We booked Chalet Johan with Alpine Elements as a last-minute break. After reading the reviews we were not expecting much and sure enough our expectations were met. Alpine Elements calls this 'a real skiers lodge' which is pretty much a euphemism for wanting to spend most of your time out of the lodge. So here's the good and the bad from our stay:
Great position: less than five minutes walk from a brand new lift into Avoriaz with access to the full Port de Soleil area. There's a good blue run back down from Avoriaz and if there is there's snow on the ground at Les Prodains you can ski almost to the door of the chalet.
Les Prodains is about 5 miles from Morzine. There is a good bus service during the day but the buses stop running around 6pm. So if you want to spend time in Morzine in the evening you'll need to arrange a taxi at a cost of around E20. There are however a few good eateries in Les Prodains and a half decent bar with pool table in Neige et Roc hotel.
No wifi - if you are happy to go off-line for a few days you'll rediscover the old-fashioned pleasure of having to talk to other people in the chalet. One of the best things about our stay was being thrown together with strangers - refreshing and good for the soul. Still, pretty odd that any chalet these days comes without wifi.
The chalet host was a pleasant young person but the strain of preparing breakfast, cooking a three-course dinner each evening and cleaning the chalet single-handed was clearly beginning to show. Alpine Elements sent in a 'Flexi host' to help out one day and this was welcome, but really this chalet needs two hosts permanently when it is full.
The chalet is a very creaky old building. The heating thermostat was broken so the main living space was permanently too warm. We had no choice but to open the windows to cool the place down - a complete waste of energy.
As we were staying for only a few days (as opposed to most who were staying for the week) we were put in a basement room. No one had advised us of this in advance. The room was next door to a noisy and rather smelly diesel boiler. Given the general standard of care I have to confess I spent some time worrying about possible carbon monoxide fumes. The radiator in our room had been turned off in order to avoid the room turning into a sauna. We were warm enough with the boiler for company, but a bit cold in the mornings. The bonus for being in the basement is that the room has its own small shower and a loo nearby, whereas the other guests upstairs had to share between eight people.
There was a brand new two-man hot tub in the garage. Not the nicest place to spend time but the hot tub worked well and was a good way to soothe aches and pains after a hard day on the slopes.
Would I go back? To Prodains, definitely. To chalet Johan: not a chance.