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TR: Neilson Chalet Reberty - Les Menuires Feb 2014

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Resort: Les Menuires
Date: 1st-8th Feb 2014
Our holiday: 16 skiers - all 30 somethings, mix of couples and singles.
Tour Operator: Neilson

Flights: Monarch, very helful over twitter if you ever need them and no problems at checkin or in the air. 20kgs luggage allowance remarkably easy to hit, we were all under easily even wih ski boots! Grenoble was TERRIBLE outbound, we waited over an hour for bags, 15mins for bathroom, even the gents! Return though was great, straight to checkin, no queue, helpful staff, seats in the cafe, cheap coffee, no queues for security and seats in the gate. I think Grenoble might actually be getting its act together, except the baggage handlers! 6/10

Transfers: Neilson reps all present and correct. Booked passes and settled in to wait for arrival, and wait, and erm that's a long transfer 4 hours door to door :Shocked: Slowest driver in the WORLD! And then a minibus up to reberty from the coach park. Which got lost....*sigh* Return transfer 1.5hours earlier than necessary (@5:45am!) due to sharing with an earlier manchester flight AND another mess up with the taxis meant we were all ready at 5:45 but not picked up till 6:10 and then had to wait on bus another 20mins while the same taxi span back up the hill to fetch some other folks. Poor show neilson. 2/10

Operator: Neilson - we were really impressed with all the staff we met, seemed a lot more mature than usual and very very competent. Our chalet 'girls' were both older than any of us, reassuringly capable, very friendly and kept the chalet absolutely spic and span, despite one of them being off sick 3 days midweek. Head and shoulders above any staff we've had in years (YSE is the only other contender for best staff). Simon the rep was a seasoned seasonaire, came by every evening, including on his night off and was endlessly entertaining. Prebooked lift passes recommended, was easily cheaper than in resort. Equipment prebook also not a bad deal and as Simon is well known locally his customers don't get messed about Wink For private lessons he did very well, working his contacts at ESF to get a great instructor for one of our group on almost no notice. Would have no concerns booking anything via neilson/on coach. 10/10

Chalet: Chalet Reberty is in Reberty 2000. Near ski in ski out (30m walk) right by La Ferme. Basement with ski room + spa room, upstairs to lounge, kitchen, balcony and one bedroom. 4 rooms on the second floor and 3 twins on the top in the loft. Chalet easily holds 16 adults, seems spacious and comfortably 'mid range' - not high end but absolutely no issues, we were very happy with it. Open plan kitchen, good views out to the lifts from lounge/table/balcony - great for deciding how the lift opening is going! All ensuite bar the room on the lounge floor BUT the twin loft rooms are really really low and small. Unless you are under 5'6" the rafters are an issue, no one over 5'9" can stand upright and you can't even open the bathroom doors....The triple is better, but still no height. The rooms on the middle floor are near identical all normal french compact but very comfy and perfectly adequate for a week holiday. We'd return or recommend it, it's good value and very nice, just prepare to draw straws or subsidise those loft rooms! 9/10 for the price it's at.

Ski Hire: We used skimium, rosael twinner and absolut twinner - similar gear from all 3. Skimium is really close (20m) but small with limited equipment so if you want something request it when you pre-book. Requests were all present and correct but we felt a bit constrained as we couldn't swap to anything else on the day if we didn't like what we had. They did restock on the Monday and one of us did change successfully, but on the sat transfer day it was 'non, just these for you'. Rosael and absolut had more choice, but further away (rosael up on foot, absolut down on the bus). No problems with pickup or return, but not anything special - head rev 85s were the best of what we got and all the gear from all three shops seemed to have had a hard life - knackered topsheets, but okay bases and reasonable edges. Have def had better in the past. 5/10

Weather: A lot of poor vis, but two great sunny days, and fantastic snowy last day, perfect for tree lined runs in la tania and meribel. 7/10

Runs: Area almost too big, temptation is to go TO places rather than just enjoy the skiing, especially with the sometimes tricky conditions during our visit. Conditions in Les Menuires were not great, it seemed more prone to icy/hard than meribel or courchevel and we really missed immediate access to tree lined skiing. Best runs in THESE conditions probably down from St Martin2 to Meribel and from Loze to La Tania which were amazing in the fresh snow, but that was more conditions than real piste character. The new black piste to Orelle was very doable despite the big !!! warning at the top BUT that was after 6" of fresh snow! Offpiste was mostly off the menu as cover isn't great, but we did have some joy around orelle taking it steady and in better conditions I imagine that valley is great fun. After years of being my favourite area though I have to say the love wasn't as strong this time, the sheer size makes a big group unruly, and the lack of trees was a real practical annoyance especially for our less experienced folks. So for us this time maybe just: 7/10.
p.s watch out for the piste map not being that accurate in meribel, there are def a few runs which I can't find on the piste map which lead to us doing an impromptu loop of morel lift. Oh and foret runs UPHILL! Maybe doing a morel loop is a better plan anyway!

Lifts: Generally very good, lots of bubble lid chairs and fast gondolas. Very few annoyingly uphill lifts too Smile Watch out for the top lift in Orelle, st martin2, loze and morel which are all very slow, but despite that: 9/10

Mountain Food: Bring money, many many money! Maybe I'm getting old but prices seemed high everywhere. Les Menuires pick is definitely Igloo (by La Ferme) on Boyes piste. Great pizza and 8E sandwich americaine! La Tania the 'lepubrestaurant' on the far left does really good burgers and kangaroo steak and very friendly - worth a trip. In meribel try the sherpa burger stand, no seats but amazing HUGE baguette burgers with raclette cheese. In courchevel, just don't, unless it's sunny and you can panini on the piste in 1650 Smile Do drop in on the Folie Douce in VT for a quick bit of apres one day before taking the bvd cumin home, just don't stand where they spray the champagne Wink Beer a suprisingly reasonably 6E and it's the only 'apres' place we found. DJ Sunny on the David Douillet run tries but that run home is a bit tricky to do after beer!
8/10 for quality, Shocked for prices.

Evening Food: We didn't go out much but can heartily recommend the La Ferme, E30 set menu was great and the staff are standout friendly. We were viewing wedding pics on iphone and making great conversation in franglais Smile

Town: It's very spread out nowadays and very quiet in Reberty - too quiet for us. BUT it's much prettier than it was, reberty is actively attractive and croisette centre is very nicely lit. It didn't feel utilitarian/intrusive at all on this visit - unlike say plagne centre, flaine or Les Arcs 1600/2000.

SkiSchool: We used Prosneige, better than average but not across the board awesome. Group lesson was fun and well received by our 3-weeker, our set of three privates for two people were fun and covered the right things but not quite as life changing as our 5 weekers had hoped, the pair of private lessons another two (more experienced folks) had with Italian import 'Teo' were good though, and I'd recommend asking for him. I really enjoyed his approach. The second lesson I nearly dropped out before we started as I was struggling in heavy snow and low light conditions and bone tired, but by the end of the session I was renergised and even went for an extra fun run at the end Smile Very quick to find the problems, very responsive to feedback (i.e dealing with my low light confidence/fitness issues), great fun ('now we open the gas a little, yes?' *swoosh* *zoom*), very encouraging and a superb skier you just want to emulate. Only downside is his english is his third language and sometimes you are going to be glad english shares latin roots with Italian! Wasn't a problem for us at all, but I know some people find it annoying/difficult.

I'm sure I've missed loads out but already very long so will leave it there and hope someone finds it useful! Let me know any questions I'll do my best to answer.

aj xx

Folie Douce:
Snowy Day:
Yep still snowing:

Last edited by Poster: A snowHead on Thu 1-05-14 20:46; edited 1 time in total
ski holidays
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Excellent report. Not long for us now. We are staying just down the road snowHead
snow report
 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?
Great report. Sounds like a good trip apart from the transfer. I do not envy the TO when flights arrive at different times etc.
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