Sick and the Mental Inn – Summer Snowboarding Accommodation, 2006
Whilst in Deux Alpes this summer I spent my final night in the Sick and the Mental Inn. I had planned on spending the whole week there, but as things turned out the group ended up in an apartment for the majority of the time, with just a single night at the inn. B&B vs. self catering? Here’s a review on the inn…
First of all, it was dead easy to arrange staying there for one night. We walked into the inn a couple of days in advance, asked for a room and they set one aside for us. Didn’t need to leave a deposit or anything like that. It was a similar situation when I was looking at spending the week there: no need for a deposit, just pay in resort. The inn seemed fairly quiet so availability wasn’t an issue.
Atmosphere is perhaps the inn’s strongest point – it’s great. It’s very laid back and relaxed. The inn is run by a group of friends, English, and they’re in resort for the same reason as you – to enjoy the mountain and have fun. Although we were only there for one day/night, it was easy to mix in, very welcoming.
The Communal Area
For me, one of the biggest differences between B&B and apartment/chalet is where you relax. With your own apartment you’ve got everything to yourself, which normally includes some kind of living area to chill out in. With B&B your personal space, your room, tends to be quite small; so unless you’re out and about you’ll be relaxing in a communal area…
Again, the inn scores highly here. The bar area is sweet; small with a friendly vibe. You might have to give one of the guys a nudge to put the XBox controller down, get off the sofa and serve you, but that’s all part of the charm of this place. There’s a free pool table and a load of comfotable seats to kick back on. If someone isn’t playing on the XBox you can choose from a bunch of snowboarding DVDs to watch. There was a good selection of music playing from a laptop up on the bar, and requests were welcomed.
A pint of Stella was 4 euros rather than the usual 5, which rounded things off nicely!
The bedroom we stayed in was basic, including just what you needed. Storage wise, there was a set of drawers and a small cupboard. The bathroom was well equipped with a decent shower cubicle and a power shower. Not much to report really, clean and to the point. I did get the impression that the rooms in the inn all varied a little, so I’m not sure what each and everyone is like.
When it came to drying our gear after being up on the hill, we just set our stuff out on the communal veranda and sat in the sun with a pint of beer!
We didn’t actually take breakfast as the morning we stayed there we were travelling back early (so we stocked up fresh at the bakery and had breakfast on the bus). However, I think the breakfast was pretty simple: cereal and croissants – that type of thing. For an extra 5 euros you can get evening meal – which we did have. It was decent home made food with fresh salad, bread, water and the like. More important was the good craic around the table – everyone from the inn sat down and ate together which was fun.
I’ve never been to Deux Alpes in the winter, but for summer snowboarding the Sick and Mental is perfectly located. You’re right in the centre of town being only a minute from the lift that takes you up to the glacier. Right out onto the street is a selection of bars and restaurants. The Billabong shop is across the road, as is an Internet cafe and the bus stop. A favourite of mine was a really nice bakery just a few doors away. Perfect.
This is the first time I’ve stayed in a B&B when snowboarding, and we were only there for one night, so I guess my experience in this area is slight. I think in general I prefer to stay in an apartment/chalet environment – however there are times when a B&B set up is more suitable. For example, you may be staying for an odd number of nights that doesn’t fit in with the Saturday-to-Saturday norm. Or, you may be travelling alone or in a small group, ruling out larger accommodation.
Looking purely at the Sick and the Mental, I was totally impressed. It was convenient, flexible, well situated and had an excellent atmosphere. I don’t know how 25 euros a night stacks up against other B&Bs, but it seemed ok to me. The Sick and the Mental inn makes for a good choice.