After a great deal of searching we finally settled on Chalet Ambregales, which we booked through Alps accommodation. We spoke to them directly over the phone and they were very helpfull in giving us not only detailed information on the Chalet, but the area as a whole, which was reassuring considering this was our first time skiing and the amount of accommodation available throughout the French Alps.
Flew with easy jet into Geneva, which was hassles free, but be aware when hiring a car, we pre-booked and had no problem with the car, but the car park itself is a good hike away, so with luggage and ski's its was a bit of a pain. There is a shuttle bus, but seemed very busy.
Driving from Switzerland, through to France was a breeze, no problems what so ever. Took about an hour with a couple of tolls on the way (between 1.5 to 2 euro's each toll) they take change/notes or a card, but are unmanned as far as we could tell. Bit busier on the way back, but to be expected over a new year.
Samoens itself was very pretty,plenty of restaurants and a couple of supermarkets in the village area, with something to suit all taste and budgets (separate review coming up for Samoens itself)
Found the chalet with no issues, as Alps accommodation provide good instruction, plus we had a Sat nav, pretty hard to get lost in terms of reaching Samoens, finding the chalet, well its not to far from the church!
The chalet itself was a fair size and well equipped/appointed. It easily accommodated the 8 of us (4 adults/2 x late teens and 2 kids) and had all the modern comforts of home (leather sofa's, new large flat screen with BBC) along with an outdoor jacuzzi, indoor steam room and whirlpool bath. Beds and linen were of a high quality and very comfortable, plus a great array of cooking utensils/crockery. The chalet had private parking for 2, we did have the odd mishap of people parking in the wrong spot, so best to put them in the very large underground garage. Externally the chalet boasted great views over the valley, you often watched as the low cloud/fog rolled in, then out again. The walk down to the village took around 10 minutes, with some great views on the way down and back up, this could easily be done if you had a young family/buggy as it was a gentle stroll and not a hike!
All in all a great place, extremely pretty and easy to get to from Geneva. I would definitely recommend Alps accommodation and chalet Ambregales, as its clearly evident that its well loved (the owners kindly left some Christmas decorations up for our arrival, nice touch)
Lastly, the ski area!
Well for us, we decided to book our first ever ski holiday for the warmest Dec on record!! We didn't have great snow, but the area itself is fantastic, very varied for all abilities and well run, with a huge free car park at the base, ski passes and hire seemed okay (nothing really to compare to at this stage) the Grand Massiff area is vast and would satisfy most demands for a weeks skiing. It would seem its also a great area to visit in the summer, with mountain walking/trekking & white water rafting down the Giffe valley.
Happy times and highly recommended.
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