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“Great holiday!”

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Club Med L 'Alpe d'Huez la Sarenne
Ranked #3 of 31 Hotels in L'Alpe-d'Huez
UK
Level 4 Contributor
42 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
“Great holiday!”
Reviewed 15 April 2013

The first thing to say about Club Med is that this hotel caters for kids really well. If you can't stand being around kids on holiday don't come here.

If however you do have kids then this hotel is absolutely brilliant. The quality of the entertainment and activities for kids up to 12 was outstanding. We travelled with our son aged 15 but remember skiing at resorts when he was young and we would have loved this place. The kids are thoroughly looked after and there is a ESF ski school on site which makes this place perfect for kids.

As i said if you don't like kids running around everwhere having fun then this is not the resort for you. Perhaps they should have an adults only bar area but this is a small gripe.

This Club Med is clean and tidy but a little battered around the edges. This is only to be expected I suppose given the active and party types who come here. Despite this the staff try really hard to keep everything as clean as possible.

The food was a highlight of this Club Med (despite Bishop's comments.) There was a huge variety of great food catering for all tastes. Much of the food was cooked in front of you and presented with flair. We really could not fault the food and being all inclusive went up for at least three or four courses. The house wines red and white were OK and drinkable and if you paid extra you could purchase something special.
On the subject of booze the bar serves Kronenbourg and most house spirits and cocktails in the all inclusive list. There is a menu which clearly states what is and isn't included.

The rooms are OK and we had excellent cleaners in our Club Marmotte room. As stated in other reports the bathrooms are small but were clean and usable.

We didn't use the pool or other facilities so cannot comment.

The boot room was excellent and we never felt it was too crowded. There is a heated rack for you boots which was a nice touch. The room was secure and there is a ski service on site.

The resort of Alpe D'Huez was great for all standards especially beginners with blue slopes even up high on the mountain.

All in all a great holiday and would recommend to those with kids but not teens or couples.

  • Stayed April 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank Shabahoo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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London, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
25 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 April 2013

I also stayed the same week as BertyBrit (below) and John Bishop - first week in April 2013.
I had high hopes for the things that Club Med is good at, having skiied with them a few times before, many years ago (warm rooms, a great welcome and fantastic food) but the attitude of the staff at this hotel ruined the entire week for me. Maybe 'end of season'-itis??
Things started badly when our flight times were changed a week before our holiday, meaning we arrived at the hotel at 9.05pm (no delays, so this was the scheduled time). No GO to welcome us, help with our bags or even say hello - they seemed surprised we had arrived so late. No welcome drink, just hordes of kids racing and screaming around reception.
Extremely unfriendly reception staff who told us we had missed dinner. They offered a piece of cheese in a freezing, deserted restaurant and told us that all restaurants in town were closed (we later found out that others had eaten in town with no problem that evening).
We were also too late to collect our skis and boots as the ski room had also closed by this time.
Staff told us to collect skis the next day as lessons would only start at lunchtime on Monday, which was incorrect and we had to rush to the first lesson with 5 mins to spare the next morning, having been left with the dregs of the skis and boots.
Rooms were in need of complete refurbishment, lots of broken and chipped paint/wood/plastic and they stank of smoke even if you left the windows open all day. Others on all floors reported the same thing - it made you feel sick. Although the cleaners did do their best and my room was always spotless.
Generally unhelpful staff, especially at the bar and in the ski & boot room. Drinks shoved across the bar without a smile, a word or even looking at you - whether you tried speaking in English or French.
Ski poles were physically thrown at me in the boot room when I asked for 2 the same (I had not been given a matching pair). Not a friendly or welcoming atmosphere anywhere in the hotel at all. John Bishop told me he'd had to walk out of the ski and boot room the guys in there were so rude and offensive to him.
Pool area dirty with hair on the floor and poolside showers gritty & not working. I also agree with other reviewers that the walk to the pool is particularly unpleasant and run down.
Only 12 sun loungers on a huge terrace, so always a fight for these. Why aren't there more??
Only 9 outside lunch tables for a large hotel - always a fight for these too and we never managed to sit outside for lunch for the whole week.
Crazy that you had to pay for Wifi. Every time your phone screen locked you had to re-type the username and password and re-login - quite annoying to do for an entire week.
Forced to leave the hotel at 8.30am for our return flight even though our flight time had been changed to a 2.05pm departure. Therefore we missed the whole day on Sunday at both ends of the holiday effectively losing an entire day that we had paid for (arrived 9.05pm first day, left 8.30am last day).
Forced to endure a packed shed of an airport (Chambery) for 3.5 hours with few seats, 1 gift shop, no newspapers or magazines or books for sale and 1,000s of children everywhere, mostly crying.

On the plus side, my ESF instructor Philippe Brun with his trademark selection of dubious 80's headbands was excellent - another ex-pro cup winning skier as others have mentioned, he could not have been more charming. He somehow always managed to find the sunniest, least busy pistes for us every single day (as well as stopping to point out chamois mountain goats along the way), I think we had skiied almost every run in the whole domaine by the end of the week and could not have asked for more, but then again he was not part of Club Med. My friend who was a beginner also enjoyed the skiing and it's definitely a great resort for your first trip - superb selection of sunny green runs.

I am SO disappointed as I hadn't skiied with Club Med for years and was so much looking forward to it, but the attitude of the staff and the dirty/rundown nature of the hotel ruined this holiday for me, together with the changes of flight time which just added to the annoyance and feeling like they just don't care.

  • Stayed April 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank JerseyEmily
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Nahariya, Israel
Level 6 Contributor
158 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 April 2013

Club Med L'Alpe D'Huez, is all-inclusive ski hotel.
The hotel is at the top of town and within walking distance to a small shopping center where you can find shops for rent and buy ski equipment, souvenir shops and a small supermarket.
With the local bus you can reach different parts of the town.
The hotel itself Rated with 3 tridents (out of 5 possible).
Level of the room is reasonable, and should take renovation in the near future. Rooms are not large and the room where I stayed had three beds despite the reservation was for 2 guests.
There is a separation between the toilet and shower, and a rather small territory as can be found in quite a few rooms at Club Med.
Some public areas underwent renovation as the bar area and some still need to refresh as the theater area and ski room.
There is a swimming pool and 2 saunas, but the passage is a little unpleasant.
Abundance meals are great, but the diversity begins to repeat itself after a few days. Level of the food is pretty average.
As being all-inclusive hotel, you can enjoy soft drinks, sodas, hot drinks, wine and alcohol for free.
Level of cleanliness in the rooms and public areas is very good.
The hotel is suitable for children and offers integrated social activity in high-level ski school.
Staff is courteous and professional and mingling with the guests as part of the guest experience at the hotel.
Despite the drawbacks I mentioned, plenty of activities and surprises of staff in the tradition of Club Med, courteous staff, good purity and abundance of food in addition to the hotel's location right on the ski slopes make the hotel an ideal hotel for a family vacation.

  • Stayed January 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank AmirFDM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
England
Level 6 Contributor
124 reviews
50 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 116 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 April 2013

Despite John Bishop’s cyber criticism, our experience of the Alpe D’Huez club, gained at the same time as he was there, was very positive.

The club is situated in a building at the top of D’Huez village next to the Altiport, which serves among others as a training ground for mountain helicopter and light aircraft pilots. The building is not picturesque having been constructed in the 1980’s when French ski resorts were being populated by blocky interpretations of the surrounding mountains cast in concrete, but it offers some fairly good facilities and space for a large number of guests and therein lies the rub. The building is leased by Club Med, who want to invest in developing the facilities and potentially take it more up-market. Dependant on negotiations with the owner, who apparently is less keen on CM’s plans, one of the options under consideration would be to close the club. This would be a major blow to the local community as the club pumps many millions of Euros into the local economy in terms of lift passes, local employment, spend within the community and to a lesser extent, bringing in clients who also spend in local shops, restaurants and businesses.

So, apart from the club’s longer term future, is it any good? Our experience would suggest that despite its 3 trident rating, it does try to offer more. Comments have already been made about a need to refresh the building and facilities – rooms despite being larger than average CM ones and decorated in light materials, do reflect their mid-80’s heritage – the shower/toilet combination being a case in point; at peak time the ski and boot room can be busy, but is equipped with some of the most effective boot driers I have experienced at CM – for me a very real and important consideration. Hire kit too is of a good quality. Tuition, part of the package, is also very good – we had a chap called Yves G, who I believe has been mentioned before and like many of his ilk used to race professionally. Although following a mantra that the guests are there to enjoy themselves, I learnt more technically from him in a week than have in many years of skiing.

In the public areas, the bar runs the length of the lounge, which also doubles up as the entertainment area. Manning behind the bar did sometimes appear to be somewhat chaotic – more driven by too few staff to serve customers at peak time, although ultimately everyone gets what they asked for. The lounge area and lack of seating when it gets busy, as well as the fact it would be useful to have a separate unlinked area for the entertainment have already been commented on.

Food at the club is on the whole good. There are high points and special meals – normally at the end of the week – and sometimes a few disappointments. But in terms of quantity and choice, there is more than enough to satisfy even the pickiest diner. For me, the one area I found frustrating was the illogical layout of areas – for example, breads/pastries might be at one end of the room, butter in a chiller at the other end, or crockery relevant to a food type well away from that food type.

Other facilities on offer include a small indoor swimming pool, which can become crowded with smaller children at the end of the day. There is also a male and female sauna, which worked well. Paid-for facilities include massage and various treatments, a boutique selling CM products, and the ubiquitous photo store.

So, would we use the club again? We would. The club like many others does have some failings, but we felt these were minor, compared to the breadth of skiing on offer, the fact it is ski in/ski out and most importantly, the stunning scenery of the surrounding area.

  • Stayed April 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank BertyBrit
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 3 Contributor
18 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 April 2013

We decided to take a skiing trip to celebrate my husband's 40th birthday and had been recommended to go with club med by some friends. Both myself and my husband had skied before (a long time ago) but were assessed by the ski school on the first ski day and paced into our group. The ski instructor (Pascal) was fantastic and soon had us confidently tackling reds and the La Sarenne black run. Our 2 children (10, 6) had an amazing time learning to ski and both did extremely well and skied in ALL conditions (blue skies to blizzards).
If you want to spend time with your children, then I would choose a school with morning only lessons but as ours were total novices, the intensive week of skiing meant that we were able to take them out for the whole day on the final Saturday and they were both competent and safe enough to do the huge variety of green and blue runs with us which we loved.
The hotel could do with a bit of an update but we were hardly there. Our room did have a whiff of smokiness about it and the clothes that we didn't wear still needed washing on our return to sort this out. The bathrooms were smallish but perfectly functional with a hot shower. We had interconnecting club rooms that overlooked the mountains. The transfer time was quite long after an early start at both ends and if you suffer from travel sickness- beware of the 14 hairpin bends to get you to and from the hotel!.

Loved the ski in ski out element and the vin chaud, crepes, cakes, pastries, food, wine, dinner. The mini club staff were fantastic with a special mention to Ben, Jey and Nathalie although all were fabulous with Harry and Natalia.

Might choose a different resort next year as we are all hooked on the skiing bug but would happily return to this one in the future.

Room Tip: Interconnecting rooms for a family of 4 gives you great storage and space
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  • Stayed March 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Lizzie0501
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
48 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 February 2013

I was very nervous about going to this hotel having read the reviews before we went, so I think it's fair to share our experiences.
Firstly, thanks to the heads up about smoky rooms, I made a fuss and on arrival our rooms were smoke free. You can sometimes smell smoke in the corridors but not all the time and not in most of our rooms (we had 5 rooms in our party, and one did have to be 'aired' a little but it was ok after windows were left open for a few hours.
So what's good?
- the food truly is amazing: every mealtime. Some of the dishes were Michelin standard and the chefs took lots of care over every detail. Huge amount of choice - kids were happy as well as adults. Even the free wine was very drinkable.
- beds are very comfy and large singles (no doubles though). Pillows were quite flat so take your own if you like 2.
- staff, on the whole, are very friendly (apart from reception staff bizarrely) and seem genuinely keen to make it fun
- whilst the adults generally didn't stay for the evening entertainment, our kids loved it (ages 9 - 17). Most shows were professional, fun and clearly rehearsed a lot.
- ski in, ski out was ideal and very convenient for lifts (2 to 3 min ski to main lifts)
- the bar was free(included in the package), even for gin/vodka etc. Shorts e.g. Drambuie you had to pay for, but everything else was free, even had a different cocktail every night.
-cleaners are great and always make it look clean and tidy.
-plenty of storage, coat hangers and good lighting near mirror in bedroom.
-nice to get a bottle of water in the room. Nice touch.

And not so good?
- rooms are in need of a facelift
- bathroom! Mm! They are like cruise ship bathrooms if you've been on a cruise. No bath. Very small and basic. You really do get used to them, but don't expect luxury. Shampoo, soap and shower gel there for you.
-people do smoke in the hotel even if they are not meant to. Having an ash tray in every room is beyond me: it simply gives people permission to smoke by doing this. apparently, that's France for you (we were told on arrival).
- we had a medical incident when my daughter had to be stretchered off the mountain. Receptionist was rubbish (long, dark pony tail!)! She wouldn't organise a taxi for me, saying it would be less complicated to order it near the medical centre rather than going to hotel then onto medical centre. very unimpressive.
- my other daughter left her phone in the bar (great holiday!). It wasn't returned sadly. Reception, again, was less than helpful and not empathetic at all. Overall, front of house really let's them down. Samuel (manager) should do something about that.

-the spa was lovely, but very pricey (€89 for a 60 min massage or €129 for hot stone massage).
- the pool was ok but very busy and quite small
- there was nowhere to sit in the evening if you didn't want to watch the entertainment. So we sat in the restaurant until we got kicked out. They could really do with a lounge area.
-boot room is chaos. There's not always enough space on shelves for 2 pairs of boots, so people just threw them on the floor.

Overall, the experience was just ok. If it wasn't for the food, this would have been a disappointment. because of the food, it was memorable. Would I go back? probably not, due to risk of getting smoky rooms.
the resort itself is very good though with lots of runs for all levels.

Room Tip: Worth making a fuss about getting smoke free rooms. Higher up is less noisy, but music can't be...
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  • Stayed February 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank Andonella T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Haifa, Israel
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 February 2013

We spent the first week of February in Club Med Alp d'huez - La sarenne.
There are actually endless slopes in Alp d'Huez. The snow conditions were great (I think its the first time I was complaining of too much powder...honestly!).
Ski in Ski out it is.
Ski room gets very crowded during lunch-time, and it's floor needs mending.
The warm wine was always there when we returned from ski, and it was great.
The ESF (French ski schools) instructor spoke reasonable English and was very friendly.
The check-in procedure was very efficient: we got the room keys, ski-pass, and basic instructions on the bus from the air port (90 min from Grenoble), the suitcases were marked and dropped on our floor. This made our unpacking easier.
We stayed on the first floor - great thing because we didn't have to wait for the elevators
(long cues on rush hours).
The rooms were small yet convenient. View from the room window was awesome!!!!
The satellite TV was good.
A pity the room smelled like a big ash-tray, the smell stuck on all our stuff.
The hotel staff was friendly and the kid's club team- was the jewel of the crow: hurray for Ben, the kids LOVED him!
Food was good, according to the clubM tradition.
The "Typical" restaurant was nice and quiet for a laid back evening if you wish for one.
There were no Apre-Ski sports activities (the gym knew better days and I missed the stretching I was used to do in other clubs).
The early evening activities are for French speakers only!!!!
The night shows are for children, go, have a drink at the crowded bar, (great nespresso coffee) and go to bed...
Pro: resort, location on the slopes, food variety&quantity, team attitude, kids activities, scenery from the room
con: smell of cigarettes in the room, lack of evening activities for English speakers, no stretching, old gym.

Room Tip: Firs floors can do without the elevators. Don't miss the rooms with the view.
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  • Stayed February 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank ofel1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Club Med L 'Alpe d'Huez la Sarenne

Property: Club Med L 'Alpe d'Huez la Sarenne
Address: Club Med L Alpe d Huez la Sarenne, 38750 L'Alpe-d'Huez, France
Phone Number:
Region: France > Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes > Isere > L'Alpe-d'Huez
Amenities:
Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#3 Family Hotel in L'Alpe-d'Huez
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:3 star — Club Med L 'Alpe d'Huez la Sarenne 3*
Number of rooms: 364
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
At the meeting point of the six valleys of the Oisans, the resort of Alpe-d'Huez stretches out surrounded by the former alpine pastures of a mountain village. Dominating this suntrap spot and well placed on its sunny slope, this Club Med Village invites guests to launch out and revel in the thrill of the longest black run in Europe, while those who prefer to take it easy enjoy the panoramic view. Parents and children share the joy of new sensations as they zigzag around the skating rink. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Club Med l `Alpe d`Huez La Sarenne Hotel l`Alpe-d`Huez
L'alpe-D'huez Club Med
Club Med L 'Alpe D'Huez La Sarenne France/Rhone-Alpes

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