I'll start with the positives.
Central office team very helpful in booking and queries throughout the booking process and prior to arrival.
Chalet 300 metered from nearest lift, so very close to getting all around the ski area. And on return you could ski to within 100 metres of the front door.
Team very helpful with arranging ski passes and ski hire which was seamless. No need to queue for passes.
Ski hire coming to the chalet on the evening of arrival and they were very efficient.
Rental republic for skis and boots were fantastic and when my son had issues with his boots they met us in les Brévières in less than a couple of hours.
Bedrooms lovely comfortable beds and mezzanine great for having three kids in one room with space (but see downsides below).
For the night off for the staff our host booked us the Fondue factory which was excellent.
Curry night was excellent and cheese cake very tasty. Cake in the afternoon was nice and tasty.
Lovely sauna on 4-7 daily (though did smell slightly so not sure how well it was cleaned).
We were lucky enough (always a lottery when not booking out the full chalet for ourselves) to have a fantastic American family with us and one from England that made the trip incredibly enjoyable.
Felt food most nights was in the cheap compared to prior chalets (we have stayed at many over the years in Tignes, Verbier, etc) and that what they were serving was on a budget. Chef did her best but I believe was majorly constrained by this. Although some of the dinners were cold by the time served.
Breakfasts ok with eggs and beans and couple or one small rasher of bacon or omelettes other days. Croissants and pain au chocolates swell although over cooked on a number of days.
There were 13 people in the chalet, so it felt very cramped at dinner and the lounge only had space for 9 people at a push to sit on sofas. Others had to use dining chairs
This was without my daughter who was booked but didn't travel, which would have taken the numbers up to 14.
Room make up didn’t happen until the 5th day when we mentioned it and no cheeses after dinner (5 course menu was mentioned first day) until the 4th night.
Bedrooms we stayed (4 and 5) , facing the road , meant with snow plows and other traffic from 5am and earlier you were awake. So I felt we didn't get any decent sleep.
Nice bath but hot water ran out so quickly you couldn't really have a great relaxing hot bath.
No parking outside so need to reserve parking nearby. Not a real hassle, just and extra euro75 for the week but be aware of this. Though not a complaint as this is standard for many of the chalets in the region.
Christmas dinner was poor. Stone cold. Enough nice meat (Turkey a plus). No gravy just a small bit of “Jus”. Potatoes done in the oven (not roasted) and Brussels sprouts as the only vegetables. Nice Christmas pudding but if you like traditional brandy sauce over custard on it then bring your own (on every other catered chalet i have experienced we have had traditional sauce available. Again I felt a cost consideration on the part of the owners).
There was no fire made, even in Christmas Day despite having one. The staff had no kindling to get it going so gave up after trying for 30 minutes.
Boxes all over the tables with delivery of food for the chalet on the day staff had off. Now we know there issues with snow blocking roads but why couldn’t these be stored in the kitchen rather than on the main table.
Room not turned down and tidied up at all until we asked on the 5th day
Lulu, the secondary host on the day off of others, turned up and seemed to be more on the ball in what was required (re room turn downs, cheeses after dinner, etc).
Welcome ok but not particularly overly friendly. Host was not there (only the chef). Previously chalet trips we have had a great time with them and seen them for great chats throughout the days there. Ok we don't expect them to be best mates but felt like we were an interlude to their day of doing something else. It also seemed like the staff were looking for reasons to tell us off some of the time . I assume other people have previously taken things from the kitchen , etc and thus everyone is treated as if they’ll do the same. On one day, the day off for the chef, some of the guests bought baguette and meats only to be questioned whether they had stolen from the fridges.
Overall very average experience compared to the chalets in the past. So may look for a non catered chalet or apartment in the future.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Response from Clare Knowlson, Owner at Chalet Bivouac by Chardons
Responded 20 Feb 2020
Dear Dominic Firstly I would like to thank you for your detailed review on your recent trip to Chalet Bivouac. I am very happy to see the number of positive experiences you pointed out, however am very sorry that not all aspects of your trip lived up to our very high standards. We like to think our chalets and included catering options are amazing value for money and although we do not compete with the uber-luxury chalets, we do provide the highest possible level of service. In your case we clearly did not meet these standards though. Since your stay with us we have replaced all staff working in this chalet and provided thorough additional training to our team to ensure they are fully aware of what is expected of them and the standards we want to achieve. We feel this has meant your experience was an anomaly rather than what can usually be expected in one of our chalets. And yes this includes a traditional fire being ready for you in the evening! Our food is one of our key selling points, and as stated above is great value for money for the price of our chalets. With the additional training we have provided we now believe this aspect of the chalet is back to the quality our guests have loved throughout our chalet range over the past 25 years. We would love to welcome you back at any time to show you what a Chardons holiday is all about- feel free to get in touch with our amazing reservations team if you would consider returning again this season or next. Kind regards, Team Chardons
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC