‘The chalet is warm and inviting, much like the reception you get from the guys who work there, and it takes no time at all to get settled in and down to the important business of enjoying your holiday.’
The wonderful winner of the Ski Club Ski Holiday For Life competition, Rob Wycherley, has been in Meribel this year. He gives us his review for Chalet Magic Rock, Go Ski Meribel.
Do you get that urge to continuously check the weather reports for the two weeks or so before you go on your ski holiday? Or maybe it’s the frequent re-visit to the website of the chalet company that you have booked with, to re-assure yourself that you have made the right choice when dropping loads of your hard earned Wonga into a company you may never have heard of? Have you done the right thing, do the pictures tell the whole story, what about the reviews? Aaargghh! It’s enough to make your head spin, it’s meant to be a holiday….
Hopefully, the first signs that you get to indicate that you have made the right choice come from the interaction surrounding your booking. All you’re looking for are prompt and polite answers to satisfy your queries and an informative website to know you are on the right track. This is where Mat, the owner of Go Ski Meribel stands out from the crowd. In a former life he was like you and I, making chalet bookings for himself and his friends, trying to make the right decision to maximise those precious moments when we can escape the ritual grind and indulge ourselves in the splendour and majesty of the mountains. He’s got it right, back in 2008 he gave up the successful career in finance, thought to himself “I can make this chalet experience better” and then walked the talk (or skied the slope?)
Chalet Magic Rock is one of four chalets in Meribel that Go Ski operate. It’s the newest of the bunch, and sits in the quiet hamlet of Le Plantin approximately 900 metres outside of Meribel Village; which itself is a few kilometres from the main centre of Meribel. If you’re after bright lights and bars in the evening, Le Plantin is not the place, but Go Ski operate a very efficient minibus service from 08.30 to 22.30 every day to move you around as required. The drivers will happily drop you off at the nearest lift, The Golf, in Meribel Village two minutes away, or alternatively run you up to the busier Chaudanne where there are more choices of direction. In the afternoon you can either arrange to meet the minibus again, or alternatively if the conditions are good you can ski a picturesque route back down the golf course and arrive 50 metres away from the Chalet.
The Chalet itself is nestled a few metres below the road, and sits amongst a motley collection of new and old buildings, affording fabulous views down the Valley when the weather is right. The chalet is warm and inviting, much like the reception you get from the guys who work there, and it takes no time at all to get settled in and down to the important business of enjoying your holiday. The week that I was there the chalet was full, with 17 people the maximum, but it never felt like you were crowded or excluded.
The Go Ski team work incredibly hard at making it feel like a personal service, and were on first name terms with everyone by the end of the first evening. Nothing was too much trouble, and everything was done with willingness and a smile on the face, reflecting the company’s desire to deliver a high quality experience to its customers. The food in particular was awesome, with a wonderfully varied menu created by the professional chef, tailored to dietary requirements as necessary, that began with Canapés at the bar for 19.15pm before being followed up by a gourmet four course sit down affair, washed down with copious amounts of wine. In fact the bar is free for your entire stay, with draught beer on tap, and plastic mugs available so that you can take your drink outside onto the deck, sit in the Jacuzzi, and soak away the aches and pains from a hard day’s skiing.
The hub of the chalet is on the bottom floor, with plenty of relaxed seating, a log fire, Sky TV for sports fans, the bar area and the dining table. Here it’s easy to congregate with your fellow chalet mates, tell your skiing stories or simply chill out. There’s also a sauna available to warm the bones on cold days. The bedrooms themselves are simply furnished, and perhaps lacking in adequate storage for all the kit that one needs to bring out nowadays, but they are light and clean, with either individual bathrooms or en-suite facilities.
Perhaps the one gripe that I had was with the boot room; is it just me or do chalet designers not take into account that there will be pinch points here at the start and end of the day? More than two people getting into their ski boots at one time is an issue, and the boot heaters were a bit pathetic, but hey, that’s not going to detract from a superb overall experience, and Mat is looking at ways to improve this for next season.
From the pick up at the airport, right through to the drop off a week later the experience was first class, and nothing too much trouble for all of the Go Ski team, which was typified by Mat going out of his way to help organise me and my ski buddy onto a heli-skiing trip to La Thuile, booking tickets for the comedy night, as well as making us feel included on an afternoon around the slopes with them. I would thoroughly recommend both Go Ski Meribel and Chalet Magic Rock, for a stress free winning combination. Now get checking that 3 Valleys snow report, they’re waiting!