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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october-travel-linkup_top-5-hotels

 

When I first started thinking about this month’s Travel Linkup, I was stumped. I couldn’t think of any weird and wonderful place we had stayed. I realised that Mo and I go for the same style of place everywhere we go, nothing too expensive but clean. We like it to be clean. And where possible, somewhere which is architecturally or artistically cool.

So, these are the few that stand out as my most memorable:

 

Quirkiest interiors:

Hotel Le Negresco, Nice, France

Quirky is definitely the right word to use for this hotel. This Belle-Époque palatial hotel has filled its walls with paintings and sculptures.  The whole place is a like an art gallery and the central atrium is truly a sight to be seen with beautiful glass ceiling and a very large Baccarat crystal chandelier.

 

 

Not only is every floor a new experience, but there are lots of other cool things too like a plush velvet padded lift, a carousel in one of the restaurants La Rotonde and even the furniture is strange and inviting.

If you don’t fancy an overnight stay here at Le Negresco whilst you’re in Nice, I would for sure recommend at least popping in for a meal or coffee (order petits fours!). It’ll give you an excuse to explore this magical building.

 

Best for customer experience:

Ad-Lib Boutique Hotel, Bangkok, Thailand

I struggled to think of a hotel that had service that could rival the Ad-Lib. It was slap-bang in the middle of the city, but you never would have thought you were amidst the chaos of Bangkok, it was so peaceful once you stepped inside.

Booking a room here we were provided with everything we needed, including a local mobile with credit to use, daily skytrain tickets and if we were feeling super lazy they’d even give us a lift to the nearest train station.

 

 

The stand-out feature, was the staff. They were all so lovely, and we were in and out a lot during our stay there, at all times of the day. And the concierge Pong? He was fabulous! The nicest man we’ve ever met in a hotel he helped us out so much during our stay, booking us tickets, chatting to us and helping arrange transport when we needed, Mo and I couldn’t sing his praises enough.

 

Best welcome:

Sheraton Hotel, Abu Dhabi

I had contacted the Sheraton hotel prior to going as we had a number of special requirements for our booking. They had picked up my blog name from my email and lo and behold, laid out a truly wonderful welcome for Mo and I when we entered our room!

 

 

It was so sweet and we have never had anything so personal prepared for us before (not even on our honeymoon?!), so we were really touched and hey, it’s going to take some beating.

It’s also a little disappointing when we travel now and there’s not so much as a sweet to welcome us 🙁

 

Best in the UK

The Lake House, Lake District

This place was breath-taking. I remember walking into the Lake House and thinking, yup, I could live here. This private house is one of the most luxuriest manor houses I’ve ever come across. It was winter at the time we stayed and we enjoyed long nights by the fire in the lounge, dinners in the conservatory overlooking the private lake…

 

 

Oh yeah, there’s a private lake! Where you can take the boats out, go for a long walk around it or simply take a seat on the pier and gaze over the peaceful waters. There is an indoor heated pool, outdoor hot tub and even a Japanese bath hidden amongst the trees. Buzzers strategically placed around the house to ensure a helping hand was never far away.

BLISS.

 

My most favourit-est of them all:

Veligandu Resort, Maldives

Our deluxe ocean villa at the Veligandu Island resort was definitely the most amazing place we’ve ever stayed in. I don’t even think it needs much explaining.

 

 

We had an ocean villa, perched over the water with a private deck and steps into the ocean, our own private outdoor Jacuzzi, a separate dressing area, amazing rain showers, FANTASTIC food… I would go back in a heart beat

(Anyone fancy sending me back?)

 

*ps – I am fully aware favourit-est is not a real word, but you get my gist 🙂

 

*** October Travel Linkup ***

So tell us, what are the most interesting and memorable places you’ve rested?

This month the topic is ‘most interesting item you’ve discovered or seen in a hotel room/accommodation’. We can’t wait to see what is unearthed…
How to link up your post

Just pop your post up over the first week of the month (the 1st – 7th October), add it to the link up widget below on either Emma’s, Angie‘s or on our lovely co-host Aftab @ Fresh and Fearless – from the 1st of the month.

 

There are no rules – basically all we ask is that you check out some of the other cool bloggers that are involved in that months travel link up; make a few comments here and there and tweet a few of the posts out to your followers that you think they will love. It’s a great way to meet some new travel bloggers and share some blogging joy!

 

The Travel Link Up is open to all bloggers as long as the post is relevant.

 

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westbridge

 

There’s no shortage of hotels in London, all shapes, all sizes – usually fairly expensive compared to most European cities. But then this is London and London dances to the beat of it’s own drum.

We were driving down, boot crammed with suits and outfits ready for another family weekend wedding extravaganza and my dear mother had organised for us all to stay at a hotel not far from the party shenanigans – so we were close enough to be with family but at least we had somewhere peaceful to retire at the end of the day.

The Westbridge Hotel is a beautifully decorated (and fragranced) boutique hotel in the heart of East London. About a 10-15 minute walk from the Westfield Stratford shopping mall, the ArcelorMittal Orbit and West Ham Football Club, the hotel is well located (especially handy for anyone needing to visit ExCel London).

The investment in East London around the time of the London Olympics has reaped dividends. The place is absolutely unrecognisable from when we used to visit family a few years ago. East London finally feels like a real part of this great City and deservedly so.

We arrived late in the night for a 2-night stay and even after midnight were greeted by the loveliest staff. The polite and friendly nature of all of the staff is one of the standout features of this place. Whilst the hotel front faces out onto a relatively busy road, once you’re in there, you’ll find yourself in the most tranquil of spaces. Within seconds you forget about, and in fact cannot even hear the traffic. Pretty rare for a London hotel.

My family and I occupied 3 of the 4 suite rooms in what seemed like a private floor of the hotel. (A treat from my Mum – as Mo and I have never even stayed in a suite before). All 3 rooms were decorated to a high standard, befitting of the monarchs they were named after. Large beds, gorgeous, cosy sitting areas and of course, all en suite. You’ve got your usual kit too – free super fast wifi, hairdryer, mini fridge, tea and coffee facilities etc.

 

Westbridge hotel London Review

Apologies for the bad quality and severe lack of photos. With so much to remember for the wedding and as we had arrived so late at night, I had first of all left my camera at home and second, was way too tired to do anything but sleep that night!

 

Back to the room…

The beds are sumptuous and we simply melted into them after the long, hectic days at the wedding parties. Everything here is efficient but uber-comfortable. Even the carpet was warm and fluffy.

The bathrooms are again of a very high spec, luxury amenities were provided (and smelt divine) but the space is slightly on the smaller side. Not that this was an issue as for a city break, all you’re looking for is a quick shower before you head out for a full day in the city. But each suite’s bathroom was slightly different from the other so it’s something you can clarify at the time of booking.

The buffet breakfast was pretty impressive too, the perfect way to fuel up before you head out. There’s large selection of pastries and breads, eggs, hot and cold meats and fruit as well as hot and cold drinks. And the extra bonus for us, everything is halal – including the sausages and rashers. The smile on my family’s face could not have been any bigger.

Weather dependent, there is also a lovely outdoor courtyard with comfortable rattan style furniture where you can take your breakfast or coffee. Luckily for us, the weather was pretty good all weekend so we had breakfast outside on our last morning.

My sister made use of the small, but well equipped gym and we all loved the addition of the guest exclusive lounge area, a luxurious retreat from the hustle and bustle of London life (also a great spot for family photos 🙂 )

The hotel was pretty busy which is clearly a good sign of the standards they provide. But everything about this place really made us feel as though we were staying in a home away from home.

Would we stay here again? You bet we would!

 

The Westbridge Hotel,
335-337 High Street, London, E15 2TF

 

Have you been to East London recently? Stay anywhere great or do you prefer to stay closer to the city? 

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Things have started to pick up again over the last few months. Mo and I have both been busy; he’s been back and forth to Harrogate and I’ve been catching up with all my freelance work. Our calendars have been filling up quick so I made sure to schedule in date night well in advance.

Instead of venturing into the city, as we usually do, we decided to head South for winter and venture nearer to where I work by the Airport.

Bredbury Lounge and Brasserie has recently undergone a refurbishment and also adopted a brand-spanking new menu by Paul Whitefield.

I’ll be honest, the restaurant isn’t much to look at when you compare it with the themed eateries that seem to be all the craze in the city centre, but at the end of the day, this is of course an out of town hotel restaurant (not some trendy hangout in central Manchester).

One thing that does stand out is how versatile they’ve made this space. The open plan area can cater for dinner, lunch, meetings or even just a social get-together. This was reflected in the diners that were there with us that night, a real mix of both national and international guests.

We picked ourselves a comfy booth at the far end, where we had a full view of the restaurant.

Bredbury-Brasserie-5

Todays visit was all about trying out the Brasserie menu. I was in the mood for some real hearty British cuisine and although the halal card narrowed down our choices, there were still a number of good looking dishes available.

First up, hummus and black olive tapenade dip with ciabatta croutes. Ok, so not quite British cuisine, but I couldn’t pass on the chance of indulging with what I imagined was pan fried ciabatta bread. It was a good choice too! Growing up in Saudi Arabia, I have eaten a lot of hummus in my time, I know middle-eastern food like the back of my hand and this particular dip in a Stockport hotel restaurant, was pretty damn good. Like really good. (Well done Bredbury!)

Bredbury-Brasserie-4

For mains, we did our usual and ordered pesce dishes; Mo had the classic fish and chips and for me, the grilled salmon steak was exactly what I was hungry for that evening.

There’s really not much to say about these two apart from they were exactly what it said on the tin.

So, after eating every last crumb of the ciabatta croutes and then polishing off my main course, I really did not have any room for dessert.

BUT

Mo pointed out the creme brulee and we just couldn’t say no. It arrived, looked perfect but strangely came with this piece of homemade shortbread. Bit odd but hey, shortbreads pretty un-offensive so we gave it a go and went halves. Now, creme brulee is my all-time favourite dessert, but in this instance I would have given it up for another piece of that deliciously moist, non-crumbly shortbread. WOW. It was a perfect ending to our meal.

Bredbury-Brasserie-3

One thing that really stood out for both Mo and I was the service we received throughout. Our waiter, Jake, was exactly the kind of front of house staff you would want in your business. He was attentive and helpful, as you would expect, but he was also friendly and had a really lovely manner about him. We were both very impressed and to be quite honest, he pretty much sold the evening to us.

If the service across the board at Bredbury is of this standard, I can imagine a stay or event here would run seamlessly.

My top tip for anyone planning a visit, yes, get a starter and a main, but be sure to do the British thing and leave enough space for tea and biscuits at the end!

 

Bredbury Hall Brasserie and Lounge

Osborne Street, Bredbury, Cheshire, SK6 2DH

Tel: 0161 430 7421

 

Thank you to Bredbury Hall for a lovely date night, and special mention to Jake for providing us such great customer service. 

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My sister was living in Jakarta when we made the decision to fly out to Indonesia. The Morrissey hotel was one she recommended we look at. We checked it out and it looked good, price was reasonable and it was in a great location. Sorted. No other research necessary, we booked it there and then.

Because of our travel itinerary we booked two separate stays, four nights at the start of our holiday through www.booking.com and two nights at the end with www.agoda.com. Both were equally priced, we purely used the two sites because of availability.

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