TRAVEL | Solo Snowboarding In The Alps – A Wonderful Week in La Plagne With Will-I-Ski at Chalet Genepy

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It’s no secret that before this trip I was a bag of nerves, so much so, I wrote about my pre-holiday anxiety a couple of weeks before I departed. The anxiety, however, was unfounded, and I recently returned from the most amazing week in the Alps staying with Wii-i-Ski in one of their 3 chalets in Plagne 1800, France. Read on to find out more.

As this was to be my first ever solo snowboarding holiday I did a lot of research. Having stayed in a variety of different accommodation from self catering apartments to hotels and fully catered chalets, I knew I wanted the convenience of a fully catered chalet, but without family and friends to fill the place for a week, finding suitable accommodation with nice single rooms wasn’t easy.

Will-I-Ski chalet Genepy in La Plagne, France
Will-I-Ski chalet Genepy in La Plagne, France

After a lot of searching online I came across Will-I-Ski a British run company who own and operate 3 chalets, all in Plagne 1800, France.

La Plagne was already a location I’d shortlisted as a potential destination for my holiday and after looking at photos online, reading reviews on TripAdvisor and checking the dates, prices and cost of flights, I decided that this was my best option.

I had a whole bunch of questions to ask before I booked, and was immediately provided with excellent customer service from Phoebe and Charlie, owners of the business, who took their time to reassure me and to answer the many questions I had.

Inside the wonderfully cosy chalet Genepy
Inside the wonderfully cosy chalet Genepy

I let them know I wanted the room, and got home from work that day and immediately booked my flights from Manchester to Geneva with Jet2, before confirming my accommodation booking and paying the deposit for the chalet.

The chalet

Arriving at the chalet I was delighted to find it was exactly as I’d hoped it would be, a warm and inviting traditional alpine chalet, with fantastic views of the mountains.

Chalet Genepy sleeps up to 14 people and has 7 bedrooms and it’s just what you’d expect of a good mid-range chalet in the Alps. It’s tastefully decorated with some lovely little touches, including handmade wooden signs and the most beautiful and huge ceramic wood burning stove I’ve ever seen.

There are plenty of comfy sofas, so after a hard day on the slopes there was always a comfortable spot to sit in, and although it might seem daft, I really appreciated the fact that the dining table had proper chairs. Often in the alps dining chairs are a luxury and instead long wooden benches are often the norm.

Will-I-Ski Chalet Genepy La Plagne

I was also delighted to find I had a comfortable bed; as a bad sleeper, nothing irks me more than a cheap soft mattress, so a good nights sleep was had every night.

In my room (room 6, a twin up in the eaves) I was delighted to find that my ensuite bathroom included a bath, a true rarity in Alpine accommodation which meant that after each day on the mountain I could soak away my aches and pains.

I should add that the chalet does have a sauna, but having had my hair coloured and straightened before flying out, and moisture being the nemesis of straight Afro hair, I sadly had to give it a miss, so having a bath really was a bonus.

Incredible food

The bedrooms were fairly simple, but mine was spacious with great wardrobe and storage space at the front of the chalet with superb views over the mountains.

Although I couldn’t fault the service throughout my stay, when it came to food, chalet hosts Tom and Claire really excelled.

Night after night the food was nothing short of fantastic. I have pretty high food standards, and despite staying in a far more expensive and upmarket chalet in the Alps in the past, the food at Chalet Genepy was miles better and without fail, superb.

The portion sizes were generous, so generous in fact that after 3 courses along with my fellow guests, we routinely found ourselves disappointed to have to turn down the cheese board.

The wine was pretty decent plonk and always in plentiful supply and along with bread on the table to nibble on, even after a full-on day on the mountain, I was never hungry.

Afternoon tea at Chalet Genepy
Afternoon tea at Chalet Genepy

Coming off the mountain each day to find a freshly baked cake to graze on was a delight, and the cakes were all utterly delicious. I’ve not dared to step on my scales since getting home, and I think I might leave it a week or two until I’m back at the gym and well into my usual meal routine!

The chalet location

Chalet Genepy is located in Plagne 1800, one of a handful of small areas that make up the overall resort of La Plagne and in my opinion after visiting Belle Plagne, I was delighted not to have chosen that as my base.

As far as pretty Apline village go, Belle Plagne with it’s towering concrete it has to be said, is pretty ugly, and I found Plagne 1800 much more agreeable.

Will-I-Ski Chalet Genepy La Plagne
The view from the ground floor of chalet Genepy

From my balcony I had superb views of the mountains and there was a blue run a short 5 minute walk away from the chalet. As well as relatively easy slope access, the free resort shuttle bus that arrived every 15 minutes throughout the day made it really easy to get around, and the bus stop again, was just a short 5 minute walk from Chalet Genepy.

Chalet Genepy, Catered Ski Chalet La Plagne 1800

On the mountain

I arrived on Saturday evening and had booked my lift pass to begin on Sunday. After a delicious cooked breakfast I headed off to the slopes for the first time, a bag of nerves but filled with excitement too.

Strapping on my bindings and ready to go!

The chalet is just a short walk away from an easy blue (Loup Garou). Stood at the side of the piste, breathing in the mountain air, strapping my bindings on ready to snowboard down to the nearest lift that would take me further up the mountain, I was buzzing with excitement.

Snowboarding in La Plagne with Will I Ski
The resort of La Plagne was largely well groomed and ideal for intermediates

After a break of 3 seasons – the longest break I’ve ever had from snowboarding, it was a wonderful feeling to set off and allow muscle memory to kick in. Within seconds I was beaming ear to ear and that smile barely left my face all week.

Snowboarding in La Plagne with Will I Ski
On the Verdons Nord chair lift

After obsessively studying the piste map I’d figured out which lifts and runs I wanted to do and as my confidence at navigation and familiarity with the mountain grew, I ventured further and further afield each day.

It definitely helped that day after day I woke up to a perfect bluebird, the weather was stunning the whole time I was away, and only once did I find myself with low visibility up in the clouds, but by the time I’d done the run and returned back to the top, it had cleared and was once again sunny.

Snowboarding in La Plagne with Will I Ski
The slopes looked ski-brochure prefect every single day

I found the resort very snowboard friendly (no dreaded flat bits!) and it was easy to avoid the horror of drag lifts. I mainly stuck to red runs; the few blacks I saw seemed to be graded black mainly down to moguls rather than any real steepness, and each day I’d head up to Le Grande Rochette from the Plagne Centre and start my day with what quickly became my favourite runs, Carina and the alarmingly named, Kamikaze.

Snowboarding in La Plagne with Will I Ski

Food on the mountain was a similar price to other resorts in the Alps, around €20 for lunch and a drink and I found myself happily sitting in the blazing sunshine, making the most of having time on my own, often taking a book up the mountain with me in my backpack.

The week flew by and amazingly, for the first time ever, I returned completely injury free with no issues from my old knee and back injuries, which has taught me that going at my own pace, rather than getting competitive with my companions is definitely the sensible thing to do!

Final thoughts

I’m so glad I went snowboarding on my own, I had an amazing time and it’s really helped to remind me that I’m capable of doing pretty much whatever I want to do, with or without company!

Will-i-Ski were superb from start to finish

Whilst it’s always lovely to share experiences with other people, thanks to WiFi and no roaming charges I kept in touch with my family and boyfriend, sharing pictures, videos clips and what have you which meant I didn’t feel lonely as I’d feared I might.

La Plagne is the first resort in the Alps that I would happily return to and Will-i-Ski were superb from start to finish, so if you’re looking for a great value chalet in an intermediate friendly resort, I’d urge you to take a look at the Wii-i-Ski website.

Snowboarding in La Plagne with Will I Ski

My trip

I traveled to La Plagne at the end of March and booked my accommodation at Chalet Genepy with Will-i-ski at a cost of £549. I flew with Jet2 from Manchester to Geneva for £194 including snowboard carriage and a 5 day lift pass for La Plagne costs £225.

Where to next?

Shell Robshaw-Bryan
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