Sunday 7 April 2019

Hotel Ibiza, Les Deux Alpes

A short walk from Les Deux Alpes' main drag and the speedy Diable chairlift, Hotel Ibiza is both eccentrically named and eccentrically decorated with pop paraphernalia, including vinyl-lined walls in the lift and dozens of concert posters on the walls. The spacious bar is draped with fake leopard skin coverings and sumptuous furnishings. Cleverly, various board games, such as scrabble and monopoly, are secured beneath perspex covers on the tables: You can get the counters from reception. There is a large games room downstairs, as well as a decent swimming pool, jacuzzi, sauna, boot room and a ski hire shop. Although it is south facing, the large terrace is pretty bare with just some pub garden style tables from which to admire the broad views of the mountains.

Furnished mostly in wood, Hotel Ibiza's double-decker family rooms on the fourth floor can be a bit jaded and battered – not all the lights work and the furnishings can be frayed. The rooms can also be cramped when the double sofa-bed is in use, while some can smell of cigarette smoke. The TVs don’t seem to work and the WiFi can be temperamental, but is generally sufficient to watch Netflix or Amazon Prime. Still, these fourth floor rooms do have big south facing windows and balconies with views of the mountains.

Both Hotel Ibiza's breakfast and dinner buffets are broad and very generous. You can pretty much eat as much as you want. Breakfast always features a good fruit salad, as well as hot food, cereals, croissants and other pastries, fruit juices, yoghurts, donuts and the like. For dinner, there are generally imaginative and fresh salads, tasty quiches, fresh bread, appealing meat and fish dishes: the lamb chops, raclette and plump king prawns are among the highlights. You can top it all off by selecting a rich and creamy desert from an extensive selection, as well as cheese and biscuits. The only complaint might be that the cheeses aren’t always ripe. Wine and beer costs extra, but is competitively priced at 6 euros for a pint and 9 euros for a 50cl carafe.

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Hotel Ibiza isn't ski-in, ski-out, but it doesn't take long to get to and from the slopes. A slightly-schizophrenic mini bus driver (his mood alternates between irritation and bon homie) will take you down to the closest chairlift or the gondola in the centre of town. If you ring reception, he will also ferry you back to the hotel, although there seems to be some confusion as to whether he is working between 2pm and 4pm, which means you may have to wait. In any case, it is only a five minute walk back from the Diable chairlift, using a handy elevator, which saves you lugging your skis back up the gentle hill to the hotel. The staff at Hotel Ibiza are generally friendly, but can be a bit disorganised. Still, the manager is happy to sort out any issues and is generous with compensation if you end up with a smoky room. 7/10