We recently stayed here for a very enjoyable week, looked after admirably by Carly and Mally Reade, aka "Mr (and Mrs) Ski", and Johnnie, the chef. We found the chalet online and were drawn to the friendly, informative website (www.mrski.co.uk), which gave us a good idea of what to expect, both from the chalet itself, and was a great way to get to know our hosts. It was our first experience of a family holiday in a catered chalet, and we soon felt relaxed and at home in their lovingly restored, traditional home. Mally picked us up from Geneva airport in his iconic blue Landrover, and we were treated to cool drinks and snacks on our 1 hour transfer to Les Gets, where Chalet La Bal Eteillaz is conveniently situated just a short distance above the village on the Chavannes side of the mountain.
The chalet's 5 bedrooms are all ensuite: ours looked south towards the village, and shared a sunny balcony with the rooms either side of us. The lounge/dining room runs the length of the chalet, with a wood-burning stove in the comfy sofa area. Outside, the hot-tub set into the lower balcony was a popular way to relax after skiing/boarding. Our teenage sons appreciated the pool table in the basement games room, where they could watch UK tv or DVDs if they wanted. Also in the basement, the ski boot room kept our boots toasty and dry for morning starts.
Carly and Johnnie deserve special credit for not only coping with my husband and sons who have picky eating habits, but also for deftly getting the boys to sample new dishes they wouldn't dream of tasting at home! The food was delicious and plentiful, and we especially enjoyed the different aperitifs and nibbles before dinner, plus the after dinner shots which complemented each dessert.
Unfortunately for us, we chose to stay at the end of what the locals described as the worst season for snowfall in 20 years: temperatures hit the 70's some days, so we had real spring skiing conditions with icy corduroy first thing, and heavy slush by lunchtime, a situation repeated in most French resorts this year. Les Gets' local slopes suffered accordingly, but Mally made sure we got to the better conditions on the higher slopes of Avoriaz every day by ferrying us to the appropriate lift stations each morning, and willingly whisked us back after lunch when we called it a day.
Although we only got to experience a relatively small part of the normally available ski area
it was enough to give a taste of what it must be like in better conditions. Our boys had excellent snowboard tuition from David from the Mint snowboarding school (www.mintsnowboarding.com), and progressed to trying jumps and tricks in the snowpark at Avoriaz, which made their holiday.
The silver lining to the lack of snow was the opportunity to explore some of the walks on Mont Chery through spring flower meadows, looking across to stunning views of Mont Blanc and surrounding peaks. It was also warm enough to linger outside on sunny terraces in the village, where live music and a view of the sunset made a perfect pit stop before heading back to the chalet for dinner.
A week went by far too quickly, but we hope to return soon when the snow conditions are better, and fully explore this part of the vast Portes du Soleil system. I can't imagine a better place to stay in Les Gets.