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TR Les Arcs (Vallandry) with Travelski 28/01/23-04/02/23

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hello all,

Just returned from our yearly trip and thought I would do a big write up. The trip was for 9 adults. Priorities were catered accommodation, get as much skiing as possible and try to travel by train. Having used the ski train successfully before we decided to give Travelski a go after seeing that their first year went ok. I picked Les Arcs as the destination because we could get an apartment in Vallandry and use a caterer I had used previously. Using Travelski means you get an extra days skiing (7 full days instead of the usual 6). Prices as follows.

Travelski costs £961 per person which included Eurostar, transfer, accommodation and ski pass (including optional £120 to upgrade ski train seats to standard premier)
Hire costs averaged £80 per person
Catering costs £310 per person
Tourist Tax £17 each
Pass extension for 1 day in La Plagne - £20

Total for 7 full days skiing - £1388

As I said above we went with Travelski. If you want a direct train to the alps this is your only option. Travelski are not really a travel agency more an apartment reseller that you can book a train ticket with. They want you to do everything via the website which is quite impressive but not quite perfect. When you then phone to check or change things the quality of English of their staff is not quite at the level needed when sorting fine details about bookings. Nevertheless I booked with them and picked one of their pricier apartments in Vallandry. I also upgraded the Eurostar tickets to standard premium.

Fairly late in the booking the departure times were pulled forwards due to engineering works. The original plan was to take a day train out and take a night train back. Instead we would leave the night before and take a day train back. Travelski announced this with a simple email (which incredibly, listed the revised departure time wrong!). The new departure time was on a Friday so our group had to revised their work plans on Friday to deal with this. I also needed to phone Travelski to check they would pull the ski passes and hire forwards which they didn't seem to understand was required. We also needed to arrange the bag drop with the hotel on the arrival day as Travelski do not do this for you.

Another frustration was that Travelski ask for travellers to arrive 2 hours before departure. Which is dumb. Eurostar ask for 1hour to 90mins. When challenged Travelski admitted that they just do this to make sure everyone is there on time. A little frustrating when one of the main selling points of a train is the reduced time wasted hanging around departure areas. On the return leg Travelski organised our transfer to drop us off 3 hours before departure at Bourg-Saint-Maurice. Considering we had to leave the apartments at 05:50, this was ridiculous.

The train trip itself went very smoothly. As premium standard you get a hot meal on the train and more leg room and storage space. Unfortunately the chairs are still awful for sleeping in and the train is pretty noisy. Taking a big blanket and something to cover your eyes and ears is highly recommended. After some limited sleeping we were woken around 05:30 and served a very small breakfast.

On arrival at Bourg-Saint-Maurice there were not enough taxis for the amount of people so some of our group had a breakfast there instead of up the mountain. Travelski were apologetic for this and it didn't actually result in lost time. The rest of the group were dropped off at a cafe in Vallandry for a complimentary breakfast of croissants, juice and a hot drink.

After that we headed to the apartments, got changed, dropped off our bags in the luggage store and were skiing around 10:00am.

The return leg also went very smoothly and the return didn't feel like a long trip at all. We had fantastic train staff (shout out to Theirry) and it was all rather pleasant. We were also provided a hot lunch and afternoon tea on the train. The return leg, unlike the overnight leg allows alcohol.

So to summarise Travelski are ok. I think you can get a great value 7 day trip out of them if you want a self catered holiday. But Travelski don't seem bothered in letting you waste your time with excessive arrival times which unnecessarily extends the travel day and really nullifies the advantages of the train. In future I think we will just travel during the day and book ourselves. I wish we could book the overnight ski train direct like we used to. The extra luggage room, comfortable seating, more personal space and ease of getting to the station really make it appealing.

I spent a little more and went with 2 apartments (a 6/8 person and 4/6 person) at CGH Résidences & Spas - L'Orée des Cimes. The location of these was pretty much perfect. Just off the base of the Grizzly lift in Vallandry. We could walk from the apartment door to the lift in a few minutes. We could also ski back to the apartment door. I haven't been able to do this in some time and it really is lovely and means mornings are a little less rushed for that first lift! The apartments themselves were modern and very spacious. Good sized rooms with everything you need. Just be aware that when the apartments list the size as 4/6 person, the extra two persons is a fold out bed in the lounge. The boot room was also huge with separate lockers for each apartment. When checking in on the first day one apartment was ready 14:00, the other was barely ready at 17:00. We also had to do a weird self inventory. There was also a spa which some of the group really liked. The views from the apartment were also stunning.

Hire gear
Hired through Travelski at the Skiset based at the apartments so amazing location for us. We had gold skis. The skis were good on the base but they were pretty battered on the top sheet. Still did the job well and had good edges.

I always try to go catered but Travelski only offer self catered apartments. Pre pandemic we went to Vallandry and had catering provided by Chloe's cuisine (, which was amazing. I spoke with Chloe and she confirmed she could cater for us at the apartments. It worked out very well. Chloe comes to the apartments with all the food and drink needed. She cooks it all, sets the table and clears up. We gave her a key so that she can let herself in, in the morning. breakfast is full continental as well as eggs and porridge. She leaves cake for afternoon tea and the returns in the evening to cook dinner. Dinner is three courses and served with plenty of wine. On this trip we had a few more people so Chloe bought along Tom who helped out. All the food was exceptional and that was with a split group of vegetarians. Being able to slump down after a big days skiing, not move and then be fed restaurant quality food is really special. Highly highly recommended.

We stayed in Vallandry. I think the last snow fall was 1 to 2 weeks earlier. At the start of the week snow coverage was good and temperatures were low. Towards the end of the week slope cover was getting pretty thin and icy. This was the second time I had been to Paradiski. On the Vallandry/Arcs 1800/1600 side of the mountain the slopes were quiet, the Arcs 1950/2000 side of the mountain always seems busy. Favourite run was Renard off the Derby lift. A wonderful sweeping motorway if a blue you could launch down at a decent lick. Lifts we all fast and we had very little queuing apart from when in Arc 1950. We dropped Aiguille rouge from the top all the way to Villaroger which was quite special. We went over to La Plagne for one day and really enjoyed the limited slopes we could in the time we had. Favourite run here was sources off the Roche de Mio lift. La Plagne had great lifts but seemed very busy even on a Friday.

We had lunch all over the place. Food prices varied wildly but a good lunch was around 10-22 euros for the food and 7-9 euros for a large beer. Top tips as usual being to head slightly away from the main cafes at the base of the slopes for better value. Also check out the plat du jours for cheap and interesting meals.

We had an awesome holiday with clear skies pretty much the entire trip. Fantastic food, skiing and company so cant ask for more!

@GreyBeard How did it go for you booking through Iglu?
@ajs Update as requested
ski holidays
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Great report, thank you. I've been twice with them in the last 3 weeks (La Plagne last week and Les Arcs 3 weeks ago) and agree with your view entirely. Customer service is of the 'computer says no' level. E.g. When we arrived in Les Arcs the hotel were not aware that the arrival time had changed from Saturday evening to Saturday morning, and refused to give us breakfast without charging us. I spoke to Travelski and the customer service agent said breakfast was not included, and I had to actually dig out and show them their own paperwork that said it was before they relented and agreed.

Also the pickup transfer times were stupid, considering the short journey to Bourg. I booked a taxi in the end and had an extra 2 hours in bed. I could easily have made it an extra 3 hours and not had any issues checking in.

For those thinking of doing it, the day journey is an absolute joy, the night leg is hell.

I also liked the fact you were never separated from your luggage and, because it was never going to fall into the hands of indifferent baggage handlers, you could pack it in something a little less robust.
ski holidays
 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Great report and pleased you had a good week. We were also on these Travelski trains and stayed in Tignes. As @greengriff, said, I agree with everything you have said on Travelski. Our group concluded that the night train on the way out actually worked better and got the "faff" out of the way at the start of the week. The transfers were a real pain, our bus wasn't at the station when we arrived, eventually turning up just over an hour after arrival and then as @turboblackbeard, said a 5.45 departure getting to BsM as 6.30 for a 9.30 train is rather ridiculous.

We also upgraded the seats and whilst still not overly comfortable overnight we were grateful of the additional space. I found the old trains much more comfortable.

We found the "package" to be great value, getting the package including 7 day lift pass for less than Crystal's price without a lift pass!

Our conclusion is that we would use Travelski again assuming the price was right compared to DIY but we would organise our own private transfers where we could control the times and be dropped off at our accommodation.
ski holidays
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Super report - v interesting re Travelski.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@turboblackbeard, Thanks so much for all that information - we are also heading for Oree des Cimes in Vallandry so your report was really helpful.
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Thanks for this. As you know I had a few nightmares with Travelski and would not book with them again.

The change in train times, the transfers (we nearly missed the return as we were sent a place and time 10 mins later than everyone else, and a different spot!!)
The apartment was shoddy
The ski pass didn’t work until 12:30 the first day
The service from Travelski

But I like the train, and I am really interested in your choice of apartments as they are in our to do list in a couple of years when we go back to Paradiski.
ski holidays
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
great review thanks.

I used Travelski last year and am using them again this year. Prior to them taking the monopoly on the skitrain I always used eurostar ski trains for 8 years.

I agree, their customer service is very "iffy". Last year we arrived and the rep hadn't a clue about where arc 1800 was or the bus that was going to transfer us for that matter. He took us to a restaurant for breakfast and I then went and found our bus. This year they moved the trains without emailing me. I just got sent a new invoice and noticed the change to a Friday train. I told them I'd booked a hotel in London for the Friday night and they reimbursed me to their credit for the cost of the hotel.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@Lucywuk, if you are not to bothered about getting the extra days skiing then I would just book the trains direct and travel during the day. I think that will be our choice next year. I recommend the apartments though. Very nice.
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Finally got the video up of the trip
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