For those of you that don't know, Chambre Neuf has had a complete refit for winter 2016/17. The moose has gone, the bar has moved and everything is looking pristine in the Apres Ski bar we know and love.
You won't recognise the new look Chambre Neuf; the bar has been completely renovated and modernised, not only to improve your Apres Ski experience but also to create a brighter more spacious eating area for lunchtime dining.
As you step through the door the first thing you'll notice is that it's just one door, the porch has gone, so you are straight into the thick of it. Secondly, the bar has moved and now faces the stage, meaning less awkward queueing. Thirdly, it is much brighter; the dark red walls have been given a bright white coat of paint, the ceiling has sound proofed tiling and the chandeliers have gone and replaced by oversized glass lightbulbs. First impressions - this feels much smarter than the Apres Ski we are used to but there is now certainly plenty of space for dancing and you can easily see the band anywhere in the room.
As you head into the bar you will notice more improvements; the staircase to the bathrooms has flipped and now faces the door leading to the hotel. This means the large fitted bench and table have been removed and replaced by a new seating area where the old bar sat - all tables equipped to withstand jumping in ski boots of course.
Other less visible but certainly audible improvements include a brand new sound system that can be zoned, for example, they can make it quieter by the bar for drink ordering. The music can also be piped to the terrace, so on sunnier ski days you can enjoy a bit of outdoor apres. The lights are also zoned to create different vibes throughout the bar.
Hardened Apres goers to Chambre Neuf were a little wary of the changes (if it ain't broke...), however, once No Limits started to play it was just like old times - many drinks were consumed, people were up on tables, there was crowd surfing and as the night wore on, the gap between the party goers and the band closed.
For those heading to see No Limits this season, it's worth noting there is a €2 deposit for each jug or plastic beer glass throughout Apres. This will prevent jugs wondering off and mean that the bar staff never go short of glassware.
In summary, it's far from the Chambre Neuf you used to know, but with atmosphere still brilliant, music still fantastic and beer still flowing it's definitely going to be a great winter!
Location: Chamonix - Centre