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Courmeyeur At Xmas

By Derek Draper

Most people know the general limitations of this resort but there are some interesting itinerary and seriously off-piste runs. For instance; I had a three hour session with a great mountain man - Jani - I have never been so tired skiing in my life.

Fortunately the crevices on the glacier were not filled sufficiently for us to attempt the run but Jani had done it twice the previous day to check it out! Apparently there are also two itinerary runs at either perimeter of the resort but there was insufficient snow to for them to be attempted so early in the season.

I booked on the internet through a company called Friendship Travel which does not charge single supplements but the holiday is actually with Mark Warner. Ages ranged down from my youthful years to late thirties. No children were allowed! I was most impressed by the level of service provided. On arrival at Geneva the airport was literally crawling with MW reps. We sat on a coach for a little while waiting for a lost case but we left without waiting for straggles as a mini-bus was laid on for them.

On arrival we had a substantial afternoon tea (provided every day) whilst the staff - all MW people - carried our bags from the coach to our rooms. There were 23 staff members to attend to the needs of 42 - eventually 50 guests - a very impressive ratio! They could not have been more helpful.

There were three seriously qualified "Ski hosts" catering for every standard except beginners (I won an award for best head plant of the week!) In the evening they acted as maitre de and organised amusing competitions later (Don't groan - it was good fun) The selection of food at dinner was impressive although the general opinion was that the young chefs were a little too ambitious (too many cooking programmes on TV) and the result was occasionally somewhat disappointing. On the other hand breakfast could not be criticised The swarms of "Chalet girls" in the hotel were helpful and always smiling - a cut above the average.

The choice and quality of the restaurants on the slopes was outstanding and the food was cheaper than in the village. Drinks were a strain on the purse - beer E5, wine E5, both in the hotel and bars generally.

On departure our bags were collected from the rooms and taken to the coach by staff. The final touch is the MW check in desks with MW staff to put cases on the conveyor.