We stayed at the Athena for 5 nights, we had booked our break through skiweekends.com (who I would highly recommend) from the 28th Jan to 1st Feb.
The hotel is small and quiet which suited us and is actually in a good location as you could walk to the Gondola (uo several hills however!) but there is a regular free shuttle bus which stops within a minutes walk of the hotel and comes every 10 mins or so, we never had to wait for one. (Also the rep's at Skiweekends will come and pick you up if you ask them too and drop you off which is an added bonus). Its about a 3 min drive to the Gondola then a 20 - 25 min ride to meribel. The town of Brides les Bain is a short walk away with other hotels bars and restaurants and in the town there is an ATM and Spar shop.
Check in was straight forward, staff were very pleasant and we were then shown to our room which was a double room at first but then explained we had booked a twin room so we were moved as soon as we arrived. We were on the ground floor started off at room 106 then moved to 109. The twin room was much larger than the double and has ample storage. There was a corrider which consisted of a wardrobe, the shower room and separate WC then a door to the bedroom which had the twin beds, another wardrobe, table and chair and TV (very limited channels!). This hotel is right next to the River which looks great but you can hear it when you sleep so if you are a light sleeper being on this side of the hotel may not suit you. Also it did say that a hairdryer was included but I didn't see one and had luckily taken my own. I have to say the shower is a power shower and was fabulous after a hard day hitting the slopes.
On our floor (0) there was also a sauna but we didn't use this. Upstairs was the reception, the hotel, bar (very small, not sure it constitutes as a bar!), restaurant, seating area and exit. The hotel does have a lift and has some lockers (for your ski's or boards) in the garage area which are padlocked and you can get one if you ask at reception for no charge.
We stayed on a half board basis. Dinner was served between 7pm and 9pm. The tables have your room number on them so you sit where your number is (but you do not get seated with other people on 1 table, you have a table just for your party).
It is very important to note that this hotel does not actually cater for vegetarians at all. You do not get a menu to choose from you basically get what you are given. It is a 4 course set menu (unless you want to pay for other food from the main menu), starter was usually soup or a salad. The main course was always meat, one night we had chicken & pasta, next pork and mashed potatoe, next night it was beef and cheesy potatoes and last night was lamb with cous cous, the 3rd course was always a small selection of cheese's but you do not get any bread with this so worth saving some from your main meal as they bring bread to your table during your starter and main and pudding was usually the best course! My brother however is not vegetarian so he eat very well indeed during our stay as he had all of my main meals!! If you like meat then you will have no problem, from what I was told the food was cooked very well. They also provide you with water then you can order drinks from the bar. The staff in the restuarant do not speak any English but managed to get by, my French is terrible but never had any problems throughout my stay.
Breakfast was between 7am and 9m and was very basic. They had their ham and cheese out which you totally expect to see anywhere in Europe! They also had bread and butter and a small selection of cereals (I am now into my fruit & fibre thanks to this hotel!). They also had plain crossants with a selection of jams but you had to get in early to make the most of them! The coffee was really strong but the orange juice was lovely.
All in all I would stay at this hotel again and I would even go half board again even though I know I wouldn't eat any of the main meals as it does take away the hassle of having to go back out in the freezing cold to find something to eat. Also I think this saved us a small fortune as it is very expensive here as I am sure you will expect as it is a ski resort.
Also the restaurants at the slopes are very expensive you don't get much change out of 15E for 2 hot chocolates and diet cokes!! We stopped off at the Spar in the morning and bought drinks and some food after our first day and at the slopes you can hire a locker which is expensive but works out cheaper then eating and drinking out everyday, we also left our boards there over night so you didn't have to carry them around everywhere with you! This was well worth it!
The last Gondola is at 5pm and if you are not on it then they will close it - so be warned! Lovely place though and again I would go back tomorrow if I could!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC