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“Worst accommodation-stay away!!!”
Review of Chalet les Frenes

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Chalet les Frenes
Ranked #10 of 29 Chamonix B&B and Inns
Leicester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Worst accommodation-stay away!!!”
Reviewed 30 April 2013

As soon as you enter in the so called 'chalet' the smell of dirty sox will welcome you. We arrived late afternoon and have been told that our name will be on a board saying which room is ours but we couldn't see our names and as nobody was around we had to guess!! The waiting room was so dirty that I felt sick to take of my shoes as this is a requirement! Toilets are dirty and fridge was smelly! The living room advertised on websites was private and the famous hot tub out of use! During the night some drunk neighbour tried to enter our room and all night you could hear your next door neighbours snoring!
Not to say that our room was downstairs next to the toilets and you wouldn't want to know the smells and noises coming out of there in the morning as these are the only toilets in the house! Shower dirty and dark!!!
Next day morning we canceled our second day with a fight with the owner who was very rude!!!
Please avoid this place at all costs!

  • Stayed April 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank TamasTegzes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
philhennem, Owner at Chalet les Frenes, responded to this review, 31 July 2013
This pathetic little weasel told us a pack of lies to get out of his contract. Told us his Mum (who he was traveling with) was very ill and had to get to hospital. Because of this, I let him off paying for the other night he had booked for (which I could have demanded as he agreed to it in his booking contract).

He never complained, never asked for a different room, never asked for anything. I let him off and next thing I get this review.

But in answer to his comments. The entrance room is a boot room so yes, there is a chance you may smell boots and shoes.
Living room is not advertised as public, and that is made very clear.
Hot tub may have been out of use, I cannot remember. If it was it was because people had used it without showering beforehand and the water gets murky and needs a day or 3 to recover. They would not have used it anyhow.
There are 3 toilets and showers in the chalet. Not just one as you state.
The owner (me) was not rude.

When all is said and done, Chalet Les Frenes is a cheap bed and breakfast. Rooms are 60€ per night for 2 people with breakfast included. Don't expect en-suite showers, don't expect 4 star luxury. Expect simple but comfortable accommodation and friendly helpful hosts.
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Rating summary
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (3)
Date | Rating
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  • English first
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  • Italian first
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English first
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 March 2013

Very straight the owner, very limited the breakfast 2x croissants per person and the breakfast it is served at 8.30 am which is very late because the bus to chamonix is at 9.35 it means you start doing ski or snowboard at 10:30. You can't use the living room the reason I dont know why the pictures in the website. You can't use the kitchen except for coffee or tea or the microwave... For dinner you shall find problems because the last bus goes at 19:30 to the city. To comeback by Taxi get yourself ready to pay 40 Eur.
To complete the check out is at 11 am, but the owner woke me up at 9 am because he wanted to clean the room, even after several times I said to him I will check out at 11 am he keep ed knocking in the door to wake us up earlier. That's really RUDE. The only friend we found in the house was the Dog.

Room Tip: high floor
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  • Stayed February 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
3 Thank Jorge E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
philhennem, Owner at Chalet les Frenes, responded to this review, 8 April 2013
In answer to your comments.

You could have taken breakfast earlier. All you needed to do was ask. Others who were staying at the same time as you had breakfast earlier.

It is clear when you book that the lounge/dining area is where the owners live. You were also sent a mail with links to our site which make this clear. It is also clear that the kitchen is private - it's a bed and breakfast - if you want a kitchen and lounge you should rent an apartment.

Getting back from town at night is easy. There is a night bus at 22.00 and 23.30 - costs 2€ for a return journey. This is clearly marked on the board in the chalet.

I knocked on your door at 9.00am because you did not appear from breakfast and I did not know whether you were in you room or had run off early without paying.

Sorry your stay was not what you hoped. I am sure I could have been more welcoming to you but my overall attitude to you was not helped when you called me at 3am the day before your scheduled arrival to ask for a room for that night when I had already told you earlier that day that all rooms were booked and I could not help you. I did offer suggestions for alternatives.
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Bristol, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
24 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 May 2012

Based on previous reviews we were expecting a lot more from Chalet les Frenes. We tend to book accommodation where we know that the owners will be welcoming, helpful and full of local information, but unfortunately the owners were away for the period of our stay and the lady who was looking after the chalet (although very nice) lacked knowledge about the local area. We had been looking forward to advice about walks/snowshoeing and instead felt a little disappointed that there was no knowledge to tap into. In addition, the hot tub that we read about so eagerly was out of bounds, and despite there being a picture of a communal room (where we anticipated being able to eat dinner) we were told that this was private. Our rooms were perfectly adequate and acceptable for the reasonable price, but this was the only space that we could use.

This, combined with the distance of the chalet from Chamonix did unfortunately leave us feeling disappointed. Although we knew that the chalet was a few km from Chamonix, we found that the bus although good in the daytime made things quite a challenge come evening. As there was nowhere to go other than our room at the chalet we wanted to spend the evening in Chamonix but the last bus was just before 8pm, meaning that we often had to rush our dinner in Chamonix in order to get the last bus. Anyone wanting to enjoy Chamonix in the evening needs to be aware of this - as the walk is 45 minutes (not enjoyable in the rain!).

I do need to emphasise that things could have been very different had the owners been present during our stay, but unfortunately many disappointments combined during our stay to make things little more than average, and certainly lacking in any positives we had expected.

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank Sal_onhol
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Broadstairs
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 April 2012

On arrival at the chalet the owner was so helpful, showing us around the chalet and helping us settle in. He gave us advice on where to ski that day, and told us how to get there.
The room was great for three of us, and we helped ourselves to tea and coffee, which was nice.
The owner was great all week, great breakfasts and a chat in the morning over breakie.
For budget accommodation this is great...all you need, dont listen to the poor reviews on here, the owner is so welcoming and the chalet is beautiful.
Will defiantly be returning for another break next year.
Nick waters...

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Nick W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ripon, England, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 January 2012

I was looking up this hostel to book it again and feel the need to go back and write a review for my last stay. Everything that people seem to be complaining about is pretty clear in the info if they had read that first- it is someones home, it is 4 km or so out of chamonix but all that is pretty clear from the info. I found the hosts to be warm, friendly, more than helpful, the breakfast was great, the price was great, the rooms were clean and tidy, the hosts let us borrow sports equiptment, the doors were secure, the hostel is easy to find if you can read a map and there are very regular buses straight into chamonix. there are nice places to eat in walking distance and the hot tub is great. I am definately going to stay there again.

  • Stayed February 2011, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
2 Thank Heather K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Durham, North Carolina
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 December 2011

My friends and I are currently studying abroad in Spain, and decided to adventure up to the Alps for the weekend. Not only was Chalet les Frenes a great price, but it defined one of our favorite trips this semester! Upon arrival there were warm rooms, a steaming hot tub, and a welcoming Phil. He offered to walk us to a nearby grill to avoid going to the pricier restaurant across from the Chalet, as well as giving us bus passes to get into Chamonix and helpful advice of what to do. For example, we had planned to go skiing, but found out that the ski lifts weren't open yet, and subsequently were stuck on what to do with ourselves. Phil suggested snowshoeing and lent us as many pairs as he had. It was the perfect idea - and lead to one of the most beautiful hikes I've done. The fog burned off just as we hiked above the trees, revealing breathtaking views of the Alps. The rest of our day was having cheese fondue in a cafe in Chamonix and warming up with some hot chocolate and coffee.

As there aren't places to eat besides a pricey restaurant near the Chalet, we got dinner at the grocery store - to which Phil was happy to provide utensils and cups. The location of the Chalet is perfect, because it is a small jaunt just outside of Chamonix - which gives you a relaxing, quiet place to return for the night. The hot tub has a gorgeous backdrop of the alps and a glacier, which were illuminated by the moon.

It's safe to say that this was one of our favorite trips this semester, and when the ski lifts open we could easily stay there for a week, skiing, snowshoeing, and relaxing in the hot tub. Phil was very accommodating, making breakfast for us at 6am and driving us into Chamonix to catch the bus back to Geneva. When I get the chance to come back to Chamonix, I will definitely stay here again!

A friendly tip - use the links Phil sends before your stay to reserve a private shuttle between Geneva and Chamonix. It's practically the same price as the bus, but you can choose your own hours and they'll deliver you directly to the Chalet, as once you take Bus 1 or Bus 2 from Chamonix it can be a little tricky at night to find the right road.

  • Stayed December 2011, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
2 Thank KC42
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
philhennem, Owner at Chalet les Frenes, responded to this review, 12 December 2011
Thanks Kyla. It was a pleasure having you and your friends staying at the chalet. It snowed quite heavily just after you left and the pistes opened. You'll have to come back to get some skiing in.

Regards, Phil and Michelle
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Melbourne
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 December 2011

Upon arriving, we had difficulty finding the place as it was dark, so we had to call and ask for directions numerous times. After calling Phil several times and not receiving an offer to pick us up (as the website states), we were forced to hitchhike. Phil greeted us at the front door and was nice. He showed us our rooms, and thought we had booked 3 when we had only booked 2, which was fine though because there wasn’t anyone else staying there. Phil then showed us the kitchen and told us we could use the kitchen facilities such as knives and plates and also told us we were welcome to use the hot tub.
Later that evening we all went out to a bar in the town and had a few drinks. Phil then drove us back in his van to the chalet and my friends and I proceeded to use the hot tub. That night, we had forgotten to close the lid on the hot tub, but we had turned it off. We also left the kitchen untidy. In the morning, Phil was furious, and told us if he didn’t need the money he would kick us out. He demanded an explanation and ownership to the issue of the hot tub and kitchen. We understood where he was coming from. It was offensive to him and the hospitality he offered us. Acknowledging this, we gave him an explanation for everything we had done, and profusely apologised. What we were most shocked by was the way in which he handled the situation. After apologising for the hot tub lid and the kitchen, Phil made us feel so incredibly unwelcome and awkward in his non-response that we moved to a hotel which was much better located in the central Chamonix and reasonably priced. After being made to pay for 3 nights’ accommodation when we only stayed for one, we realized his true intentions. If you are only accommodating travellers purely for the money, the stay customers have in your B&B will always reflect these intentions and attitudes. Other reviews we have read only validate this feeling. B&B’s are generally warm and inviting environments. Chalet Les Frenes, was not.
What topped everything off was releasing that 3 out of 5 of us had contracted bed bugs at Chalet Les Frenes. Not in five months of staying in European hostels (some fairly filthy) have we had this issue until now...
Judging by past reviews, we are expecting everything in this review to be rebutted and made to be a lie. Thanks Phil for the stay in your “Shitlay”.

  • Stayed December 2011, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank babybianca
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
philhennem, Owner at Chalet les Frenes, responded to this review, 8 December 2011
Ah yes, we remember Lucy and her friends! We saw this review coming. Lucy is only telling half the story so I shall fill in the gaps and it might make more sense to you.

I’ll start with the misquote which she titles her review with. I did not say “If I didn't need the money I would kick you out". The morning after the “incident” they were mortally embarrassed and knew they had messed up. They asked if they were going to be thrown out. I replied that if I did, I would have to reimburse them and I could not afford to do this.

I’ll start from the beginning though, it’s a good story. They turned up Friday night about 17.00. 4 girls who all seemed perfectly decent young students taking a weekend off from their studies in Lyon. A lift from Les Bossons station is offered on the website but Lucy and her friends did not ask for this. In fact when they first called for directions, they were already in a car getting a lift. Myself and my girlfriend were going out to a bar that evening. We thought they might enjoy it too so we invited them along and offered them a lift into town. They had to meet a friend so left for town earlier than us and took the train. I walked them to Taconnaz station to make sure they found it OK.

We met up in the bar and had a good time. They met another 2 guys who were staying elsewhere. I offered to give everyone a lift home in my minibus (even their friends). They asked if their friends could come back to the chalet to use the hot tub too. I said they could, why wouldn’t I, they seemed like good kids. They had all been drinking a bit so I impressed on them several times and so did my girlfriend that rules apply concerning the hot tub. Firstly, shower before you get in, secondly, no noise. It was late and I try to respect my neighbours. Lastly, when finished in the hot tub, it is imperative to put the cover securely back on. It costs a fortune to heat a hot tub in a ski resort and a cover left off means costly heat going straight into nowhere.

They didn’t make too much noise but the surprise came when I woke up to make their breakfast. The cover was not put back on the tub, there were soaking towels littered around the garden, hot tub and entrance area, and someone had taken it upon themselves to come upstairs and invade our private kitchen eating a substantial amount of our food. The kitchen window was open so the house was freezing, there was cutlery left stuck in opened cheese in the fridge, they had taken the lids of soups and sauces and just left them like that. There was burnt toast just laying around, an untold amount of food had been stolen. There was also a towel jammed in the entrance room door so the whole downstairs was cold too. They also helped themselves to our linen supply and we found 10 soaking towels when they left (we gave them all towels when they arrived too).

3 of them came up for breakfast quite late and I expressed my disappointment. They apologized but of course denied all knowledge. They were asleep and knew nothing. I quickly realized that they weren’t really taking me very seriously and I got the impression that they thought it was all a bit of a giggle. This angered me so I gave them an ultimatum. The people responsible offered me an explanation and an apology, otherwise they could all leave my house.

Later on they did come up with a sort of explanation and did indeed apologise. I accepted their apologies but they decided they wanted to pay and leave and find accommodation elsewhere. I did not ask them to leave. They said they felt uncomfortable at the chalet as they had abused my trust and hospitality. They weren’t wrong there. They asked if I could give them a lift into town with their bags which I gladly did.

Summing up, this was a bunch of youngsters from privileged backgrounds. I went out of my way to try to make their stay more enjoyable. I offered them lifts, offered them bikes to get about, invited them out for a drink. They repaid this by dumping on me from a great height and stealing from me. They are obviously angry with me that I held them accountable for their actions and hence this review on TA. This is probably the first time these spoilt young people have been asked to account for themselves.

Don’t be put off by this review, you are always welcome at Chalet Les Frenes if you are a decent respectful person. And Lucy, if you read this, I hope you learn from your mistakes. Grow up and take some responsibility for your actions, treat people with respect and life will be kinder to you. Don’t take advantage of people then write a less than truthful account of it in the public domain.
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Additional Information about Chalet les Frenes

Property: Chalet les Frenes
Address: 637 route de Vers le Nant, 74400, Chamonix, France
Region: France > Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes > Haute-Savoie > Chamonix
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking
Hotel Style:
Ranked #10 of 29 B&Bs / Inns in Chamonix
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:1 star — Chalet les Frenes 1*
Number of rooms: 7
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Free breakfast, bike hire and jacuzzi. A typical alpine chalet offering an economic alternative to costly hotels and catered chalets. The chalet is set in the corner of an alpine meadow and looks up at the mont blanc massif and it's glaciers. There are 5 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, a terrace and huge garden for you to enjoy. ... more   less 
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