I had an excellent time in Chamonix this winter, snowboarding with a group of 7 others. Here's the breakdown of the different aspects of our trip:
- Chamonix is well known as an extreme / off piste paradise. Unfortunately, when we stayed, there hadn't been any snow for some weeks, which meant all those off-piste opportunities weren't there for us. However, hats off to the resort management and piste bashers, because despite the lack of recent snowfall, all the slopes were in remarkable condition. Probably the best managed resort in that regard I have ever been to. This is one of the things that sets Chamonix apart as a world class resort.
- The transport system is pretty well organised, with buses going to and fro all day, but they could do with adding a few more vehicles at peak times.
- There is a link up to Italy on the bus, covered by the full-fat skipass, which was invaluable for us, since conditions the other side of Mont Blanc were a bit better.
- Apres Ski was weirdly absent - maybe we were there at the wrong time of year (Last week in Jan / First week in Feb) or perhaps the hotspots are all a bit hidden away. In any case, was a bit lacking.
- The Hotel:
- Perfectly reasonable accomodation, lovely staff, central location, great location for bus stops, nice serve yourself breakfast with no-one too fussed if you help yourself to a picnic lunch as long as you didn't take the mickey
- Only down side was that I was pretty sure it was advertised with free wifi, when in fact you had to pay for this. Never mind, the pub over the road has free Wi fi (which if you sit in the right corner of the dining room youcould pick up)
- The Tour Operator:
- The group I travel with always book fairly haphazardly, and end up with the best value for money deal going, considering that we are all experienced riders so like the bigger, more challenging resorts. Consequently, we don't choose the tour operator, they just pop up via Iglu offering the best deal at the time of booking. Usually it ends up being 'Last Choice' or 'MyFirstTravelAgent' etc.
- This year, we ended up with Neillson, who I always thought were a bit too "Lah-di-dah" for the likes of us. They are rubbish, and provided worse service than a lot of the cheaper operators.
- I won't go into too many details, because like I say, tour operator is irrelevant to our group when choosing a holiday so it's not fair to moan on about the service.
All in all, another great Iglu deal in a brilliant resort. You can never guarantee the conditions, but I think it's fair to say that if you go to Chamonix you won't be disappointed, whatever the weather.