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sun esprit - calling LIZS!
elliott · 21/09/2004 10:50
Hi there - I've seen from the archives that you've been with sun esprit to chamonix - we're thinking of doing that next year. Can you tell me a bit more about the baby listening/dinner set up - what time is the adults dinner? What happens if the kids won't settle in time? We have two ds's who will be 18 months and 3.5, the older tends to be difficult to settle when we are away.
Also, are there any possibilities for separate (interconnecting) rooms for the kids or are they all shared? What was the childcare like? And was there enough to do for the kids in the nearby area?
Many thanks! - any feedback from anyone else who's been with sun esprit would also be welcome!
LIZS · 21/09/2004 15:30
Hi Elliott - wow I've never had my own thread before . Yes we went there June 2003 which I think was its first summer opening.
Kids tea was at 5.30 - all kids under 14 (I think) were expected to eat their meal then (possibly a bit tricky if you come from UK and are still an hour out). Dinner for adults was around 7.30/8.00 iirc apart from the evening where you could eat out and the family bbq.
Under 4's were expected to be in bed by 7.30, and not allowed at adult dinner, and baby listening started at 7pm. It consisted of 2 reps listening intermittently at doors and checking inside if they heard a noise. You could leave your own baby monitor with them for constant contact but bear in mind that all the Tomy ones have the same frequencies so interference was a problem. They would babysit the odd child for a short spell but not sure that is normal. There was an evening Cocoa club for older kids (4 and up I think) who would be supervised and watch a video, play games and so on, so ds (then 5) staying up later was fine. dd was 22 months and did not settle well for the first few nights, would climb out of her travel cot and scratch at the door. She did get better though as she got more accustomed to the place but the first couple of evenings we nipped up between courses to check on her. Generally I don't think anyone had a problem getting their kids to bed and that week (not school holiday) there were a number of under 4's.
We used the day time childcare for dd on a casual basis because we had booked last minute through Iglu.com and it wasn't full that week. dd was fine and entertained although I didn't feel the room they used was that great for the number of kids. Naps could be taken either in the nursery in a buggy or travel cot or in your room. the staff seemed well trained, organised and motivated and the kids were happy. The full service wasn't on offer that week, just the nursery, so can't comment on activities for the Sprites etc.
There were a few interconnecting/family rooms in the newer part of the hotel but the standard rooms were a squeeze for 4, especially the bathrooms, and the decor generally had seen better days but may have been improved since.
As far as things to do went there was plenty. Mountain trains, cable cars, walking, outdoor swimming pool, playgrounds, dry toboggan run and mini train were all within easy reach, although bear in mind that you may not want to take small children up to the full altitude of the Aiguille du Midi. The Mer de Glace is spectacular and easily accessible and the ice caves up there worth a visit too. Geneva is only just over an hour a way and that opens up lake trips and a mini train tour through the old town, amongst its attractions. Certainly we found enough to do for a week.
Overall my intial concerns about the whole holiday, especially since we'd got it so cheap, proved unfounded and we would definitely consider it again - summer or winter.
Sorry this has turned into an essay. Hope it helps. If you have any other questions don't hesitate to shout!
elliott · 21/09/2004 15:40
Thanks lizs - good to get the detailed feedback! I stumbled on esprit whilst doing extensive researches desperate to find a holiday where I'll actually be able to take a break, and it seems to fit our requirements so well I am rather worried I've missed something! Basically I want to be cooked for, and have some company around for especially ds1 to bounce off (but also for us as well - what were the other guests like?), and be in beautiful surroundings to do a few walks. Don't mind about the decor etc - in fact positively turned off by anything too swanky and glamorous! I AM a little worried about the sleeping for ds1 - especially on the first night there's no way we could have him down by 7.30 with the time difference and excitement etc, but since he would be well on the way to 4 maybe he could go in the cocoa club (but then how to get him out again on the other days....) I am hoping that by next year we will have turned him into a model sleeper
This year we did Eurocamp to Lake Annecy flying to Geneva and really enjoyed the area so we know the journey is doable.
Thanks again for the help!
elliott · 21/09/2004 16:18
I've thought of another question - were the rooms dark (i.e. were the curtains effective?) or should I pack my handy length of black out material to avoid a 5am wake up??
And I don't suppose you gleaned any info about the other sun esprit locations while you were there?
LIZS · 21/09/2004 17:27
Can't remember the daylight situation but from memory our room faced west and it was pretty light,as it was midsummer, but our kids are generally good sleepers so for us it was not a issue. The company was far better than expected although it was slightly odd as that week had been advertised in the Times at a discount and there were a few older couples without children who didn't seem to fit the expected profile. It was quite a diverse group tbh so hard to generalise but generally good fun which was as well as you dine together and switch tables each night. The food was surprisingly good too, and the free wine fine, but think much depends on the individual chef. There were a couple of evening activities for adults like quizzes, if you are into that sort of things, and a small bar.
Some families had been with Esprit before, mainly for skiing, but the summer locations had changed from previous years. One family had done Morzine and Lake Garda the year before but neither have been offered since.
elliott · 23/09/2004 10:18
Thanks LIZS. I know I sound a bit anal about the sleeping situation, but it is the thing that has spoiled holidays for us before now - I just hate hate hate being woken up for the day at 6am!
tbh I quite like the idea of meeting the other guests at dinner - good fun comparing notes with dh afterwards!
hmmm, edging towards a decision here....maybe the bucket and spade holiday will have to wait till the year after....
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