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Esprit ski, beware.

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
This is to warn people thinking of booking with Esprit that times have changed at one of their hotels. I have been very disappointed this week with the service provided at what used to be Esprit's flagship hotel, Les Deux Domaines in Belle Plagne. While Esprit staff continue to provide the childcare etc, the hotel itself is run by MMV, the French hotel company. This arrangement provides a different experience from that to which Esprit customers have come to expect.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
I'm staying in an MMV hotel towards the end of the month -- would like some more info in just what went wrong for you ?
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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?
@Jehu, I was lucky enough to stay there in their first year. Only half the rooms were occupied and there were plenty of staff on hand to help and it was fantastic. We booked for the following year at Christmas and it wasn't a good experience. The facilities simply couldn't cope with the numbers. Not enough room in the common areas and two sittings for dinner. Didn't go back. Shame as every other 8 holidays we had with Esprit were superb. I think it is the venue rather than the company that's at fault.


Last edited by Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see? on Sun 5-01-20 6:18; edited 1 time in total
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A few details as requested above. It was mostly the food. Lots of it available on a buffet. The soup was dire, hot main courses rarely attractive and not always labelled. Plates always cold because the equipment was either not working or not switched on. Salads, cheeses and cold desserts were good. DVD players advertised in brochure had all been removed. TV was broken. Hot tub out of action. MMV staff seemed uninterested, Esprit staff powerless. I would like to see the contract between MMV and Esprit/Inghams.
The building itself is good. Well located with spacious bedrooms and bathrooms with proper baths. Ski lockers for every room with functioning boot warmers.
Other guests were also complaining about the food but some first-timers seemed perfectly happy.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Jehu wrote:
A few details as requested above. It was mostly the food. Lots of it available on a buffet. The soup was dire, hot main courses rarely attractive and not always labelled. Plates always cold because the equipment was either not working or not switched on. Salads, cheeses and cold desserts were good. DVD players advertised in brochure had all been removed. TV was broken. Hot tub out of action. MMV staff seemed uninterested, Esprit staff powerless. I would like to see the contract between MMV and Esprit/Inghams.
The building itself is good. Well located with spacious bedrooms and bathrooms with proper baths. Ski lockers for every room with functioning boot warmers.
Other guests were also complaining about the food but some first-timers seemed perfectly happy.

Thats deffo not our experience of Esprit, we've been with them a fair few times. Probably better off complaining to them as opposed to on snowheads( i dont mean that in a keyboard warrior way). Im pretty sure you wont be the only one complaining as folks who travel with Esprit expect it to be the Esprit way
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A consequence of BREXIT perhaps? The previous model may not be possible in the future.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Gaza wrote:
A consequence of BREXIT perhaps? The previous model may not be possible in the future.


at the price point they are trying to keep to...

You only need to look at number of people on here who have shunned them in the past for being too expensive to see why they are doing that. Certainly we would never entertain their halfterm term prices, I have found them good value for late easter / pre Christmas when kids were young enough, given the focus on the children. Now I don’t NEED that level of support they become uneconomical compared to DIY at Feb
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Gaza wrote:
A consequence of BREXIT perhaps? The previous model may not be possible in the future.


Though suspect the ownership of that building may have more to do with it.

We stayed there last week of season (we HAD booked St Anton but hotelplan decided to pull out resort a week early Sad). Talking to staff the clean down required at the end to return to owners was far more demanding and exacting than all the other Esprit places.

Tbh it was their place I liked least... yes we had the “plushest” and most spacious rooms that we have had in any of their places BUT it just didn’t feel relaxed there.
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We had many holidays with Esprit, though quite a few years ago.

To be honest, their food we generally thought of as being OK, but never a stand out feature.

We booked Esprit for the excellent way they took care of children and helped to make their experience great fun. Consequently a more relaxing trip for parents.

They also had chalets and chalethotels in most of the areas we wanted to visit. Tignes, Val D’Isere, 3V, Les Arcs, St Anton, for example.

Has much changed in terms of their main advantages?
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I did 3 years in a row with Esprit - Ducs de Savoie in Val d'Isere twice and Belle Plagne sandwiched in between. The BP place was significantly better than the Ducs but I decided that as it was only my son and I that the significant extra cost wasn't worth it.

The food was always 'okay' but it sufficed for our needs.
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Not just Espirt, Equity/Rocket ski have gone to a 3rd party rental hotels.
The long term leases they had came up for renewal in early 2019 and they went for an employee lite model as well.
French labour laws were mentioned as a main direct reason with some indirect Brexit market confidence effect as well
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
I think this is how Esprit are going with all their hotels, they did the same in Alpe Duez where we were hoping to do but that has also move to just being in a normal MMV hotel with a bit of Esprit staff and childcare which we didn't like the sound of (not at the Esprit premiums), review of the hotel on TripAdvistor were also not great.

We are again booked with Esprit but due to the kids getting older hoping its our last as the services have been getting worse while the prices going up.
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
We just paid deposit on the same chalet hotel for Dec 2020 a couple of weeks ago before we discovered the change in hotel operations. Have read some dire and downright distressing reviews on TripAdvisor and made us ponder if we should to switch to another resort / chalet instead. As a repeat customer that gets Esprit's loyalty discount, I have been checking on TripAdvisor reviews every week or so, and it does seem like things have improved a bit since the first 2-3 weeks of the season, taking into account some of those positive reviews come from doe-eyed first time Esprit customer. The wife and I agreed that we would wait for a few more weeks to see if things turn around before making a decision to change resort or not.

Here's hoping they turn things around, as we finally decided to plunge for the big one. It would be a shame if they can't even sort out their own flag ship chalet hotel quickly.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Esprit serves a good purpose when you need it, but as the kids get older and can ski, extras like childcare are not needed and you can do the holiday yourself.
We went on 6 esprit holidays (last one in 2017) and found that the first 3 were great, 4th one was a littler disappointing but resort wasn’t great, 5th was good but chalet was poor and by the sixth, we’d had enough (we were in 12 person chalet where we were only esprit, everyone else was and didnot have children.
Are youngest is now 5 and a good skier and last year we went to Megeve and Alpe d huez with Airbnb and drove down.
I think you just end up growing out of esprit as life evolves.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
We stayed there a few years ago when our daughter was 2 - I hated it. Lovely rooms, staff were great but it was far, far too big for any personal interaction with others and the lounge/bar areas were woefully undersized. Never been back there.

We've done Esprit for 8 years and last week's trip to St Anton was one of the best. Big step up in food quality and super helpful staff team. I think the only thing run locally was the cleaning service. Luckily I think they were at about 70% capacity so now-8-year-old daughter had 5 days of 1 on 1 instruction with the same British instructor - she loved it.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
You've got me worried now, I've booked with Esprit leaving on Sunday to Corchevel.

I booked with them as there were so many good recommendations for them on here.

Anyone been to hotel crystal in Corchevel with them? Hopefully its better than the one in Plagne your talking about.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
From everything I've read it is the involvement of MMV that is the issue and any non-MMV accommodation should be as it always has been.

A bit confused why anyone without children that needed care would go with Espirit though. They are childcare specialists and advertise themselves purely as that.
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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?
Interesting... I actually prefer a buffet to table service. MMV were very good in Val Thorens at Xmas...
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@ Medlington, we’ve stayed at Crystal 2000 for the last two years and would be returning again this year if we hadn’t been coerced by a bigger group to join them in La Rosiere (Esprit again).

The Hotel is classic Esprit… staff amazing, food OK, hotel itself a bit shabby but at least the children can be more at ease (and therefore the adults too)… the location however is pretty much perfect (I don’t use that term lightly). Ski Rental shop “in-house”, out the back door and straight onto an almost private piste – with its own drag and easy access to the prolong chair or down to the resort centre…

It’s astonishing that it’s still an “cheapo” Esprit hotel given it’s flanked by hotels charging £’000’s per night
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Jehu wrote:
DVD players advertised in brochure had all been removed. TV was broken.


Can't remember ever watching TV in a ski resort!
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mwareing wrote:
@ Medlington, we’ve stayed at Crystal 2000 for the last two years and would be returning again this year if we hadn’t been coerced by a bigger group to join them in La Rosiere (Esprit again).

The Hotel is classic Esprit… staff amazing, food OK, hotel itself a bit shabby but at least the children can be more at ease (and therefore the adults too)… the location however is pretty much perfect (I don’t use that term lightly). Ski Rental shop “in-house”, out the back door and straight onto an almost private piste – with its own drag and easy access to the prolong chair or down to the resort centre…

It’s astonishing that it’s still an “cheapo” Esprit hotel given it’s flanked by hotels charging £’000’s per night


Thanks for that, you've put my mind at ease now. Its our first time going with Esprit and also first time with my daughter so not sure what to expect. The almost private run sounds brilliant for my wife whos very nervous about skiing
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
mwareing wrote:
@ Medlington, we’ve stayed at Crystal 2000 for the last two years and would be returning again this year if we hadn’t been coerced by a bigger group to join them in La Rosiere (Esprit again).

The Hotel is classic Esprit… staff amazing, food OK, hotel itself a bit shabby but at least the children can be more at ease (and therefore the adults too)… the location however is pretty much perfect (I don’t use that term lightly). Ski Rental shop “in-house”, out the back door and straight onto an almost private piste – with its own drag and easy access to the prolong chair or down to the resort centre…

It’s astonishing that it’s still an “cheapo” Esprit hotel given it’s flanked by hotels charging £’000’s per night

Couldn't agree more with this.

I stayed there in Feb 2018 (as a single bloke, transferred from an Inghams hotel booking due to a cock-up - long story, better than sleeping in the car, never mind Laughing ) I thought it was brilliantly set-up for kids and parents alike (including single parents, which other guests just assumed I was). Left a fat tip and a special mention for the room maid girl that left one of my bath towels in a swan shape every day - it just put an instant smile on my face.

And yes, the location is superb. Sandwiched between two "6" star hotels and directly accessible from every last lift back to C1850 if you go exploring. At the end of the season when La Tania is closed and I need to commute to C1850 or Mottaret to ski, I now drive to their car park. Just make sure you duck as you leave the boot room - the clearance was designed for six-year-olds. wink

Not sure if Esprit actually own it? Got a feeling they do but if they don't then make the most of it while you can because it can only be a matter of time before it joins the ranks of all the other "cheapo" Courchevel hotels and gets sold to someone who wants to move upmarket.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Legend. wrote:
From everything I've read it is the involvement of MMV that is the issue and any non-MMV accommodation should be as it always has been.

A bit confused why anyone without children that needed care would go with Espirit though. They are childcare specialists and advertise themselves purely as that.

Esprit is the brand, it’s hotelplan pushing Inghams and ski world bookings into the same accommodation to fill them.
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We have been to Deux Domaines with Esprit for the last two years and are booked to go again at the end of March together with 3 others families. I saw the TripAdvisor reviews a couple of weeks ago which worried me. They had already been in touch and told us about MMV taking over and some changes they were making, which sounded fine at the time. I contacted Esprit and they replied with the following which has put me at ease - hopefully it's all true and those issues in the early weeks of the season have now all be ironed out. It would be great to hear from people who have been in the last few weeks.

----------

Thank you for your email advising us of the concerns you have about the feedback from guests who have recently stayed at the Hotel des Deux Domaines. I appreciate you are heading there soon, so I completely understand you getting in touch.

Our team in the UK and the senior management overseas are aware of some negative feedback from guests regarding the level of catering and service being delivered by our partners at MMV, who are managing the property this winter. As our partnership with MMV is a new one, despite taking all measures to ensure of no teething issues at the start of season, we admit to some standards not meeting the level that we usually expect of our Esprit properties in the past couple of weeks.

This has meant that strong action has been taken to ensure improvements are made. The Director of MMV and our Esprit senior management are in constant communication with each other to work on aligning our quality of service, and I have strong faith in them to have these problems rectified before your arrival. Therefore at this point we haven’t been looking in to alternative arrangements for our guest’s holidays as we are confident these issues will be resolved. We do have Esprit representatives in resort as a point of contact for our guests, Elliott is a French-speaking member of the Esprit team and is in constant communication with the MMV staff.

Changes have already been made, we have had a new chef start on 1st Jan who is incredibly experienced and has worked with MMV previously. MMV have also taken on contract cleaners and are continuing to improve and reinforce the team. We have had feedback from our senior management team based in resort who have advised us improvements have been and continue to improve and positive feedback from guests this week.

Thank you for contacting Esprit to investigate this. I understand your concerns and I’m sure I would want to do the same if it were me.

------
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I hope everything gets sorted with Esprit in Belle Plagne. We had a blast there when still doing the Esprit thing. It feels like only yesterday we were there, but it was 7 years ago now, and Lordy but the kids have grown a lot since then. They were small and cute in those days rather than being the pair of trainee nightclub bouncers that they are today!
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stu330 wrote:
... Esprit is the brand, it’s hotelplan pushing Inghams and ski world bookings into the same accommodation to fill them.

It won't be Skiworld; they are still independent. But could be Ski Total or Flexiski, and possibly Inntravel (as well as Inghams).
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
We went with Esprit to Tignes the first time we took our kids (6 and 8 at the time). However, we booked them into ESF as it was so much cheaper.

Have to say I didn't find Esprit that much better than previous chalet holidays we'd had, the food was just "ok" - it was just handy having other kids in the chalet.

I found the other people in the chalet a bit "up themselves" - they were very snooty about us not using the Esprit lessons and said that ESF were cruel to children - but actually their kids were in groups of 10-12, ours were in a group of 4 - my two, a german and a dutch kid. The instructor was excellent, at lunchtimes another instructor would meet them and take them to lunch, then we'd pick the up after lunch to ski with them in the afternoon. Their French improved no end.

The airplane ride was HORRENDOUS - far too many children!!! and the transfer back to the airport from the hotel was marred by the "entitled" attitude of some holidaymakers who thought nothing of being late for pickup, smoozing their new best mates saying long goodbyes, and hooray henrying onto the bus - meanwhile those of us on the bus in the early hours of the morning were freezing, and even worse for the people who were picked up after that stop and had been standing outside waiting for the bus for nearly an hour.

Put me off "package" ski holidays for life - since then I've just booked flights, accomodation and car hire independently. We don't need school hols now, but when we did we would take them out for two days and go Thurs-Thurs to get cheap flights.
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