Club Hotel le Totem
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Travel Blogs from Flaine
... caught a local train to Chamonix proper and checked back into the Grand Hotel des Alps, our original starting point, where we were repatriated with our luggage. The rest of the day was spent relaxing in the hotel and waking the busy streets of Chamonix. Checkout tomorrow and we start our journey to Paris via a B&B in ...
... by a challenge we headed up to the glacier. It took about an hour and at the Chalet, we stopped and had lunch - great salad made fresh from the owners garden with goat cheese from the town we had just left. Delicious! As we had come a different route, we had to continue climbing up to Les Grand Dessus and then traverse around the mountain to the col de Balme. This all took a lot longer than originally planned, but we finally made it to the col. We had ...
Spent the night in Trient - not exactly the same quality of hotel or view from my window as before, but the constant cow bells were a nice change.. don't these things sleep? Today we make our way back to France over the Arete des Posettes, a whale backed ridge - supposed to be a gentler day of only 15 kilometers and 2500 ft elevation gain and loss. The high point will be the Col de Balme which is supposed to have a funky restaurant for lunch... -- ...
... of eight from there to the hotel in their minivan.
The trams are great: clean, cheap, and all electric. The city of Geneva (from what I could see) was really clean too, with recycling bins everywhere there's a rubbish bin. The water here even tastes like New Zealand water! The hotel is really nice too, with big modern rooms. Definitely nice to have some space after ...
... doing yoga on a hot island. Kuo Jen even taught me a few words of Malay. Today was really pleasant walking. Beautiful sun with a light breeze so it was not too hot. We crossed the pass from Italy into Switzerland: Grand Col Ferret. Although it was 2537m it was definitely easier than the other passes, with just a few patches of snow on the top. Everything seemed to go easily today and before I knew it we had arrived ...
How has this hotel rated in the past?
Historical Traveler Reviews Club Hotel le Totem Flaine
Not bad at all
I've never posted on a review forum before but felt I should after reading the poor reviews before going to Hotel Totem last week and worrying (unnecessarily) about our trip.
The food was good and plenty of it and we had four healthy appetites incuding a fussy eater and a serious nut allergy in our group. The restaurant staff were excellent and brought extra bread and clean crockery whenever asked. The rooms were basic but clean; as someone has already said it isn't a five star hotel but has never claimed to be and the cost reflected this.
To be fair there were a lot of screaming children but if we hadn't booked last minute we probably would have realised this would be the case as the hotel actively promotes itself as child/family friendly with tons of child care facilities.
Perhaps we were lucky but we had excellent snow and a great time.
I like children when their parents are in control
Just returned from Flaine. We purposely booked outside school holidays, we thought this would reduce the number of children in the hotel, how wrong we were. Both my wife and I work with children and like a break for our holidays. Obviously the parents who take their children out of school for trips also like a break from them because there was no discipline and we had children running throughout the hotel at all hours. This included the restaurant and bar area thus making a relaxing time impossible after a days skiing.
The staff were resigned to this and were very tolerant, the food was god. It was a shame really that so many families ordered the "chip" option instead of the good food on offer.
The skiing is reasonable in Flaine but the high winds closed the highest of the lift systems, so skiing was a little limited. My wife and I purposely stayed out till the lifts closed to avoid the screaming kids.
Close to slopes
The hotel was large and in a good location for the main gondola - about 100 yards away. The evening meal is good and there is enough to fill you up. There is a choice of meat or fish. Veggies have a choice too, but it looked to me like slightly less effort went into it than the meat dishes - pasta and sauce one night. The restaurant is tightly managed and the staff are pretty good and you may be able to influence your veggie meal. There was free, limited table wine too, which is best described as drinkable.
The bar is small, but serves a fair no. of drinks.
Breakfast is plentiful too. You can rot your teeth with the cereal or have croissant, pain au chocolat, tinned fruit salad, ham, cheese and bread - or a full English. Don't be too late, as some people were taking the breakfast away for their lunch.
The hotel is full of kids travelling at full speed. There is a tea at about 5pm, but get there before the kids, snatch your cake before they pilfer it all and disappear quickly before you go deaf. I took a pear from the fruit bowl. It was a bit hard. I turned it over to find a child-sized bite from it.
The hotel is just over the square from a tabac (selling cheaper phone cards than the hotel). If you go into the shopping arcade, there is a cashpoint upstairs. There is a pub called the White Bar on the square too. The usual ski-resort type pub. Big, busy, warm with lots of cold lager - the place to be seen - and watch videos of people skiing off cliffs.
This place is OK- a good place to go with a group of your mates. Staff are laid back. I saw one person complaining about [the constantly] dirty crockery at dinner, but the staff were just too chilled to let it bother them too much.
Crystal need to get some proffessional management in quick
On the surface everything appeared fine but there are problems , half the clients and staffs had food poisoning of some form during our week,thank heavens we are old hands,but the young staff treat you like "kids" which they are,you feel you are an inconvience to their "fun" compared to the extremily hard working local French restuarant and ski instructors who are really good.Bar price were the highest in the resort.Room cleaning was flaky.Our transfer was a complete screw up being abandoned at Geneva airport with the Terminal light s being turned off because of the late hour was not good.Thank heavens the "skiing" which we came for was good,It could be so much better
Buck your ideas up quick Crystal!
Ideally located. Rooms OK. Some staff great.
FOOD AWFUL! Not once in the week (last wk Jan 07) was there a full selection of breakfast items available - either hot or cold. I varied time of arrival across the opening times throughout the week to see if it was just me but to no avail. That available not impressive - unless you're into eggs like bullets or soggy hash browns, to name but 2.
Starter one night consisted of 1/4 (yes thats right) 1/4 of a small tomato with a teaspoon of mozarella. Another night soup was served barely luke warm in a coffee cup. The lack of bread was such a feature we, and several other groups, resorted to bringing our own into dinner. Despite complaints to various staff and managers no attempt to improve was made through the week
Cleanliness of rooms is also a prob. Not too bad for us though bathroom only cleaned once and towels only changed once. In one room food and clothing was found under a bed that must have been there from last season!!
Top tips Crystal:
1. people come to spend a full day exerting themselves on the mountain - send them out with a decent breakfast and feed them well when they return and they might even return the following year!
2. fresh towels for a bath following a day of exercise is not at all unreasonable in this day and age
3. The customer is generally right - it really does pay to listen AND react accordingly
Contary to other reviews
Our group arrived on 20th January for 7 days, and found nothing but kindness and pleasant service. Perhaps, unlike others, we did not expect 5 star service at 3 star prices. However we were well received and the staff very helpful. There was always plenty of waiters(M and F)in attendance at breakfast and dinner. There was always plenty of food, though at breakfast there was some delay at times in a continual supply of cooked food, but in fairness about 200 people wanted their breakfast at the same time. The Chef was excellent and the menu varied, anything from frog's legs to Guinea fowl and plenty more "normal" food. There was usually a choice of 3 options with the main course. The comment on the price of alcohol is unfair as the prices seemed to be at this level everywhere in the town and on the slopes. I would recommend this hotel to anybody. I felt your other reviews were unfair.
Stayed at Le Totem from 16/12/06 for one week with my family.
The hotel is ideally located close to ski rental, ski school, lifts and also restaurants/shops. We had a comfortable but cosy room with a balcony overlooking one of the nursery slopes. The lighting in the room was very poor.
The food was nicely presented, an attempt to make it look better than it was. On the first night we waited well over an hour for our main course! Other people arrived in the restaurant after us, ate and left and we still hadn't eaten.
The food during the week never arrived hot, it was always luke warm. The free wine consisted of .25l.
Breakfasts were very poor considering that they were to be a substantial source of energy for the day. One particular day, at 08.05am, there were no croissants or bread left.(When the croissants were there they were usually burnt!). The cooked breakfast buffet was rationed by the staff and extremely poor.
By Tuesday we had decided to eat out at night and in the mornings, for the children, I would get croissants from the shop opposite.
The staff were ever so friendly, however vastly inexperienced at problem solving.
The skiing was good, I would recommend the resort but not the accomodation unless they change the chef at Le Totem. If the hotel were to concentrate on straightforward hearty food I'm sure that they would do better.
We booked a family ski trip here during Christmas week. The location is great and you can ski in and out of the hotel. What really lets the place down is the poor standard of service, the bolshie attitude of the staff (especially Reception) and the dreadful food. It is run by Crystal Holidays.
1. The staff are all english/irish and very young with very little experience of working in hotels. It took us 24 hours to get a light bulb changed...and there were numerous other examples of poor service and attitude.
2. The (very expensive) bar is geared to the young english reveller, who wants potent cocktails and happy hours, rather than families.
3. The food was truly revolting...very small portions and usually served lukewarm. I felt ill by the middle of the week. They limit the (cheap) 'free' wine to 0.25 litre each.
4. The 'chef's night off' scam is employed here, so full board does not apply on Wednesday night. Make sure you book a restaurant early or you will find it hard to get a table ( or you can continue to eat at le Totem for 25 euros per head!).
5. The rooms are OK although the lighting in the bedroom (two low energy bulbs on stalks) is bizarre.
Advice: investigate the other hotels and places to stay in Flaine...there are much better places than Le Totem! We shall not be returning.
This was my first ski holiday so was not sure what to expect but had a fantastic time. Thought the hotel was superb and the evening meals were fantastic, much better than I expected for the money we paid!!! It may not be the most luxurious hotel in the world but found it to be very clean and very comfortable. Being a beginner it was great having the ski school, lifts, etc practically on the door step. Would definitely go back again some time. Did not have children with us but the childcare facilities on offer looked great so, now that we are travelling with a child, did not hesitate to book our next ski holiday through Crystal again, just trying a different resort this time!!!!!
Good Location but cleanliness standard of hotel low
Le Totem hotel in Flaine has an excellent location on the piste but because its run by Crystal Ski, you wont get the kind of service & cleanliness expected at a 3 star hotel.
Our room was very small, the carpet was really dirty and housekeeping never once vacummed or cleaned the bathroom during our stay (1 week)
The evening meals generally pretty good, altough it was hard to find basics, like teaspoons, sugar, clean glasses at meal times, especially breakfast.
The hotel is extremely kid friendly, lots of kids so if you prefer adult company at all times I recommend you go elsewhere.