We used this company for a ski holiday at New Year and found the so called "chalet" was actually an apartment which was poorly equipped and very poor value for money. In order to close one of the bedroom doors, the bed had to be left at an angle. We had cutlery that was falling apart, chipped spouts on wine jugs, no first aid kit, a fire that wasn't safe to light on the first few nights, light bulbs that needed changing and to add insult to injury, when we complained on our return, the resort rep lied about the availability of the first aid kit and the state of the chipped jug! We would not recommend this company.
We stayed here in Dec/Jan 2012/13. It was sold as a 'Premium' chalet, with the word 'luxury' used to describe it. Well it couldn't have been further from the truth and the holiday description was completely mis-leading. The chalet was dirty with tatty broken sofas. We found out the 'Premium' package we bought into had been changed so that none of the 'Premium' aspects (canapés, premium wine, bedding and towels changed mid-week, toiletries etc etc) were no longer offered. However, nobody told us that when they took vast sums of our money! The chalet host (an 18yr old boy with 1 weeks training) had to cook for 10 in a cramped situation with a cooker that had a broken seal. We had mini portions of mediocre food and even had food poisoning thrown into the bargain! Rotting meat was left in the fridges and mouldy produce. We spent a morning disinfecting and cleaning the kitchen/communal area because we were so worried about our health.
Other problems were cracked toilet seats, never enough hot water for everyone to shower, let alone have a bath, missing light bulbs, flooding showers, none of the TV's worked, mis-matched crockery (water served at the dinner table from a teapot). It was a complete joke. One of our party needed a dairy free diet and no provision was made for him despite informing them in advance. We were even given a limit of 3 logs for the log burner per day!
We understand all the cut backs are due to Alpine Elements buying a hotel and trying to finance it by scrimping on existing bookings. Many of the staff that we spoke to were very unhappy with their working conditions and the treatment they were receiving by Alpine Elements. We believe a lot of them were leaving their jobs after only a few weeks in.
We are currently persuing a complaint through this company for gross mis-representation and in true form they are dragging their heals in responding, despite being assured by Clare Smith, that she would like to clear the matter up within 2 weeks.
I can only advise you never to travel with this company because you will be wholeheartedly disappointed from start to finish.
Skied with Alpine Elements last winter in St Anton. Good food, scheduled flights (not a charter), professional and friendly reps - all round a very good experience. Although the snow was excellent we found St Anton to be more suited to advanced skiers. Of the Austrian ski resorts, Obertauern is still our favourite but not many UK operators go here - if any. We had a great holiday in At Anton though and we'd certainly ski with Alpine Elements again - just as good as Neilson in our view. Good value too as the price included a free lift pass. Highly recommended.
Went to Meribel with Alpine Elements and had a great holiday.
The chalet was in an ideal location, the staff were friendly, food great and all the guests got on. Plus you can't beat sitting in an outside hot tub at the end of a long day on the slopes with it snowing around you, truly stunning.
The holiday was during the ash cloud problems and our flight was cancelled however Alpine Elements got us on a coach back to the UK while others in the resort with other companies were left unaware of how/when they were going to go home, some even without accommodation .