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Visitor reviews for Aillons-Margeriaz Ski Resort
February 05, 2012
Neil Woolford from United Kingdom
I've now explored Aillons Station a little as well as Margeriaz, and there is good to report of both.
This year we sidestepped the lack of hotels by finding a small studio appartment through the Office de Tourisme's website (lesailons.com). The appartment was comfortable, very good value and within a few yards of the pistes at Aillons Station. It doesn't look like there will be any hotel accommodation in the foreseeable future, but the Hotel du Soleil is being rebuilt as self-catering accommodation.
Ski conditions were ok at the lower station, though freeze-thaw was in evidence at the bottom of the pistes. Some of the higher pistes are pretty technical, according to my brother.
Margeriaz, higher up and with an excellent micro-climate had masses of fresh powder most days of the week, though sometimes this was accompanied by poor visibility. As my skiing improves (a bit!) I've skied more of the resort, finding a small but well equipped snow park and the 'Foret' piste which is just perfect for trying cross country skills.
Aillons Station does actually have some restaurants and bars - the Mont Pelat is good for a treat but moderately dear - and there is a weekly disco during the main February holiday season. Still not the place if your interest is constant apres-ski...
The Sherpa shop at Aillons Station is well stocked and has excellent bread (the owner started as a baker) and the Intersport ski shop is friendly and efficient.
So still highly recommended; we'll certainly be returning, as it is still an ideal place for me to enjoy improving my intermediate skills while
my brother can ski hairy technical pistes when he's bored with teaching me!
Overall: 3.4. Based on 3 votes and 4 reviews. Vote
(1) At least one overnight stop, (2) requires a whole day, (3) requires more than half a day – you may have time for a few turns (4) arrive by lunchtime and ski all afternoon, (5) there is a main airport within an hour of Aillons-Margeriaz.
Public Transport: 2.7
(1) There are no buses or taxis to Aillons-Margeriaz, (3) there are slow or infrequent buses / trains available, (5) getting to the resort is easy with frequent bus / train connections.
(1) An ugly resort in a bland setting, (3) average mountain views and resort, (5) a spectacular setting and a beautiful / historic resort town.
(1) No places to stay in/near Aillons-Margeriaz, (3) a few places to stay in the resort, (5) a wide variety of accommodation suitable to suit all budgets.
Cheap Rooms: 3.0
(1) No budget accommodation available, (3) just one or two hostels so book ahead, (5) several cheap hostels and pensions available.
Luxury Hotels: 1.0
(1) No luxury accommodation available, (3) just one or two luxury hotels so book ahead, (5) several up-market hotels in Aillons-Margeriaz.
Ski in/Ski out: 3.7
(1) The ski area is located far from any accommodation, (3) a free ski bus takes you to the ski area in a short trip, (5) Ski-in ski-out accommodation is available.
(1) There are no child care facilities at Aillons-Margeriaz, (5) the resort has excellent child-care facilities including at least one reasonably priced creche.
(1) Occasionally gets enough snow for skiing, (2) is often closed due to a lack of snow, (3) occasionally suffers from a lack of snow, (4) rarely suffers from a lack of snow, (5) Aillons-Margeriaz is snowsure even in the poorest seasons.
(1) Aillons-Margeriaz relies entirely on natural snow, (3) there are just a few snow cannons, (5) there are snowmaking facilities on all pistes.
Snow Grooming: 4.3
(1) There are no snow groomers at Aillons-Margeriaz, (3) occasionally some pistes are left ungroomed and in a poor state, (5) all the runs at Aillons-Margeriaz are groomed daily.
(1) there is nowhere to ski when it is windy or visibility is bad and lifts often shut, (3) there are some trees for poor visibility but main lifts sometimes close, (5) Aillons-Margeriaz is mostly in forest where you can ski in flat-light and windy days, lifts rarely close.
Nearby options: 3.0
(1) If snow conditions are poor at Aillons-Margeriaz, it will be poor everywhere nearby, (3) there are good alternatives within an hours drive, (5) other locations on the same lift pass provide a rich variety of snowsure ski conditions.
Regional rating: 4.7
(1) Aillons-Margeriaz usually has poor snow conditions compared to other resorts in region, (3) has average conditions for the region, (5) usually has the best snow conditions in the region.
Lift Staff: 4.3
(1) The staff at Aillons-Margeriaz are rude or unhelpful, (5) lift staff at Aillons-Margeriaz are pleasant, cheerful and eager to help.
(1) the resort is always busy and there are usually long lift queues, (3) it is quiet apart from occasional weekends and school holidays, (5) it is uncrowded and lift queues are very rare.
Ski Schools: 3.3
(1) No ski schools available, (2) one or two ski schools but local language only, (3) a few ski schools but book early for multi-lingual instructors, (4) plenty of ski schools and multi-lingual instructors available, (5) excellent ski schools with friendly multi-lingual ski instructors.
Hire and Repairs: 4.3
(1) Nothing can be sourced, not even ski-wax or ptex. (3) there are some ski shops but rentals need to be booked in advance, (5) good quality ski equipment can be purchased or hired and overnight repairs are possible.
Variety of pistes: 4.0
(1) The ski runs are featureless and unvaried, (3) the ski runs are varied but not extensive enough for a week, (5) Aillons-Margeriaz has diverse and interesting pistes including forests and high alpine terrain.
(1) Beginners can only watch others ski and snowboard, (3) a few gentle slopes but beginners will get bored in less than a week, (3) Vast areas of gentle terrain.
(1) No intermediate terrain at Aillons-Margeriaz, (3) intermediate skiers will get bored after a few days, (5) vast areas of cruising runs.
(1) Nothing for advanced skiers and snowboarders, (3) enough steep terrain for a few days with some good offpiste, (5) Enough steep terrain and offpiste areas to entertain advanced skiers for at least a week.
Snow Park: 2.3
(1) Not even a kicker at Aillons-Margeriaz, (3) average sized park quite well looked after, (5) huge park area and expertly crafted pipes, jumps and boardercross trails.
(1) No off-piste worth mentioning, (2) off piste is out-of-bounds, (3) some varied offpiste that stays fresh for one or two days, (5) a vast array of off-piste routes that can stay untracked for several days.
(1) There is nowhere to go for cross-country skiing around Aillons-Margeriaz, (3) there are some cross country trails available, (5) the area features many spectacular and well maintained cross-country trails.
(1) No designated luge or toboggan runs, (3) there are toboggan runs that open quite often, (5) Aillons-Margeriaz has long and well maintained luge / toboggan facilities suitable for all ages.
Mountain Dining: 4.0
(1) Nowhere to buy food by the pistes, (3) some places to eat up on the mountain but they are often busy and expensive, (5) there is a variety of excellent mountain eateries right next to the slopes to suit all budgets.
(1) Bring your own food, there isn't even a shop. (5) A wide variety of places to eat and drink in the resort, from fast food to fancy restaurants.
(1) Nothing to do, not even a bar, (3) there are a few bars in the resort but nothing special, (5) clubs and bars stay open until very late and have a friendly atmosphere.
Other Sports: 1.7
(1) No sports facilities at all apart from ski lifts, (3) resort has just a small public swimming pool, (5) resort has all kinds of sports facilities, including a full-size swimming pool.
(1) Besides the snow and walking there is nothing to do here, (3) the non-skier will find things to do for few days but may become bored after a week, (5) the resort area is a fascinating place to visit, regardless of winter sports.
Winter Walks: 3.7
(1) Very limited walking and no snowshoe trails, (3) a couple of designated scenic walking/snowshoe trails, (5) extensive and diverse winter walking trails for all abilities.
Ski Pass Value: 2.3
(1) A 1 week ski pass is overpriced compared to the number of lifts available, (3) the ski pass is averagely priced and covers a reasonable number of lifts, (5) ski passes are excellent value for money and cover a lot of lifts spanning a big area.
Value (National): 4.0
(1) Overall, Aillons-Margeriaz is one of the most expensive ski resorts in the country and not worth the money, (3) overall represents average value for money, (5) overall offers the best value resort in the country.
Value (Global): 3.0
(1) Overall, Aillons-Margeriaz is one of the most expensive ski resorts in the world, (3) overall it offers pretty average value for money compared to resorts from other countries, (5) internationally the resort offers excellent value for money.
February 13, 2011
Neil Woolford from United Kingdom
Yes, this is a little gem of a resort. Absolutely perfect for the beginner to intermediate skier. The layout of Margeriaz is logical and has plenty of blue runs that are actually fun to ski. My tip is the lower section of Les Coqs, which is an undulating piste through forest with some interesting bumps and curves. The pistes are maintained to a high standard.
Apart from me and my brother, I've heard English spoken here about twice in three years of visiting and although some of the instructors speak enough English to teach, you'd do better here with reasonable (understanding of) French.
Note that hotels are currently not available, as the Chamois is now owned by a ski club for its members and the Hotel du Soleil unfortunately burned down. There's no apres ski apart from buying cheese to take home from the dairy in the village.
February 29, 2008
Paul Tuohy from United Kingdom
What a gem of a resort! We stayed at Le Chamois in Les Aillon and skied 2 days, with 4 at the higher resort of Margeriaz. Whilst most Brits were heading to the headline resorts of Les Arc, la Plagne, etc.. you will be struck by the complete non-existence of British skiers in the beautiful Les Bauges country park. With no snow for over two weeks, Margeriaz still had 135cm and the conditions were great. It's a family holiday dream with ample blues and reds. All the skiers are French locals with visitors coming from the northern departments such as Pas de Calais. Ski de Fond (cross-country) is popular as is snow-shoeing for those who prefer off-piste mountain air. It's like going back in time with children using 80's equipment and hand-me-downs and no one cares..And best of all - both resorts for a 90 Euro lift pass - less than half the price of the major resorts. Most beginners and intermediates will only use 25% of the big resort runs so this represents amazing value. You are only 13miles from Chambery airport!! and an hour from Geneva or Grenoble. An afternoon trip to beautiful Annecy (40mins drive) for lunch was thrown in after an early morning ski on one day.
In summary - a traditional French ski resort that is incredibly understated with masses of country appeal. Family of four with ski passes, hotel accommodation, breakfast and 3 course meals 7 nights, petrol, tolls, ferry, 50 Euro a day spending for lunch and drinks - all in - £1,980. Our similar trips to larger resorts have come out at about £3,200. Check out the Les Ailoon Margeriaz website and treat yourself...