Aaaaaand... we are back with a complete review of our winter breaks 2017/2018!
#1 Transportation: flight tickets + shuttle = cheaper than train
Back in February 2017, for our honeymoon (part 1) in Valfréjus, we took two trains + a private taxi. This year, we tried travelling rather by plane and guess what? It was cheaper with EasyJet ! Cheaper, shorter and less exhausting than some train with noisy neighbors. From Nice's airport in 2 hours by shuttle, you get to Isola 2000 ski resort !
#2 Tour operator: the All-Inclusive formula by Voyage Privé
The perfect formula: 2 beds, a buffet, an open bar. This is the journey we booked from Voyage Privé for both our stays in Valfréjus and Isola 2000. From breakfast to dinner, with a possibility to bring your own "doggy-bag" for lunch. Also included in this formula: snowshoe hiking hours, sled rental, limited access to the hotel's swimming pool & sauna and a ticket to the swimming pool center.
#3 Valfréjus VS Isola 2000
Both hotels we stayed in are part of the Soleil Vacances group.
VALFREJUS - February 2017
The Valfréjus's Hotel du Soleil had that little forest atmosphere. Everything was renovated to make you feel like you are in the middle of a gigantic cabin: wood furniture, cosy chairs and couches, contrasting colors and fabrics, etc...
Located a bit up in the hills of the resort, patience and perseverance are required! After a long and exhausting day of skiing, you could get demotivated by the distance between the center of the resort and the hotel.
Voyage Privé's bedrooms are spacious, with mountain-view balconies. You get enough storage space for 2 adults and some functional equipment (TV, mini fridge, hair and towel dryers).
During your stay, there are plenty of activities within the resort: downhill with torches at night, ice rink, local market for souvenirs, etc... Even if it's not during scholar period, it is still busy!
However, for ski beginners like us, there are not enough green slopes (only 3), as blue slopes might seem a bit scary !
ISOLA 2000 - March 2018
Le Pas du Loup's Hotel in Isola must have been built way before Valfréjus's. The cement exterior aspect won't make you dream. However, the hotel is certainly better located within the resort as it is just a few meters from the platter lift. Located at the very end of a shopping mall, where you can easily find bars, restaurants, ski rental shops and souvenirs, we highly recommend that you walk through the snow outside directly, instead of taking the multiple stairs to get there.
Voyage Privé's bedrooms are located either on the ground floor or underground, with no balcony but with a small mountain view. The same functional equipment as Valfréjus's (except our hair dryer which didn't work).
Because it's a family-oriented ski resort, we thought that maybe activities were mainly during scholar holidays. We didn't see any downhills with torches like we saw in Valfréjus. However, slopes are great and fun for beginners. Our favorite ones were definitely green: "Le Grand Tour", "Roubines" and "Chastillon".
#4 Our review
Despite negative comments on Tripadvisor, this is our final review on our stay in Isola 2000, Le Pas du Loup's hotel.
The staff was very friendly and cheerful. We managed to get our rooms earlier than planned (3PM instead of 5PM). We guessed that maybe during highly frequented periods, they must have appeared stressful, which could lead to frustrated feedback.
Humidity: We didn't see any damp areas in our rooms. However, we were definitely blessed/lucky as it had been snowing for the last three weeks before our arrival. In total, out of 5 days there, we got 4 full sunny days.
All-inclusive buffet: a lot of choices, a theme per day (Chinese, Italian, etc...), in a large dinning hall. Everything was put into place to enjoy our meals as much as possible. Our favorite feature was the open-bar with free hot chocolates, tea or sodas, which were great after an exhausting day of skiing.
Housework: we had read some negative comments about the way rooms were cleaned. However, it is written somewhere in the bathroom that the housework is done before we get there and just before we leave. Eventually, we noticed that bins were emptied and bath towels replaced on a daily basis.
The ski resort: great location for our hotel, ideal if you are there to ski. All green slopes are good for beginners, some great blue slopes for more sensations. If however you are not into skiing, that's another story. With Voyage Privé you can go hiking if the weather is good enough and if it's not already fully booked.
Some independent operators might suggest you other hiking roads, but it is not included into your all-inclusive formula from Voyage Privé.
Services included: we honestly only enjoyed the buffet and open bar as we are 100% greedy. We cancelled the hiking hours because on Tuesday it was fully booked and the weather was not good enough on Thursday. Plus, we could have enjoyed the hotel's pool but, too tiny to use it with other people. I am not even sure it was actually open as many complained online that it wasn't.
Hoping to find maybe another ski resort next to Montreal, Canada next year, I hope you've enjoyed reading our feedback and reviews !
Last but not least, a huge thank you to Pixelvin for this panoramic picture of us at the top of Pelevos.