It had quite simply been too long since my last visit to the luxury ski resort of Val d’Isere. When the invite came for me to head back to the resort where I learnt to ski 15 years ago for an end of season wind down, how could I possibly resist?
Luxury ski haven Val d’Isere is located in the Tarentaise Valley, France. Partnering up with neighbouring resort Tignes and forming the Espace Killy, the ski area boasts 300km of slopes and a maximum altitude of 3,456m – perfect for early and late season skiing. With its renowned apres ski party atmosphere mixed with excellent skiing conditions all season round means that Val d’Isère draws avid winter sports enthusiasts back year after year.
Perhaps not surprisingly, Val d’Isere really does offer some of the best Ultimate Luxury Ski Chalets, and we would like to present you with just a handful of our favourites:
Sleeping 12 guests in 6 luxuriously appointed double or twin bedrooms, Chalet La Tene simply oozes sophistication. The top floor of the chalet hosts its large living and bar area, with large windows to admire the panoramic views and an open log fire to warm yourself up as you watch the snow fall outside. During warmer months of the the year you can take advantage of the expansive decking just outside the living area to relax in the sunshine and soak up the rays. A little further outside is the 8-person hot tub which is perfect for relaxing no matter what time of the year! Down on the bottom floor you’ll find a fantastic wine cave built into the rock.
Chalet Husky is possibly the most unique chalet you will ever come across. Its fusion of contemporary interior design with the traditional alpine chalet results in a really mind blowing, extravagant property which just draws you in from the moment you set your eyes upon it. From the second you walk through the front door of this luxury chalet, your breath is taken away by every room and every corridor.
The expansive open plan living space spreads the entire length of the chalet, from the dining and bar area at one end, over a glass walkway which seems to float above the indoor atrium garden, past the chair made of jeans (yep, trouser jeans!) over to the lounge with its vast brown leather sofas and huge open fireplace. The chalet also boasts an amazingly vibrant wellness area featuring a whopping 32m² swimming pool with infinity waterfall, a sauna, hammam and also automatic massage tables, to soothe your aching muscles. If you haven’t done quite enough skiing during the day then there is also a fitness room!
Over on the side of the Solaise Mountain you’ll find Chalet Le Chardon, a peaceful chalet that appeals to any keen skier or holidaymaker. Its position next to the Vanoise National Park means that you really do get some fantastic views from the outside swim spa and hot tubs, uninterrupted by other groups and party-goers! Sleeping 20, this luxury ski chalet is perfect for large groups, families and corporate groups looking for a wintry getaway. The chalet boasts two separate living areas, a big TV room for the kids and a dining room which again has fantastic views over the Manchet Valley.
Where to Dine Out
La Fruitiere, right at the top of La Daille and attached to the legendary apres-ski bar La Folie Douce, is the perfect spot for a quick and quality lunch any time between 12:00 and 15:30 on the slopes. The restaurant inside is styled on an old dairy and serves local cheeses as well as a wide variety of dishes. It gets pretty busy so we suggest phoning ahead and booking a table!
L’Atelier d’Edmond, located at the bottom of the Fornet Pissaillas is the only restaurant in Val d’Isere to hold two Michelin stars and overlooks the picturesque village of Le Fornet. Benoit Vidal, the head chef, mixes local cuisine with Mediterranean flavours for a very unique experience. Again, booking is essential to make sure you get a table for lunch or dinner.
L’Arolay, tucked away close to the top of the Le Fornet cable car is a hidden gem that serves real traditional savoyard food such as raclette, tartiflette and cheese fondue for a reasonable price. The terrace provides great views over the ski area and is open every day throughout the winter for lunch and for dinner.
Where to Enjoy a Drink (or Two!)
Cocorico, open daily from 14:00 to 20:00 and located right at the foot of Solaise, is great for DJs and live music throughout the week and offers the closest you could get to Austrian apres in France! Read Ski In Luxury’s blog about Cocorico for a more in-depth look.
No trip to Val d’Isere would be complete without a visit to the iconic La Folie Douce. Again at the top of the Daille cable car next to La Fruitiere, this apres institution will ensure you’re dancing on table and spraying many bottles of champagne into the air and onto your fellow partygoers!
Val d’Isère tourism has been very busy over the summer of 2015 and will continue over the summer of 2016 with a whole new development of the Solaise ski area in its first stage of development, a project costing €16 million. On completion the area will see a brand new 10 person gondola with 91 cabins (with heated seats and WiFi), a new magic carpet lift to replace the existing button lift, re-grading of the slopes to make it a secure learning area, a new day lodge at the top of the area along with WiFi on the slopes! The resort is even guaranteeing snow from November until May thanks to ‘Le Snow Factory’ located in the giant hanger by the Olympique Gondola, the largest snow making facility in Europe!
Val d’Isere is approximately 2 hours transfer from Chambery airport, 2.5 hours from Lyon airport and 3 hours from Geneva airport.