This Christmas was our third time staying with Chilly Powder, two of which were Christmas stays. We enjoyed our holiday a great deal and will happily come back. Some pros and cons of our experience:
Being in a family run chalet is really appealing and certainly feels very different from staying in a small hotel or rented apartment. Francesca, Paul and Nick, and rest of staff are very friendly, welcoming, patient, and most importantly are available when their help is needed.
For example, in our 1st year, we were not happy with the ski instructor our daughter's group had due to a specific incident, and Francesca was able to re-arrange things around with the ski school, so our daughter could ski with a different instructor.
We always found the team willing to give help and advice.
Quality of instructors has been good otherwise. I would not necessarily say that they all speak excellent english (reasonable describes it better), but what's more important, is that they all have a great way with kids, and a really good attitude to teaching kids. for me this is more important than language. My two girls absolutely loved their ski lessons and made excellent progress.
We used child care on two out of three holidays (did not need it this last holiday) and found it excellent. Head nanny Katie is exceptional, and runs a tight ship. i was very comfortable leaving my girls there. they enjoyed it so much that on some days they told me I needed to wait until they finished their games when i came to pick them up.
The staff are brilliant with kids, even the ones who really don't have to be - eg. manager, barman, waiters. it makes for very happy kids on holiday, albeit at the expense of staff who end up getting several kids on their lap at a time.
Hottub is a great fun option, enjoyed by both adults and kids.
The barman has really impressed me by remembering my favourite drink one full year on - they must keep good records for returning guests! bar service is excellent and with a smile.
The rooms are pretty tight and there is little room for drying out all the wet clothes, but can be done. If you want to be comfortable, book a better room type. We did not, and we could feel the squeeze for space.
The food is generally good, but varies throughout the day. Breakfast was ok but not great. We felt that hot food choices were better in the years we stayed before than this year. There were fewer and less exciting choices this year.
One thing I would really love to change is quality of coffee at breakfast - in a country where every hut serves great coffee, it remains distinctively non-french at chilly powder. in mar-12 it seemed good, but since dec-12, and recently in dec-13 we really did not enjoy coffee served with breakfast. you can pay for one from an espresso machine if you wish, but i always opted for one on the slopes.
Afternoon tea is very nice and varied.
Kids dinner was a real low-light this last visit. There was no meat-fish-chicken on a number of days, just veges and carbs. Some of the popular choices the kitchen ran out of before even half the kids have eaten (like sausages). This seemed out of character compared to the very high quality of food served at chilly powder otherwise, so i am sure will be fixed promptly. I struggled to find things to give to my fussy-ish two little girls, but some of the teenage boys had a really hard time with dinners without meat of any kind. I also find 5.30pm is somewhat early and means that we could not fit any family activities after a day skiing, and a little rest, before kids dinner. so one can't dash to morzine or even take a hot tub without being late. to the credit of staff, i was never turned away or reprimanded for turning up late for kids dinner. also, staff were kind enough to bring us some ice-cream for dessert instead of the desserts on offer.
Adults dinner was a highlight. Fantastic food, great choices, excellent wines on tap, brilliantly efficient service. I was always full at the end of dinner, and enjoyed the food. Similarly to one other reviewer, I would not mind having one or two nights with more relaxed food choices, like lasagne or pasta or whatever served buffet-style. I seem to crave simpler, hearty foods on skiing holiday. can't indulge in those at lunch as i'd have to roll down the mountain after that…
Customer service attitude amongst staff is brilliant - they don't hesitate to interrupt their own meal or another activity to answer to the guests' needs (was not intended of course, but happened a couple times).
One slight nudge regarding the room - we stayed in Irish room both this and last year. There is a small issue with water dripping from the sink, which makes the bathroom floor wet. I raised it last year, and found it in same state this year. The manager said it had been looked at, but seemed to require extensive work, so had not been done. Might need to provide an extra floor towel to permanently keep the dripping under control.
Despite some small things described above, this remains a wonderful holiday, and a great chalet with lovely hosts. We will be coming back, provided we manage to book early enough - the place seems to be getting booked up earlier by the year.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Chilly Powder is a hotel but with the personal touches of a chalet. We have been operating ski chalet holidays of excellence since 1995. The genuine ski to the door location of our 3 luxury catered chalets with unrivalled in-house childcare facilities sets us apart from other ski chalets in Morzine.The pistes from Morzine Avoriaz descend straight into the garden and the main cable car opposite the chalet takes you to the heart of the Morzine Avoriaz skiing with the best access to the vast Portes du Soleil ski area. There are well over a hundred catered chalets in Morzine but only a handful can boast ski to the door locations. With all en-suite bedrooms, outdoor Jacuzzi, sauna, massage and in-house childcare in our crèche, the chalet is absolutely unique in Morzine for small or large groups or families with children or babies. The truly excellent cuisine, friendly staff and relaxing atmosphere of the chalet make it the perfect holiday destination and for our many returning guests it is considered a real home from home. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Chilly Powder Hotel Morzine-Avoriaz