We have stayed in better accommodation for a lot less expense and in supposedly worse ‘cheap and cheerful’ accommodation that was a lot better. We base our opinion on comparison with quite a few other apartments we have stayed in on holidays to france.
'Ideally placed in the centre' means it is great if you like being kept awake each and every night by rowdy drunks as the Portillo is directly opposite late night bars and nightclubs, bottle banks are right outside and are in constant use even during the night as bars and restaurants clear up. These are also emptied noisily by trucks in the middle of the night and there is a constant flow of delivery vehicles for the nearby shops in the early hours every morning.
It is not exactly Ski to the Door; whilst you could ski out from the locker room down a track to the ski slopes (snow permitting), the Portillo is quite a long uphill walk with skis and in boots from the nearest slopes, using an icy road, steps and a lift, you could not ever ski back.
We stayed in the Residence which is in fact a part of the hotel not seperate. The apartment was the 82m² one, but most of the space was unusable narrow passageways; wasted space which took up more room than the rest of the apartment. We found it was poorly designed, and at times cramped.
It could not be considered beautiful, well appointed or refurbished (this was apartment was their 'superieur' standard - so there are lower standard versions also). Basic carpets and cheap lino, the décor was very grim and lacked alpine or indeed any charm; the walls were all bare artex covered in patched paint, furniture was scratched and worn, equipment poor and there was only one small sofabed in the living room to share for all in the apartment and this was not at all comfortable or large enough for the supposedly 8-10 people this apartment could take. Bedding was poor quality.
There were 2 bathrooms and whilst they were clean and well fitted out, the ‘extra shower’ turned out to be the only proper shower in the apartment – as the hand held shower head in the bath could hardly constitute a shower as there was no wall fixing for it even though there was a screen.
Based on experience of other apartments the kitchen should be described as a kitchenette and not a kitchen it was small, basic and poorly equipped. Accepting it is normal in France, there was no Kettle, leaving us to have to boil water in one of the measly 3 pans supplied, the old coffee maker supplied would only plug into a socket that was directly over the hob and therefore dangerous/impossible to use during mealtimes. The rest of the equipment supplied was basic to say the least.
The balcony is sunny and views are ok over the main slopes - if you are in the higher apartments - otherwise they face the road and other buildings/windows behind the hotel.
Whilst they are decent enough, the restaurants also have restricted opening times and the bar shuts early. The lounge was rarely open and only during the day if it was (when we were out skiing). We were not even allowed to use it whilst waiting for our departure coach late morning. The owner was positively rude to us about this when we asked to. There is a sauna, but it is expensive and then don't expect a smile when you ask them to switch it on for you.
For the most part, the staff were generally pleasant enough,
but they commented that British people are often not happy with these apartments as they have higher expectations than French people (due in the main to the British tour company descriptions). We are also considered to be ‘prudes’. They told us they often have to deal with disappointed British guests.
Whilst this particular (their largest) apartment was not ideal for two families with teenagers/children sharing, this apartment would be great for groups of like minded individuals who spend most of the time on the mountain and then in the bars and clubs and who just need somewhere to sleep and store their ski/board gear.
Be aware you pay a hefty security deposit when you arrive to ensure you clean the apartments thoroughly when you leave and have not damaged anything
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- LE PORTILLO is located in the center of Val Thorens, and welcomes you since 1979. This place is authentic and gets family traditions. Do not hesitate to book for a cocooning journey. LE PORTILLO offers lots of services (WIFI, Sauna, Steam bath...), And has a bar, a lounge and a delicious French restaurant at your disposal. Opened for winter season only, from beginning of November until end of April. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Le Portillo Hotel And Residence
- Le Portillo Hotel Residence