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“Perfect ski in - ski out, great chalet hosts, piste bashers need to be quieter at night!”

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Neilson Chalet Le Lac Blanc 1
Reviewed 28 February 2013

Stayed at the Chalet Le Lac Blanc 1, mid Feb 2013. Had great chalet hosts Spencer and Amber (with a bit of help from Harry) who looked after us brilliantly. The evening meals that were produced and served were excellent, great variety and some really tasty dishes. Always got a starter, sliced baguettes in a basket on the table, main course and a dessert, and wine, although I'd like to suggest a jug or two of squash or juice on the table for children, as other than wine it was just water. Breakfast consisted of cereals, yoghurt and something cooked, usually variations on a sausage, scrambled egg and half a tomato, but overall it did fill you up. You could order a packed lunch from the chalet staff for 5 euros, which was a good size baguette, snack bar, crisps and a piece of fruit if you wanted, which was a pretty good price.
We stayed in the attic rooms, and as many people say on here, the low beams are a bit of a nuisance, but you get used to them, although I still banged my head a few times, usually in the morning! The shared bathroom up there was small, as was the shower, but you could always have a nice hot shower, and towels were always nice and fresh. Our window was cracked (inner pane) which I think would cause some concern for parents of younger children, but we didn't find it an issue and it worked perfectly well.
I think the Welcome meeting could give more information, as we knew nothing about the ski instructors display and fireworks on the Wednesday evening until we had the noise and went out to look, and the inclusion of one of the small resort guide 'What's On' pamphlets in the Ski Pack would certainly be useful to guests.
Even though Neilson don't endorse many of the 'activities' in resort as they don't meet their Health & Safety requirements, it would still be nice to know about them!
I agree that the chalet lounge area is on the small side for 14 people, but we always managed to find room to sit and chill before dinner, without falling over each other.
Our biggest issue were the piste bashers thundering past at all hours of the night - unfortunately as this chalet is at the bottom of the gondola and base of piste runs, they tend to use it as a roundabout, a suggestion to turn off the reversing beeps in the middle of the night might be an idea!! The drivers do tend to drive in a typically french fashion, full throttle and loud as hell, so maybe the resort could introduce a 'slow and quiet' section which comes into force before they get to the accommodation areas, as this really was the one thing that 'spoilt' it. If it only happened once or twice at night it wouldn't be so bad, but it's usually pretty much hourly, and sometimes in convoy! I'm not sure if this is heard as badly in all the rooms, but it's particularly bad in the attic rooms which face the gondola.
Afternoon tea was already on the table and ready just after lunch, consisting of baguettes, jams, a cake, cookies, brownies etc., which were always delicious. Sometimes the milk had run out but we just found it for ourselves in the store cupboard and put it back in the fridge when finished with. There was a perculator for coffee, but I think it would be a great idea to have instant coffee too, as most people had tea and it seemed a waste of a full pot, and wasn't put on for the first few mornings until I asked for coffee instead of tea - need it to get me started in the morning!
The boot area was at the top of the stairs, and I agree that it's a bit cramped with two groups of 14 all trying to get booted up in the mornings, not that I ever saw more than about 8 or 9 people out there at once, but it's still a bit difficult. I did suggest that leaving a small mop out there in the evenings would be a good idea, as snow and ice from boots makes the tile floor very slippery and I hate standing in puddles in my socks - but from a health and safety point of view it apparently couldn't happen - just remember to take a small pair of solid sole slippers or slip- ons to put on your feet after taking your ski boots off.
The free wifi was great, but kept tripping out, so had to reset it on the machine, but no great hardship.
I think it needs to be impressed much more stringently on people that they must close the front door behind them when leaving the chalet, as this is the only thing that stops anyone getting in. There is an inner door at the top of the stairs, which could also do with having a keycode lock on it, as some visitors to the restaurant downstairs have found the main door open in the past, left their skis in the chalet guests racks and then gone into the restaurant!
As for Alpe D'Huez, it's a fantastic ski area for beginners and intermediates, not sure it's challenging enough for very experienced skiers on the runs, but there was plenty of off piste to try! The runs are lovely and wide, with many blacks actually being more like reds, and sometimes not much between the odd blue and red. We visited the ice grotto, and although ok, I wouldn't personally recommend it to anyone, as it only took 5 mins to look round and some of the ice exhibits looked like they needed a little bit of repair work.
Try going back down to the bottom of the lifts for lunch, a bit away from the piste, as prices for three people for a burger and fries and a drink will set you back a good 32 euros, some on piste restaurants charge 6 euros for a hot chocolate, whereas at the base of the slopes they hover around 3 euros - not sure what the prices were for lunch at the higher mountain restaurants, shudder to think!
Overall I think the chalet was great, yes some of the rooms are a bit small, the beams a bit low etc etc, but you're really only sleeping in the bedrooms, so no worries! Noise from pistebashers - with the on slope location this is inevitable I suppose, perhaps take earplugs just in case?!
Chalet hosts were brilliant, nothing was too much trouble, if you didn't like what was on the menu board for the evening meal you just had to mention it and they would sort out something else for you, no problem. Spencer and Amber were very friendly and keen to help promote efforts and discuss ideas for raising funds for the Neilson chosen charity. We thought it a good idea to give back our lift passes at the end of our stay, which could be handed in to the lift pass office and receive a 2 euro rebate for each, which could then be put into a fund for the charity. I think Spencer was trying to arrange for the lift pass office to open a Neilson account so it could be done directly, but if not just hand your pass back to the chalet hosts and they'll do it for you.
Thanks to Spencer and Amber and Carl for a lovely holiday!

Room Tip: Best room is the once directly opposite the gondola, smallest room on the ends, lowest rooms in the...
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  • Stayed: February 2013, travelled with family
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3  Thank smonkey64
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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18 - 24 of 28 reviews

Reviewed 26 February 2013

Great location for a true ski in / out. Food excellent as well as the hosts. We had one of the attic room and shared shower room. A beam runs through the roof at chest height, more headaches from that than the wine, as you have to duck down & in the dark - you forget! also in the toilet. Taller people would really struggle in the attic.
Very noisy some nights when the piste bashers are working as for some reason they use the building as a roundabout. We were woken up 4 nights out of 6.

  • Stayed: February 2013, travelled with family
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1  Thank james e
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 February 2013

Stayed in lac blanc 2 (but from what I gather it is practically a mirror image of lac blanc 1). Hosts were fantastic and really helped make the holiday - but the hosts will probably change...? Location was fantastic literally door step skiing. Our room was the "big room" which overlooked the big DMC bubble lift (noise was not an issue for us, as the lifts stop 4.30pm and start 8.30am-ish). Room was fine for size. Other rooms did look fairly small though with height problems in the top 2 twin rooms (beams were very low), some other people staying did complain a little bit about the noise of the piste bashers returning at 4am (though we didn't here any). Free wifi was available in the lounge area (didn't reach the bedrooms). Boot store and ski store was a bit busy in the morning with 28 people all going out for the day! But wasn't massively a problem so long as you dont mind sitting on the stairs.

  • Stayed: February 2013, travelled with family
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Thank E B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 February 2013

The 3 stars are purely for the location.and not for the chalet itself. The rooms are tiny with the exception of one that overlooks the lifts, this is the best room by far. There is nowhere to hang clothes in any of the rooms, just a tall cupboard with shelves. There is just about room to walk around the bed which is a problem if there are 2 people in the room. Due to the construction of the chalet you can hear everything and if someone comes in late at night they wake everybody else up!
The lounge area is far to small for 14 people which means it is almost impossible to have a relaxing evening. Our chalet hosts were young and the quality of the food (except for the deserts which were great) left a lot to be desired
The resort is great with plenty of skiing and I would thoroughly recommend it for all levels of skiing ability. You just need to find a chalet better than this one.

  • Stayed: February 2013, travelled with friends
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4  Thank treed0480
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 January 2013

Stayed in Chalet Le Blanc II with Neilson in one of the rooms with a balcony. Apart from the larger room that you pay more for the rooms are quite small. Ours was fine though and the en suite was a good size. Food was excellent from the chalet team, and there is free wi fi as well. It looks like it was only built a couple of years ago and was clean and well looked after. Location is great for ski ing and the walk into town is only 5 to 10 mins. It can be noisy at night is the piste bashers are coming in an out as some of them park close by, but I did not find that too much of a problem.

  • Stayed: January 2013, travelled with friends
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4  Thank Christopher B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 February 2012

The Le Lac Blanc Chalet actually comprises two (no. 1 & no.2) Chalet’s both run by Neilson. They are located right next to the main DMC lift (1er Troncon lift on the piste maps) in the centre of the ski area. Most runs at this point are cruising greens / blues and are where ski schools meet so it’s an ideal location for beginners but there are a lot of button drags. however you can reach the remainder of the ski area easily. Alpe d’Huez is a fairly exposed resort so if the weather comes in it can be an issue.

Many ski properties claim to be ski in / out but this was actually that. The two chalets share a ski storage and boot drying area otherwise are totally separate with their own hosts. The accommodation is located at first floor level as there is a cafe below. Le Lac Blanc 1 comprised of a communal lounge / dining area with a long table that seats 14 together with a kitchen and WC on level one, 5 twin bedrooms with en-suite showers on level two and an attic level with 2 twin rooms sharing a shower room (I assume no. 2 is the same).

We were a party of 4 and stayed in the attic rooms. These have limited headroom and a roof beam that runs through each room including the shower. The beds were arranged so that the head end was at the lowest point but you do have to duck under the beam. In the shower, to reach the toilet an adult has to duck under the beam - an interesting challenge if you go to the loo in the dark but you do get used to it ! The shower although very small had plenty of hot water.

The attic rooms were adequate for what we wanted but with the restricted headroom and shared shower are best suited to a group of 4 who are happy to share but push for a discount as these rooms are not of equally quality to the others so don't pay the same.

Being on the slopes the chalet is some way from the main bars and shops so if you are looking to party prepare for a walk, but otherwise it’s a fantastic location. Your ski pass gives access to the heated outdoor swimming pool and ice skating rink both located in the centre of the village, also a Spar located in Vaujany – but we did not use any of these so cannot comment. For 70 euro Neilson offer a helicopter trip to Les Deux Alpes dropping you up the mountain so you are one of the first on the slopes and I believe the pass covered that area as well.

In summery the Chalet is very well placed, Alpe d’Huez a good resort ideal for beginners and intermediates and a good time was had by all. The attic rooms are fine but not equal to the others and we only one proper head hitting beam incident but we put that down to a little too much wine!

  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled with friends
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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10  Thank Scarybird
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 April 2017
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Stayed: April 2017, travelled solo
Thank rene_meunier3637
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Neilson Chalet Le Lac Blanc 1

Address: Rond Point des Pistes, 38750 L'Alpe-d'Huez, France
Region: France > Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes > Isere > L'Alpe-d'Huez
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Ski-In / Ski-Out
Hotel Style:
Ranked #19 of 30 Speciality Lodging in L'Alpe-d'Huez
Number of rooms: 7
Also Known As:
Chalet Le Lac Blanc 1 Hotel l`Alpe-d`Huez
Neilson Chalet Le Lac Blanc 1 France/Rhone-Alpes

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