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“Great chalet, friendly owners and staff!!!”
Review of Maison Caramel

Maison Caramel
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Maison Caramel
Ranked #1 of 1 Landry B&B and Inns
GreenLeadersSilver level
Reviewed 22 February 2012

Well in January there was a group of 9 of us that went to the chalet some of us only knowing 1-2 people. There was plently of space to chill out after a days skiing. The food was great thanks Nick and Jasmine. Our hosts were great too always happy to chat or leave you be, nice to meet you Niall and Cristina. The transport was so adaptable to the ski lifts and back being in a group of 9 isnt easy but they were more than happy to do different runs to and from.

Overall it was a great place to stay nice quiet and homely. Our group age range was from 22 - 60 somethings and we all had a great time on and off the slopes. Would deffinatley go again after the wedding and honeymoon next year :)

Keep up the great work guys!!

  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled with friends
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Thank katie c
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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26 - 32 of 55 reviews

Reviewed 2 February 2012

We had a superb break at Maison Caramel. Great food and we were very well looked after by Niall and Chrissie. It really felt like a home from home but more relaxing! Location was good and we enjoyed being that little bit out of the resort. Pick ups and drop offs to the lifts were perfect and we couldn't recommend this place highly enough.

  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank Bec B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 January 2012

I was recommended by a friend to stay at Maison Caramel. It was the first time I have taken my children skiing and nothing was too much trouble for Sam and Alvero. Sam even took us to a local supermarket to pick up food for my son with eating difficulties. We had such a good time we are booking up again in the summer.

  • Stayed: January 2012
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Thank 7julia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 January 2012

We enjoyed our stay, myself and 7 friends had a fantastic time sking Alvaro did everything he could to make us comfortable , great location , great food , great fun

  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled with friends
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1  Thank NIGEL H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 January 2012

2 parts of this trip were good: the booking experience with Sam, which conveniently lasted until our quasi £3,000 was taken, and the host's David's efforts to do his best given the fact that he and his wife, who both only arrived only 2 weeks previously with almost no orientation, were left alone with 20 guests. For example, they didn't know until we told them that there was a heated ski-boot closet...not their fault. From our arrival onwards, everything, with the exception of David's efforts, was dismal: Sam's husband (Alvaro) greeted our little boy (4 years old) by ordering him to take his boots off in the cold entrance and walk upstairs to get his slippers. The adult slippers provided were used: shouldn't a 'boutique' b&b provide fresh disposable slippers which cost very little? We were then informed over dinner that the 'house rule' was that children must eat separately from adults which was news to us: Sam had mentioned a separate sitting for children in our correspondence, but nothing of a 'house rule'. We were subsequentl told that the owners had given us (I'm not joking) a 'special dispensation' ... more like they wanted our £3,000. The organic food claim is a lie: often-expired, own-label yoghurts from U supermarket... the hot breakfast claim is a lie: we were not offered hot breakfast at all on our 1st day, on the 2nd we were provided when asked, we were once told when we asked for fried eggs that 'this is not a hotel', and on our last morning, there were 7 portions of pancakes for 10 dining guests (we were first in the dining room, ordered 5 portions, received 4 and the final 30 minutes later after several guests who arrived after us had received theirs and others had been informed that there were none left - our final portion had been set aside for a staff member but given to us (with his permission) when we complained. Now what does this tell you: who's more important - staff or (well) paying clients? The food experience was generally lacking, going as far as dirty salad with a live snail... yummy, not to mention the liquid lemon mousse. With our 4 friends, we were a total party of 9, and all felt guilty asking for anything - nothing was seamless. Our maximum bus-wait for a ride to the slopes was over 1 hour, and the worst experience was in their ancient 2L Ford Transit which really struggled up the hill and should be scrapped: Sam and Alvaro had recently moved out and taken a better vehicle with them to serve the 2 guests in their new establishment. In fairness, most of the problems were caused by chronic understaffing and the stinginess (with the food budget) of the owners. For the money charged, this is very overpriced and terrible value. The owners try to milk this place by packing in high-paying guests with their 'boutique' promise, then skimping on staff, food, care/cleaning, transport - you name it. The 2nd staff couple arrived at midnight 1 day before our departure (there should typically be 2 couples working here but 1 left in the middle of the high season and was not replaced). They started noisily unpacking at midnight in a house with very poor sound insulation, and woke us up. When affronted the following day, the guy replied that his 'girlfriend wanted to unpack': again, what does this tell you? If considering this place, your children should not be less than 10 and must be totally self-amusing - there's zero here for 5-10 year olds. This is a people problem: absent owners hiring (with the exception of David) people 'looking-for-something-to-do-in-a-winter-resort-for-the-ski-season', paying them peanuts, and expecting quality (if they care, that is - I'm not sure they do)... with this attitude, they deserve no paying guests and their business is bound to suffer. To top it all, our bed linen was not changed all week and the hot water ran out on our last night. We were happy to leave, and wouldn't go back if they paid us!

Room Tip: go to the annex only - the house is poor with terrible noise insulation
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  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled with family
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1  Thank Divos
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MaisonCaramel, Owner at Maison Caramel, responded to this reviewResponded 25 January 2012

Apologies to readers for the length of this response, but some of the comments made are very unfair. I want to show we take our business and guests complaints seriously and do our best to do things right. It’s a shame this guest did not mention any issues to us during his 8 night New Year holiday, despite having the opportunity. I personally welcomed him to the chalet and my husband saw him several times during his stay. Other guests arriving later did complain about the food and we took action immediately to address it with the hosts, including overseeing dinner prep, ensuring hot breakfast options (only served 5 days a week, so if you stayed 8 nights you'd have some days without), and a choice of yogurts, including organic ones, on the table. The cook and host at the time have since been replaced. We now have an excellent professional chef with many years of restaurant experience, supported by 3 hosts with strong hospitality and customer service backgrounds.

Given some of the comments, I fear this guest misunderstood the concept of a boutique B&B, and perhaps doesn’t have much experience of ski chalet holidays or what they entail. Obviously we are not a boutique hotel, we don’t promise a boutique hotel level of service, nor do we charge boutique hotel prices (we didn’t charge for his child either, so much for being stingy). We are just a comfortable, relaxed B&B with stylish alpine décor and good food (usually), as borne out by our other guest reviews. A similar half board 8 night stay for 5 people in a boutique hotel at New Year, the peak week of the ski season, would have cost many times the price he paid (£2700, or £67.50 per person, per night). If he expected a boutique hotel experience for New Year without paying for it, he was bound to be disappointed.

I’m not sure where the idea of chronic understaffing comes from. In winter we operate as a ski chalet with a team of hosts running the house for us, they start in December and leave in April. It’s normal for 2 hosts to run a chalet for up to 25 and we had a maximum of just 17 guests for dinner during the week in question, some nights half that so we were hardly packed.
Of the remaining issues mentioned, assuming they are true, most appear to relate to questions of individual capability. We have addressed this with new people and improved training. We now have a great team of 4 hosts and the food is back to its usual standards. As is the norm in ski chalets, they serve breakfast and clean in the mornings, ski in the middle of the day and serve dinner in the evenings. Guests get chalet, not hotel style service. That means no front desk, no concierge, and limited housekeeping. Bathrooms and common areas are cleaned daily not hourly (hence guests are politely asked to use slippers inside when they arrive, especially if it's been snowing), but not the rooms or beds unless guests request it.

I think he's also missed the point about our sustainability ethos: not using slippers once then throwing them away; organic meat and dairy where we can (and growing our own veg in summer); towels only changed if guests put them on the floor; reusing and recycling what we can; turning off lights; using minibuses not gas guzzling 4x4s; giving discounts to train travellers etc. I’ve never heard of sheets being changed during a week’s stay in a chalet, but perhaps a place with a £1500 a week per person price tag, no concern for the environment and a team of housekeepers might.

Sadly Betty the transit minibus does struggle with steep hills, and we’ve replaced her. She was only at the chalet for a short time. Mechanically she’s sound and she’s now in happy retirement at our other chalet with a shorter and less steep ride to the lifts. The new van was only delivered just before New Year, and she spent one night with us (and our 5 guests), before going to her new home in Landry.

I’m not sure why or if there was a wait for the shuttle, normally the service works well, especially when guests follow the timetable and stick to the agreed meeting times. Perhaps it was during one of the many trips made to take his wife up and down the mountain in the middle of the day. I note the hosts don’t get any recognition for putting themselves at her beck and call during their free time. It’s tempting to lower our prices even more and describe ourselves as a budget B&B just to avoid any danger of getting more guests like this.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 October 2011

I could not recommend Maison Caramel highly enough. The rooms are lovely, furnished in a comfortable relaxed style but to a high standard and the bathroom has a big bath with organic shampoos, body lotion and bubble bath. The room was immaculately clean and so peaceful.
Sam is friendly and helpful and her cooking is excellent, everything is produced with great care. Anna

  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled with friends
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1  Thank Anna M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 September 2011

We really enjoyed our stay at Maison Caramel. Booking was straight forward. Lovely room with balconies and views and a very peaceful place to stay. Sam was a charming hostess and Ned the dog was a charmer and a character. Sam gave us great recommendations for walks in the local area. Highly recommend.

  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank kam57NZ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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Additional Information about Maison Caramel

Address: Chemin des Glieres, 73210 Landry, France
Region: France > Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes > Savoie > Peisey-Vallandry > Landry
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 B&Bs / Inns in Landry
Price Range: £73 - £105 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Maison Caramel is a charming B&B and ski chalet in an alpine village 7km from Bourg Saint Maurice, opposite the GR5 long distance footpath, and less than 10 minutes drive from the ski lifts of Les Arcs and La Plagne (Paradiski). The house has lots of alpine charm and plenty of space; including a guest sitting room and garden terraces with mountain views. The 5 en-suite bedrooms have a balcony or terrace access, and there are 4 more ensuite rooms in the top floor Penthouse gite. We serve a tasty and varied breakfast, and delicious home-cooked evening meals using organic or local red meat(3 course set menu), and free range chicken and eggs. There's great walking, mountain biking and cycling from the door, and a shuttle bus to the ski lifts in summer & winter (bus stop 150m). ... more   less 
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