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“Best Customer Service Received on a Package Tour”

Les Chalets Mona Lisa
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Les Chalets Mona Lisa
Kentallen, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
94 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 146 helpful votes
“Best Customer Service Received on a Package Tour”
Reviewed 2 January 2013

We travelled with the only UK tour operator in the resort (Snowbizz) and stayed in the Sun Vallee apartments, formally known as Mona Lisa. Set in a small resort Puy St Vincent, everything was close to hand. A supermarket, ski hire shops, cafes, restaurants, and take aways. There was no trudging about in the snow, it was all within the big apartment complex. It is virtually ski in ski out, if you are a good skier, if not you will have a few steps to negotiate with your ski boots and gear.
Materialistically this was not a luxurious holiday, what it did give was a fantastic team offering flexibility. Run by Michel and Wendy along with their team of Pink Ladies (childcare team) they worked so hard to make sure our holiday was a success. If there was the slightest thing we wished for they delivered instantly. If the children were struggling with their ski tuition, they adapted it to ensure they were happy. If they were excelling the children were instantly introduced to the more advanced group. Similarly for the adults, although most groups progressed at the same rate, so only a few adults needed to go up or down.
The ski school (run by ESI) were all English speaking instructors and no other holiday makers from other holiday groups were allowed to join our classes so the people we skied with were on our plane and in the apartment block, enabling us to form a lovely community for the week.
There was childcare on offer, ideal for parents with little ones wanting to ski. For those with children over 5 we were able to get them ready and hand them over to the Pink Ladies who would play games with them from 10am until the 11am start of ski school. It would give us time to get in to our own ski gear without fighting the children’s ski boots at the same time and then all meet up at 11am to wish the children fun and take off for 2 hours with our ski group.
The lessons were all at the same time, but 1 hour later than the French. So we did find the cafes were all either full or the staff exhausted after their busy lunch slots. If we planned the holiday again we would not eat out for lunch, but buy a baguette when we dropped the children off in the morning and make some rolls. Everyone was ravenous and thirsty as soon as we arrived back, so instant food was a priority, and we were lucky to eat by 2:30pm in the cafes.
The afternoons were spent sledging (can borrow from the pink ladies) having a nap to recover or playing with new found friends.
In the evenings childcare was offered for 2 hours each evening (either 6 – 8pm or 7 – 9pm) for either DVDs, parties, talent shows etc. This enabled us to have a meal, or go to the pub with other parents.
The down sides were few, but I would say there was a limited stock in the supermarket for our favourite things. Things like no ketchup, baked beans or J-cloths were a little pain. I had brought dish washer tablets, and our favourite butter and yoghurts in a cool bag in the hold luggage, but had assumed they would have stocked these few items. The supermarket did an irregular stock of cold or hot chickens which were ideal for an easy meal, but wise to ask the supermarket what time they will come out of the oven.
There is no cooker in the apartment, only a hob and microwave, so cooking is limited. I would suggest going with the intention of making a snack lunch and eating out in the evening. If I was the owner of the apartments I would replace the dishwasher with a cooker.
The bed in the main bedroom is also absolutely tiny. If two need to sleep I would suggest pulling out the camp bed in the sitting room.
Children’s food was limited, Steak Hache and chicken nuggets were the main offering in all the restaurants, and chips with everything, and vegetables were not located on any restaurant plate that we came across. There was once a salad but a small worm put me off eating any more. There seemed to be a good Pizza takeaway service.
The green runs often had a steep beginning, and the more experienced skiers said they felt they bordered on a blue run.
My tip is if your ski boots are not comfortable enough, go back and change them. I found the circulation cut off on one of my feet, and could not feel anything in order to make the necessary moves, so I went back and they kindly found me another suitable boot.
Both arrival and departure days require very early starts. Had to wake at 2:30am to get to the airport to go and 4am to return home. The transfers were comfortable and 2.5 hours, which for ski-ing holidays I found a good time. However if you have a travel sick child, like us, we needed to ensure the wrist bands were on, Joy Rides taken and a bowl just in case. SnowBizz do enable you to request front seats, which helped a lot.
This is also a French resort, popular with locals. There was probably the highest concentration I have encountered of French people who either could not or did not wish to engage with the English language, so it would be advisable to brush up on your French before you travel. It was a shock on the first day that the café we went to did not understand any English. I was delighted as it forced me not to be an ignorant Brit abroad, and I rapidly learnt the French I needed.
As you can tell from the above there really weren’t down sides just little niggles did not detract from the amazing effort all the staff went to to ensure we had a lovely time.

Room Tip: There are two different sides to the apartments, nice to request a room overlooking the ski runs, so...
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  • Stayed December 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
5 Thank holidaygetaway
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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13 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Budapest, Hungary
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 March 2012

Now, I know it is only an apartment hotel and I shouldn't expect any customer service, but I have never ever in my life met a receptionist so disrespectul. We travelled with some friends via Unitravel, and were very excited to spend a week in the French Alps. The location is great, rooms are good size, (not very clean) we were surprised at the quality of the accomodation we got for such a low price.
The first shock came, when I purchased a 7 day internet voucher for €25, and I could not get it work in the room. So I went back to reception, explained the young french lady, that I cant even find the provider in the room. She got very annoyed with me, and said she has already explained to me internet is only working infront of the reception desk (which was not even in our buliding). I wasn't sure why she thought, she has already informed me (as I am positive she has not, otherwise I would not have bought one) so I asked for her manager. The little older french lady came out, and basically told me off for wanting my money back for the voucher I have never used. Weird. Its not the money, its rather the effort, and the fact they "called" me a liar.
When we checked in, they took €300 as a deposit. On check out, we had to wait for someone to check our room, and if everything was fine, we could get our money back. Our guide told us to clean the rooms a little, otherweise they will charge for the cleaning. So we did, at least as far as I am concerned, but the french maintenance guy, who looked more like a hobo, gave us a piece of paper with a number on it, that turned out to mean that they are charging us €95 as cleaning supplement. Obviously we had no chances arguing, as the manager took the money from our deposit and also jelled at us with the same attitude. Our bus left 2 hours late, as every single room from our group was charged extra, and we all tried to make the lady understand, that this is not normal. Could't

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Annipanni0
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TheSnowMummy, Director of Snowbizz Tour Operator at Les Chalets Mona Lisa, responded to this review, 25 February 2015
We were sorry to hear of your experience via Uniglobe but should like to reassure you that Snowbizz guests (as you will see from our reviews) have a 98% positive experience of Puy St Vincent and the super-friendly locals. Hope you would try this place again as it really is a little gem.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
84 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 168 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 March 2012

Been with Snowbizz several times, each time staying at the Mona Lisa apartments.
By French standards for such a reasonable (by ski holiday standards) price, these apartments have some space, unlike many 'coffin' apartments in Flaine, Val Thorens, et seq.
Apart from main bed & bedroom which are cramped.

But a good base for family ski holiday. Everything literally yards away.
Don't expect any architectural delights with the main building,

From experience, carefuly check to avoid the entire staggered 4 weeks of French school holidays in Feb/March, the timing of which varies greatly every year; so avoiding massive lift queues and lack of space at the few restaurants.

The best evening restaurant by far is a 300 metres walk up the road away from the Mona Lisa.

There is nothing for teenagers or singles in Puy away from skiing. Entirely geared towards families with young children, or french school children.

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
Helpful?
6 Thank Snowsublime
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Norhwest
Level 5 Contributor
51 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 January 2011

Really surprised that there are not more reviews for this resport, given how great our stay was.

Booked via Snowbizz, 2.5hr transfer to the resort from Turin airport (arrived at the resort feeling travel sick, never get use to those mountain roads).

Appartment is basic, bunk beds for the kids, seperate bedroom for adults and pull out bed in living room, TV, Microwave, Kettle, Toaster, Hob.

Slight gripes about the room & Resport.

Not enough pillows (should be two per bed)
No Oven in the room (supermarket sells oven chips, pizza etc..., but pointless without an oven)
TV has one english speaking channel (BBC World news), if you want to know the weather in Africa great but not great when slumped on the settee with the kids.
You don't get basics, take towels, dish cloths, washing up liquid, teatowels, sugar, salt/pepper etc... as you don't get any of that in the room.
Ice Rink was never open, "weather wasn't right" not sure what weather is right!
Cinema shows only French speaking films, no use to us Brits.

In fairness we went for the skiing, so the above is only a slight moan.

The resort is small, which really adds to the appeal after a couple of days you get to swap war stories with fellow guests in the few bars, resturants they have (Pettie Chamois is the best place to go)

It's the skiing that makes this holiday, ideal for intimediates and begginers (only two black runs), the mountains open up to reveal several beautiful slopes, lifts never busy (except Sat when the locals hit the slopes).

Instructors are great as are the Snowbizz staff who really go out there way to look after the guests and the kids clubs are really good (although they should give a bit more information on arrival, I guess with so many rteturning guest they don't see the need, but for first timers a bit more detail would be useful).

Overall a great holiday for families, great skiing, great support staff, but expect the basic's, to avoid overpriced supermarket purchases pack as many essentionals as you can fit in your case.

Highly recommended.

  • Stayed January 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank familyoffournw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
UK
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 24 March 2008

March 2008 is our third consecutive skiing holiday to this little known resort in the French Alps. We've gone out of school holidays each time (both French and English), as a consequence have never had to wait in a queue for a chairlift! Which are less than 100 metres from the apartment!
Booked with Snowbizz, (www.snowbizz.co.uk) a UK based company run by Wendy and Michel. Their team do a super job, in the UK and at Puy. We have tested both forms of travel, flight to Turin (with the coach transfer to Puy) and self-drive which we prefer.
The accommodation is basic, clean and comfortable. We have stayed in the two bedroom T3 Mona Lisa apartments.
We have done both, half board and self-catering. The last option we would do again with a couple of visits to the local restaurants (there are about 3 on site). The only issue is that restaurants don't open for dinner until 6.30pm, which is late for most young children.
The ski school (all booked through Snowbizz) is fantastic, 2 hours a day for 6 days, plus ski school (from the age of 3), creche facility, after kids clubs and baby sitting arrangements are great. The creche is centrally based (not in a chalet) with English nannies; no language barrier!
There are about 75km of pistes, mainly for beginners and intermediate skiers, there are some black runs as well.
If you are looking for a good family skiing holiday you can't go past this place.

  • Liked — proximity to the slopes
  • Disliked — it's a little spartan, but it does have all you need. (I really had to think of something to put here)
  • Stayed March 2008, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank UkFamilygirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Les Chalets Mona Lisa

Property: Les Chalets Mona Lisa
Address: Lieu Dit Station 1600, 05290 Puy-Saint-Vincent, France
Region: France > Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur > Hautes-Alpes > Puy-Saint-Vincent
Amenities:
Kitchenette
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 8 Hotels in Puy-Saint-Vincent
Number of rooms: 63
Also Known As:
Les Chalets Mona Lisa Hotel Puy Saint Vincent

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