We have just returned from a week at La Renardiere with Alpine Elements. Alpine Elements I would say were pretty good overall, the staff definately made up for the shoddiness of the hotel. The hotel is in need of some work, however I think if you prepare yourself for this you won't be disappointed. The bar/restaurant area was lovely, the garden and pool, although a lot smaller than they look in the brochure, were lovely. Very few hotels in the area had a private outdoor area or pool. The rooms were basic and small but were clean and the beds were comfortable. The bathrooms were very outdated but perfectly functional. We had a problem when booking, as we had booked a quad room and were then informed that this was an error and that the room we booked was in fact a triple, so they added another room to the booking. With our children being only 8 and 10, we did not want them in a separate room, especially as it was on a different floor of the hotel, so my partner ended up in one room, with myself and the kids in the other, which we definately would not have booked for. We were offered bunk beds in one of the triple rooms but were told that there would not be room to swing a cat and no discount for over occupancy would be offered, which was really very poor service as the error was entirely Alpine Elements. Other hotel issues were the stained sofas in the lounge area and the smell of raw sewage on the outside steps. The hotel was however regularly cleaned and it seemed that the staff improved the issues that they had control of. The breakfast had a budget hotel feel to it, baguette, various jams, 3 types of cereal and breakfast which had different items each day, i.e. some days no sausage, some days no bacon, some days no hash browns etc. The cakes in the afternoon were average, however the evening meals were outstanding. Starters included risotto, rosti, roasted red pepper and tomato soup; and main meals included fish cakes, duck, tartaflette, chicken wrapped in bacon with mozzarella; the desserts included pannacotta, chocolate brownies, and berry crumble. The evening meals really were delicious and so well presented. The service at meal times was excellent.
The one issue that was not resolved whilst we were there, despite asking, was the staff dragging the table and chairs in the restaurant around at just after 7am each day, and just after 5am on the day of leaving. One of our rooms was directly above the restaurant and this woke us all every day, and this continued despite me asking if they could simply lift the furniture rather than drag it around on the wood floor.
The kids club rep was amazing, the activities offered within the kids club were great, not your usual hotel creche type set-up where you leave them in a room colouring for the day. The rep took them on half day trips out such as games by the river, raft building, orienteering, and trips up the mountains in the lifts. The rep was a qualified nursery nurse and quickly built up a good relationship with all the children in the hotel, of differing ages. She was also the most helpful and informative of the staff, she promptly got me a copy of her CRB disclosure faxed over from the UK, and had good knowledge of the local area. All the staff however were friendly and helpful.
The resort of Morzine itself was fantastic for families, it was more well populated and busier than I have seen in a ski resort before, probably around 1,000 hotels, and the main town, which was a 5-10 minute walk away was quite busy. There was lots to do in the local area, and the staff could arrange this for you. We did parapenting, which was fantastic, the company was called Aireole and it was 70 Euros each, plus 15 Euros for a cd of pictures and video. We did the white water rafting which was included in the free multi-pass, this was also very good, and calmer than we expected. The photos there are very expensive, between 25 and 35 Euros for the cd of photos (up to 10 photos). We attempted to take the bikes on a green run locally, the green runs are described as very easy and the description mentions that they are mostly on tarmac, mostly flat etc; which was largely inaccurate. We completed about 50 metres of the run before it got too crazy and we had to take a 3 1/2 hour detour along the main roads down to Les Gets and back again. We did not try that again. Parts of the green run had almost sheer drops with netting either side to catch you! Quite a few of the other residents sustained injuries on the green runs, including a lady who needed stitches. I would say that the green runs are very easy for very experienced mountain bikers, not normal bike riders, and certainly not suitable for children, although they are signposted as the family route!
We made good use of the lift passes and took many trips up the mountains which were breathtaking. We also walked to Lake Montriond, which took 1hr 45mins with the kids, and this was well worth the trip. The lake is beautiful and there are pony rides, 30 mins for 10 Euros, and you can hire paddle boards, kayaks, canoes etc. We hired a paddle board, 2 person canoe and 1 person kayak for 30 mins for only 19 Euros. There is a bus to and from the lakes, which is free with the multi-pass but the first bus is not until 1pm. We also took a horse and cart ride around town which was 20 Euros for about 30-40 mins.
We ate out in the town a few times, we would recommend La Grille and La Chavoyard. It is expensive to eat out however, 24 Euros for a steak, 21 Euros for frog legs, 6 Euros for a bottle beer. The hotel staff did not seem to mind people buying food from the supermarket at lunch time and eating it in the hotel, they provided plates and cutlery when asked.
The airline we flew with was called Small Planet and I would not book if this was the airline again, although at the time of booking you can upgrade to Easy Jet for £25 per person. Our flight home was delayed by 7 hours and the Alpine Elements staff did not appear to give us much information as to what was going on, we found we had to keep seeking staff out at the hotel and again at the airport for updates. One staff member, Adam, was however very helpful and informed us that they had not been given sufficient information by the Airline, which was why they had been vague in answering our questions. Adam spent some time sat with us on the floor at Geneva Airport as they closed the seating areas/shops/bars etc. This was a nice touch and it would have been appreciated if the other staff had acknowledged us occasionally while we were waiting, as they were also waiting for the incoming flight to arrive which was delayed but the staff appeared to go into hiding! One other point is that the female staff member who arrived with the coach to collect us for transfer to the airport was rude and curt.
However, despite the state of the hotel, the problem with the room booking, and the world's worst airline (with a fleet of two planes!), I would still recommend this hotel, and Alpine Elements. Just prepare yourself for a tired hotel, check and double check that they have booked the right room for you, and upgrade to Easy Jet flights!
- Also Known As:
- Hotel-Chalet La Renardiere Hotel Morzine-Avoriaz