REVIEW: Living the luxury 'home from home' French Alps ski experience in a hosted chalet

PUBLISHED: 12:38 15 January 2020 | UPDATED: 12:49 15 January 2020

Reporter Harry Rutter (pictured) spent a week in La Plagne, France with Ski Beat and here is what he got up to. Picture: Harry Rutter

Reporter Harry Rutter (pictured) spent a week in La Plagne, France with Ski Beat and here is what he got up to. Picture: Harry Rutter

Archant

When asked to return to the French Alps to experience another 'home from home' experience with Ski Beat I could hardly say no.

The view 2,500 ft up. Picture: Harry RutterThe view 2,500 ft up. Picture: Harry Rutter

This time, located higher up in La Plagne, I'd experience another fully hosted chalet by the wonderful in-house team and hit the snowy slopes once again.

In 2018 I stayed in Les Arcs and spent the entire week learning how to ski - this time I could re-apply that knowledge and get skiing as soon as possible.

Arriving back in paradise

Our Ski Beat guide gives us a tour on our way up to La Plagne. Picture: Harry RutterOur Ski Beat guide gives us a tour on our way up to La Plagne. Picture: Harry Rutter

A transfer from Lyon Airport via coach was just over three hours so allowed us time to catch-up on any missing sleep after our early-morning flight.

We arrived at Plagne 1800 and were greeted by a team of Ski Beat staff who were on hand and ready to help us move into our new home for the week.

I stayed in the beautiful Chalet Florence which boasts a stunning view across the slopes, a shop directly opposite and a five minute walk - or free bus - to the nearest ski lift.

Outside view of Chalet Florence in Plagne 1800. Picture: Harry RutterOutside view of Chalet Florence in Plagne 1800. Picture: Harry Rutter

We spent the first day learning our surroundings and explored some of the beautiful walking routes and lively bars La Plagne had to offer.

Getting back into the skis

One the second day our ski passes were activated so we wasted no time boarding the bus and headed for the nearest available lift.

Are we lost? I hope not. Picture: Harry RutterAre we lost? I hope not. Picture: Harry Rutter

I'd by lying if I said it wasn't hard for the first five or ten minutes, but much like riding a bike it was really easy to get back into the flow of skiing.

La Plagne has so many flat routes to try out for beginners and plenty of steep hard runs for the thrill-seekers - and of course there is always off-piste.

After a hard first day on the slopes we returned back to Chalet Florence and were once again greeted by our hosts who had prepared a home-made cake and baguettes.

The top of the ski lift at Le Bergerie. Picture: Harry RutterThe top of the ski lift at Le Bergerie. Picture: Harry Rutter

Each day, the in-house Ski Beat hosts would make a new cake and will cater to everyone's needs, so those with certain allergens had their own cake to enjoy.

Where it all began

The third day saw our group ski over to where it all began in Plan Peisey. I re-visited the slopes where I learned to ski two years ago.

Reporter Harry Rutter meeting up with previous Ski Beat chalet hosts Sue and Simon in Plagne Centre. Picture: Harry RutterReporter Harry Rutter meeting up with previous Ski Beat chalet hosts Sue and Simon in Plagne Centre. Picture: Harry Rutter

It was refreshing to re-do all of the runs I remember and was excited to find out Les Arcs had made a new edition to the resort in the shape of a new 'fun run'.

Our chalet hosts in 2018 were Sue, Simon and Gerrard in Chalet Bayona - we loved them so much and they made us feel so at home we organised to meet them again.

Skiing into La Plagne, Sue and Simon came to visit us at one of the many bars and restaurants in Plagne Centre and we all enjoyed a much-needed catch up.

Returning to Les Arcs - where it all began in 2018. Picture: Harry RutterReturning to Les Arcs - where it all began in 2018. Picture: Harry Rutter

Fun off the skis

Midway through the week out chalet hosts told us about a live music night at Bar La Mine which was just meters away from us.

Our group headed down and enjoyed a whole night of entertainment and gave us all the chance to meet new people and speak to locals.

Bar La Mine in La Plagne. Picture: Harry RutterBar La Mine in La Plagne. Picture: Harry Rutter

The atmosphere was great and we all had an amazing night - so much so that we returned to La Mine at least five more times before coming home.

Time to relax

Returning once again to our chalet after another hard day on the slopes, mobile massage providers Massage Me paid us a visit.

The lively La Bergerie bar. Picture: Harry RutterThe lively La Bergerie bar. Picture: Harry Rutter

With prices starting at just 49 Euros, Massage Me will come to your room to help you wind down and relax with a catalogue of different massages and techniques.

If massages aren't your thing, just sat in Chalet Florence with the log fire burning and a stunning view across the valley will definitely put you in a good mood.

Taking the day off

Soaking up the sun in the snow 2500ft up. Picture: Harry RutterSoaking up the sun in the snow 2500ft up. Picture: Harry Rutter

Taking a day off skiing we decided to head down the hill to France's one and only bobsleigh track where the BMW World Cup was being held.

The huge free event allowed on-lookers to get up close with the track and cheer on their team as they competed at high-speeds in the skeleton competition.

We were quick to spot Team GB who thanked us for coming down to show our support and gave us all the info we needed to spot them on the track.

French TV  filming live from the World Cup. Picture: Harry RutterFrench TV filming live from the World Cup. Picture: Harry Rutter

A rep informed us the best spot to watch was at corner 16, conveniently placed was a food stand and (more importantly) a bar.

In summary

Returning back to the French Alps was on my bucket list and thanks to Ski Beat, once again, I'm able to tick it off.

The World Cup track. Picture: Harry RutterThe World Cup track. Picture: Harry Rutter

Our chalet hosts really looked after us and made sure we had the most memorable and safe trip possible and made sure to point us in all the right directions.

The food was amazing and everyone and their needs were catered to, no matter what you are always able to find something you'll enjoy.

FACT FILE:

The BMW Skeleton and Bobsleigh World Cup in La Plagne. Picture: Harry RutterThe BMW Skeleton and Bobsleigh World Cup in La Plagne. Picture: Harry Rutter

A week's fully hosted ski holiday to the vast La Plagne ski area, part of the 425km of pistes that make up the Paradiski region, costs from £499pp during 2020.

The price includes return Gatwick flights (Manchester + £20), transfers, seven nights accommodation in a homely, hosted chalet, with cooked breakfast, homemade afternoon cakes and tea, three-course evening meals with wine (6 nights) and the services of a friendly chalet host.

A week's stay at the Chalet Florence costs from £599pp. Contact Ski Beat on 01273 855100 or visit: www.skibeat.co.uk

Ice dripping from the chalet roof one early morning. Picture: Harry RutterIce dripping from the chalet roof one early morning. Picture: Harry Rutter

Heavy snowfall from the night before. Picture: Harry RutterHeavy snowfall from the night before. Picture: Harry Rutter

The picturesque view from our chalet balcony. Picture: Harry RutterThe picturesque view from our chalet balcony. Picture: Harry Rutter

View from across the valley near Plagne Centre. Picture: Harry RutterView from across the valley near Plagne Centre. Picture: Harry Rutter

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