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Reviewed 11 January 2013

A group of friends and I stayed at this chalet over the christmas week of 2012.
Below are my pro's and con's.

Pros
- Right on the snow slopes. A few minutes walks to the major snow lifts in Obergurgl.
- Hiring snow equipment was quite easy from the Intersport store just down the driveway from the chalet. The quality of the equipment was quite decent also, although the staff did give us some wrong snowboard bindings and some of the boards were way too small for some of our riders.
- Friendly and fun staff. I had a blast hanging out with some of them.

Cons
- The food was below average. Breakfast consisted of the same thing every morning; the smallest sliver of bacon, some sausages, a spoonful of baked beans and 1 egg. Bread seemed to always run out fast. As for dinner, every night was different. The canapes were quite nice, but that was about it. On the first night we had some sloppy risotto gruel. Bland and unappealing. Other nights included duck which was impossible to cut with the butter knives we were issued. In hindsight, it would have been worth it to pay to have dinner in the other various chalets and restaurants around the area. The chef and kitchen hands looked no older than 22 and definately lacked the experience or cooking skills.
- There are no laundry services in the chalet or in the Obergurgl area based on what the chalet staff advised us. This seemed strange to me given the fact that everyday everyone in the chalet was out sweating their pants off riding the slopes. Some clean laundry midweek would have been nice. Instead, we had to resort to washing our clothes in the bath tubs and then drying them on the heaters which goes against room safety policies, but we were desperate so we broke the rules and risked our lives.
- Sauna was good, but was way too small for the amount of people staying in the chalet.
- Launge room was a converted bedroom. Did it's job i guess, but lacked any ambience. Perhaps a nice fireplace with mulled wine on offer?
- Heater room wasn't heated enough. Some of our boots didn't dry up for the next day. Bring a hair dryer along to dry your boots as some of the rooms don't have hair dryers.
- Bed pillows were way too soft. It was almost like not having a pillow at all.

Despite some of the average experiences I had with the accommodation facilties, I did have an incredible and memorable time in the company of good old friends, and new found friends from the chalet.

  • Stayed: December 2012, travelled with friends
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1  Thank RolyCho
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 January 2013

This is the fifth Ski Total/Esprit chalet we have stayed in, and unfortunately I have to say this chalet was our least favourite. The Ski Total staff, as always, are eager to please and helpful,but the chalet itself has quite a few faults. For ease of reference I have listed the pros and cons below.

Pros: It is ski in/ski out so this is great as there is no hauling of skis and poles or getting onto buses. The chalet is fairly clean (but see below for daily cleaning), and the staff are very welcoming and nothing is too much trouble. The food was ok, but again see comments below.

Cons: Where do I start?! Firstly, this is a chalet for 30+ people, but the sauna can fit only four people in it. This means everyone tries to stagger their timings, but no one really goes at the time they would like. Likewise, the boot room is tiny. There is enough room for boots and skis, but there is one stool and one tiny bench and so for 30+ people to get out in the morning it is horrendous. We resorted to sitting outside! The chalet has a lounge, but this term should be challenged under the trade descriptions act. It is really a converted bedroom, furnished with cheap and uncomfortable chairs, and is on the second floor which means no one uses it - it too is small, fitting a maximum of 6-8 people. I suspect it was put in so that Ski Total can say there is a lounge, but the money would have been better invested in a better sauna or boot room.

And so to the dining area and the food. The dining room is ok, but is in more of an upmarket Burger King seating style, with banquette-type seats and no ambience because of the very bright lighting. The food during our week was ok, but nothing more and was certainly of a lower quality than meals we have had on previous holidays with Ski Total. The one exception was Christmas dinner which was fabulous. There were two main problems: breakfast was exactly the same every day and was rather sparse in quantity - one rasher of streaky bacon, an egg and a few beans (avoid the sausages, they're awful). There is a small selection of cereals and juices. Breakfast was really a bit hit and miss - the staff, although very nice, are all young and on gap years it would seem and there is no visible manager to organise things. This means that on two days breakfast was not ready at 8am (they will not serve breakfast earlier which is a bit odd) and so there were 20 people waiting while they got the plates and bowls out and filled up the juice. They also kept running out of things - on two days there was no bread (even though they seem to use pre-baked bread to put in the oven so could surely stock up), and on another day they ran out of butter. Not good when you have paid over the odds to go in Christmas week. And so onto the evening meal - again, hit and miss. Some meals were really quite dreadful and unappealing in colour - the fish with the grey courgettes and green pepppers was particularly awful. Others were ok, but nothing stood out as fantastic which has been our experience previously. The chef seemed very nice and friendly, and he is obviously following Ski Total's recipe plan each week, but they need to improve the quality of the ingredients (take a sharp knife for the duck as it's almost impossible to cut). The cakes for afternoon tea were also pretty random - some days very nice, but two days running we had a banana loaf and then a fruit loaf and you could have used them as door stoppers.

Another issue (yes, I really am going on a bit here) was the drink policy. We had three teenagers under the age of 18 so they, quite rightly, could not drink the wine that Ski Total provide for adults at the evening meal. However, they are provided with nothing else other than tap water and it was our responsibility to buy something for them from the local Spar or find something in the poorly stocked Honesty Bar fridge in the chalet. Note for Ski Total - one can of Coke is considerably less in cost than wine: surely you could provide that?!

My main issue with this hotel is the rating that Ski Total have given it - it is no more than a three star and even that is generous. There is a manager, but she oversees 17 hotels and chalets so is no more than a fleeting presence and thus the chalet is being run by students. This showed in the cleaning of rooms - basically the bins are emptied and the duvets are rolled up, but nothing seemed to be cleaned in the bathrooms (the bath doesn't drain properly so the shampoo gets left behind and this was always there), and there is no initiative shown (eg we had glasses and tea cups from one evening that remained there all week). Each member of staff had their own duty, but there was no overall person in charge making sure that the whole picture was looked at.

Previously I would have recommended Ski Total, but this chalet experience has left me feeling that I would not go with them again and would do it all independently. I feel they have misrepresented it with a four diamond plus rating - clever photographs hide the reality of what is a budget chalet. We had lunch in the mountainside Hotel Riml in Hochgurgl most days - if they can serve up fabulous food at budget prices (beautiful pasta for 8 euros, thick wonderful soups for 5 euros) then why can't this chalet?

So, to sum up, if you can get this chalet at a bargain price at the last minute and aren't worried about atmosphere and ambience then go for it - but, if you want something more, and this is particularly true for the Christmas and New Year weeks, then choose something else.

Final tip - when you buy your lift pass it is worth paying the extra 10 euros to give you a day in Solden. This is a huge skiing area and well worth the 25 minute bus trip (free if you have a lift pass). Go on a Saturday when there are changeover days and thus it's pretty quiet. Best skiing day of the week.

Room Tip: We were in rooms 40 and 41 - they're ok, but are next to the lift and also the staff quarters so one night we were woken up at 3am with loud shrieking and goings-on for 20 minutes. Also, room 41 has no shower curtain around the bath so the shower water goes all over the floor. Again, little things, but no one looking to sort them out.
  • Stayed: December 2012, travelled with family
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3  Thank Suzy044
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
EspritHolidays, Manager at Chalet Christophorus, responded to this reviewResponded 10 January 2013

We are disappointed that this reviewer feels that their experience this year in the Chalet Christophorus did not live up to their expectations, particularly since those expectations were in part influenced by excellent previous holiday experiences with us.
Due to the number of guests in the chalet and their no doubt differing preferences for use of chalet facilities it is often not a requirement for there to be sufficient space for all to use all facilities concurrently. Indeed, the lounge in particular was added some seasons ago in response to guest requests for such a facility – it is unfortunate that this has now been deemed insufficient.
It is noted with regret that water was offered as the only alternative for the teenagers in the party – we normally offer cordial which is, of course, in addition to any ‘honesty fridge’ that the chalet hosts may personally choose to offer to their guests. The comments that have been made have been passed on to the resort management team for their consideration and we are grateful for the feedback, though lament to note that the points noted may deter the reviewer from travelling with us again in spite of previous holidays.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 April 2012

Having read last years reviews we were very worried to say the least. We needn't have been. This is the first catered chalet we have stayed in and were more than happy. The rooms (34 & 35 ) were very clean, warm and of a good size. Bathrooms and toilet were very clean and in good condition. The bath in room 35 was small but OK. The food on the first night was excellent, the wine basic but with a choice. Breakfast was always acceptable and afternoon cake was also good. The evening meals after the first went downhill a bit but nothing too drastic. The chalet is in a very good position right next to the slope but can be a bit tricky to ski to the lifts for a complete novice. The chalet staff were better than most good quality hotels, helpful, polite and very friendly, but most of all they could do there jobs well. The senior rep was always about if you needed help and was more than willing. Overall I would go back but we were advised by other people in the chalet that this is not a 4* but was acceptable. The only down side is that there is no lounge so as to speak of, only a converted bedroom.

  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled with family
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1  Thank Paul B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 January 2012

Having read some previous reviews we were somewhat sceptical about the Christophorus.
In the main we were wrong to be worried. Rooms were very good size, compared to may other chalets (particularly in France). Clean and recently decorated. Good heated boot room, and very nice sauna area. Right on beginners piste so easy to ski in and out. Food was good, cooked by chefs rather than chalet hosts, and plenty of food. Afternoon cakes very good indeed.
If there are any downsides to the chalet, it'd be the lack of a proper lounge, and the separation of guests at dinner/breakfast. Because there can be up to 34 guests, the dining room is set out with several tables, and unfortunately most guests sat in the same place every day. This didn't help the chalet to gel, as would normally happen.
Room cleaning was not brilliant during our stay. Sink and shower tray not wiped down at all during the week. Resort rep (Ski Total) conspicuous by his absence during the week, and offered very little info at welcome meeting.
A 4 star chalet this is not, but pretty good nevertheless.

  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled with friends
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3  Thank grit0709
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 January 2012

I have just got back from a week staying at the fabulous chalet christophorus and I feel that I have to really sing it's praises.
My group consisted of 26 people so it was a mission to organise it however as soon as we arrived life was easy. Staff were excellent. They were really friendly and they couldn't have been more helpful. The chalet was huge and very clean and quiet. It was also well furnished and cosy which is quite rare in a chalet holiday.
The Food was excellent and there was a good choice of wines.
The slopes are right outside the door with a drag lift that takes you to the top of the nursery slope. From here you can ski to the gondola or stay on the nursery slope (this was perfect for the beginners in our group).
Having skied for over 25 years I am a competent skier and I couldn't fault the on piste and off piste skiing options. There is plenty to keep you occupied whatever your level.
Après ski is very good and the neder hutte is a must. Dancing on the tables was great fun and the ski down after was a good laugh.
In town the barrel bar is worth a visit as the bar is simply made inside of 3 huge barrels. Here you can play the hammer stump game which is the craziest thing you will have ever seen. Josl bar is next door and this is the place to go to party.
Finally the night tobogganing is a must. We all loved it! I cannot fault the chalet or the resort. We were definately 26 very happy customers.

  • Stayed: January 2012
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1  Thank Chris D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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