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|Resort: Tignes Les Boisses
Domain: Espace Killy
Author: Furbag, also see my other reports here http://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewpost.php?p=161772 for Tremblant and here http://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewpost.php?p=552603 for 2007 trip to Bulgaria.
Date: 13th Jan 2008
Our holiday: This is my 3rd trip skiing trip so I feel I can place myself as a intermediate skier now, again my mate Andy came with me and our wives stayed at home ( how DO we get away with it) This time I took the back seat and Andy did all the booking for this trip. One thing we did find was due to it being just the 2nd week after the New Year it was very quiet which I found to be lovely.
Website : There are lots of good sites if you google Tignes but the company we went with was Mountain Sun Ltd http://www.mountainsunltd.com/tignes.htm a fairly small company but they give you what I can only describe as a very personal touch to your holiday.
Basics : The resort is in France and we grabbed a Gatwick scheduled flight to Geneva which I would recommend as although this bumps up the transfer times it does mean you land outside the EU and means you are able to buy Duty Free on the way out and back, where as if you fly into Chanbery in France you cannot. The transfers got a bit tedious as you can end up having to pick up others along the route but as the tranfers arent that expensive you cant really complain especially when you've got a stash of duty free on you
Lift system : Loads all over the place, we never queued but then the whole resort was very quiet anyway. All the attendants where helpful and if you looked a bit dodgy getting on the lift they would slow it down. I would advise if you are not a competent skier to get someone who knows the area to show you around as the lift system can be a bit complicated around the mountains and you could end up at the top of somewhere with only a red or black run back again !!!
The terrain : Ah now this caused at bit of a problem for us at the start, we found their piste marking a tadge odd compared to our other trips. Blue runs could be anything from what I'd classify as an up hill green !! to a pretty nasty black with moguls !! They appear to mark the runs by the worst part of the run, i.e. you could have a run that was marked as a red but that was just a short 200m section of it and the rest of the run could actually be classed as a green, but due to the nature of the first bit they marked it Red !!! Unless you are a competent at skiing I would again suggest you grab someone who knows the area to show you about, as on the first day we ended up on something known as Piste H and thatâ€™s a blue but on the day I felt it was like a red and more traffic on it that the M25 in rush hour !!! ( M25 is a UK motorway) I had an awful time getting down that one. There are just loads and loads of runs and I recon you would have to be a real expert to get bored in a week. The one really good thing about the runs are they are all very well marked and have round discs every 100mtrs or so giving you the colour/name of the run and each disc is numbered in a descending order so you can tell how far you have to go roughly on each run which I found very helpful.
The snow : They had a big dump a week or so back and then we had a day of another 3", the rest of the time it was bright sunshine and the snow was fantastic. The runs appeared to be well groomed every night although if it snowed after they had been groomed then the runs seemed to get chopped up a lot during the day due to the fresh snow being pushed up into small moguls.
Off-piste : I would think there are loads, saw lots doing it but didnâ€™t do any ourselves. Many people seemed to be getting lifts to the top and strapping the ski's to there back and walking off over the mountain , there totally mad but if its what your into then I recon its the place to go.
The resort : Our Chalet was located in Tignes Les Boisses which was a short 10min (free) bus ride to Le Lac which was the main town area which had loads of bars etc in it, we didnâ€™t really check that part of it out as most days we where just too tired after skiing to go back into town and generally stayed in our chalet.
Food : The food as expected on the mountain was a bit pricey although I felt wasnâ€™t that over priced considering you where up a mountain, all the food we had was very good. They offered a good selection of euro food and we never really had any problems getting something tasty.
Accommodation : This was our first experience of a catered chalet, although I would classify the property as more of a small hotel that was run in a catered chalet style, as flat out it would hold about 50 guests over 20 or so rooms. When we where there it was very quiet and we almost had one member of staff per guest as there was just ourselves and one other family staying there. But I felt that if it had been full our experience would have been just as good if not better. Our room was of a good size and had a nice bathroom and balcony, No TV or Coffee or phone in the room though, which was new to us as we have always stayed in hotels. This was by no means a problem as there was always coffee or tea on tap downstairs, there was a nice size TV in the lounge with Sky and a playstation, best of all for myself was free wi-fi access AND a computer that you could use, I took a wi-fi laptop and was able to upload my daily pics and video to a site for my wife and friends to look at, also I was able to keep up to date with e-mails etc and all for free. There is also a hot tub and sauna available for free as well, although we didnt use these. They do have what I felt was a great in-house ski/boot hire etc and currently have a great range of Atomic ski's and boots for hire at a reasonable fee although we didnâ€™t need the boots as we have now got our own now. The food, is what I can only describe as top quality home cooked meals, very well presented and just soooo tasty along with plenty of it, full English brekkie along with the continental stuff, afternoon tea is served from about 4pm which is lovely homemade cake which you could help yourself to and coffee/tea is also served. Dinner was a 3-course affair, there wasnâ€™t a choice (something new to us but apparently this is how the catered Chalet side of things work) but every night was a total taste bud experience and couldnâ€™t be faulted, along with a very drinkable red or white wine which made the whole dinning experience as good as any restraunt I felt. Donâ€™t forget that Wednesday is the staff's day off so although brekkies are limited you will need to find our own evening meal on that day either up in Le Lac or as we did from the small bar/restraunt next door. The Chalet also had its own bar which would work as a cash bar or you could run a tab against your room number, the total could be checked pretty much anytime if you where concered about your beer consumption also it fully itemised all your purchases at the end.
Costs: Flights worked out at about ÂŁ125 PP Chalet was something like ÂŁ300 , I dont think its the cheapest option but I liked the fact its was inbetween a full blown hotel and a small catered chalet, but having never done the catered chalet thing I can only go by what friends have told me and I feel this was well above a catered chalet.
Conclusion: I really cannot fault Mountain Sun and their Les Melezes chalet, the staff are really helpful and are always willing to give you as much or as little help as you needed, they came out skiing with us on two occasions as well, although I can imagine that if they where full you wouldnâ€™t have quite as many staff coming out with you as they would need to share themselves about a bit over the other guests. The resort was lovely and the skiing was very good. On leaving I felt I couldnâ€™t wait to return and with the resort being so big I cant wait to get back and try some different runs and do even more exploring. Real beginners may find it somewhat daunting especially as some of the green runs being at the top of the mountain which makes them tricky to get to, but having said that there are a lot of blues which could actually be classified as greens really, just be careful which you go on and ask for advice. Cant wait to get go back to Tignes and the Les Melezes chalet run by www.mountainsunltd.com both myself and my mate Andy both commented this was the best skiing holiday either of us have ever had.
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