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Location: snowHeadLand
Resort: Flaine

Country: France

Domain: Grand-Massif

Author: Michael B

Date: 24-31 January 2009

Our holiday: Group of 5 in total. My family of 4 (inc 2 girls of 12 + 14 yrs) plus 1 male friend who was let down by his mate so came with us. All intermediate skiers. Cruisy blues and reds. No real offpiste experience.

Website : www.grand-massif.com

Basics : We had a direct flight from the Isle of Man to Geneva then private taxi transfer to the resort. Best possible travel experience for us Island dwellers. Door to door was 7.5 hours including flight delay due to snow in Geneva and longer than usual transfer in heavy snow.

Lift system : Fairly good although there are a number of drag lifts. We managed to ski everywhere without ever going on one.

The terrain : Flaine bowl is a large area itself although you can easily ski most of it in a couple of days. We spent all our mornings "over the hill" in the Les Carroz/Samoens/Les Mollets area. The afternoons in the Flaine bowl. (I wouldn't want to miss the last connecting lift up as its about 100+ Euros to get back.)
There is one problem with the Grand-Massif area. Lots of the pistes cross other pistes at 90 degrees. It was not very crowded when we were there yet I got hit twice by people skiing really fast across the piste we were on. A lot of locals seem to ski in Flaine and they ski way too fast. Not a problem on an empty piste but when crossing another its just accidents waiting to occur.

The snow : It snowed about 1 metre stopping just after we arrived. Thereafter it was blue skies above the clouds in the valley. The best snow conditions possible. By the end of the week you could see where problems would occur when the snow was bad. There is a bottleneck towards the bottom of the Tourmaline run back to the resort from Les Carroz etc. It wasnt much fun at 4pm when we were there which is why we skiied in the Flaine Bowl in the PM

Off-piste : Masses of off-piste for the brave. Even after a week of being there new tracks could be made in certain areas. The "holes" are well documented and can be seen from the lifts. Guide or local knowledge is required.

The resort : We stayed in the Foret area, which is IMO the best area to stay. There is only 1 supermarket in the Foret area plus sundry butchers, bakers etc. All of them are in one building. Access to the Forum area is via a funicular lift which is easy and quick. Flaine is very much a ski resort with no real shops other than ski shops. Flaine Foret is not really ski-in/out. I dont think forum is either. Lockers can be rented by the Grand Vans lift which makes it easy for those who have to walk up to 200 yds to the slopes.

Food : There is not much choice, really. In Foret there is only about 4 restaurants that we saw all with largely the same Pizza/Fondue type fodder. There is a Tex Mex (with free WiFi) not far from the Pierre et Vacances Apt block.

Accommodation : We booked direct through the online reservations. As there were 5 of us inc the extra bloke we had to get a larger apt. We got a Duplex in Capricorne Apt block with 2 bathrooms and 3 sleeping areas (without using the lounge). It was fantastic! It has the best position in the Foret area as we could ski to our door and only had to walk 30 metres to the slopes. The apt was modern and FULLY equipped with everything that you could want inc 2 ovens plus microwave plus Halogen hob etc. We actually ate in most nights as it was easier, cheaper and we could eat/drink exactly what we wanted.

Costs: Overall Flaine is no more expensive than any other ski resort although 16 Euros for 5 hot chocolates on the mountain seemed a bit steep but they were all the same price.

Conclusion: A superb SKI resort which We'll definitely go back to. Wouldn't go if I was a non skier. The snow conditions certainly helped make it a memorable holiday.

Flaine Resort Report Feedback Thread

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“Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the universe.” – Albert Einstein.
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