I'm currently sitting in the reception of the Cybele following a week of skiing up in Meribel. Let me start with the unrelated subject of the Gondola from Brides Les Bains up to Meribel... The Gondola is located approx 10 min walk from the Cybele apartments however they do offer a free shuttle service from 8:00 - 10:30. The Gondola journey itself takes about 20-25 minutes and when we first read this we didn't quite take into consideration the impact this actually has on your day. Factor in the queuing, the 25 minute gondola ride, then a 5 minute walk to the slopes, another queue and then another gondola before you get onto the slopes then the whole process can get a bit frustrating after a couple of days! Yes Brides Les Bains is a cheap place to stay but this is the reason why, so take this into consideration when booking. We would have gladly paid extra to be in the resort of Meribel had we known.
Ok so back to the Cybele Apartments. When you come into Brides this is the first drop off and it's only a 5 minute walk into town (Another 5 minute walk and you will have left Brides as it's tiny!). We arrive about 2 pm after a 6am flight from Edinburgh so as you can imagine we were keen to get checked in and relax... unfortunately on arrival we were told the reception was closed until 3pm, which would have been fine had it not been for the other 60 odd tired looking people already waiting. We were tired and hungry so decided just to dump our bags and head into town. We got just as the reception was opening so joined the queue. After about 30 minutes we were at the front and going through the check in process. Once complete we were told that our room was not ready yet and to come back at 4pm... ok, I can half accept that as there are a lot of apartments and they must take time to clean but then I remember that these are self catering and we're suppose to clean them ourselves on departure so I'm not sure why there was a delay. Anyway, 4pm and I rejoined the queue, 20 mins later I'm back at the front only to be told that the room is still not ready and that they couldn't give me a time as to when it would be!
At this point I'm going to quickly comment on our holiday operator Crystal Ski who, up to this point had been excellent. I asked the rep (Lucy) is there was anything that could be done to hurry up the check in process, only to be told repeat-ably that there was nothing she could do and that it states in the brochure check-in after 4pm (it was after 4pm Lucy). Since we were not the only people affected by this I wasn't the only person asking her to intervene but she refused and we ended up taking matters into our own hands and asked to speak with the hotel manager... back to Cybele now...
Within 5 minutes of speaking with the manager we were reassigned a different room and on our way up to the apartment.
The apartment we had slept 2-4 people, there were 3 of us and it was a perfect size for us. I did notice during booking that having only 2 people in a room did not incur any under occupancy fee so i would recommend that if there are 4 of you then go for 2 rooms!
On arrival the room was clean, spacious and has a balcony. You need to get your bed linen from reception and make the beds yourself. You get one small blanket per bed but this was more than enough as the room was constantly warm!
The kitchen was well equipped however it does not have an oven which we did not notice until after picking up some shopping. So if you're not into pan fried pizza then take note!
There is a swimming pool, games room and a sauna in the apartment block. We didn't use them though.
My only other small gripe, along with the lack of organisation during check in is the WiFi on offer (the one I'm currently using). It costs 7 euro per 24 hours and 20 euros for 7 days... only problem is that it's only available from 9am - 7pm and only in the reception area. Also during busy times it can be very intermittent (it's taken me a long time to right this review!).
Brides is small with only a handful of places to eat and whilst the food is ok, it's nothing to write home about and can be slightly overpriced.
Also, if you can, bring as many supplies as you can from home as the Spar is very small and expensive (apart from wine, which was cheap!).
All in all though, if you don't mind the gondola ride Brides (and Cybele) is a good, cheap option for skiing in the 3 valleys.
- Also Known As:
- Residence Cybele Lagrange Classic Hotel Brides-Les-Bains