimum Ski School for lessons - our three children were booked in for group lessons for the week, 3 hours a day. However, we went the week after most other UK school half terms, and so it was a quiet week and so they were on their own with the instructor. Many other schools would have cancelled or put them in with an adult group but Optimum were quite happy to run the class as it was, even though it was 3 people short (they have a maximum of 6 per group) The instructor was fantastic and got them doing all sorts of things I'd hate but which they loved, eg skiing down on one ski, the half pipe, going backwards. We saw very large groups of kids with some of the Swiss schools so in my opinion it's better to pay a little bit more and have a much better lesson.

Back to the hotel - the Total staff are wonderful - nothing is too much trouble and the service is outstanding. We stayed on a half board option with afternoon tea included too. The quality of the food is also outstanding - an imaginative menu and beautifully presented food. We have stayed with Esprit and Total before and the afternoon tea is the best we've had - soup, breads, cakes and pastries - in fact it was a little too good and you had to be careful not to fill up before the evening meal at 8pm. My only criticism of the food is not in regard to the quality but in terms of timing - children's high tea is at 5.30 which is far too early for many people unless you have a three year old. This timing meant we had to forbid our son from having any of the afternoon tea stuff which is not easy when he's been skiing all day and is starving. It also meant he was then hungry by around 8.30 and so we resorted to taking a piece of cake for him for later. The high tea timing is scheduled to allow the staff to have their dinner, but I think Total should look at this because it is remarkably inconvenient for most guests.

So all in all, a nice hotel and a lovely holiday, but Total do need to look at updating some of the hotel and also to look at their rather rigid timings on high tea. Does anyone, apart from under 5s, eat at 5.30 these days?

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
3 Thank Suzy044
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Chalet Hotel Ambassador

Property: Chalet Hotel Ambassador
Address: Postfach 149, Saas-Fee 3906, Switzerland
Location: Switzerland > Swiss Alps > Canton of Valais > Saas-Fee
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #29 of 48 Hotels in Saas-Fee
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 208

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