Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Wintersport Holiday 2019 in Val Cenis: Our Chalet Apartment

We went back to Val Cenis in the French Alps for this year's winter sport's holiday,


The next morning we woke up to a 3cm of snow. Not bad.


We stayed at the CHG Residences & Spas - Le Chalets de Flambeau.

The ski resort runners-up on our list were Les Portes du Soleil and Paradiski which are massive ski areas in the French Alps but with the combination of the right price and the accommodation on the piste or less than 100 meters walk to a ski lift, Dutchman and I ended up choosing Val Cenis again.

We managed to snag a very good deal at CHG Residences & Spas at the Les Chalets de Flambeau which is between 2 ski lifts, the Pre Novel chairlift, and the Vieux Moulin gondola, both approximately 70 meters away. And from the slopes, you can ski down up to your door. Just perfect! The chalet apartments were also very nice, modern fitted and spacious. And here is the cherry on top of the icing -- free entrance to the spa. We cannot say no to that.

[To read the rest of the post and see more pictures, click the READ MORE link below]

Let me take you through our first 2 days in the Alps...


Driving to the Alps...


Already in the Maurienne Valley here... 


The photo above is our chalet complex. We stayed on the ground floor which is very handy going in and out, although we would have preferred a higher chalet apartment for the elevation and views.

The Le Chalet de Flambeau has 8 chalet complexes and we stayed at the Genepi chalet building. Each floor has 3 chalet apartments and a ski locker is provided per chalet at the basement. At the main complex is the lobby and lounge, as well the spa and wellness center.

The chalet was very spacious for us. There were 2 bedrooms, one of which we used as our dressing room. There were 2 toilets, 1 with a shower and a separate powder and bathroom. The kitchen was cute and almost complete. We reported the missing water boiler. We did a thorough inventory of the kitchen utensil and appliances because the list the chalet gave us had corresponding high prices on them, in the event when there is breakage, stolen, accidentally lost or brought home by the guest.


The living room and a huge terrace.


The master bedroom.


The second bedroom which we used as our dressing room.


The separate bath and powder room.


The modest kitchenette and the view from the window.

We arrived in Val Cenis late afternoon on a Saturday after an approximately 13 hours drive which included stops to refuel, stretch out our legs and visit the toilet.  We were so tired from the driving (we left half past 3am) that we elected to just stay indoors for the evening. We know and have seen the place anyway, so there's no need for us to get familiarised with the surroundings.

We were also eating the whole time in the car and didn't feel like eating dinner, so I just prepared some nibbles such as cheese, nuts, and dried sausage. Then we went to bed early.


Nibbles for dinner.

In the morning we woke up to some fresh snow. 3 centimeters of snow fell which is not bad, it gives a fresh layer of snow to the old one. I love waking up in the morning and looking out the window seeing my surroundings in a blanket of white. It feels so cosy, especially after an evening of fresh snowfall.

We were a bit worried about the snow conditions on the slopes because we learned that it did not snow in the past weeks whereas in the northern part of the Alps, in Austria, Germany, and Switzerland, massive snow has fallen, with some villages unreachable by car and mountain slopes fearing avalanche.

Because our chalet is located between 2 lifts, it was very easy for us. The Vieux Moulin gondola was literally across our chalet over a little bridge.


Farther ahead, just behind the last chalet is the Pre-Novel chairlift. 


We were located on a dead end of a slope. Behind the trees is the Green Escago piste. We usually take a detour and go off-piste to reach the front side of our chalet on our skis and board.


Sunday was a gloomy and misty day on the piste. It wasn't very promising at all. No one really likes a grey, covered with mist mountain. It is just difficult to see the terrain of the slopes.

My confidence level was very low and that had some repercussions on my skiing. I also have new ski boots which means my feet were getting used to them. New shoes are always an issue, they need to be worn a few times before they feel good. So lots of things going on at the same time, unfortunately not that positive on my way.

The most notable we have done is taking the Plan Cardinal lift to the 2520m top and going down via the blue Cupules slope and then the red Arcelle slope. This lift and the Cupules slope was closed last year due to an avalanche so we were curious to take it. We were told that the slope was not maintained but it was okay although some parts were a bit icy.

For the day we mostly skied and board in the pistes of Lanslebourg and Lanslevillard. The weather was not really nice at all. I mostly saw a flat grey-white terrain. We planned to take the other side of the Lanslebourg mountain the next day and just hoping it will be much better weather.

Nonetheless, the first day of skiing wasn't that much of a play for me. I fell down several times and at the end of the day, my muscles and whole body were aching.


Dutchman took a picture of moi. The piste and the surroundings camouflaged in grey, quite difficult to see the sloping terrain.


Love this picture of the kids.


Yup, I fell down a few times!

So after skiing, Dutchman and I treated ourselves to some spa at the wellness center. We swam in the heated pool which was very nice. Then we jumped into the jacuzzi, after which we indulged in the steam room (hammam) and the sauna, alternating both with showers in between.

Dutchman's favourite was the steam room. I think we have become a bit spoiled in the last winter sports holiday because now we only want to choose accommodations with spa facilities.

The steam room and sauna really helped relax the sore and tired muscles. My body was bruised and burning, and after the spa, I felt much better.

A funny thing happened inside the sauna. Dutchman and I have been joking around about the Flemish and their use of the Dutch language. Its the same language but very different in some ways. We kept on chanting the typically used phrase in Belgium, "zeker en vast". We were joking about it when a couple joined in the sauna. We continued chanting it albeit in hush tones not realising the couple was Belgian from the Dutch speaking part. LOL. What are the odds? #palmonface


The pool area with loungers.


There were 2 jacuzzis.


They have 3 steam rooms and 3 saunas.

Dinner was at the chalet apartment. We brought some Dutch winter fare with us. Boerenkool stamppot with rookworst (Mashed potatoes with kale and smoked sausage). I added some carrots which I sauteed with onions. I needed my vegetables.

After the hearty dinner, I hit the sack immediately. I was horribly tired and my body still aching (but was much, much better after the spa) and I needed a very long sleep and rest to be ready for another skiing the next day.


Dutch winterfare: Boerenkool stamppot met rookworst.

Les Chalets de Flambeau sits in Les Champs, between Lanslebourg (to the left) and Lanslevillard (to the right). I managed to take a few pictures of the valley and the chalet from the slopes. Check them out below.


Our chalet is on the far right end. In the middle, you will see the flat level building annexed to the main chalet complex where the lobby is. This is the spa and wellness center.

Travel Period: January 2019
Destination: Val Cenis, Savoie (Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes), France

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Happy Travels! Enjoy Life =)

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