A week in Val Thorens proved trickier than it might have been when we discovered we couldn’t get connected at our apartment in nearby Le Hameau des Eaux d’Orelle.
The two A level students with us looked slightly horrified when they tried unsuccessfully to log in to their sixth form website to study.
In theory, we should have been able to pay €15 for a week’s access in our apartment and enjoy free WiFi in reception. But it seems it wasn’t necessarily the fault of the apologetic residence staff who muttered darkly about changes orchestrated by the service providers and the government.
Quite a few of the restaurants up on the pistes also had hastily scribbled signs saying ‘Pas CB’ (no carte bancaire) so the trusty Barclaycard proved useless at the checkout.
Ironically, some of the highest lifts had the best reception and signs to boast about it. So the phones proved a useful distraction in the queue.
Intermittent connection is not a deal breaker by any means when you are enjoying the majesty of the mountains, but it did mean I had to carry a fistful of cash. The teenagers developed a habit of abandoning us early to get to the bottom of the gondola where they could log in and post those all-important Instagram and Facebook pictures.
So it’s probably worth making some firm enquiries before you set off.
Now how much are those dongle thingummies?
Editors’ note: Most ski accommodation these days has internet access for its guests. Depending on the accommodation you’ve chosen, this service can be free – or it might not be. As well as this, the connection remains variable at all times. Sometimes only public areas are covered (hotel or apartment reception area or corridor) and internet speeds can also vary enormously. Some forward-thinking resorts have now introduced wifi at lift stations and even on the lifts themselves.
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