THE RECEPTIONIST at the ski hotel reception desk didn’t even blink at my question, which was more than a little off-piste. “Would you have some Sellotape?” I wondered. “The sole of my foot is a bit sore and I need to be able to tape these plasters to the outside of my sock.”

The receptionist dispensed with her Sellotape dispenser with an unfazed smile, suggesting she has an entirely relaxed manner ¬ - or stranger requests have been thrown in her direction while working at the Hotel Le Menuire & Spa. Or both.

That was Day Two of the stay at the Hotel Le Menuire, set in the Three Valleys ski region in France, at the bottom of La Croisette.

And what that experience underlined was that on a ski trip, a comfort base is entirely essential. After a day on the slopes, the tired muscles and weary tendons need to be teased back to life. Sore feet, at times, require a little extra padding - and Sellotaping.

From arrival however, all the signs indicated that this hotel knew how to provide for those planning to hurtle/cautiously make their way down fluffy/icey snow slopes.

The hotel rooms looked great. Not too big that you feel lost in space, not so small that you’d have to pass a partner sideways. And big on comfort. And cosy. (Anyway, how much time do you spend in a room on a ski trip?

And the overall service from the outset was, excellent offering a sense nothing would be too much trouble. The hotel also boasted a great bar and relaxation area with big open fires.

But there was more. Just a few yards away from the bar area a a swimming pool and spa beckoned to those in need of water treatment. And if you like a massage after a hard day on the slopes you’re in great hands with Paige. In fact, the experience was such a delight you were hoping it would last the length of the stay.

Yet, what you also come to appreciate is that Le Menuire hotel is slightly off the beaten track. Set back from the road in a tranquil spot it means you’re a five minute walk from the bars and nightclubs - which means you don’t hear a sound during the night.

But that’s not to say you have to travel far to ski. The ski lifts begin just a 100m away and skiing back to the hotel means you arrive no more than 20m away.

There are also a mix of ski ranges available which connect to more than 600km of slopes which in turn cater for a spectrum of skiers and snowboarders.

In our group it was evident that Pippa and Alex looked as though they’d been skiing even before their parents met, and as such could fly down the mountain. With this experience it was obvious we’d d we’d be headed high soon, making the most of the 39 ski lifts which service part of the largest skiable area in the world.

Yet, that’s not to say those who were finding their snow feet were ignored. Jo, who hadn’t been on a snowboard for nine years, could meanwhile practice on the lower slopes until her inner boarder came out to play. And indeed, the area around La Croisette was packed with tiny tots on small skis, skiing in formation with their guide, dozens of groups of bendy little bodies which rather delightfully managed to fall and spring back immediately. You almost wished you had a four year-old with you, if only to enlist him/her in this ski school and watch them become entranced by the entire fun experience. (Almost).

But on arriving at the major slopes, what was also immediately evident was they were wide and inviting, the width taking away that early pressure that comes with the brain forgetting to tell the knees and the feet it’s time to turn. And yet, that doesn’t mean the lots of great Reds and Blues didn’t offer a real challenge in places. One of the guide books describes the runs as ‘motorway pistes’ which is fair in terms of the width, but motorways tend to heavily congested, and that wasn’t the case during this trip.

The first day on snow proved to be something of a warning however. While the Neilson Mountain Experts offered great ski lessons, and somehow the brain remembered what it was supposed to (more or less) and an easy Red run was tackled, I forgot to use sun tan cream on a glorious sunny day. As a result, the sun beamed up from the snow onto my unprotected face and cooked it like a microwave.

The next day I looked as though I had scurvy. My face was falling off. My nose was Rudolph red. As you would expect, my new friends reacted with immense sympathy, as we played board games and sipped beer back at the hotel. Or they would have done had this been a parallel universe.

The scary face apart, the experience of Les Menuires was nothing but delightful. You can see why it’s become of the most successful resorts in the Three Valleys.

You can’t always predict the weather however. In the Orelle area the sky suddenly descended and visibility was down to a few feet; interestingly, it didn’t bring about chaos on the way back to Les Menuires, it created a sense of Dunkirk spirit, which hordes of skiers following each other closely, seeking safety in numbers, which took all concerns away.

Away from the slopes there lots to do; sledging, zip wire activity in Val Thorens, or visiting the huge range of bars and restaurants, or take in the shopping centre. And of course the area boasts the legendary Folie Douce, a dedicated apres ski party centre on the piste, where the young and the young of heart (perhaps not those who Sellotape plasters to their socks) can dance, drink and eat to their stomach’s content.

Would I return to Les Menuiries? You bet. It’s not quite as chocolate boxy pretty as Les Gets, nor as grand as Val D’Isere. But what is has is character, great slopes and terrific and affordable hotels. And what the Three Valleys area has is an all-encompassing ski area that caters for all levels. It caters for the snowboarders who need a day or say to reset the skill level, or skiers such as Helen who needed a great slope a little lower and ice free. And the likes of Pippa and Alex who make skiing look as easy as breathing.

And the hotel was a delight. The afternoon cakes served up at Le Menuire Hotel in fact revealed a great deal. I liked the cake. The carrot cake. The Victorian sponge. I liked the fact the waiter brought me a second piece before I’d finished the first. The dinner menu was also fantastic. Not hugely elaborate but you don’t want nibble sized portions after a hard day’s skiing and the hotel’s portions were more than adequate.

And after dinner? I don’t like card games but I loved them.

Any minuses? It would have been great to have someone remind me to apply sun tan cream, and assume I’m seven years old. But I liked the fact you can Sellotape your socks to your heart’s content and no one will think you’ve put a foot wrong.

Neilson Hotel Le Menuire & Spa, from £745 per person in a club double room for seven nights travelling on January 4 2020. Price based on two adults. Daily breakfast, afternoon tea and three-course evening meal included with flights from Glasgow, resort transfers and free ski guiding and coaching with Neilson Mountain Experts.

A six -day Three Valleys lift pass costs 249.60€/£216. A six-day Les Menuires lift pass costs 204€/£177.