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 Poster: A snowHead
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I've just got back from a week in an Alpine Elements chalet in La Plagne.
I'd say that they were slightly better than Crystal who I went on a package with last year, but I wouldn't bother with them again unless they were offering a week for around £350-400. I've had a quick google search and it looks like a lot of people have had issues with them.

After several complaints they did turn things round towards the end of the week, providing us with a decent breakfast at last and not waking the downstairs guests up with the 3am return of staff each day.

It wasn't awful, just a bit expensive considering the lack of space, that an ensuite charge meant the room had a shower crammed into the corner, a supplement for them having to book another charter flight and the "free ski hire" only covering the basic skis.

Things got off to a bad start when we were kept waiting on the coach for 3 hours because one party of 4 were on a delayed flight.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Quote:

not waking the downstairs guests up with the 3am return of staff each day.

Sad there's really no excuse for that.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
The people staying in the downstairs rooms were too polite complain. On the Wednesday I complained on their behalf

Our breakfasts went from unsastisfactory to really quite good after we complained en masse. After paying good money, I feel a little aggrieved that it couldn't have been quite good to start with.
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Someone decided to investigate the smell coming from the fridge and found an opened packet of Chicken slices that was 5 days past its use by date. We were assured that this was not intended for our consumption.


Here's a tripadvisor report that I found where they had a very similar problem to ours.

http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowUserReviews-g1118194-d290261-r6828925-Les_Arcs_2000-Les_Arcs_Savoie_Rhone_Alpes.html

Quote:
The two fridges contained a lot of old food that should have been long thrown out.


Last edited by You need to Login to know who's really who. on Fri 12-03-10 22:57; edited 1 time in total
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
tomstickland wrote:
Someone decided to investigate the smell coming from the fridge and found an opened packet of Chicken slices that was 5 days past its use by date. We were assured that this was not intended for our consumption.

http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowUserReviews-g1118194-d290261-r6828925-Les_Arcs_2000-Les_Arcs_Savoie_Rhone_Alpes.html

Quote:
The two fridges contained a lot of old food that should have been long thrown out.



That is shocking - even if not for consumption, nothing is likely to spread bacteria around a fridge like out-of-date poultry product.
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My Google searching has thrown up a load of similar stories.
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
tomstickland just read your report. Did you enjoy writing it ?

We all know that some people, when they feel let down by the service, products or other they receive will get all sweaty palmed on a key board with no thought about the consequences. They will, with hindsight, justify their bile with phrases such as "to make sure it doesn't happen to some one else", "the public need to be informed", etc.
But is it not just another form of bullying ?

You report is, in places, so subjectively ridiculing that you have lost the focus of your complaint and just vented your anger at your perceived loss of what you hoped your holiday experience would be. From the tone of your report it is (extremely) obvious to anyone reading it that it is simply a calculated and malicious attempt to caused damage to a company’s reputation under the guise of “informing the public”.

I should point out that I don’t know anything about AE or know anyone who works for them. I have no interest in your particular case, but am just commenting on the tone of your report.

It would have had more credibility if you had simply kept to the facts and left the vitriol out.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Wayne, Those reviews linked to are pretty standard for tripadvisor which is gaining a reputation for such ridiculous reports. As I have mentioned before a colleaugue of mine who owns a restaurant is still trying after 2 years to get several reviews removed made by a member of staff that was dismissed and his friends.
Hopefully most people are intelligent enough to see reviews on there for what they are.


Last edited by After all it is free Go on u know u want to! on Thu 14-01-10 11:25; edited 1 time in total
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Wayne, where is this report on tripadvisor? the link above is about Les Arcs but tomstickland went to La Plagne

that said, tripadvisor does need to be taken with a pinch of salt. we stayed at a beautiful place recently and one tripadvisor write-up actually marked it down because the sea was too warm! it can be abused both ways of course - i have no doubt unscrupulous hotel owners big their places up at least as often as people with axes to grind post bad reviews
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tomstickland, I'm confused. The more recent review on TA dates 27/12/09. is this one yours? The incident with the out of date chicken is from last season, and cannot be attrivuted to this years staff.
Which review is yours?
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Quote:

tomstickland just read your report. Did you enjoy writing it ?

We all know that some people, when they feel let down by the service, products or other they receive will get all sweaty palmed on a key board with no thought about the consequences. They will, with hindsight, justify their bile with phrases such as "to make sure it doesn't happen to some one else", "the public need to be informed", etc.
But is it not just another form of bullying ?

You report is, in places, so subjectively ridiculing that you have lost the focus of your complaint and just vented your anger at your perceived loss of what you hoped your holiday experience would be. From the tone of your report it is (extremely) obvious to anyone reading it that it is simply a calculated and malicious attempt to caused damage to a company’s reputation under the guise of “informing the public”.

I should point out that I don’t know anything about AE or know anyone who works for them. I have no interest in your particular case, but am just commenting on the tone of your report.

It would have had more credibility if you had simply kept to the facts and left the vitriol out


Wayne, Surely it works both ways though? tomstickland, has written a report concerning a bad experience he had with a company he spent a lot of money with, and as such expected a certain level of service etc? If you spend a lot of money with any company for a service that you didnt recieve, then you have every right to complain - if the complaint was aimed at AE for crap snow, then yes, your point is valid, however, as far as I can see, it wasnt, it was made over poor quality food and staff attitude. The OP was also positive in the report about things being taken on board and the service level being improved. Would you complain if the OP had written a report praising the company to the hilt? If the company didnt want bad reviews, then maybe they need to start listening to peoples concerns? BTW I have never used AE, and never had any dealings with them, so have no axe to grind.


**I am going on the report written at the top of this thread - if the comments were aimed at something on TripAdvisor then I apologise, I havent read those reviews**
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
tomstickland, did you stay at the chalet on Trip Advisor?
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So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
Wayne wrote:
tomstickland just read your report. Did you enjoy writing it ?
.....
....
It would have had more credibility if you had simply kept to the facts and left the vitriol out.

I didn't write the report on Tripadvisor.
My only comments have been this thread here and a few things on another forum.

I see what's happened: because I linked to a report with a similar story about out of date chicken it was a ssumed that I'd written it.

I didn't write it, just Google searched for it and linked it.
snow conditions     
 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Gotta love tripadvisor... from the same thread linked too above

completelyanalgitmoaningontripadvisor wrote:
As an Architect, we can confirm that it is good practice to allow access to three sides of the bed, which was not the case. There is normally 550mm minimum between the beds and 450mm space needed at the sides and the ends for making the beds, ideally, this should be 700mm. These rooms do not meet the minimum standards expected and in no certain terms could it be considered ‘Premier’

The bathroom was too small and offered substantially less than the 700mm minimum access required in front of the shower



Since when did UK rules apply to French holiday chalets - besides anyone who's ever been skiing in france know that Les Francais prefer their skiing accommodation to be "compact"
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
bertie bassett, What sort of person goes on holiday with a tape measure. ..............................Wait, I know, the sort of person who writes Tripadvisor reviews Laughing Laughing
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 Poster: A snowHead
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Boredsurfing wrote:
What sort of person goes on holiday with a tape measure.
I know someone who took a multi-meter on chalet holidays. Using the 'ohms' scale he could measure the resistance of chalet girls.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Adrian, Very Happy excellent..
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
One of our party wrote a complaint letter to Alpine Elements and had a reply this week.

I'd describe it as "Nu-Labour style denial of any problems followed by vague statements about striving for excellence and finally an offer of £50 off any future bookings."
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I got a discount of £50 on future bookings from my last TO simply for answering some email questionnaire I found in my inbox upon my return.

In would expect a complaint involving the possibility of mass poisoning to yield at least £67. You should haggle.
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
tomstickland wrote:
the "free ski hire" only covering the basic skis.


Seriously. WTF did you expect?

Are you the sort of person who expects the "free wine" at mealtimes in the chalet to be 2005 Chateau Lafite-Rothschild?
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No, I expect the wine to be cheap table wine.
Seriously, WTF, etc!
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
tomstickland wrote:
I've just got back from a week in an Alpine Elements chalet in La Plagne.
I'd say that they were slightly better than Crystal who I went on a package with last year, but I wouldn't bother with them again unless they were offering a week for around £350-400. I've had a quick google search and it looks like a lot of people have had issues with them.

After several complaints they did turn things round towards the end of the week, providing us with a decent breakfast at last and not waking the downstairs guests up with the 3am return of staff each day.

It wasn't awful, just a bit expensive considering the lack of space, that an ensuite charge meant the room had a shower crammed into the corner, a supplement for them having to book another charter flight and the "free ski hire" only covering the basic skis.

Things got off to a bad start when we were kept waiting on the coach for 3 hours because one party of 4 were on a delayed flight.


Don't know what you reasonably expect any company to provide at that price! Seems to me that you want 4* luxury at 1* prices.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
You seem to have missed my point:

I paid over £600 for a trip in the first week of Jan, normally a cheap week. I didn't expect 4* luxury, but found cramped conditions, lack of staff training, poor hygiene and little interest in listening to the complaints.
The other chalet guests shared this opinion.

I've been 7 trips in the last 3 years, so I know what the norm is relative to the price paid.

I said that I'd only consider another Alpine Elements if the price was as low as £350-400.
I didn't say that I wanted 4* luxury for £400.
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
tomstickland wrote:
I've just got back from a week in an Alpine Elements chalet in La Plagne.
I'd say that they were slightly better than Crystal who I went on a package with last year, but I wouldn't bother with them again unless they were offering a week for around £350-400. I've had a quick google search and it looks like a lot of people have had issues with them.

After several complaints they did turn things round towards the end of the week, providing us with a decent breakfast at last and not waking the downstairs guests up with the 3am return of staff each day.

It wasn't awful, just a bit expensive considering the lack of space, that an ensuite charge meant the room had a shower crammed into the corner, a supplement for them having to book another charter flight and the "free ski hire" only covering the basic skis.

Things got off to a bad start when we were kept waiting on the coach for 3 hours because one party of 4 were on a delayed flight.


Not sure what your beef is Wayne.

Seems pretty balanced.

After a number of complaints, things were turned round.
Returning staff stopped waking people up @ 3.00.
Breakfast improved.

`It wasnt awful just a bit expensive...`

What`s wrong with that ?

What on earth is he supposed to say ?
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tomstickland wrote:
You seem to have missed my point:

I paid over £600 for a trip in the first week of Jan, normally a cheap week. I didn't expect 4* luxury, but found cramped conditions, lack of staff training, poor hygiene and little interest in listening to the complaints.
The other chalet guests shared this opinion.

I've been 7 trips in the last 3 years, so I know what the norm is relative to the price paid.

I said that I'd only consider another Alpine Elements if the price was as low as £350-400.
I didn't say that I wanted 4* luxury for £400.


Let's get this straight, you want to be flown there and back, transferred to and from resort, housed and fed for a week, all for £400.00?

Get real, or take your chances with late deals.
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
PJSki wrote:
tomstickland wrote:
You seem to have missed my point:

I paid over £600 for a trip in the first week of Jan, normally a cheap week. I didn't expect 4* luxury, but found cramped conditions, lack of staff training, poor hygiene and little interest in listening to the complaints.
The other chalet guests shared this opinion.

I've been 7 trips in the last 3 years, so I know what the norm is relative to the price paid.

I said that I'd only consider another Alpine Elements if the price was as low as £350-400.
I didn't say that I wanted 4* luxury for £400.


Let's get this straight, you want to be flown there and back, transferred to and from resort, housed and fed for a week, all for £400.00?

Get real, or take your chances with late deals.


What do you believe to be "unreal" about his expectations - remembering he is talking about first week of January?

OK, I usually take late(ish) deals, but I have never spent much more than that (and usually between £350 and £400), and have had much better quality accommodation than what he describes, with the possible exception of the hotel I stayed at in Campitello.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
alex_heney wrote:
PJSki wrote:
tomstickland wrote:
You seem to have missed my point:

I paid over £600 for a trip in the first week of Jan, normally a cheap week. I didn't expect 4* luxury, but found cramped conditions, lack of staff training, poor hygiene and little interest in listening to the complaints.
The other chalet guests shared this opinion.

I've been 7 trips in the last 3 years, so I know what the norm is relative to the price paid.

I said that I'd only consider another Alpine Elements if the price was as low as £350-400.
I didn't say that I wanted 4* luxury for £400.


Let's get this straight, you want to be flown there and back, transferred to and from resort, housed and fed for a week, all for £400.00?

Get real, or take your chances with late deals.


What do you believe to be "unreal" about his expectations - remembering he is talking about first week of January?

OK, I usually take late(ish) deals, but I have never spent much more than that (and usually between £350 and £400), and have had much better quality accommodation than what he describes, with the possible exception of the hotel I stayed at in Campitello.


Show me a brochure price of 350 for that kind of package.
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So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
I fail to understand why anyone would use a TO in the first place?

Puzzled Puzzled Puzzled
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
northantsred wrote:
I fail to understand why anyone would use a TO in the first place?

Puzzled Puzzled Puzzled


Really? You are completely unable to work it out?
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
PJSki, yes really!

Why pay someone to do what you can very easily sort yourself. It aint rocket science is it?

rolling eyes rolling eyes rolling eyes
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northantsred, although PJSki's comment may be overly sarcastic, he does have a point. I have done plenty of DIY trips, and many TO organised ones too. DIY is not always cheaper (for the same package), particularly when airport transfer costs and ski carriage charges are taken into account.

There is also a convenience factor in paying someone else to take care of all the details.

These days I tend to favour TO trips, and have had good experiences with SkiLine and Inghams. Mark Warner were also very good for a lads trip to Val D.In all cases the additional cost of using the TO vs DIY was either negligible or negative.
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Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Axsman, I did pick up on PJSki, sarcasm, but my reference to sorting yourself out as opposed to using a TO did not mention any costings. Depending on what you want, it can be cheaper but usually dearer DIY but I think you do get what you pay for. And I would never book a hotel that is likely to be full of TO clients for various reasons not least the kitchen produce.
My thoughts on the matter are just the convenience of it(the opposite to you). I have always found TO organised trips a total pain in the backside, hanging around at the airport waiting for other flights to arrive, welcome meetings, sorting out departure pick ups etc etc...all so inconvenient IMHO.
I just prefer to book the hotel, pick up a car and away we go. Book in, sort ski pass and get on the slopes. Job done. That way I am only paying for the goods I recieve. Where's the hassle in that?
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
northantsred, You really are super, aren't you? I bet you have stripes in your lawn when you mow it as well, don't you?
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northantsred, Understood, and for the very reasons you mention (and in particular being b***ered about by TUI on one trip) we did self drive and DIY for several years. It also made sense with younger kids as they had all their gubbins with them and the flight cost was a lot more than the juice.

However of late, we have used smaller TO's (like Ski Line) and had some excellent service, no delays and very good value. I prefer not to drive (in resort) so avoid hiring a car, and the flight time to Austria is way less than the drive time. Also for two adults the flight costs stack up well agains the juice costs plus tolls.

Anyhow my overall point was just that there can be good reason to use a TO, if the package available suits your needs. There's no single answer, but it isn't that hard to 'understand' why TO's are used, by some folks some of the time snowHead
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Axsman, fair comment and I have no arguement with what you say, it makes eminent sense.

This year one of the trips we had was based i a small Tyrolean village with a shared pass for 4 other small ski areas and a car was really essential and made it all wothwhile, but as you say there is no single answer.
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northantsred, Well now the kids are getting older, maybe I can get them to drive, and have the best of both worlds Madeye-Smiley

Although the thought of being driven by one of our teenagers, round narrow twisting alpine roads, next to precipitous drop-offs is not totally relaxing. Shocked Laughing
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I gave up using TO's 10 years ago, went to budget airlines and now back to going in the car, filled up to the boot-lid.

TO's are only interested in return and even "Top end" chalet companies quality is dodgy in my experience (tiny rooms, chalets long walks to lifts, disinterested staff, poor food and wine, excessively long transfers from airports and frequent delays) - and why wouldnt they? They are there to make a profit, buy on the cheap, sell to us at expensive prices. I know this is a generalisation but I've been pee'd off so many times my hard earned cash goes where it gets best return...........and I am in control of my destiny. If it goes wrong with independent travel only one person to blame.

Budget airlines are no longer Budget Airlines - mega prices for ski carriage etc (see other thread), and car hire now also a rip off at Geneva etc.

Solution - Own car full of pals and toys, internet booking small quality hotels B&B, take all the gear and hammer it to the Alps through the night is my solution - for now until the travel industry wakes up and gets quality focused this is my answer...............not wasting too much time waiting for this to happen!
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Some times it suites me to use a TO and other times not. Same with flying and driving.

Anyone who says they will never use a TO is missing out on some of the very good late deals that come around from time to time. For example, I remember staying in a 5* hotel in Grindelwald a couple of seasons back for £375.00 for the whole package. That's just one example, there have been many others over the years.

It makes me laugh how some people seem to think going DIY is somehow more intrepid than booking through a TO.

Pay your money and take your choice, but never say never either.
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
PJSki wrote:
alex_heney wrote:
PJSki wrote:
tomstickland wrote:
You seem to have missed my point:

I paid over £600 for a trip in the first week of Jan, normally a cheap week. I didn't expect 4* luxury, but found cramped conditions, lack of staff training, poor hygiene and little interest in listening to the complaints.
The other chalet guests shared this opinion.

I've been 7 trips in the last 3 years, so I know what the norm is relative to the price paid.

I said that I'd only consider another Alpine Elements if the price was as low as £350-400.
I didn't say that I wanted 4* luxury for £400.


Let's get this straight, you want to be flown there and back, transferred to and from resort, housed and fed for a week, all for £400.00?

Get real, or take your chances with late deals.


What do you believe to be "unreal" about his expectations - remembering he is talking about first week of January?

OK, I usually take late(ish) deals, but I have never spent much more than that (and usually between £350 and £400), and have had much better quality accommodation than what he describes, with the possible exception of the hotel I stayed at in Campitello.


Show me a brochure price of 350 for that kind of package.


Who said anything about "brochure price"?

As I said, I usually take lateish deals - by which I mean booking 6-10 weeks before travel. You rarely pay brochure price by then.

The most I have ever paid for flights (including ski cariage), transfers and half board accommodation in a 3* hotel is £420. Out of my last 6 trips, 4 have been under £400, one was under £300.
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alex_heney wrote:
PJSki wrote:
alex_heney wrote:
PJSki wrote:
tomstickland wrote:
You seem to have missed my point:

I paid over £600 for a trip in the first week of Jan, normally a cheap week. I didn't expect 4* luxury, but found cramped conditions, lack of staff training, poor hygiene and little interest in listening to the complaints.
The other chalet guests shared this opinion.

I've been 7 trips in the last 3 years, so I know what the norm is relative to the price paid.

I said that I'd only consider another Alpine Elements if the price was as low as £350-400.
I didn't say that I wanted 4* luxury for £400.


Let's get this straight, you want to be flown there and back, transferred to and from resort, housed and fed for a week, all for £400.00?

Get real, or take your chances with late deals.


What do you believe to be "unreal" about his expectations - remembering he is talking about first week of January?

OK, I usually take late(ish) deals, but I have never spent much more than that (and usually between £350 and £400), and have had much better quality accommodation than what he describes, with the possible exception of the hotel I stayed at in Campitello.


Show me a brochure price of 350 for that kind of package.


Who said anything about "brochure price"?
.


The OP.
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