How this place gets a four star rating I don't know - it makes a clear mockery of the rating agency. It is at very best 2 stars - below are the facts of our stay.
My wife, 8month old son and I stayed at this place from Dec 22 to 29 2012.
The layout of the building is in two separate sections - rooms on one side and facilities (restaurant, ski lockers etc.,) on the other. There are two separate stair wells and lifts meaning you need to go to the top of the bedroom wing before walking across to the Facilities wing to descend to the facilities, or you can walk across from the 6th floor and ascend unless you have a pram with baby etc,. There are two lifts for each wing, one lift on the bedroom wing was out of order for all but the last day of our stay, the second lift on the bedroom wing also failed on day 4 and 6 (but was fixed same day). Very strangely, the lifts only have an Up button (?!), so to descend to a different floor from any floor other than the top (10th) floor you must go up first to come back down (?!). Lifts are small on only fit 6 ppl in. There are 11 floors in the bedroom wing, over which I think 8 or so have 13 rooms each - so estimate about 250 people capacity or so. The Restaurant is an informal cafeteria with a buffet, the dinner and breakfast time slots are only 1.5 hours and there is a rush for seating and food at the beginning of each time slot (comic at first, annoying thereafter). Lunch is longer and less rushed. The cafeteria is noisy and hectic, queues for food, if you are late it is possible some dishes will be finished or put away. Buffet was sometimes a bit messed up by younguns trying to dish out their own food. Many families with toddlers and some infants habit this place and the vast majority of clientèle are young French families (we were quite possibly the only English speakers this week - we never heard another English conversation all week). Whilst fresh and clean, the food is plain and generally unimaginative - breakfast invariably ham, cheese, croissants, canned fruit salad. There is no bar in the restaurant, but palatable house wine is included and on tap, there is no coffee available during dinner or lunch, tea bags and hot water are though (look under the beverage shelf). Staff are young, positive and helpful as they can be, however they are inexperienced and also lost my paperwork and simply could not find this (despite taking 4 days). Staff do not wear uniforms and are dressed casually - they wear a badge though. There is a bar on the 10th floor opening at 4pm ish till late (I think) - normal prices. We stayed in room 006 on the bottom floor (lucky considering the lift situation, it was always full of course and we had our monthly old son with us), This room is small, bed only (no chairs but two stools of no real use), no place to leave suitcases except a small alcove about the door, whilst reasonably clean it is old, slightly worn out and cold, there is an electric heater that would not work properly (either full on or completely off, no in between), the external window/door vents broken, no bath, only shower with white plastic worn out head. There is only one bed change/room clean each week on Tuesdays - including rubbish change. Whilst two bins are located for your rubbish next to the lifts on each floor, no bin bags are provided. Some graffiti scratched into the woodwork on the ground floor does not leave a good impression, nor do bins next to the lifts. No spare pillow, blankets, kettle or hair dryers in the room and none available when asked from reception. No computers or printing facility, only wifi for your own laptop etc, on the top floor. We required a cot bed and were given a collapsible travel cot with a pitiful excuse for a mattress (which collapses also?!) that was broken - we exchanged only to find there were all generally of the same condition so had to fashion something more suitable for our son to sleep on. Our floor was generally quiet but at night the toilet noises form the adjacent rooms is clearly audible as are loudly crying babies/children/unhappy wives or husbands etc,. TV in room has French channels only. Childcare is professionally laid out and well staffed with warm and caring carers and our young 8month old was very happy there for the week whist we were skiing. Location is good and very central to Les Arc 1800 shops etc,. it has its own ski lift virtually, and ski in/out is possible. Ski lockers are adequate but no boot drying available. According to our travel company Nielson, ski hire and lift passes were Not included in this deal but on arrival we discovered they were - careful with the lift pass though as this is not a full 5 day Paradiski pass and you will need to upgrade at a cost of about 64Euros per pass. Overall I would not stay here again and cannot recommend any aspect of this place except for its location and the on-site childcare. Nielson would do well to to remove this from their options list as unless you pay rock bottom prices, there is no possible way they can successfully manage your expectations. Photos will be posted pending a response from Neilson and the Club du Solei.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Arc 1800 Village Club: An action-packed holiday!Set at the heart of Charmettoger, at the foot of the slopes (depending on snow), Arc 1800 Village Club is the ideal place to spend a family holiday in Savoie. This lively resort, sculpted in the Red Needle range, is the perfect door to paradise where you can immerse yourself in a snowy landscape. We have numerous slopes where you can leave the Club with skis on. ... more less