Review of Alpe d'Huez

31st January 2017 by Jon Widdows 

9 of us, from our 30s to our 50s, visited Alpe d’Huez in late January and despite the concerns about snow cover most of the pistes were open. We stayed in the Chalet Hotel Escapade with Neilson and the stay was ok for us. We had a moan about a very small double room but it didn’t spoil the holiday – we had good food, the staff were nice and we had the benefit of ski to door.

In resort and on the mountain prices were ok by French standards, 6 to 7 euros a pint but a few happy hours available in the town. Had one afternoon in La Folie Douce, which was a good laugh but probably better when it is warmer. Après Ski was a lot more low key than say Austria but there were a few good bars – we spent a lot of time in the Underground Bar as it was opposite our hotel.

As we were half board we only ate out one night in Smithy’s and practically everyone from our hotel was in there. Food was very good and plentiful – averaged about 20 euros a main. Food on the mountain was good quality, mostly around the 10 to 15 euros range for soups, pizzas, etc.

Coffees, hot chocolate and soft drinks probably the biggest expense – cheaper to have a beer!

We are intermediate to advanced skiers but still didn’t ski the Tunnel as we heard too many horror stories about falls and skis being lost. We did ski everything else including the Sarenne and the other black runs on Pic Blanc, none of which were particularly challenging. The red and blue runs down to Oz and Vajuanay were probably our favorites as they seemed the quietest. Auris was suffering the most with poor snow cover so we only spent one afternoon there.

A highlight of the trip was the helicopter transfer over to Les Deux Alpes on a lovely sunny day. 70 euros for a return trip with SAF Helicopters. The skiing was great, lovely wide pistes, but I hear we may have been lucky with the weather as others who flew over had problems with mist, cloud and lift closures.

Overall, we had a very good holiday but I imagine we’ll head back to Austria next year!

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