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|Resort: Les Gets
Domain: Portes du Soleil
Date: Dec 2006, February 2007
Our holiday: We have been to Les Gets many times, though this is the first time back for a few years (kids too small). Mission - to get the youngest kids on the snow and loving skiing.
Website : www.lesgets.com
Basics : Les Gets is the closest French resort to Geneva airport being only 55km and about 1 hr - 1 hr 15 mins away. By far the easiest way for a family of four or five to get there is by car. It is 10 hours door to door from Woking in Surrey.
This report folllows on from a 2004 report where details can be found re travelling, lifts etc: http://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewpost.php?p=96740
Lift system : Les Gets town centre has two bubble lifts and an express chair serving the upper Chavanne area. By far the best lift is the Perrieres Express, which is the first chair you meet when driving in from the direction of Cluses. The bottom station lifts are packed at peak times, far better to do one of the following:
1. Get up the piste early and away form the central parts frequented by the beginners and classes.
2. Go up Mt Chery - dead quiet nearly all the time, nice reds and blacks.
3. Use the Perrieres Express to get into the Ranfoilly bowl and beyond - avoid the main centre statiosn at peak times - you will end up in a queue!
The terrain : This resort is definately for beginners ad intermediates, cruisers and families. It is also a huge area that will take the best part of a week for a slow young family to explore. Many o the reds are lovely groomed wide motorways suitable for one week skiiers (especially the young) so there is plenty to see. There are plenty of very very long cruisy blues - ideal for the kids and parents alike.
The snow : Very patchy in December but the main blues were open - meaning the main mission of that week, to have our youngest taught was accomplished. February was very well covered though rain in the early part of the week meant that for horrible conditions early. By the latter part fo the week this was largely ok.
Off-piste : Patchy and much of it was off limits in Feb due to avalanche risks (rain)
The resort : Les Gets itself is a charming Savoyard village. We always self cater so cannot comment inteligently on the restaurants. Prices are typical french, ie, quite high but still low and good standard compared to the uk.
Food : What we did buy was more than adequate.
Accommodation : We stayed in out of town apartments both times. Both about 1km from the main centre, both near the Perrieres Express. As we had a car, this had no impact at all - except to keep the costs down.
Costs: Accomodation was 700 euros per week for the apartment, this dropping dramatically to 200e for other weeks (we went Christmas week and half term so not surprising higher really). 35e per hour for lessons and 50e for 8 days ski hire for the kids (We have our own gear). If you are going for more than 2 weeks in any one season, it is best to get a season pass early (299e per adult and 216e per child). 138e gets you an adult pass for 6 days.
As a self caterer, some bits and bobs are cheaper to buy (by miles!) in the UK: Beans, tea, coffee, energy bars and the like from Sainsbury's are they way forward. Your kids' favourite cereal prepurchased and stuffed into the car is a good call too. Cut down on lunch costs by buying baguettes (2 for 1.60e will feed a family of 4 leaving enough to slice up to go with dinner) for lunch and you favourite fillers. Get your favourite condiments (ketchup, mustard and whatnot) by saving those little sachets you don't use (aherm) when you pick up your meal on the ferry (tee hee)..
Conclusion: This is an excellent resort with a good family focus, the high percentage of brits means that everywhere you go, from bars, to lift queues to problems, you will always hear brit voices around you. This is great if you have young kids and/or you are not a good French speaker.
The lift system and runs are excellent and fast, well managed and not busy - provided you keep away from the bottlenecks. Reds and blues run beside blacks so mum, dad and the kids are all happy - all at the same time..
The family focus makes it an ideal family location. I cannot see the value in paying massive hikes to the tour operators, visit the excellent les gets website and book your accomodation, passes etc, direct. Excellent deals to be had out of season too.
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