We stayed at this hotel for a week over half term to ski in the area. We have been skiing in this part of France for many years so knew exactly where the hotel was before we arrived - as we drive down from GB the out of town location of the hotel is not a problem for us..in fact it is a benefit as there is ample parking on site and its only five minutes drive to Chamonix one way and Les Houches the other. We booked half board as the rates quoted on the Mercury website were very similar whether for half board or B and B.
Our initial welcome was great - the receptionist couldn't have been more pleasant. All of the rooms in this hotel are identical and are on the small side for three (we were two plus an 8 year old). When you have the double sofa bed pulled out you cannot use the desk and leather easy chair. The drawer and hanging space was, for us (with all our skiing gear), inadequate but we managed. The rooms are plain and functional but spotless - as are the bathrooms. Fresh towels are delivered daily as needed. We booked a mountain view room but the extra £200 odd pounds it cost to do this is not worth it as all of the rooms have a good view of the surrounding mountain ranges and none of the rooms have balconies. One plus point of the hotel is the indoor pool. Though its not large it again is newish, well maintained and spotlessly clean (though the temperature of the water was a little cold especially in the mornings) - great if you have children with you (and they are allowed in at all times unlike some hotels). There is a small whirlpool and sauna in the pool area and additional towels are also provided for swimming. One drawback was that the pool didn't open until 9.30 in the morning which prevented an early morning swim.
The public areas of this hotel (bar, dining area, lounge) are all in one huge space under a high pitched roof so its quite impressive. The decor is modern and stylish and though there is an open fire which is kept lit all the time this is more of a decorative rather than functional feature as it gives off very little heat - the hotel is not cold though. In this area is a billiard table which was great for my son who is 8 and can play properly but we were a bit suprised that parents were letting children as young as three play without supervision which meant that they hogged the table for long periods and in the week we were there alone three cues were broken from misuse (e.g. we saw some little girls riding them as hobby horses).
The breakfast buffet we would say was adequate rather than good. There was a fair array of cold meats and cheeses each morning plus french bread yoghurts and tinned and fresh fruit. However the hot food - which usually consisted of burnt and fatty bacon, local (but not very nice) sausage and very strange tasting rubbery scrambled egg was not good and was never hot. In addition you could never find a bowl or spoon (or fresh milk for the small selection of cereals offered) and I had to ask on several occasions for these. Tea and coffee is help yourself from a machine which takes forever and again is okay taste wise. My son loved the freshly made pancakes but if there were more than a few people wanting these it took forever to get them (and once they forgot us and they tended to serve French families first even when they had arrived in the restaurant well after us - is this a cultural thing?).
We would never again opt for the full board option at this hotel as the food in the evening was only adequate and the service was in fact horrendous. On two (out of a total of four) occasions we waited for our main course for half an hour only to be told the chef had lost our order - we would accept that this might happen once maybe in a week but twice? When we asked for carafes of water we rarely received them - the same with bread. Some of the waiters were very arrogant and unhelpful (though some the opposite to be fair) and even when we complained they seemed to adopt a 'shrug of the shoulders approach' rather than seeking to apologise and rectify the situation. We could only think it was due to our half board status (and thus lack of tips therfore no incentive for the waitors to give us good service) or the fact that the hotel is a large corporate chain. Most nights dinner consisted of a help yourself buffet which was very hit and miss with a poor selection of salad starters and hot mains. The nights we had table service (four out of seven) the food was better and you chose off a menu comprising of three starters/three mains/three desserts but that was when the service was bad so you couldn't win. A couple of other gripes we had were (a) the wine list which is pushed on the tables and is clearly aimed at tourists and comprised of corporate branded wines at exhorbitant prices - we ordered a bottle the first night - it was about 30 euros and it was not very nice so after that we stuck to water. It wasn't until the end of the week that we twigged that the French guests were purchasing wine from another list which when we looked was less pricey (and possibly nicer quality) (b) we had a to pay a surcharge of 25 euros per night for the half board option for our son which we though was expensive as for bed and breakfast for him it was free so essentially we were paying 25 euros for an evening meal. The cost of the childrens evening meals cost half of this price on the menu so we would have been much better booking B and B only and we will do this next time (c) last gripe - my son was cold at night so I asked for a quilt for the sofa bed as he only had a sheet and a blanket. We didn't get a quilt just another blanket so we had to keep the heat on in the room.
My final comment on this hotel is to book your room through one of the many discount sites and get it as cheap as you can (don't book direct through Mercury) - get breakfast included if you can for convenience but don't bother about half board if you have a car and can get out as its not worth it for what you pay.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Mercure Chamonix les Bossons welcomes you to its completely renovated premises. 89 airconditioned rooms, a restaurant, Cote Glacier, featuring traditional cuisine, a bar, La Jonction, with lounge area facing the open fire, and a relaxation area with sauna. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Mercure Chamonix Les Bossons Hotel Chamonix
- Accor Chamonix Les Bossons