Blog: News and information from Chalet Annabelle, Chamonix Valley

We'll periodically update what's happening at Chalet Annabelle and in the Chamonix Valley

Fresh snowfall

Mothering Sunday saw fresh snowfall in the Chamonix Valley, a welcomed sight which has freshened everything for the remaining weeks of the season.  Whilst the snow didn’t hang around too long at the Chalet, the snow-line was most impressive.   Seems rather bizarre to see the garden at this time of year, it’s positively spring like with the Tulip and Daffodil bulbs starting to peep through. 


Here at Chalet Annabelle we wave goodbye to our last Winter guests on Easter Monday April 17th, however skiing at the highest ski area of Grand Montets here in the Valley will remain open until  1st May.  If anyone fancies a Spring ski break, please get in touch, minimum 3 night stay self catered or B & B.  We will close for a few weeks from 2nd May, with Summer guests arriving later that month. 


Whilst we are still in Winter mode, we’ve just sold New Year week for 2017, and 2018 too!   Whilst we knew New Year week was popular we received the 2018/2019 booking some months ago, the longest forward reservation of 2 years plus  - that’s a first for Chalet Annabelle,  it’s usually 12 months in advance.  The Trip Advisor reviews and ratings are definitely helping, we are due for assessment again soon for the Certificate of Excellence award, and are hopeful to maintain for this year, we will keep you posted. Still time for anyone out there who has been meaning to post a review. 


We’ve recently also welcomed a new member to the Chalet Annabelle team. Emma Burton from ‘Massage in the Alps’,  offers a variety of treatments with reflexology too! With 15 years experience, a love for the mountains and excellent reputation, Emma will fit in well. 


This Summer already sees many families  and cycling clients coming our way. We do still have some early Summer weeks in June & July available, and are remaining open until the end of October this year to capture those tourists looking for a quieter Autumn break.  We will close the Chalet doors for the month of November, with weeks available pre Xmas for the early bird skiers again. 


For those reading this blog on our website, please nip on to our Facebook page and press ‘like’ you’ll then receive updates/photos and general news from us and the Chamonix Valley.


Thanks for reading, we've been working on a new website format and are hopeful to be launching very soon, watch this space !


All the best - Jude & Mike

March Madness



Wow is it really March already?? We haven’t blogged in a while, mainly due to Winter ‘busyness', which is not a bad thing to report! 


The Chalet sees 95% occupancy again this Winter, with some cracking TripAdvisor and guest feedback received, check out the reviews for yourself :- 

TripAdvisor

 

If you've stayed with us and not yet put pen to paper, it’s not too late!  The assessment for this years 'Certificate of Excellence' will be taking place soon, let’s hope we can maintain this prestigious award. 


Fair to say this Winter so far has seen some challenging weather conditions, we started off so well and for the early bird skiers the snow came in November, but then seemed to stay away until heavy snowfall in early February.  This was followed by glorious Winter sunshine, positively Spring like conditions,  and it’s great to report this last week, and last few days, has seen the fresh powder make a return, conditions are well and truly back on track for what remains of Winter 16/17.

 

We do still have w/c 18th March available on a self catered basis, please contact us for pricing details. 

 

The Chalet continues to see a mixture of Catered and Self Catered guests, the children’s play room always a bonus for the family groups, together with the very popular meal delivery service provided by www.chaletkitchen.com


We say goodbye to our last Winter guests come 17 April, and post Easter Monday we will close the Chalet for a few weeks break before we welcome our first Summer guests at the end of May. We still have a few Summer weeks available if anyone fancies experiencing the Alps in Summer; White glacier peaks gaze down on the contrasting summer greenery, it really is special to see, with lots of activities for all ages, a great family get-away.

 
For those keen cyclists amongst you,  don’t forget to check out our cycling website www.breathebike.com, we’d love to hear from you; and if you’re visiting the area, we also operate www.alplinks.com a private, fully licensed and insured airport transfer service, we’d be happy to help. 

 

Enjoy what remains of the Winter, and we’ll be back soon with more news!

 

All the best

Jude & Mike 

Winter Wonderland!

Winter Wonderland!

Ski Pass Discounts up to 25% off advertised pricing!!


Hi Folks a quick update on ski pass promotions - yes we know it's still Summer.... but we cant delay in getting the message out there !
As we continue our relationship with the ski pass company here in the Valley,  we like to pass on any discounted offers available (many chalets do not offer this saving!) 
So for those non-peak ski weeks, from 7 January through to 3 February, then 4 March onwards, we can offer up to 25% off the advertised tariffs, that’s a massive saving especially for the larger family groups. 
As an example, 
Adult 6 Day pass for the fully inclusive Mont Blanc Unlimited -  is advertsied  at €299,   through us we can offer at €225 ! That’s a €74 saving - just on one pass ! 
Family Pass (Includes x2 adults, 1 child plus all other children for free) advertised at €927 our price is €700, well over a €200 saving ! 
This really does help folks, however with all offers it’s first come first served, we’d need your orders verified and paid for by mid November, we then have the ski passes ready for your arrival, saves you the hassle of queueing on your first ski morning, meaning more valuable time on the slopes - what’s not to like?! . 
All ski passes whether discounted or full price can be arranged for your arrival, however if you want to save money then please contact us, and we’d be happy to help with any questions.

Vallée Blanche - covered in the ski pass

Vallée Blanche - covered in the ski pass

Summer is well underway !

In June, our first cycling guests arrived for a full on week of breathtaking routes around the region, including all our favourite and new climbs too.  The weather to be fair,  challenged us a little, however with Mike’s precise planning, we managed to dodge all but a morning of rain, on what was considered to be a ‘wet’ week here in the Alps.  


The Group from Jersey, Channel  Islands did brilliantly, given they all live at sea level and have few mountains to climb on home territory, they were am extremely strong team, lovely to see male and females this time, other than just  the MAMIL (Middle aged men in lycra) !

The ladies had a rest day whilst here,  and took in the 2 famous tourist attractions here in Chamonix - the Aiguille du Midi highest cable car in western europe and highest vantage point to view Mont Blanc and her massif.  The glacial caves followed in the afternoon to see how the glacier “mer de glace’ glides into the vantage point via the Montenver electric train.  A great day had by all, whilst the men pushed Mike to the limit, in the Italian climbs,  fuelled by espresso and Jude’s porridge !

Evenings have been a pleasant affair, with afternoon pasta salads,  followed by a hearty main meal and scrummy desserts, with the odd tipple of wine or two.  The week always passes by too quickly, the last day saw them head over to the Emosson Dam which has featured in many a race here, but will be used for the TDF coming through this region, a stage finish right on our doorsteps, who can wonder - with those back drop views of Mont Blanc. 

So that was the first cycling group successfully completed with guests leaving fitter and happier, and we will blog soon on the already completed events of the Marmotte, Etape and the famous TDF! 

It’s looking to be a busy Summer ! 

 

Thanks for reading

TripAdvisor - Certificate of Excellence Award 2016



WE DID IT ! 

 

CHALET ANNABELLE - Certificate of Excellence Award 2016

 

We are extremely proud and pleased to report we've retained this prestigious title for the 3rd time! So, so grateful to all those guests who've taken the time to provide their feedback and 'scores on the doors’ to keep us at no 1 on TripAdvisor ! Thank you!! 

 

It’s an obvious statement to make:-  TripAdvisor has been pivotal to our business success, with so many guests checking this forum before making a booking with us,  so again a 'BIG thank you' for your continued support. 

 

A massive 'THANK YOU'  also to those people who have helped us along the way, Iona, Kevin, Dee, & Andy your hard work is much appreciated, we couldn’t do it without you!

 

So with the framed certificate on the way to us,  we’re busy updating our marketing with the various ‘widgets’ and ‘gadgets’ available to us to make sure we ‘market’ this achievement as much as we can. 

 

So as we go into this Summer and the next financial year for us, it’s 'business as usual’  -  we’ll keep striving  to provide guests with a great standard and homely rental offering, and will be as keen as ever to gain more reviews from you. 

 

Thanks for sharing this success with us, we wish you all a lovely Summer and hope to welcome you here at Chalet Annabelle. 

 

Jude & Mike 

Summer 2016

Summer started early here at Chalet Annabelle, our first guests arriving mid May, with our Summer season stretching to the end of September.

We have a great mixture of guests arriving this Summer, those families renting the Chalet on a self catering basis, and those keen cyclists through our sister company www.breathebike.com  -   arriving for a  fully inclusive cycling holiday and fully catered experience. With the TDF arriving in the region mid July, it will be an epic Summer.   We also see many athletes here in Chamonix, with continual race events in the mountains, too many to mention…. however the ‘main’ event which attracts visitors from worldwide being the Ultra Trail at the end of August.

We’ve been busy at the Chalet, with post Winter gardening chores, planting all those lovely flowers to welcome the Summer guests, together with the continuous programme of maintenance jobs. It’s our 9th Summer here at Chalet Annabelle, it’s important to us to ensure the interior and exterior remains fresh and welcoming. 

The new addition of the children's playroom, with flat screen TV, DVD, Wii Machine, Toy chest & bean bags was well received with our Winter guests, with great reports from families, a room to chill for the Children, allowed the  parents to relax aswell !  We’ll continue to offer for the Summer and will also use this area as our Massage/Treatment room for those cyclists, climbers & walkers who might be in need of Iona’s magic hands

Iona continues to support us with her Mountain Massage business, and is extremely popular with both Summer & Winter guests. We are delighted she will be working with us again this Summer.

We are almost fully booked for the Summer, although we do have a couple of options if you fancy a visit to the Capital of the Alps. Chamonix  sees more visitor numbers in the Summer compared to Winter, with lots of activities for the whole family:-  Glacial Walks, White Water Rafting, Canyoning, Mountain Biking, Paragliding, Golfing,  to name but a few.

We hope you have a great Summer, with lots of sunshine and happy times.

Jude & Mike 

Snowvember! Winter has arrived in the Mont Blanc region

By the 28th November we've already had a week of snow on the ground. First ski of the season with Jonny Baird (Mountain Guide) and a new area for me. With Touring gear we made 2 ascents of the Solaison near Bonneville. If you are familiar with the Chamonix to Geneva A40 this is the triangular snow slope high on your left as you approach Bonneville in the Geneva direction. There is a cross country ski area, however no uplift for downhill. With a fairly early start we were first on the mountain as the clouds cleared. Great conditions for this time of year with only a few rocks showing through. Both runs we had untracked snow with amazing views, although bitterly cold but thankfully the sun was out! Great start to the season and with Grand Montets opening today (28th Nov) its looking good for a great season. The snow has arrived on a northerly front and it seems the Mont Blanc region has some of the best conditions.

Freshies

Freshies

Solaison Summit above Bonneville

Solaison Summit above Bonneville

Etape du Tour 2016 Megeve to Morzine

We are already excited about Summer 2016 with both the Tour de France and the Etape du Tour in our region.

 

the Etape takes place in Sunday 10th July from Megeve to Morzine, 140KM over 4 mountain passes and nearly 4000M of climbing.

 

Every keen cyclist should do the Etape at least once in their cycling career.

 

Wonder what you are letting yourself in for? Here's our thoughts - click

 

Our Etape du Tour weekend accommodation and logistics package  is designed to minimise the stress of Etape planning to enable you to 'enjoy' the big day following your months of training. Click here for more information



Chalet Annabelle - new in 2015/16

 

Time for some changes! We decided after some soul searching to move away from the 'Breathe and Believe' branding,  to simply using the chalet name  -  'Chalet Annabelle'. Whilst we are still 'Breathing and Believing' in ourselves, and namely having the guts and determination to take the leap in escaping our office jobs some years back, we are here and it has been a success!  Creating the Summer cycling business BreatheBike.com, and www.alplinks.com the airport transport alongside side too,  we just want to keep everything simple. The Chalet website will be updated during 2016

 

The bigger news at Chalet Annabelle is that the guest accommodation has now been improved with the addition of a Cinema / Games lounge with another bathroom/wc taking the total wc/bathrooms to 6. The games room also has a sofa bed just in case there is a need for additional sleeping accommodation. We have also created a ski boot room within the Chalet which those familiar with the Chalet, you will now be able to exit from the lower basement door adjacent to the ski room - so no walking outside the external steps to 'kit up'.



Chamonix Valley and Mont Blanc Region

 

The massive news in the Valley this year is the enhancements to the Mont Blanc Unlimited Pass (MBU) . Chamonix has a new supremo at the helm of the Tourist information and we have seen a significant change in the proactivity of the Valley culminating in the MBU now covering the Evasion Mont Blanc ski areas of Megeve, St Gervais and Les Contamines. This is in addition to Verbier and Courmayeur! 3 countries and some fantastic ski areas all on one pass. And the good news is that there is no siginificant increase in the cost of the pass - especially for our UK visitors as the strength of the Pound makes it cheaper than last year!

 

Compagnie du Mont Blanc continue to invest in new lift infrastructure - at Les Houches ski area we have a new detachable quad chair lift replacing two of the old ski tows around la Chat cafe and this will also see a shortening of the Plancere tow which you will then traverse over to the new chair. Brevent sees the overdue addition of a funicular to takes beginners and pedestrians from the Planpraz gondola to the nusery ski area plateau.

 

The free Chamonix Valley bus service has seen a major overhaul with a much improved schedule, new livery, an extension to the night bus service which extends into the Summer. Brilliant news for reducing the car traffic in the Valley.

 



Summer 2016 at Chalet Annabelle; The TOUR DE FRANCE IS COMING!

 

Fantastic news for us in the Mont Blanc region; the Tour de France 2016 is coming.

 

This will finally put the Mont Blanc region on the map as a cycling destination.

 

We have 4 stages of the 2016 Tour de France literally on our doorstep, on our local climbs and roads that we use every week with our cycling business Breathebike.com

 

The race first arrives from the direction of Berne, Switzerland and finishes at Emosson Dam, literally just over the Swiss border from us. Next day is the time trial from Sallanches to Megeve. The following day St Gervais receives the finale of the stage.  Finaly we have the last stage in the Alps before Paris. Megeve to Morzine

 

There's more........

 

July 10th 2016 sees the Etape du Tour from Megeve to Morzine.



5/11/15 Compagnie du Mont Blanc purchases major share holding in the Megeve lift system

 

The Compagnie du Mont-Blanc group is proud to announce officially the acquisition of a majority share-holding in the company managing the Megève – Mont d’Arbois ski lift system (“SRMM”). Megève town council & the Rothschild group, both historic partners in the latter company, remain as important share holders.

 

This purchase is in perfect coherence with the strategy of Compagnie du Mont-Blanc. This strategy is based on modernizing & harmonizing the different resorts around the Mont-Blanc in order to facilitate the visitor experience, to create a true inter-resort offer, aimed at positioning the “Mont-Blanc Region” as the ideal playground for both French & international clientele.

 

“We are proud to write a new chapter in the history of the “Pays du Mont-Blanc” by creating a more attractive offer through innovation throughout our territory”, confides Mathieu Dechavanne, CEO of the Compagnie du Mont-Blanc group.

 

As of this winter season, the positive impact of this purchase will be visible through the “MONT-BLANC Unlimited” pass (available for long or short stays, for the season or for entire year). This unique pass gives access not only to the whole of the Chamonix valley but also to the neighboring ski resorts in Switzerland (Verbier) & Italy (Courmayeur). Henceforth, it also includes the “Evasion Mont-Blanc” & “Portes du Mont-Blanc” ski areas




Ski Pass Discounts up to 25% off advertised pricing!!

 


Hi Folks a quick update on ski pass promotions - yes we know it's still Summer.... but we cant delay in getting the message out there !
As we continue our relationship with the ski pass company here in the Valley,  we like to pass on any discounted offers available (many chalets do not offer this saving!) 
So for those non-peak ski weeks, from 7 January through to 3 February, then 4 March onwards, we can offer up to 25% off the advertised tariffs, that’s a massive saving especially for the larger family groups. 
As an example, 
Adult 6 Day pass for the fully inclusive Mont Blanc Unlimited -  is advertsied  at €299,   through us we can offer at €225 ! That’s a €74 saving - just on one pass ! 
Family Pass (Includes x2 adults, 1 child plus all other children for free) advertised at €927 our price is €700, well over a €200 saving ! 
This really does help folks, however with all offers it’s first come first served, we’d need your orders verified and paid for by mid November, we then have the ski passes ready for your arrival, saves you the hassle of queueing on your first ski morning, meaning more valuable time on the slopes - what’s not to like?! . 
All ski passes whether discounted or full price can be arranged for your arrival, however if you want to save money then please contact us, and we’d be happy to help with any questions.