Our First Experience of Les Deux Alpes
Cheryl was recently the lucky winner of a fabulous trip to Les Deux Alpes and was kind enough to write a guest blog for us to let us know how she fared on her first ever ski trip.
We were lucky enough to win a fabulous 7 night holiday organised by France Montagnes to the ski resort of Les Deux Alpes and being complete novices to skiing were looking forward to our first ski trip with a combination of both excitement and apprehension.
Voyages SNCF provided first class train travel from London to Grenoble and we couldn’t believe how simple it was. French train travel is a completely different league to that of the UK with comfortable, high speed trains that run like clockwork. All we had to worry about was reading our books and watching the beautiful French countryside roll by. Everything was so easy to navigate, it has really encouraged us to look at train travel again when booking future holidays on the continent. Our coach transfer to the resort picked us up right outside Grenoble train station and arrived 45 mins ahead of schedule which was another pleasant surprise.
Arriving at Les Deux Alpes in the evening was magical as the whole town was lit up with fairy lights, with fresh snow on the ground and mist swirling down from the mountains giving everything a festive feeling. Our hotel, Madame Vacances Hotel Ibiza organised by Erna Low was located just a short 5 minute walk from the centre of the resort and easy to find.
The location of this hotel is absolutely stunning and really needs to be seen to be believed. It wasn’t until we woke up in the morning and saw the views from our balcony that we realised how breathtaking they were. No website pictures can do them justice.
All the staff went above and beyond to make our trip as enjoyable as possible. Everyone was super helpful, friendly and good humoured and took the time to chat and offer recommendations. I don’t think I’ve ever received service like it before. We upgraded on arrival to fully inclusive and it was well worth it, this allowed us to relax in the bar with a few drinks after dinner without having to venture too far. As a couple in our thirties this suited us perfectly, but for younger visitors there was a vibrant bar scene just a short walk away in the resort centre.
The food was exceptional, particularly at dinner time with a wide choice including traditional french options. Soups and desserts were mouth-watering and a cheese board on offer every evening. At lunch time a meal was freshly prepared and delicious. Three courses were always offered, even if we were too full to take advantage. If you plan on being out all day, the hotel will provide a voucher for a meal at Panobar (a really fun bar with breath taking views about 2500m up the mountain).
Although the hotel was fully booked, it never felt crowded even at peak meal times. There was a nice relaxed vibe to whole place with great background music in the bar areas. The hotel had fabulous spa facilities and when we used them we found we were the only people using them each time. The spa included a lovely pool with great views of the mountains and a clean, well-kept hot tub, sauna and steam room. A great way to unwind tired muscles after a hard days skiing.
What’s really great about the whole resort is both how friendly it was and how it is geared up for all levels of skiers. Being complete beginners we were worried we’d feel out of our depths, but this wasn’t the case at all. There are such a variety of lifts and runs there really is something for everyone. Our prize included ski passes, ski hire and lessons provided by Les 2 Alpes and everyone we encountered was really helpful and encouraging. I think it’s fair to say that neither myself or my husband were natural skiers, but this didn’t deter from our enjoyment and although we spent a lot of time on our bums we weren’t made to feel silly and still had a huge amount of fun.
Whether skiing or not, it was well worth visiting the top of the mountain for its amazing views and to experience a beer at 3200 meters. We also made a trip to the ice caves to see inside the glacier and to look at this year’s ice sculptures, for €4 per person this was really nice trip.
Midweek, as part of our prize we took a skidoo trip up the mountain at dusk. The company 2 Alpes Motoneige were very professional, with lots of staff on hand to guide the group carefully up the steep mountain side. Although we got stuck in a snow drift, the guides quickly got us out and got us back on the track. Again, the views down to the resort were absolutely amazing; especially at this time of day and the ride itself was truly exhilarating.
On our last day, after we’d returned our ski equipment we took a short cable car journey using our ski passes down into the valley to the neighbouring village of Venosc. If you have time, the nature trails are really beautiful. We walked along the river and into the alpine woods and had a lovely afternoon. It was strange seeing the difference this short distance made to the weather, with no snow on this side of the mountain.
The resort centre has everything you need for an enjoyable holiday with bars and restaurants to suit all budgets and tastes. It is small enough to walk around comfortably (although there is a free resort bus if you’re laden with ski gear) but with plenty of choice and nice relaxed feel. We had a great fondue meal at Le Petit Creperie as well as fab cocktails at the Dome bar.
We had an amazing holiday and can’t thank the sponsors of prize enough. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Les Deux Alpes as a ski destination, whether you're a complete beginner or more experienced. I think there is something for everyone at Les Deux and we can’t wait to come back.