Schools Out.....Or Is It?Our concierge team are regularly asked âwhich ski school is the bestâ and whilst weâd like to give a straight forward answer the reality is itâs far from straightforward. Having now lived in Val dâIsĂ¨re for eleven years, weâve spent a lot of time getting to know the different ski tuition options and even know many of the different instructors personally. To make it easier for you, weâve summarised our top picks however, our concierge team can take care of everything for you so that you can fully relax and enjoy the build up to your holiday.
Best for Beginners:
Love it or hate it, ski school is the best option for those learning to ski. Be it for children or adults, skiing with your peers is the best way to learn and build confidence. New Generation Ski School are our top pick for Val dâIsĂ¨re and their kids groups are some of the best in resort. Resort manager Jas Bruce works alongside a boutique team of instructors, many of whom have done multiple seasons in Val dâIsĂ¨re, and they certainly make learning fun.
If youâre looking for all day lessons then Oxygene Ski School may be the one for you. They have a great ski lift pass offer for complete beginners. With a slightly larger team, Oxygene offer morning or full day lessons, female only classes and even have a lunch club for the kiddies giving you the full day to explore the wondrous 300km ski area.
Best for Coaching:
The Development Centre, or TDC for short, are our top pick if you want smaller, coaching focused group lessons. Another boutique company, TDC offer âcoaching clinicsâ which range from gaining confidence on green runs, aiding the transition to blue runs, or full on introduction to off piste for confident black run skiers. They normally run the groups for three sessions which works really well if youâre after some tuition but not for the full week.
Best For Guiding and Off Piste:
Tetra Ski Guides have been with us from the start and we just adore what they do. If youâre after a true mountain experience and looking for local instructors who have grown up in the area then these guys are the ones for you. Their strengths lie in guiding and off piste but they have their Tetra Pink brand who specialise in coaching for ladies and children. Youâll get more than just ski tuition with Tetra though; they will show you the best restaurants, secure you the best tables and make excellent food and wine recommendations. Tetra are certainly our top choice if you are looking to enhance your skiing and see more of what Val dâIsĂ¨re has to offer.
Like we said, itâs not necessarily an easy straightforward answer but itâs where our concierge team can add real value and make the best recommendations for you. Let us show you all the right places and introduce you to some interesting faces.
This too shall pass!As France, the UK and many of our other European friends press pause, the mountains continue to do their beautiful thing and wait patiently for you to return. We've seen some fantastic early season snowfall and ski conditions on the Tignes Glacier have been superb. Winter 2020/21 is setting up to be another fantastic season of ski conditions here in Val d'IsĂ¨re.
During these times we recognise that it's hard to plan but it's also important to remember that this too shall pass! It won't be long before we can all be together again enjoying those thrilling first tracks of your holiday. We continue to remain flexible with our booking conditions and invite you to contemplate the joys of spring skiing, here in Val d'IsĂ¨re.
If you want to take advantage of this quieter time to secure a good deal it's worth getting in touch directly to see what else we have happening outside of our general luxury sale! We look forward to seeing you soon....
Time for some TLC - our Spa top picks!Val d'IsĂ¨re has some beautiful spas to choose from. All with distinctive luxurious features, there is something for everyone. Perhaps you want to take a mid-week ski break to rest and rejuvenate. Or maybe youâre a non-skier and simply want to take a day to yourself to relax. These spas will help you to do exactly that. Here are some of our favourites and why we love them!
Something Unique | Le Blizzard
On a gorgeous bluebird spring day, Le Blizzardâs outdoor pool is hard to beat. Its exquisite location over looking over the mountains of Val d'IsĂ¨re makes the whole experience wonderfully surreal. Step inside for sauna, steam room, Jacuzzi and a selection of gorgeous treatments on offer using beautiful Clarins products. The gym is also appealing with its light and airy aesthetic, offering a variety of high-performance equipment as well as a fitness studio, with yoga and pilates classes on offer every morning for hotel guests. All a perfect combination for healing and nourishment, donât you agree?
Mountain Views | Le Yule Hotel & Spa
There is just something very special about being warm and cosy whilst staring out at those powerful mountains! Well, Le Yuleâs five-star spa will give you exactly that experience. With its luxurious indoor pool, hamman, Jacuzzi, sauna and zen lounge, the spa has huge glass windows beaming out onto the snowy landscape of Val d'IsĂ¨re. Custom massages are on offer for a sensory escape, immersing you in beautiful fragrances from the Nuxe products. You will be left with a singular feeling of wellbeing.
For Everyone | Avenue Lodge
Cosy and decadent, the spa is set underground with all black interior, featuring a roaring glass fire place in the middle. With antler chandeliers, the contemporary yet alpine atmosphere is the perfect composition for a relaxing mountain spa experience. Featuring an indoor pool, Jacuzzi, two saunas, powerful large steam room, and gorgeous herbal fruit tea station to ignite all of your senses. Treatment rooms with a variety of apres-ski massage variations available, the wellness spa will heal your body and soul! At very reasonable prices this one is great for everyone.
New to Val d'IsĂ¨re this winter...We are proud to introduce a new and exciting hotel to our exclusive portfolio arriving to Val d'IsĂ¨re this winter, Le K2 Chogori, bringing a fresh new offering to the resort through the innovative Tibetan design and embodiments of understated luxury and sophistication.
As part of the impressive K2 Collections hotel group that are very well known across the Alps for their attention to detail and high standards of the finest levels of service, Le K2 Chogori is one not to be missed! The central location will give you instant access to the resorts actives and is just a short walk to ski school in the mornings. This boutique hotel features just three suites and twenty-one rooms, all of which can be doubled up if you want something bigger. With panoramic mountain views and a charming setting just across from the beautiful church of Saint Bernard, the central location is enriched in history; exclusive yet convenient.
Their unique Peruvian restaurant offers something refreshing and new to Val d'IsĂ¨re transporting you from the Alps to Andes through your dining journey. Love a Cocktail? Relax and indulge in the cosy velvety Le 1954 cocktail bar that charms every new guest that discovers it. Artfully made tropical cocktails are their speciality. Their 'Goji spa' features a beautiful twelve metre infinity pool specifically designed for post exercise recovery via hydrotherapy. Propel yourself into a feeling of wellbeing with their Jacuzzi, hammam and tranquil relaxation areas. And if that's not enough, the hotel also offers its own chic ski boutique giving you premium access to high-tech equipment and a beautiful collection of top-of-the-range mountain clothing.
We have no doubt that Le K2 Chogori will be the place to stay in Val d'IsĂ¨re this winter. If you want to be the first to stay we can make sure to secure you the best room and take the stress out of your planning. What's more, we'll meet you when you arrive, help you check in and have your lift passes waiting for you!
Executive Room | Two people | From 600 euros
Suite Comfort | Two people | From 995 euros
Apartment Exclusive | Four people | From 2140 euros
Don't miss out on this exciting new boutique hotel arriving to Val d'IsĂ¨re!
The Best Table in the House!Itâs safe to say that eating out was one of the things missed most in Spring and itâs good to know that restaurant and cafe culture is back with full force in France. Favoured restaurants are open once again, welcoming customers back and throughout the glorious summer in France terraces were being enjoyed to the full.
There are however some subtle differences though in the post lockdown hospitality sector. Instead of being met with a warm French âFaire La Bias,â dinners will be welcomed by todays hottest outfit accessory; a cooly designed facemask. Outdoor seating is definitely being maximised and as a results those opting to eat inside have a more spacious and less compact feel to their experience. On the whole, the return to dining experience is overall a lot more hygienic and even more pleasurable after such a long absence.
Turning our attention to winter, a hotly debated, pre ski trip topic, is always where to visit for lunch in Val dâIsĂŠre. With so many excellent restaurants to choose from, tough choices always have to be made. Hereâs a round up of some of the best mountain restaurants in Val d'IsĂŠre, all of whom are already excited to welcome back winter travellers.
*Table with a view*
Where: Le Refuge du Solaise
What: The Salad de Solaise is a beautiful, fresh, crunchy and light option for those in need of their vitamin fix after a week of rich food. For the hungry skier after something more decadent then their tender Tomahawk steak oozes flavour and is a delicious lunchtime treat.
Why our staff love it: â The view of Val dâIsĂŠre is incredible and the design and decor is really cool. We always have excellent feedback from our guests who visit and they love the live music as well.â Sean
Insider Knowledge: Karen, the restaurant manager, makes sure that guests are always well looked after and the table at the back on the far left has some of the best views of Val dâIsĂŠre.
*Off the Beaten Track*
What: Youâll find Tartiflette in almost every restaurant but this isnât any Tartiflette this is LâEdelweiss Tartiflette. It has a rich, creamy interior and tasty crunchy exterior making it the perfect Savoyard refuel after a long morning.
Why our staff love it: âItâs only accessible via a blue run which makes it a little quieter and more exclusive than some of the other restaurants on the mountain. Itâs a great option throughout the season; cosy inside on snowy days and a beautiful terrace in Spring.â Caroline
Insider Knowledge: Tables are only available to book on the day at 9am. For guests staying in Le Fornet it is a beautiful spot to stop and have an aprĂŠs on the last run down.
*Best for Non-Skiers*
What: With so much to choose from on their menu you will be thoroughly spoilt for choice. Their pizzas are possibly the best on the mountain; full of flavour with generous and tempting toppings. For those craving Frances signature beef tartar this is tender, tasty and not to be missed.
Why our staff love it: âIt just has everything and is easy for non skiers to get to which makes it very popular. The terrace is beautiful in the sunshine and the views of La Face from inside are excellent so itâs a good place throughout the season. We all love their live music in Spring.â Richard
Insider Knowledge: If visiting over the Criterium weekend the table by the back window is a perfect spectator spot!
* The âdid you go toâŚ.â place*
What: Possibly one of the most iconic restaurants in the area, itâs hard to single out specific options from their menu as it is all mouth-watering. Their âCuisine Au Feu de Boisâ or âWoodfire Cookingâ makes everything on it so flavoursome and tender and there is something for almost everyone here. Coupe de Grande Motte is delectable for those with a sweet tooth.
Why our staff love it: âThe whole experience at Panoramic is luxurious, they even give you slippers when you arrive! Week after week we hear compliments about how good the service is and even their hot chocolate is super special. Itâs a long way to get to but always well worth it.â Jess
Insider Knowledge: Every Thursday they have a gastronomic dinner and torch light decent which forms the longest one in Europe. Jess loved this experience and a highlight was showcasing the meat to you at your table before it was taken away to be cooked. At a very reasonable 70 euros per person itâs a fantastic experience.
One of the reasons winter sports lovers visit Val dâIsĂŠre time and time again is the excellent restaurant selection both on the mountain and in the village. It really is hard to choose the best and these are just a small selection of what is on offer. A luxury chalet stay with Hip Hideouts comes with full access to a complimentary concierge service so the hardest thing to do is just decide which ones to book. There are, after all, only six lunchesâŚâŚ
Letâs get ready for Winter 2020/21!The GREAT news is that itâs not long before we can all ski again and the excitement is definitely building with the release of Val dâIsere official 2020/21 season video. On the 28th November 2020 Val dâIsere will open without any plans to reduce the ski area or the ski capacity. Hurrah!
Cover up or shut up!2020 has brought us lots of surprises but one thing is for certain, this winter is going to be all about the ski mask. Balaclava, Neck tube or Face mask, whatever you call it we are all going to be wearing one on the mountain when the snow comes. If you havenât got yours yet then you should check out our Val dâIsĂ¨re buddies Planks Clothing. Ex-pro skier and Hip Hideouts friend Jim Adlington has come up with a quiver of face coverings that are going to protect you and your friends on the hill this season. Our favourites are the Jungle Palm Bandit Necktube and the Autumn Camo Heist Hinged Balaclava. Visit www.planksclothing.com or head on down to their store opposite the Tourist Office in the centre of the village.
Life After Lockdown!The clouds are lifting and the sun is starting to shine once again in Val dâIsere. It's been a difficult few months to navigate for everyone, but the support and loyalty we have received from our fantastic guests has been truly precious. Val dâIsere is officially open for summer and our staff are reaping the rewards of life after lockdown. Here is a little insight into resort life now.....
So have things changes in Val dâIsere? Â Other than the extra cleaning, precautions and some subtle differences,Â the ski resort is very much open and as active as ever. The Blizzard Hotel is now re-opening their doors for the summer season, a first in its history. This is Val dâIseres oldest and most iconic hotel, with its prominent location in the centre of the high street and the heart of the village. With its spacious and tailored facilities, the outdoor swimming pool will also certainly provide another popular option for summer guests; just whatâs needed for some, after a mornings skiing on the Piscillas Glacier in Le Fornet.Â
The snow quality on the glacier is as good as ever which is always a great indicator for the forthcoming winter fun. With the lifts open since the start of June,Â this is sure to be busier than usual this summer.
Many bars, restaurants and cafes reopened earlier than usual for dining inside and out, including Le Coin Des Amis; a local hot spot during the winter. If youâve visited LâAtelier dâEdmond in the past then you will be pleased to know that they have reopened and their apĂŠritifs look as spectacular as ever. Then of course there is the live music, always popular in Val dâIsere, great after a days skiing or hiking to unwind for the evening.Â
The question on everyone's lips though is what to expect this winter? Whilst it is hard to fully predict, the opening of Val dâIsere for the summer season has given us some insight into what post lockdown life in a ski resort could look like.
Here are some of the key things to expect:
* Luxury catered chalets and hotels look set to open as normal but with extra cleaning services.
* There could be an increased demand for catered chalets owing to the privacy they offer.Â
* Itâs likely that restaurants will only take reserved bookings and run at a reduced capacity thus booking lunches and dinners will be even more important.Â
* Indoor clubs may also only operate at a reduced capacity or not at all. It is not yet know what will happen for outdoor venues.Â
* A reduction in the number of people on cable cars and gondolas which could mean longer wait times during peak periods.Â
* Greater demand for private transfers or accommodation with parking spaces as more visitors are likely to self drive.Â
Wherever you spend your summer this year itâs safe to say that we will all be enjoying the increased daily freedom and appreciate more than ever the joys that holidays bring. Spending quality time with family and friends has never been more valued.Â