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.
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 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.
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…
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.
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?