review Les Terrasses D'Eos Crystal ski holidays

 

It’s strange although our ski trip holiday seems so long ago, it somehow also feels like only yesterday? I wanted to take a moment on this fine sunny Manchester day and take you through our experience on where to stay in Flaine – logistically – reviewing our stay at Les Terrases D’eos, provided through Crystal Ski holidays.

 

Arriving into Geneva

It wasn’t until we placed our first snow-boot steps outside the terminal, that we realised just how popular this skiing malarkey was as we encountered literally hundreds of people patiently awaiting to board their transfer.

To say it was busy would be an understatement. There was a huuuuge line of coaches and ski and snow board bags everywhere, I felt almost left out as everyone here looked like they knew exactly what they were doing. Carting their gear to the bus that would take them to whichever enclave of the alps was going to be theirs for the week.

Luckily, the Crystal Ski staff were all easily identifiable in their spearmint green outfits which made them stand out pretty well amongst the chaos. Eager to move on, we accosted one of them – a lovely young lady called Paige, who turned out to be our rep for the trip. She advised us that she’d give us a shout the minute our coach arrived.

Arriving into Flaine, the roads got narrower and narrower as we snaked our way up the mountain and through the small villages until we pulled up outside our hotel… The Terrases D’Eos. A lovely, part-wood-part-brick building, up on the hill from the little centre of Flaine.

 

 

Checking in

Baggage unloaded, we made our way inside and it was clearly rush hour – everyone and their mother seemed to be in Flaine so we joined a queue which circled the waiting area. We reached the front-desk some half an hour later and the check in staff were very polite and apologetic about the wait. They kindly arranged for our 2 standard rooms to be on the same floor, each room slept 4 people. We required 1 room for the Fab 4 and one room to accommodate our dear friends who make up the Super 6.

 

Our room

Our rooms had views overlooking the back of the hotel which was great as we could see the families getting ready to leave in the morning and most importantly we could see all the SNOW. It was a good way to gauge how busy the slopes would be and what the conditions were like. The room/apartments were extremely well-equipped, we didn’t really think there was anything missing. A well-sized double bedroom, an open plan living space which included a dining and kitchenette area.

 

Image credit: Les Terrasses D’Eos – I assure you the rooms look exactly like the pics! 

Our mini kitchen had a sink, cutlery, crockery, pots and pans, an oven and cooker, a Nespresso machine and to everyone’s great delight – a dishwasher, so we didn’t have to waste any valuable skiing time doing any washing up. We had enough available for us to cook our own meals, which we did occasionally and they even provided cute little welcome boxes with a few added extras such as washing up liquid, cloths, salt and pepper.

 

 

There were four of us in our apartment and only one bedroom, as the other was basically the living room where the sofa opened out to a double bed. There is then a separate bathroom and toilet, so the loo is still vacant when your loved ones are in the bath, extremely handy when you’re a group of four! And the great thing is, the bathroom has a full-size tub, perfect for an apres-ski soak to relax those tired muscles after an energetic and sweaty day.

 

Facilities

The hotel itself is pretty big. There is an outdoor and small indoor swimming pool – they were very busy in the evenings; sauna; steam room; restaurant and games room and onsite gym. Of course the most important part of a ski hotel, there was a large boot room for storing all of our bulky ski gear. And as this was a ski in-ski out hotel, the boot room leads straight out onto the snow.

 

 

That was literally the best thing about this place. I never understood what ski in-ski out actually meant, but if your a novice like I was all you need to know is that it is the BEST.  As soon as you get your boots are on, you can ski out directly to the main skiing bowl of the Flaine ski resort. As we had no idea how to ski on the first day we decided to walk down to Flaine and my goodness walking in ski boots carrying skis is really not great. We knew from that first trip we were never going to do that again! From Terrases D’eos, the slope is a great beginner’s track and a nice way to get to grips with practicing your turns etc. We had some spectacularly hilarious falls when we first went out, but I will talk about that in another post…

 

The hotel

Decorated in warm colours, neutrals accented with earthy reds, oranges and browns the colour scheme mixed with lots of natural wood completely soothed me. Why did the interiors even matter? Well to me it did! This was my first ever ski holiday and I loved that we were able to stay in a location that had the feel and warmth of winter lodge,  to contrast with the stark white winter wonderland outside.

Back to the important things though – this place was in an excellent location. If you didn’t feel confident enough to ski out, there is a bus stop literally outside the entrance to the hotel which takes you to the bottom of the bowl, as well as stopping at other places such as shops and restaurants. It’s literally a 10min bus journey. You could walk down, though as I mentioned above if you’ve got your gear on I seriously wouldn’t suggest it!

The hotel also had mini buses and cars available in the evenings if you did want to go out to eat or couldn’t be bothered walking. We used them a couple of times when going to eat out at a local restaurant L’Ancolie, they would even pick us up when we were ready to come home. I love little touches like this which takes away any unnecessary hassle.

One thing to note, is this place was great for children. There were lots of cute events the hotel hosted for little ones, it was quite adorable. We did gatecrash a crepe party one evening, which I highly recommend – they were DELICIOUS.

 

 

Flaine Village

En route to the pistes, you will go past the little centre of Flaine – which has a supermarket, some shops and a good variety of restaurants. The hotel is self-catering and whilst you can order pastries at reception for breakfast, we went down to the shops to stock up for breakfast and sometimes lunch or dinner every day.

 

How were CrystalSki?

Excellent. They really were. I’ve only ever been on a rep-style holiday once before and it wasn’t that impressive. But having Paige on hand was brilliant. From the moment we arrived, till the day we left she was always on the other end of the phone. She didn’t hassle us – I think it was definitely the other way round. On the day we arrived we were so hungry we couldn’t wait to go out and find food, which meant we missed meeting Paige in the lobby – but luckily she was passing the village anyway so she popped in to where we were having lunch and swiftly sorted out everything we needed i.e. ski hire, ski lessons and answered our hundreds of questions (usually asking for recommendations on where to eat).

We always received texts if there was anything we needed to know about the weather conditions, although we had downloaded the Crystal Ski app anyway which was really handy for any local info. That reassurance of having someone there, at the touch of a button was a novelty but I quite enjoyed it. I loved that I didn’t have to spend time researching and sorting out paperwork, instead we could all spend our time playing games and out in the snow.

 

Would we stay again?

The litmus test for us when we stay anywhere is whether we would stay there again. In this case, it’s a firm yes. If we were to return to Flaine, then we would absolutely come back here.

It has all of the amenities you would need from a ski resort and the location is fab. Our interaction with the staff was minimal as we were dealing with Paige anytime we needed something (poor Paige) but the ones we did deal with were very lovely.

It was a fabulous location for what turned out to be a totally FABULOUS holiday!!

 

Where do you normally go to ski? Any recommendations for some place new to try next year? 

 

Terrasses D'Eos review

***  Thank you to Crystal Ski Holidays and Terrases D’eos for organising our accommodation and big thanks to Paige for dealing with me and my crazy group ***

 

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first ski trip with Crystal ski holidays

 

Walking through Manchester City Centre the other day, on my way to meet my beautiful sister for a catch up, the sun was shining, the streets were busy with the usual hustle and bustle… and all I could think about was how much I missed… skiing.

I know, pretty random? But I did! I was just pining for it.

Let’s rewind back to last November, when Crystal Ski organised a bloggers’ taster ski lesson at the Chill Factore at Trafford. A group of us took to the (very baby) slope for an hour to have a go on the snow. The hour just wasn’t enough, my enthusiasm had been ignited and thankfully, all my wishes came true a few weeks later as I had miraculously managed to win a Fantastic Four trip to the Haute, Savoie, France.

And here begin’ith my love story…

Growing up in Saudi Arabia, well skiing wasn’t all too popular over there, for obvious reasons. Moving back to England though, it seemed to be ‘the’ thing to do with the family. I was always intrigued by those who were off to hit the slopes for a weekend, to join their parents in the Alps for a week, to make the most of the season at winter. I had no idea what they did when they got there, couldn’t really understand the appeal of dedicating a holiday to one sport and something that always stopped me from pressing the booking button… it seemed to be the pastime of only the affluent among us.

Knowing I was finally about to embark on this ‘ski’ journey, well I was pumped. And scared, of course. I knew nothing about what we were about to do, and people trying to reassure me… well they were quite frankly making things worse!

“Make sure you don’t put the GoPro on your helmet, it can crack your skull if you fall”

Nice.

“Try and stay on the route, you don’t want to fall into a pile of rocks off the mountain.”

For real?!?

“When you get on the lift, make sure to pull the bar down in time, you don’t want to fall off”

Like I’m not scared of heights enough as it is.

But one of the scariest things I heard out of them ALL…

“Have you checked whether there’s any snow??”

I’m sorry… WHAT.

?!?!?!?

I remember laughing at first when my friend asked me that, she looked at me quizzically at which point my tone turned to a sort of “Oh wait you were serious? I genuinely have to check whether there’s snow?!?”

I mean, it definitely hit home at that point that I had no clue what I was doing. But luckily, Crystal Ski Holidays had sorted everything else, I prayed that they too were taking care of the snow situation.

As we flew over Geneva, we passed snow topped mountains, I thought to myself, OK that’s better than nothing, but I’ll admit I was a bit disappointed by the large proportion of the land looking pretty normal.

 

 

A few hours later and the bus started to meander up the mountain path towards our resort in Flaine – French side of Alps, not Swiss – Paige, our rep warned us to stay awake and keep our eyes on the view…

There was snow.

EVERYWHERE.

 

Crystal ski holidays Flaine resort after snowfall

 

We were in a white paradise, I can’t describe it in any other way. It was still snowing too. We’d heard that we were incredibly fortunate as it had been fairly poor on the ‘dump’ front over the past few weeks and the snow was set to continue.

Over the next seven days, my team and I learned how to ski – we didn’t waste a single day! We came here to ski and that is exactly what we intended on doing with our time. I wrote soon after a collection of our top tips from the trip, if you’re a first timer like us it’s definitely worth a read 🙂

 

 

We tried a group lesson, changed to private (more on that later) and we put in time on the appropriate slopes to practice.

We found a local favourite for lunch, tried new places for dinner, sometimes opting to stay in and make use of the apartment facilities (which were fab, more on that later too), to cook at home.

We started and ended the trip at one of the fancier restaurants, L’Ancolie, celebrating the start and end of what had been a truly memorable holiday.

 

 

I know, I say that about a lot of my holidays!

But you know as well as I do that each one is special in its own way. When I return from places such as Myanmar, Indonesia, Barcelona etc… they are all destinations that I do genuinely want to return to, but it wouldn’t be something I would look at doing a year or so later, there are so many other places in the world I’ve yet to see!

Whereas skiing? Yes, this is definitely a type of holiday that requires yearly attention. A kind of holiday which really brings everyone together. A kind of place where even though you can go off and do your own thing for a few hours, there’s always the apres slope meetup, evening times to chill out and fun-fuelled sessions throughout.

It’s very much a family thing too, I was mesmerised by the number of tiny tots that were at ski school, dressed head to toe in onesies, tiny skis strapped on, looking tres adorable! And they were usually pretty good too (I can’t even count the number of times a little’un half my size whizzed past me!).

We all managed to invent different ways of falling, on and off camera, all equally as funny as the next. I think one of the funniest ski facts I came to realise, is even when I thought I was FLYING down a slope… watching it back on the camera… wow that was totally not the case! Can’t wait to share some of these crazy videos of me sauntering down a flattish-slope-that-felt-as-steep-as-a-cliff.

On our final day, my skiing had improved, my confidence was boosted but I wasn’t quite at the right ability to hit the mega slopes. The weather that day, well it was perfect. The sun was beaming down on us as we sat at a new lunch spot on the side of the mountain, with outdoor seating looking down at the view. We were sat stripped down to our t-shirts, sunglasses on, enjoying each others company and planning our final afternoon. G and Dave were going to head up to a new blue and the rest of us decided we were braving the big bubble lift right to the highest point, not to ski down! just to have a nosey.

We walked out, past the café, seating area and out into the open, with Mont Blanc right in front of us.

 

looking out at Mont Blanc Flaine Ski resort crystal ski holidays

 

Look at that. Doesn’t it make you want to be there? I was there and I still look at it like it’s not real.

What a beautiful thing nature is. From the snow beneath us, to the birds around and the mountains in front. It’s a sight like I’ve never seen before. Sitting there on a pile of snow, with my loved ones, I felt very blessed, as did we all actually. It was the perfect way to end our trip, a real vision to fill us all with an affinity to return.

We may not have all got to the same ski level, but hey everyone is different. As a group of six, four complete beginners, one mid, one professional – we all managed to have an absolute blast together on and off the slopes.

Oh gosh maybe writing this wasn’t such a good idea, I miss it even more now.

 

 

*** Massive thanks to Crystal Ski Holidays for giving us the opportunity to experience the wonderful world of skiing ***

 

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