In the first week of March we went on our first ever Mark Warner holiday, and I can safely say that it won’t be our last. As an organisation they looked after every detail and the staff at their hotel made sure that our family holiday was absolutely incredible.
I have thought about how best to write about our week and have decided to split the review into a few posts. You may have already seen our little video of some of the weeks activities here, and whilst this review will focus on the hotel, I will do separate posts on the fabulous childcare, the skiing/ski lessons and the travel!
Where can I start about the wonderful Chalet Hotel Aiguille Percee in Tignes. When we arrived at 4pm after our long journey I was in bit of a daze, I had three pretty fractious children who all desperately needed some food, a drink and a wee, so we must have looked pretty fraught to the reception staff. I am sure they are used to this though as they were really efficient told us very quickly about the evening program (afternoon tea and children’s tea at 5pm; childcare briefing at 6pm; welcome drinks at 7pm) and handed us our room keys. We made our way up to the fifth floor in the lift to room 507, and I can only say we were amazed! The room definitely definitely had the WOW factor. Look at this!
I had expected a family room with all 5 beds in one room, so I was blown away by the space and the view! It was also a wonderful treat to be greeted with a bottle of champagne!
We quickly made the rooms look far messier as the girls unpacked their travel bags and chose their beds, and I unpacked our ski clothes so we were ready for the lessons the next day.
We made our way down to the restaurant for the first time just after 4.30pm to find out what afternoon tea had in store and find some proper food for the children, crisps and chocolate having been the order of the day to get us through the coach trip. We found cake (lots and lots of yummy cake) soup, ham and cheese, and sausages/burgers and chips for the kids from the buffet. Happy kids indeed, and happy Mum and Dad. The cake all week at afternoon tea was a real treat.
The staff in the restaurant were all lovely. It is one thing that stuck with me all week. All the staff seemed genuinely happy, like they were enjoying themselves, and that nothing was too much trouble. This wasn’t just attention for me and my family. This was the attention they gave to all the guests. I have recently been to some 5* hotels in this country for work events, and their staff can be surly and difficult to engage. The enthusiasm the staff had in this hotel was fabulous, and my kids LOVED it.
The next thing we needed to do was go and get our boots fitted at the ski hire place, this was pretty tricky to do at 5.30pm with tired kiddies, but they battled on better than I did. I was a bit grumpy! If you have booked your ski hire through Mark Warner the ski hire shop then bring the skis round to the hotel in their van. This was a very nice touch after a long day. Our ski’s then went into the very large boot room. As a non-skier I am reliably informed by hubby that this is pretty much as good as it gets. But the girls ski stuff went into their own (very user friendly) boot room area, with room for coats, hats, gloves etc as well as just their ski boots and skis. This ultimately made getting them ready in the morning so much easier.
Having taken a little bit longer to fit our ski boots and skis than we thought, we missed the start of the childcare briefing, however this wasn’t an issue as they just gave us our own little chat when we arrived back. I had expected the kids listening service to be available that evening but this service isn’t on on welcome night as the childcare team have the day off. So I popped the girls into their onesies and took them down to dinner with us that night, with some i-pads to keep them quiet!
Dinner that evening was a buffet, there was absolutely loads to choose from and it was all very good. As you do, I had read all the trip advisor reviews on the hotel before we booked, and some people had been fairly dismissive of the food and the wine. I cannot disagree with them more. Whilst the first night was a buffet (and that was very good), every other evening in the week (apart from Thursday) there was a three course a la carte dinner with three choices for each course, with a couple of choices of red, white and rose wine to choose from. When we couldn’t decide which bottle of wine we wanted to have, they left both on the table. We didn’t actually have a bottle we didn’t like! The food was a very high standard and beautifully presented. During the week I had some fantastic food such as Thai Style broth with swordfish, Chicken stuffed with camembert and spinach mousse; potted salmon terrine; Steak; beautiful roast potatoes and a trio of bruschetta to list some of my favourites.
At 8.30pm on the first night, we all went to bed! Happy/exhausted/excited, but very glad to be at Chalet Hotel Aiguille Percee.
With three little ones, we have usually chosen to stay in apartments or villas, to make sure we know the children will always be able to eat something they like, so this was our first trip in a hotel, fully catered. I’ll say more about the children’s food in the childcare post, but there was no worries at all with any of the meals. There was literally something for everyone for breakfast. The buffet breakfast was continually topped up, and you could order fried eggs; poached eggs, omlettes etc if what you wanted wasn’t out. My three had cocoa pops or weetabix all week, followed by croissants or toast. I usually plumped for smoked salmon and scrambled eggs and hubby a full English (what a treat!). There was also porridge, choice of juice, quite a number of different teas and obviously lots of coffee (we were in France!). I would definitely not worry about food when traveling with Mark Warner, breakfast was fabulous and left us raring to go for the day!
It was only that morning when we made our way out to ski lessons that we realised just how fabulously located Chalet Hotel Aiguille Percee is in Tignes. It is literally a 2 minute walk to the main square where the ski schools meet up, 100m from the brand new gondola that takes you right into the heart of the vast Espace Killy ski area and right next door to some restaurants and bars. As I hadn’t skied before I hadn’t realised quite how essential it was to be close to home when you’ve finished your ski lessons, but Emilia at Mark Warner had been completely right when she recommended this hotel for our family. Walking any distance in those boots, is too far! So the closer the better. Chalet Hotel Aiguille Percee is perfectly located.
The main thing for me that ‘made’ the week at this hotel was the childcare, it was outstanding and we can’t thank Jodie enough. I have written a separate post on the kids club as I think it warranted it, and is so important to most of my readers. The other thing I loved about the hotel was the spa facilities. Recently upgraded there is a small swimming pool, sauna and steam room. I made sure I made some time for me and the spa a couple of times that week after ski lessons and before picking the kids up after lunch.
There is also an on-site therapist who gave me a complimentary full body massage on Saturday. She was brilliant! Whilst at the time I think I shouted ‘ouch’ quite a lot, it was definitely what I needed at the end of a week using muscles I didn’t know I had. Highly recommended.
Wifi. A minor issue is that it isn’t great, but it is free. You have to login every time you use it which is a pain, but you are in the mountains and to be honest even as a blogger it isn’t the end of the world to not be able to check your social media feeds within seconds, is it? (If I tell myself over and over I might believe that!).
So in summary would I recommend Chalet Hotel Aiguille Percee. Absolutely without hesitation. The warmth from the staff, combined with the location and the childcare made it a truly special hotel that you can’t help bull fall in love with. Thanks to Adele and her team for a wonderful holiday. Now to try their summer offering!!
NB: We visited the hotel as guests of Mark Warner however all views are our own!