Hotel BeauSoleil - Rocket Ski
Jan 4th – 11th 2014.
The Good, the Bad and The Ugly.
Right on the piste and the first building you will reach ski-ing back. It is ski-in but as close to ski-out as you can get. You will need to walk a few steps to the nearest chair or cable car. All in all a Great Location.
The hotel is modern and large with a large lounge area on the ground reception floor, with a small lounge area between the bar and dining room on the first floor. The bar extends to a terrace that is opened to the public. Surprising unbusy considering the prime location and good prices.
The whole ski area is close so you can ski back for coffee and lunch easily from most places, if you are looking for snacky lunch. For fine dining look elsewhere.
Hotel is so warm even I turned down the heating (I like warmth), which is uncharacteristically Rocket ski chalets/hotels. My room overlooks the ski piste, which is great. Generally quiet but you may be woken up by snowploughs in the early hours of the morning.
It is a hotel with a chalet operation in that you need to dine out one evening during the week. A blessing in disguise – read on.
The young team were friendly and helpful when you ask.
There were 3 school parties in the hotel but on the whole, they were well behaved and did not present a problem. I asked a room of boys to tone down the noise the first night and they did, and remained quiet for the rest of the week, thankfully.
A couple in my party asked for a quiet room but was put in a room on the third floor beneath the staff accommodation and was woken up every night in the early hours by slamming doors and moving furniture. This issue was raised with the manager but was never resolved.
Our rooms are on 3 floors with staff accommodation on the fourth floor. There is no lift and no help is offered to take your cases from the coach to your room.
Ski Boot room is large and accommodates with 3 good ski racks but some boot shelves were old and needs replacing. All of the ski racks were allocated to the 3 school parties so we needed to squeeze in our skis where there is a gap. The Ski room did not get cleaned at any time during the week and was waterlogged. See photos.
We were collected by a rep from the airport but sent back without one, or any address before we set off. We arrived 2 hours before we could check in and the airport was severely congested, which is clearly caused by all the tour operators dumping their responsibilities too soon. We were left to enquire at the airport’s information desk regarding checking in.
Food was poor – I first skied with Equity Ski/Rocket Ski more than 10 years ago and the food was excellent then but not anymore. Only the cheapest meat was used and possibly bought in bulk frozen.
Food that was served included overcooked, dry and tasteless lasagne, frozen vegetables, turkey cutlets. Breakfast leftovers, pain au chocolat were sliced up, toasted, drowned in cream and served as chocolate bread and butter pudding. If only the chef made custard and baked the pudding, then it may be passable as a pudding.
We do not expect gourmet but simply good grub but this week the food was so bad we have left food uneaten on several occasions.
Out of date Yoghurt and jam portions were found. Frozen meat was being defrosted in the kitchen overnight (Recommended procedure for defrosting meat is in refrigerated environment). This reflects a young team not trained effectively on stock rotation and good hygiene practice. I have had to assertively insist that the staff member remove all jam portions from the dining room, and to check every single portion.
One of our party experienced a stomach disorder (carefully worded - PLEASE NOTE ) and lost 3 days of ski-ing. He needed another week to recover upon returning to the U.K. Some kids in the hotel went down with an illness as with some members of staff. A manager dismissed the illness as a bug caught on the plane, and passed by the kids to the staff. Passing the Buck?
All in all simply appalling to experience illness during a holiday, especially an activity holiday.
Ski Area Review:
42 Green, 37 Blue, 39 Reds, 17 Blacks
I have not skied an area with so many green runs so all in all, something for everyone. Not all runs were open this week due to poor snow in the lower slopes so we did not get to experience the complete area. We have had a very good week but it would have been a greater week if the whole area were open.
It took us 3 days to get to know the whole area on our own, and the runs are well inter-linked. The map is in small print and not easy to read but the area is sign posted very well with lifts name in big bold, and names of runs within, in smaller lettering.
Many of the black runs were on Pic Blanc at 3330m. Two old and slow lifts allow you to ski 2 easy blues and 1 Red as well as 2 short and easy blacks. There are no other lifts so if you ski down any of the other 3 blacks, you will need to ski all the way down to the bottom. The longest black in the world, the Sarenne is a cheat as 6km of it is a green. I would call it a Red, which takes you down a gorge.
We did not try the tunnel because of the steep descent immediately after the tunnel. The only way back from Pic Blanc, is to ski down to the bottom, or through the tunnel, so you may need to take the cable car back to Clocher de Macle at 2800m.
For intermediates, stay high for good long runs. Marmottes II and III are the fastest Cable Cars.
Auris en Oisans and Montfrais are suitable for beginners and early intermediates.
The ski down to Huez 1500m is gentle and interesting but met with the slowest and oldest 5 egg-bubbles. I got my jacket caught by the door mechanism; we could not see out of the window and there is no ventilation so it was hot and sticky and the lift stooped for a short while so it got rather uncomfortable. And the buckets lift afterwards was even slower. We should have taken the chair lift at this point, instead.
We would be happy to return to ski the area again but in a different hotel.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- This Hotel must boast the best location for skiers in Alpe d'Huez with five ski lifts starting within just 250 metres of the hotel steps! Situated directly on the slopes at the highest point in the resort, with pistes running on both sides, the Beausoleil is 100m from the main Cable car the DMC. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Hotel Beausoleil France/Rhone-Alpes