A group of six of us stayed at Le Lievre Blanc in January, we were looking for a cheap no frills ski holiday.
We paid £500 each to include the flights, transfers, half board (breakfast, tea and cakes during the day and evening meal), lift pass and ski hire. To be frank it all seemed too good to be true so I was expecting the worst.
Upon arrival we were shown immediately to our rooms by friendly smiling staff. My room had a double bed and a single bed (both very comfortable), a bath/shower that always had piping hot water and a separate toilet. The décor was dated, carpet stained in places, one of the electrical outlets a bit loose but it was clean and tidy. The radiator kept the room very warm, if anything too warm but that’s not a complaint as the control knob worked fine to turn it down. It was quiet, at times you could hear some noise from the next room but to be fair that was only on a couple of occasions when I think the occupants had been drinking and were chatting spiritedly.
Breakfast was ideal; help yourself to cereals, fruit, yogurts, croissants, juices and best of all plenty of French stick loaves with ham and cheese. We all left satisfied and made ourselves and extra roll each to take up on the slopes with us for lunch. Not sure we were supposed to but I’m fairly sure the staff knew what we were doing and never complained. We missed the tea and cakes most days as were skiing till late, but when I did see them there were only a couple left and they were just small pieces to keep you going to dinner. Evening meals were always three courses, and frankly very good. Starters included: Stilton and Walnut Salad, Cream of Mushroom Soup & a Red Onion and Cheese Puff. All good quality and whilst nothing special, they were tasty, fresh, hot and well presented. The younger lads in our group might have wanted bigger portions but I found them adequate. Very little waiting around for the food, the waiting staff worked their socks off!
When it came to picking up our ski equipment from the hotel shop there was a small delay as with only one technician working and everyone wanting their skis/boards at the same time there was a queue. That said, one of the other staff was there helping out with boots etc so they did what they could to reduce waiting. The biggest surprise was the quality, I was expecting something that my grandfather might have used but actually the equipment was as good as any I have hired from Intersport or any other of the other big retailers.
Serre Chevalier is a good resort, lots of runs for all abilities and contrary to what I had been lead to believe not “full of nothing but drag lifts”, though there were a couple and they tended to be long ones. On the hotel staff’s night off (Thursday) we eat elsewhere and managed to get a meal and a drink for less than 15 euros, so it’s one of the more sensibly priced Alpine skiing resorts.
The hotel rep arranged a trip for us to the neighbouring Montgenevre on the Friday, this went smoothly and was a nice change. My only complaint would be that he could have been a little more forthcoming with information and assistance, we were kept guessing a little at times. Still, it cost only 20 euros including coach there and back and lift pass.
All in all we had a great trip and I would recommend both Skitopia and Le Leivre Blanc to anyone looking for a budget ski deal. If I hadn’t experienced it I wouldn’t have believed you could do it so cheaply.