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|Resort: Les Gets
Domain: Portes du Soleil
Date: Dec 2004, Jan and March 2005
Our holiday: We ( SWMBO and I ) have been to Les Gets three times. She has been 6 times in total. First occasion was my being a Total Beginner and for 10 days, we traveled with friends who have kids. The latter times were just the two of us for a week, my having become addicted to skiing following the first visit
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. I accompanied my friend by car the first journey and we found Les Gets easily following âDorisââ GPS-inspired directions. Connections are standard but most of the ski companies run their own transport from Geneva airport. Trains can be taken to Cluses and a taxi or bus from there. On our following trips (mid-Jan) we negotiated with the travel company an early morning/late afternoon pick-up/return so we could get an extra afternoonâs skiing in. So 7 1/2 days instead of 6. Much of the ski system is shared with Morzine and the basic passs covers both 'resorts'.
Lift system : Les Gets itself has two cable cars (both in the town itself serving each of the 2 ski areas) and is supported by the usual chair lifts and button lifts. The system is generally excellent. However while we were there the infamous âRed-Eggâ cable car (it is possibly older than the mountains themselves!) broke down and put immense pressure on the Express lift, and this in a âquietâ period. The weekends are a nightmare due to queuing at the lower lifts when the whole of Geneva seems to turn up on a day trip. For those who have not been there for some time, a new Express 4-man chair-lift has opened in the âLa Turcheâ area and this has taken some pressure off the Bottom lift system being adjacent to the car park for day-trippers.
Ski access to Morzine is simplicity itself and can be skied from the middle lifts, from there Avoriaz is also easy to access although you do have to get across Morzine on foot or by the infrequent âPetit Trainâ. The round trip to Avoriaz can be easily skied in 3 hrs, once in the Avoriaz system 'Les Lindarets' provides easy access to Chatel and the Swiss resorts ... but this does take time.
The terrain : The Les Gets ski area itself is very much a Beginner/Intermediate resort although there are a few challenging Blacks ( I am assured ) on Mt Chery and in the Nyon area. The resort itself has 2 main ski areas Les Chevannes and Mt Chery. Families and Beginners tend to focus on the Chevannes complex while Mt Chery is generally more demanding. However the quality of the Blue and Red runs on Chery are excellent, and in our experience invariably very quiet. The highlight for many Beginners of any week will be the long blue into Nyon from the top of the Chevannes â a scenic delight.
The snow : We were very lucky. We arrived on the 18th December and over the weekend a metre and a half was dumped on the complex. The day before our second trip the same thing happened, however our timing was no accident as we had carefully monitored the weather. Consequently at this early stage in my ski learning curve , I have already been spoilt with âPowderâ runs. It should be said that on other occasions in February and March , my other half has given-up skiing in Les Gets after too much âGreen Snowâ. Les Gets is a very low resort by French alpine standards. Having returned again in March through the 'Early summer' conditions , we were amazed to find that the snow in Les Gets seeemd to be holding up better than its sister-resort in Avoriaz - howver the highest Avoriaz pistes were admittedly in better condition.
Off-piste : I cannot personally comment, however others I have spoken to say that there is good off-piste in the area. It does look more demanding towards Avoriaz however, and Les Gets is 'on the nd' of the PdS, so many better optios even in this area.
The resort : Les Gets itself is a charming Savoyard village. The youngsters around might call it âHicksvilleâ â although even they have one 5am disco to keep them amused, pre-fab and purpose built it is not although visitor numbers are undoubtedly putting stress on the infrastructure. Prices for drink and food are high and very âsimilarâ between the various bars, although 'The Boomerang' does have Happy Hour drinks prices.
Food : The standard Savoyard fare prevails. Despite living in France and being addicted to French cuisine , I assiduously avoid a foodstuff ending in ââŚ..letteâ , my choices reflect this. My favourite resort restaurants are âLe Flambeauâ and âLe Copeauâ, the latter is very small and needs to be booked in advance for any night. Evening Meals with wine will cost between âŹ20-30 per head. Do not miss hot chocolate in the âMarmotteâ hotel. The service is a delight in itself.
With the noticeable exception of Le Mouflon on the Rosta and also the diminutive La Rosetta ( please book) I was decidedly unimpressed by the mountain restaurants. This was highlighted when we skied to Avoriaz where we had an excellent lunch near one lift complex. Shame is I cannot remember where !
Accommodation : We stayed in an out-of-town chalet on first 2 occasions. Although a luxurious chalet, it is some way from the town itself and consequently not ideal for families in our opinion, there being a lot of âFamilyâ accommodation grouped around the town centre. Access to the town is non-existent late at night from âLa Turcheâ so many youngsters would probably prefer to be more central also. Last time we stayed in the 2-star La Christiania hotel - best location and excellent food but it is almost 100% Brit -TO clientele and has TINY rooms. Next year may however be different as we understand the owner will be employing all new staff ( not a good thing) .. and he does also own a ski company.. for that reason we will not be returning to that hotel.
Costs: Accommodation and airport pick-ups cost us just over ÂŁ600 pppw ( Low Season) â given the high standard of accommodation that seems very fair although I have since noticed that Les Gets has loads of bargains outside school holidays. I have subsequently found that âŹ120 pwk, ski hire was on the expensive side for a Beginner â but service was superb. Given the large number of Brit families there, it is no surprise that British ski schools abound. However my personal advise would be to go with 360 International (www.skisurf360.com) , they speak excellent English, are not draconian ( as some would consider ESF) , have small groups and were for us 3 1/2 times as cheap ( yes you read that correctly ) as the same lesson that we had with BASS. That is a lot of extra lessons and I felt I got more from my lessons with 360 International.
Conclusion: It is not difficult to see why Les Gets is so popular with British families. It is a Beginner/Intermediate paradise and there are a number of British-owned ski organizations looking to capitalize on its proximity to Geneva. It has a very âBritishâ feel to it in many ways and that will make many folks comfortable. Conversely you will encounter Surrey Mom with little Justin and Damien in tow.... usually snow-ploughing down the best runs.
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Last edited by A snowHead on Sun 20-03-05 15:17; edited 2 times in total