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TajIMah Hotel, Les Arcs 2000, 6th-12th April 2019

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
This is my report of a week in the Taj I Mah hotel in LesArcs2000 between 6th April-12th April 2019.

Firstly the skiing. I’d never skied in April before and maybe we were lucky with a fresh dump early on in the week... but I am a convert. The clear sunny days are much more enjoyable than the weeks spent skiing in blizzards in February. The slushy-ness that I had read about and feared does fear its head at around 1600m from 2pm onwards, 1800m from 3pm, but up at 2000m and above the pistes stayed in crisp condition until 5pm. To put that slushyness in context, it was just like Morzine village level in March. The slopes were quieter than I’d seen in French mega-resorts in February, but this might have been due to Brexit fears during this period rather than being typical of the time of year. Les arcs has plenty of reds and blues to suit all abilities, but at this time of year the blacks started to get closed off, understandably.

Now for the hotel. This has a great skiin/out location. The Arc2000 webcam is on the corner of the hotel. That’s how close you are to the piste.

I’ve seen reviewers say that drinks are expensive. In the restaurant the wine list doesn’t appear to have a bottle for less than €70 and most are above €200... however that is typical for wine lists in these sort of hotels all over the world. They DO sell wine by the glass at between €8 and €12 from a reduced list (3 red 3 white). And I found that one glass would easily see me through my meal.
In the main bar, a 0.5l beer is €9 whereas in the bars around the village square are €7.90. So it isn’t much of an uplift.

The bar itself is not for dancing on tables or watching the football on a big screen ( there is no tv in there Smile ). There is often a cabaret-type singer serenading the guests while people chat or play cards looking out over the piste.

The rooms are spacious and comfortable with a deep shag pile carpet (which makes great soundproofing such that you don’t hear other guests in their rooms walking about. One person complained on Tripadvisor that the pistebashers drive right past your window in the night. Yes they do. That’s what happens when you are right on a piste!

The main restaurant food is incredible. 5 courses every night (soup, choice of 2 starters, choice of 2 mains, range of cheeses, a wide selection of puddings). The food-type is very high end and very filling. The pictures on various websites for the hotel are exactly what gets served up on your plate. But if you’re the type that wants a burger/pizza or fries the this is NOT the place to eat. There is a bistro downstairs that seems to do more traditional alpine restaurant food with a kids menu, but we never went down to it. There were plenty of people with kids at the hotel and restaurant, but if your kids are fussy eaters, then dinner time could be a challenge.

Breakfast was very good. Typical hotel breakfast throughout the world. Cereals, pastries, meats&cheese, and cooked sausage, bacon, egg, mushroom etc.

The skihire shop is attached to the hotel and sells gear from such established names as LaCroix, but not much from the likes of Salomon or Nordica. What they WILL do is store your skis, boots, and helmet so that they’re nice and fresh each morning. (And carry your skis to the rack outside). You don’t have to hire from them to use their locker service, but the kit they hire is very good quality, and they happily swapped over their standard hire offering to some Head Joy skis which my wife prefers.

There is a spa with views onto the piste which has a free pool, jacuzzi, steam room, and sauna for guests. Massages etc cost extra.

We were unsure what the dress code would be for a hotel like this. I’ve stayed in lesser hotels that insist on jackets being worn for dinner! Here you can comfortably wear jeans and tops for breakfast and dinner. I did see just 1 adult wearing a t-shirt at dinner, and only 1 family wore their full salopettes during breakfast Smile

Is this hotel worth the money? Well that all depends on how much you pay.
Inghams wanted around £4k for 2 adults halfboard with flights from Gatwick.
Booking.com were showing £2.5k for B&B and £3k for Halfboard... but of course this didn’t include flights.
I booked through trivago and found a site offering halfboard for £1.2k. The only difference appeared to be that the cheaper room is a ‘standard’ or ‘classic’ double, whereas the pricier options were just labelled ‘double’. I checked all the specs on every website I could, and the only difference appeared to be that the cheaper options have a view over the village centre, whereas the expensive ones look onto the mountains. I chose ‘cheap’, but still had a piste view.
Ok. So I have to pay for my tunnel crossing and paege tolls. Add on lift passes and ski-hire... and parking... but for the quality of the place, location, and food it is still a bargain.

I would definitely stay again, and definitely in April.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
We stayed there in December 2017, pre Christmas. It was low season so seemed quite reasonable for a 5 star hotel, however, we weren't impressed. The pool was quite small and the spa facilities were not as good as most Austrian 4/5 star hotels. The food at dinner was weird, some excellent but some quite poor. My abiding memory is that we had ceviche just about every day! And yes, the wine was very expensive.

We had our own skis and yes, the shop stores them FOC but when you walk in, you can't just grab them, you have to wait for a member of staff to fetch them. They then ask to help with putting on boots, (no thanks), and carry skis outside, meanwhile, people are waiting to just get out and ski. I prefer to grab my own gear and go, but perhaps that's just me.

The staff were efficient but again, not as friendly as the Austrians, who always seem genuinely pleased to serve you. We wouldn't stay there again, even though Les Arcs is a super area. A previous year we stayed at the Belambra for a fraction of the price and had a great time.
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 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?
@jamescollings, Thanks for the good review. I liked the review but would like to add the following comments.

The hotel sounds nice to me, but sadly it is not the sort of place I would feel comfortable, though I might like to call in for a meal one day.

Les Arcs would be quiet and I suspect it has nothing to do with BREXIT (horror) but more to do with when you went. We went the week before and the resort was quiet, but with a suprising number of English families. You went before the school holidays and before the Easter weekend. I would expect the resort to be busier for the next two weeks when the schools are on holiday and many people have the Easter holidays off. Indeed talking to my neighbour in Arc 1600 he and his family are skiing for the whole 2 week school holiday until the end of the season. I am jealous.

Early April is always a good time to go skiing, as you said. The snow is usually good and the conditions excellent. However, I think this year has been exceptional, a one in five year return. Some years we have been, albeit even later, and at 1600 the snow has really just been good enougth to get into and out of the resort. Higher it has been much better.
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