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Val Thorens

How hard is it to ski from Val Thorens to Courchevel?

Posted on: November 2nd, 2022 by SkiGB

Part of our “How hard is it…” series we explain how hard it is to ski from Val Thorens to Courchevel.


There are several route options with slightly different variations for each route. Depending on where you start in Val Thorens might decide which route to take. For example, if you are staying at the bottom of the resort you might prefer to ski the nice easy path down to Les Menuires and make your way over to Meribel from there.

My personal favourite starting point is to stay high and take the lifts up over and ski either under Cote Brune lift – off-piste – or the main piste and end up at the Base of Mont Vallon.

You may have noticed I am not naming the lifts or even pistes as you wouldn’t believe this but the resorts keep changing their names. Granted mainly due to lift upgrades or replacements but it might confuse you if I did name them and you can’t find them on the map.

Anyway, back to the route. So far we have only skied one piste, quite a long one though. If it isn’t too busy – timing is everything here – this is a really nice piste. The top is a little steeper – Red level – but quite wide to traverse if needed, further down it does get thinner but nowhere need as steep – Blue level.

From Mont Vallon –  worth a trip up the Mont Vallon lift and ski down if fresh snow as it’s amazing – you can either grab a short lift up and ski down to Motteret or take the picturesque path through the trees. The path is not very snowboard friendly as it is quite flat. Wouldn’t advise boarding down there on fresh snow, take the lift.

Skip through Motteret and climb up the other side.

Once you get into the Courchevel ski area you will notice the pistes get wider and less steep. Great for less confident skiers or just if you fancy a blast. There is a great little boarder-cross course at the top which is fun. Keep your eye out for the famous airport from one of the James Bond films as you gently slide your way past some rather posh-looking Chalets. Incidentally, if you have £20 million spare and looking for a Ski Chalet you should check out Belle Air in Courchevel.


Part 1 complete you are at Courchevel 1850.


If you choose to return via the same route you came via then bear in mind you will need to use a very very very long drag lift, definitely not snowboard friendly.

So I tend to stay low and take a route back via Meribel village. The biggest “pain” with this route is Meribel, don’t get me wrong Meribel is beautiful and well worth a visit or even a whole ski holiday stay. But it can get a little crowded at certain times. With the Val Thorens crew skiing over to Courchevel and the same vice versa, they tend to meet up at the same time in Meribel. Add on top of the holidaymakers staying at “Britain in the Mountains” – Meribel – and you have a whole lot of people in one place.

Take the Platiers lift – oops I mentioned lift name – to get some height as at the moment if you climbed over the mountain where you would end up in Les Menuires or even St Martin de Belleville.

Meribel has upgraded its lift system a lot lately and planning more upgrades soon too which has made the return trip from Meribel to Val Thorens much better. They upgraded the lifts to help people staying in Meribel get to the better snow higher up around Mont Vallon and into Val Thorens.

Take the Cote Brune lift up and over into Val Thorens and you’re back home just in time for a quick drink – or two – at the Folie Douce.


How long does it take to ski from Val Thorens to Courchevel?

Obviously, everyone skis at different speeds and some stop more often than others. That said if you are a good skier – Ski Blacks well – then you could do the whole route in a few hours – depending on queues.

If you are a Red piste skier I recommend starting early, say within an hour of lifts opening just to make sure.


Is it Snowboard friendly?

Yes, I would say so, I mentioned the path at Mont Vallon earlier but apart from that, you are good to go!


Minimum Skiing ability

I would say you need to be able to get down a red piste – in fact you would have to do just that – if you want to do this route. Also, bear in mind your fitness as you will be skiing most of the day and depending on how many courses you had a lunch you might have to put a wiggle on if you are close to lifts closing.


Considerations before you go

My main concern is wind, not the smelly type but mother nature’s breath. Val Thorens in particular can get quite windy which forces the lift companies to close certain lifts due to safety concerns. Can you guess which lifts they could close?

Yep, the ones taking you back over from the Meribel valley. The new lifts have helped this but still can happen.

Just so you know if you get stuck in either Courchevel’s or Meribel’s valleys when lifts close you have four options.

  1. Take a taxi which would need to drive right down to Moutiers and back up the Val Thorens valley. Not the cheapest taxi ride you would have had.
  2. Jump on a public bus that takes you to Moutiers then get another one up to Val Thorens. Bare in mind if the wind closes the lifts it more than likely has caught out many people, so stand room only on the buses.
  3. Find a room in Meribel for the night. Good luck with that one!
  4. Strap your skis to your back and start walking up the pistes.

Well worth downloading the E valley Apps beforehand so you can monitor wind warnings. If you are down in Courchevel you might not know it’s windy at the top.


Do I need to hire a guide?

If you are a lone skier then I would recommend joining a group or ski school to go with. If you got stuck or injured a long way from Val Thorens you might need help.

Other than there is no need to hire a guide. Read the piste map beforehand, plan your route and make sure you are somewhere in the Val Thorens valley before Apres!

What are the local drinks for Val Thorens?

Posted on: October 30th, 2022 by SkiGB

Every holiday destination has its own drink that visitors swear tastes better in its country of origin than when they purchase it at home. The only explanation we can give for this is the atmosphere plays a big part in it so Ouzo tastes better in Greece, Sobrado better in Spain, etc etc.

Few people realise that ski resorts thousands of feet in the air nestled amongst mountains have their own local drinks, but anyone who has ever visited Val Thorens will know this winter playground boasts more than its fair share of local fire water. For the purpose of this piece, we are going to concentrate on the main 3 Chartreuse, Génépi and Marc de Savoie. The reason for this is simple. As serious reviewers, it is only correct that we sample what we are writing about and if some of the stories are anything to go by, especially the third one, three is enough; especially on a school night!

You should be able to get anyone of these drinks in any bar in Val Thorens so don’t be shy and try one, two or all three of them out!


This French liqueur has been made since 1737 according to the ancient recipe given to them in 1605 by François-Annibal d’Estrée. The Ingredients are distilled alcohol which has been aged with 130 flowers, plants and herbs, the drink takes its name from the Grande Chartreuse Monastery located within the Chartreuse Mountains in France’s Grenoble region.

The liqueur itself is produced at the monk’s distillery in the nearby town of Voiron (Isère). One of the few liqueurs that continues to improve with age in the bottle, there are two types of Chartreuse; green and yellow. The former is 110 proof, or 55%, and gets its colour naturally from the infusion of plants and herbs during its creation.

The yellow variety is 80 or 40% proof and has an altogether sweeter and milder taste and aroma. There are also several other versions including a white variety but the green and the yellow are the most well-known and by far the most produced and drunk. Chartreuse has a very strong and distinctive flavour in that when first tasted it is very sweet but then becomes much spicier and pungent. A popular way to drink Chartreuse in ski resorts is added to hot chocolate to make Green Chaud.



The aperitif or liqueur known as Génépi is very similar in its make-up to Absinthe. A member of the Chartreuse family, its name comes from the Alpine plants from the genus Artemisia which are added to the brewing process to give Génépi its colour and flavour. As with many European herbal liqueurs of this kind, Génépi is also used as a digestif and it too has an acquired taste. It is less sweet than many of its contemporaries and the flavour the herbs have imparted into it is reminiscent of fever-few and chamomile.

While pale gold is its natural colour you will see some with a tinge of green due to the wormwood flower. This is in stark contrast to some of the varieties you will see for sale which is a vivid green thanks to the addition of food colouring.


Marc de Savoie

As mentioned above there are a few local drinks in the Alps however none taste as vile as Marc de Savoie, be warned!
A little history on this drink, way back in the 18th century when standard drinks like Beer and Wine were only within reach of the employed, the landlords devised a way of selling to more people without costing them any more money. Like modern draft beer taps back then there were drip trays below the taps to catch any spillages. Once the spillage trays got enough liquid the landlord would pour it into a glass and sell it very cheaply to the less fortunate.
Well, that’s the story behind it, whether it is true or not due to Health and safety they clearly can not sell it like that any more.

Marc de Savoie is a type of brandy also known as Marc Brandy de Savoie, Savoy Wine Brandy or simply Hooch. Created using red grapes, the best way to describe this drink is as an ‘acquired taste. It doesn’t undergo the ageing process typical of brandy but is kept in oak casks before bottling.

This drink is served in a shot glass and we recommend having a chaser drink ready as it is as rough as a 5 o’clock stubble. Often used as a forfeit to a drinking game or given to someone you just don’t like.


Ski Cool Val Thorens Ski School

Posted on: February 12th, 2018 by SkiGB

Ski Cool Val Thorens ski school is one of the newest in the resort. Basing their teaching on the ‘fun’ side of learning they are very popular with the children.

The school has three offices, one in the Balcons area, one just next to the Church and the other at the bottom of the resort. We have added all the office to our Val Thorens Ski School Map so you know which one to is closest to your accommodation.

They teach young children to Adults from complete beginners to Expert and offer a bespoke tuition if required, just ask!

Ski Cool Ski School contact details:

  • Telephone: +33 (0)4 79 00 04 92
  • Email:

Here is a link to their website: Click Here

Prosneige Val Thorens Ski School

Posted on: February 12th, 2018 by SkiGB

Prosneige are one of the few ski schools in Val Thorens and are dressed in Blue, they are a friendly bunch so you should have a great time with them.

Prosneige have 4 offices in Val Thorens which will ensure there is one near your accommodation. We have marked their locations on our Val Thorens Ski School Map so you know which one to is closest.

They are available to to teach Skiing or Snowboard from Beginners to Advanced and from 3 years to 100 years old, you’re never too old to start to learn!


Due to their large range of instructor skills they can also teach more specialised forms of snow sports. For example:

  • Freestyle Skiing or Snowboarding
  • Freeride and Touring
  • Handiski
  • Airbags to perfect your jumps
  • Night time skiing

Prosneige Ski School contact details:

  • Telephone: +33 (0)4 79 01 07 00
  • Email:

Here is a link to their website: Click Here

ESF Val Thorens Ski School

Posted on: February 12th, 2018 by SkiGB

The ESF ski school in Val Thorens is the largest ski school in the resort, this is mainly due to being the first ski school in Val Thorens and it is also the national ski school.

ESF (Ecole du Ski Francais – Which means: School of Ski French) are dressed in bright red and can be seen all over the mountains. The school caters for complete beginners to advanced skiers and snowboards. Their main office is on the ‘Place de Caron’ just next door to the Tourist Office. We have noted down all 4 ski school offices for ESF in Val Thorens on our Val Thorens Ski School Map so you know which one to is closest to your accommodation.

ESF Ski School contact details:

  • Telephone: +33 (0)4 79 00 02 86
  • Email:

here is a link to their website: Click Here

Free School Attitude Val Thorens Ski School

Posted on: February 12th, 2018 by SkiGB

The Free School Attitude ski school in Val Thorens is the newest in the resort. Based in the ‘Galerie de Caron’ near the Tourist Office it is right in the centre of the resort. This school only has the one office so that might be a consideration when booking.

They specialise in Snowboarding from learning to do tricks and jumps to just starting out. They do teach skiing but you will have to check their availability of instructors as they are a small team.

Don’t let that put you off they have had some great reviews and often have smaller groups than the other ski schools like ESF Val Thorens and Prosneige Val Thorens.


We have marked their location on our Val Thorens Ski School Map to help you find them quickly.

Free School Attitude Ski School contact details:

Magic In Motion Val Thorens Ski School

Posted on: February 12th, 2018 by SkiGB

One of the newest ski schools in Val Thorens they are not however new to the 3 Valleys. With ski schools all across the other two valleys of Courchevel and Meribel they are a very successful ski school indeed.
With a truly international team means they can offer private lessons in many different languages: French, English, Dutch, German, Spanish, Italian and Russian.


Private Tuition
Wobbly toddlers, headstrong teenagers, nervous ladies, couloirs climbers, any age, any discipline, on and off the slope, ski, snowboard, telemark, touring, freestyle or simply guiding…Magic has it all!

With a maximum number of 6 people per class they make sure they give a personal service, always wanting to help whenever possible the really do progress your skiing or snowboarding.


Magic in Motion Ski School

Magic in Motion Ski School


Magic In Motion Ski School contact details:

Or if you prefer you can book them online, a link to their site is below. Don’t forget to let them know you found them on, they might just give you a present! 🙂


Hotel Le Hameau du Kashmir – Val Thorens

Posted on: February 12th, 2018 by SkiGB

Accommodation in the premier ski resort of Val Thorens is vast and varied to say the least. Traditional chalet type hotels rub shoulders with contemporary boutique hotels to give visitors an eclectic mix choice. Every now and again, however, one will really jump out at you for the not only the inventiveness of its design but its desire to bring something different to the table. In this case it is the Hotel le Hameau du Kashmir.

The hotel takes its name from Kashmir region of north west India, set high in the Himalayas. The rocky landscape here consists of towering mountains permanently covered in snow; sound familiar? This hotel was designed to incorporate these far eastern influences with what is on offer in the Savoie, creating a unique ambience for those looking for somewhere to make their trip to Val Thorens that extra bit special.

Hotel le Hameau du Kashmir Val Thorens

Located at the resort entrance, Le Hameau du Kashmir enjoys uninterrupted and panoramic views of its spectacular surroundings, as well as catching the best of the sun. The hotel consists of several buildings to create a hameau; hamlet. These surround a centrally located quadrangle and have been positioned in tiers to ensure harmony with their backdrop of snow covered slopes. The interiors have been decorated in the vibrant colours of the Kashmir region and offer visitors a warm, welcoming and very stylish guest experience.

There are 57 apartments and suited in total within this mini resort which sleep from between 4 and 8 people, each one tastefully created to give you a real haven to retreat to after a long day on the mountains. The vision of the hotel is to offer all its guest lifestyle with luxury and manages to strike that fine balance between a traditional hotel and the homely aspect that comes from private accommodation.

Make no mistake this one very upmarket hotel that really goes that extra mile to ensure every guest has the best possible experience. It is also a very family friendly hotel which makes the well being of both parents and their children a top priority. The spaces and services have been designed with families in mind and anyone who has been told in the past to keep their children quiet or to stop them running around will appreciate having somewhere to stay where children are allowed to be children. There is even a ski in ski out facility offering direct access onto the Plein Sud slope which is a great piste.

The vision of the hotel is to offer all its guest lifestyle with luxury

The hotel Le Hameau du Kashmir boasts 2 top class restaurants which are firm favourites with the Val Thorens crowd. Le Yack is billed as a beef lovers paradise and it’s guaranteed that you have never visited a steakhouse quite like this one. Whether you want to enjoy the sunshine at lunch time or looking for a hearty dish to round of the day this restaurant is one of the best in town, and guests have it right on their doorstep; literally.

Le Karmin is the second restaurant and can be accessed directly from the slopes. The terrace offers diners spectacular views over the valley and is the perfect place to kick off your boots, sit back and soak up the atmosphere. Breakfast is served buffet style and those who want a quiet drink once the kids are asleep can spend a bit of me time in le Bar. Add the spa in the mix and everything else on offer at Le Hameau du Kashmir and you have one very special hotel.


The Statistics

How many Stars: 5* Hotel

Sleeps: 57 apartments

Closeness to the piste: Ski in Ski out

Resort location: Quarter Arolles, Bottom of resort

Style: Very modern

Swimming Pool: Yes

Spa: Yes

Michelin Stars: none

Specialness: A Ski Hotel but done a little differently

Internet: Free WiFi

Disabled Facilities: Yes

Pets allowed: No

Our rating: 5/5

Val Thorens Best Piste – Tete Ronde

Posted on: February 12th, 2018 by SkiGB
Pretty much every ski resort has its jewel of a piste, whether it is particularly long or maybe known for being really tough to ski all ski resorts have them. For us in Val Thorens it has to be Tete Ronde.


Tete Ronde is not a long piste and being a Blue run it is not a tough one either. It is located off the top of the Telecabin de Peclet right next to the start of the famously long Toboggan (which needs to be tried if ever in resort).


So why is Tete Ronde the best piste in Val Thorens?

Quite simply because of its twists and turns. Tete Ronde starts as mentioned a little bit below the top of the Telecabin de Peclet, follow the piste to the right (when looking upwards) and it will take you through a large gap in the mountain.
The initial start of the piste is a little steeper than the rest of the run but is quite wide so there’s plenty of space to make those wide carved turns, or try again from a failed stem turn.


Top of Val Thorens Tete Ronde


Once down the first decent it flattens out a little but then it’s the start of the real fun bit, the twists and turns!


The first few left and right turns are quite open so you can take them at speed (safely though!!). However don’t get caught out a little later near the end if the run there are some sharper turns including the concluding corner which is a 90 degree right. Because so many do get caught out this corner gets cut up from all the skiers performing an emergency break.


Val Thorens Tete Ronde 90 degree right hand corner


Our Tip: The best way to ski this corner is to flatten the line and keep high left as you enter, then swoop in to the right. By doing this you should be skiing the same direction as the bumps and it should make the turn smoother and flatter.


Val Thorens Chalet la Marine


Then finally it is a dash to the end of the run and join the 2 Combes piste or stop off at Chalet la Marine for a drink and chat about how good this piste is!


A truly great run in Val Thorens and one that can be skied by most ski standards, go and give it ago you’ll love it!


Val Thorens’ The Secret Piste

Posted on: February 12th, 2018 by SkiGB

There are always ski areas that are not found out by holiday makers until the latter part of the week and therefore are quiet until then, Val Thorens is not any different.

At the lower part of the Val Thorens ski area there is a piste called Boismint which we think is that piste. This is why we think this.

Let’s split this down into two groups of skiers to make it easier to explain.


Group 1 – Holidaymakers staying in Val Thorens
Group 2 – Day skiers who drive up to Val Thorens and then leave after they have skied for the day


Group 1 – Val Thorens Holidaymakers tend to start the week skiing on pistes near to the resort until they find their feet. So pistes like Tete Ronde (read why we rate Tete Ronde as the best piste in Val Thorens) and use lifts like Telecabin de Peclet as it’s easy to find and near by.


Group 2 – Val Thorens is very popular for day skiers who come up to the resort from down the valley to enjoy the ski area for the day. The resort have spent a lot of money creating a new car park, ski lifts and piste access to get as many day skiers up to Caron (main mountain in Val Thorens) as quickly as possible. Which is great, however they don’t head towards Boismint!


Whether you like piste skiing or just off the piste this is a great place to ski. For the just of the piste skiers you can (with snow permitting) ski a good couple of feet of powder quite often throughout the season, just be careful of the big rocks.


The only negative to ski this area was the very slow chair lift that takes you back up. However this has now changed as Val Thorens have invested once again on upgrading their lift system and from 2014 there is a much quicker lift (read what is new for Val Thorens in 2014 which includes this lift). It also takes you up higher than the old lift.


Finally another good reason why Boismint is handy to know about is that when the cloud comes in (and it can) or when it gets windy (and it can) this area is a good replacement for the lack of trees to protect you.


There you have it, another Val Thorens piste recommendation, it’s up to you if you want to keep it a secret!


Skiing down to Val Thorens Boismint Ski Area

The Perfect Blast Piste!

Posted on: February 12th, 2018 by SkiGB

It doesn’t really matter what level of Skier or Snowboarder you are sometimes we all want to do the same thing, to scream down a piste as fast as we can! 🙂

A nicely groomed piste, whether it is freshly made corduroy motorway or hard packed with a dusting on top some days can’t be beat!

It goes without saying that you should only hit Mac 2 when the coast is clear of snaking ski schools or it is so busy it looks like the day of the sales at Snow and Rock!

So back to the job in hand, where is it good to break the speed record in Val Thorens? (obviously not including the race pistes)

Time to test your knowledge of Val Thorens!


There are several options but we are going to recommend a piste which isn’t used as much as it’s next door neighbour.

It’s a Blue run (BLUE! Surely not steep enough?) and starts up high.

There is even a restaurant half way down to have a coffee.

Have you guessed which one yet? (Here is the latest Val Thorens piste map to help)

One last clue it starts at the bottom of the Coldest lift in Val Thorens.


Got it?


Let me tell you about Genepi the fastest blue run in town!
Twinned with its sister piste Moraine it starts at the bottom of Le Col lift. Instead of skiing down to the right (skiers right) take the left piste. So many more people for some reason ski to the right down Moraine.

Genepi is nice and wide and has a nice initial drop to get your speed started (don’t worry not a real drop like a cliff) so get into your tuck!

The first stage gets you to the big red Restaurant to get that Coffee you need. Then on to the slightly thinner section with some great corners. This section is much harder to go flat out and to do it safely. Do be responsible please and control your speed when others about!

To master you need to have a few runs on this slope, luckily though the piste ends at the bottom of the Moraine lift to take you to the top again so it is easy to loop round and have another go!


Val Thorens top of Genepi piste, doesn’t that look fun!

Le Fitz Roy Hotel – Val Thorens

Posted on: February 12th, 2018 by SkiGB

Right at the heart of Val Thorens, nestled at the top of the Three Valleys, stands Le Hotel Fitz Roy. As one of the most renowned hotels in the world’s largest ski area, a stay at le Fitz Roy brings with it a great deal of expectation. As with many hotels with a formidable reputation for quality service and luxury, one might think that le Fitz Roy has the potential to be somewhat underwhelming for some of the more potentially presumptuous guests. This is, however, certainly not the case. Somehow, regardless of your expectations, le Fitz Roy Hotel manages only to impress.

The building itself is stunning. The classic chalet architecture makes one feel immediately welcome. This natural charm is reflected inside the hotel, more so following extensive refurbishment works, completed in 2013. The newly decorated interiors clearly aspire to make guests feel at home and comfortable in the occasionally harsh mountains, and they succeed in every respect.

Public areas vary between opulently spacious and intimately cozy, and the classic décor of all rooms have been given a light brushing with the modern. Iconic furniture sets the overall tone, but warm, neutral colours, modern luxuries, and comforting fabrics bring the hotel squarely into the 21st Century.


Each room either faces the slopes or the mountains; each view is similarly breathtaking so there will be no disappointment when you are given your room number. If you have a preference, I found the staff to be more than willing to accommodate if possible. Even basic rooms at le Fitz Roy Hotel match executive suites in other hotels in terms of luxury, but there are superb options for those wanting something grander and more exclusive. Available upgrades include a split-level room, a two-floor suite, or an entire floor for parties of 10 or more. I urge people to visit the hotel’s website to see the beauty of the rooms; description will inevitably fall short.

One thing that must be mentioned in a review of this hotel is the view. While it seems somewhat unfair to critique accommodation with reference to obviously magnificent surroundings, I think it is part of the genius of this hotel that it manages to blend itself into the surroundings. Val Thorens is the highest resort in the world, and the Three Valleys is, for me, one of the most beautiful landscapes in the Alps. The layout of this grand chalet, not to mention its location, make it so easy to take in the valley. Feeling constantly awe-struck when you venture onto the slopes, which are literally on your doorstep, and then returning to le Fitz Roy Hotel is what makes this hotel so brilliant.

As one would expect, the restaurant at le Fitz Roy Hotel is arguably one of the best places to eat in Val Thorens, and the bar is romantic beyond belief. The compulsion to get outside and ski is remarkably tempered once you have spent an afternoon sprawled on a sofa, lost in the fire that sits at the centre of the room. Every meal on the restaurant’s menu is exquisite; if there would be one place where you felt confident ordering simply the ‘chef’s recommendation’, it would be here. After seven nights dining in the restaurant, I never once felt as though I could have received better fare elsewhere.

The hotel is located on the place de Caron which is in the centre of the resort, this is where all the events of the resort takes place. New Year has the most special fireworks display which you would have the best view on your balcony.

Skiing to and from the hotel really couldn’t be easier. In the morning just click your skis in and scoot off down the piste. At the end of the day it is just as easy as there is a small lift that take you back to your hotel door, it’s as if they made it just for you!

Being in the centre of the resort also makes it easy to walk to the shops or Tourist Office as they too are on your doorstep, possibly one of the best locations of the resort.

Of course, there are many other facets that make le Fitz Roy Hotel an exceptional place to stay in the Three Valleys, if not the best; the fully-equipped, newly refurbished Spa facilities being one of the best things to indulge in while spending a week at this mountain retreat. However, a review must focus on the key attributes, and this hotel’s are sublimely simple: food, views and location. It is rare for a hotel to be of the highest quality based on these factors alone, but then le Fitz Roy Hotel is not your usual hotel.


The Statistics

How many Stars: 5* Hotel

Sleeps: 112 people

Closeness to the piste: Ski in Ski out

Resort location: On place de Caron, the centre of the resort

Style: Modern whilst keeping it’s roots

Swimming Pool: Yes

Spa: Yes

Michelin Stars: none

Specialness: It has the most comfy piano bar in the resort which crackling fire

Internet: Free WiFi

Disabled Facilities: Yes in rooms

Pets allowed: Yes

Our rating: 4/5

Hotel des 3 Vallées – Val Thorens

Posted on: February 12th, 2018 by SkiGB

Those planning to take trip to the area known as Trois Vallées, or Three Valleys, already know they are in for a real treat. After all, this is the largest skiing area in the world and some of the most delightful and exclusive resorts reside here. If you have chosen Val Thorens you will already be looking forward to spending time at the highest resort of them all, and eagerly looking for a quality hotel to give your holiday the perfect finishing touch.

Situated on Grande Rue in the heart of the resort, the 3 Vallées hotel is an intimate, boutique establishment which prides itself on offerings its guests luxury as standard. With its unrivalled position it is a mere stones throw from both the slopes and the best the resort has to offer. There are 28 guest rooms in total ranging from a classic room up to a suite. The décor is very much of a traditional chalet style with the emphasis being very much on comfort thanks to the exemplary attention to detail.

Hotel des 3 Vallees Val Thorens

The natural wood tones throughout the hotel blend perfectly with the contemporary colour scheme to give that elegant ambience you only find in the very best hotels. Every room is spacious and comfortable and offer everything you would expect from a top end establishment.

They opened its brand new wellness centre in 2014 and its facilities include a hammam (steam room), sauna and hot tub. There is no better way to relax and unwind and soothe those aching muscles before you get ready to hit the town for the best Après-ski in the French Alps. In keeping with the rest of the hotel the wellness centre has an intimate setting so book your place in advance to avoid disappointment especially at peak times.

While Val Thorens boasts some of the best restaurants in the Trois Vallées. The gourmet restaurant at this hotel takes some beating. You can enjoy an energy boosting buffet breakfast with breathtaking views of the nearby mountains are enjoy a fabulous gourmet dinner once the sun goes down. Combine this with the superb wine cellar and it is easy to understand why the restaurant is so incredibly popular.

The hotel bar is the perfect place to relax in the evenings if you don’t want to venture far from home. With the real fire crackling and a beverage of your choice hand it has a lovely, welcoming atmosphere and many new and long lasting friendships have been forged here over the years.

The Internet is littered with positive reviews from past and more than happy guests of the 3 Vallées hotel, many of which return time and time again which is the ultimate compliment for a hotel. There are also some handy tips offered such as requesting rooms on higher floors to get the best views of the mountains.

What the majority of the reviews focus on however is the service, friendliness of the staff and the fact that they knew from the moment they checked in they were the most important people there. There really is nothing more you could want from a hotel.


The Statistics

How many Stars: 4* Hotel

Sleeps: 28 rooms

Closeness to the piste: Ski out, 5min walk in

Resort location: Quarter Péclet

Style: Traditional chalet style

Swimming Pool: No

Spa: Yes

Michelin Stars: none

Specialness: Located near the bars

Internet: Free WiFi

Disabled Facilities: Yes

Pets allowed: No

Our rating: 3.5/5

Hotel Altapura – Val Thorens

Posted on: February 12th, 2018 by SkiGB

Val Thorens is the highest resort in the French Alps and thus has a certain amount of prestige amongst those who frequent the ski resorts of Europe. As you would expect from such a literally, high end resort there is a huge range of accommodation options. Sibuet Hotels and Spas are one of the best respected names in the region and the gorgeous 88 bedroomed Hotel Altapura is the latest member of their family.

This new concept hotel is set just back from the lively, and noisy, resort centre and offers all its guests a superb ‘ski in ski out‘ experience. Cleverly positioned right next door to the best slopes and only a short walk from the centre of the village so you can indulge in the best Après-ski in France, the Hotel Altapura is a very special accommodation.

From the moment you enter anyone of the rooms or suites the striking Nordic influence is clear to see in the contemporary décor. As we mentioned earlier this is a concept hotel, and by this we mean this has been designed to offer the best possible comforts and amenities for skiers. Every minute detail has been put in place to ensure that every slope bound thrill lover has a good a time off the piste as on it.

The Trois Vallées in renowned for its eco-friendliness and commitment to preserving this unique environment and never was this more in evidence than in the construction of the Hotel Altapura. From the exterior clad in solar panels to the Nordic ambience inside with its use of natural materials, this is the accommodation of choice for the ethically orientated skier.

That’s not to say it doesn’t boast the very latest technology however, as this hotel has ensured that its guests are catered for it every shape or form. With both iPod/iPhone docking stations and Mac Mini’s in the rooms you can keep in touch with the outside world as little or as much as you want. There is free Wi-Fi throughout the Hotel Altapura which is well used by those guests who want their friends back home to share their experience via social media.

The majority of the rooms boast awe inspiring views of the surrounding mountainous landscape and are tastefully furnished and decorated. The cool clean lines and neutral colour palate carry on into the rooms from the communal areas giving the whole hotel a an atmosphere as crisp and fresh as the air outside.

The Hotel Altapura ensures it guests have the best gastronomic choice by offering them a choice of this inhouse eateries. Les Enfants Terribles is a chic and stylish brasserie with outstanding views. A gourmet tour of the best cuisines in the world awaits those who choose to dine in the Deux Mille Trois whilst those who wish to sample local delicacies and specialities should head to La Laiterie.

Other features of this sublime hotel include the opportunity to either rent or buy the very best winter sports equipment and attire without even leaving the hotel. After a long day on the slopes the perfect way to relax and unwind is in the superb 1000sqm spa which includes such facilities as a steam room, sauna, gym, igloo and indoor/outdoor pool.

It is good to see that when resorts with such a history as Val Thorens make any additions to their village they do it with style and elegance. The Altapura is an absolute delight and set to become one of the firm favourites amongst the ski set.


The Statistics

How many Stars: 5* Hotel

Sleeps: 88 rooms

Closeness to the piste: Ski in Ski out

Resort location: Quarter Arolles

Style: Contemporary décor

Swimming Pool: Yes

Spa: Yes

Michelin Stars: none

Specialness: Great restaurant selection

Internet: Free WiFi

Disabled Facilities: Yes

Pets allowed: No

Our rating: 4/5

Hotel MMV Club Hotel Les Allores – Val Thorens

Posted on: February 12th, 2018 by SkiGB

For serious skiers, the MMV Club Hotel Les Arolles is the perfect place to spend your stay in Val Thorens. The hotel is situated at the foot of the slopes in Val Thorens, and allows for easy access to the rest of the Three Valley resort. The guests certainly reflect the very convenient location for exploring the wider Three Valley resort; at any one time the hotel’s lobby seemed to hold several groups of winter sports enthusiasts, more eager to get on the piste than the piss, and certainly more excited about exploring the slopes than the spa.

While the hotel seems to attract serious skiers, it is equally well-suited to those who have never skied or snowboarded before, being as it is so near to bunny slopes. When I enquired about skiing lessons, I found the staff to be practically overjoyed at the opportunity to help me learn to ski. This was surprising to me for a number of reasons, not least because, as a fairly experienced skier, I was more than aware of the contempt felt by some enthusiasts towards nuisance amateurs. Of course, being in such a high-quality establishment, one can quite rightly expect not to be treated with such disdain. Yet it is the genuine willingness of the staff to help that I found so impressive.

Hotel Les Allores Val Thorens

That being said, Les Allores is much more than a functional inn. The reason it serves so well as a place for skiers, rather than spa-junkies, to hang their helmets is precisely because it is so comfortable. The staff are just as attentive as in the more grandiose hotels, the rooms are of exceptional quality, and the spa facilities, while lacking by Val Thorens standards, are certainly a match for the most luxurious European urban hotels.

The ‘Wellness Centre’ features a Jacuzzi, sauna, steamroom, and a fully fitted beauty parlour attended by trained staff. I may not have much truck with beauty or spa treatments, I was assured by several other guests that the services and facilities available at Les Allores were of the highest standards.

While the location, facilities and staff were all top-notch, it was perhaps the small extras that made this hotel so satisfying, for want of a better word. Many of the hotels in Val Thorens, and even some of the private chalets, have some sort of kids club arrangement, allowing over-worked parents to genuinely enjoy a portion of their holiday in the way that only adults can. This is an absolutely integral part of a hotel for anybody with children. In this regard, the MMV Club Hotel Les Allores really does go above and beyond. There are a range of clubs for children aged between 4 months and 17 years, so there is no question that you will be able to get some relaxing time to yourself. Crucially however, these clubs are fun. This may sound somewhat facetious, but inflicting the misery of a poorly organised kids club on your children can leave one relaxed but guilt ridden, which can take the edge off a tranquil afternoon. The activities for children at Les Allores seem to be genuinely exciting and interesting, with plenty of effort put in by the organisers; this is an excellent positive for a hotel in Val Thorens that is not to be understated.

All-in-all, MMV Club Hotel Les Allores is a great place to spend your alpine holiday. It is certainly much more of a ski base than a mountain retreat, but in no way does that detract from the comfort and elegance of the place. The rooms are luxurious in their cozy but elegant way, and the entire layout of the hotel is unmistakably stylish. The facilities are superb, if you are interested in that sort of thing, and the location is simply perfect. This is certainly one to consider the next time you are planning a trip to the Three Valleys.


The Statistics

How many Stars: 3* Hotel

Sleeps: 52 rooms

Closeness to the piste: Ski out, short walk back

Resort location: Lower end of resort at entrance

Style: Typical French Ski Hotel

Swimming Pool: No

Spa: Yes

Michelin Stars: none

Specialness: Quieter end of the resort

Internet: paid

Disabled Facilities: No

Pets allowed: No

Our rating: 2/5

Hotel Koh-I Nor – Val Thorens

Posted on: February 12th, 2018 by SkiGB

When you visit a world-class ski resort as Val Thorens you rightly expect there to be a vast choice of accommodation to match the prestige of the setting. A new hotel here is always hugely anticipated and the 5-star Hotel Koh-I Nor certainly doesn’t disappoint. With a Persian name that translates to ‘Mountain of Light‘ and situated right at the top of Val Thorens the exceptional location combined with everything, the hotel has to offer its guests has already put it firmly on the map.


With its ski-in/out access and outstanding panoramic views over the entire resort complete with its unique ‘white circus‘ whoever designed the Hotel Koh-I Nor deserves a medal. The vast expanses of glass achieve their objective of maximising the hotel’s ability to be flooded with natural light to such an extent one reviewer said you were treated to a “full light sensation”.


The hotel offers 63 rooms and suites which are the final word in luxury. Each are fully equipped with every amenity you could imagine including a private balcony, full-size bath, and separate toilet. Every guest can also enjoy the flat-screen TV’s, hairdryer, minibar and safe. Large, spacious and tastefully decorated in contemporary colours, it is easy to see why room service is so popular here.


There are 2 restaurants at the Hotel Koh-I Nor; one a luxury brasserie and the other boasting top-end international cuisine. The choice of the two caters to the gastronomic desires of all visitors and a fabulous dining experience is awaiting whichever you choose. The décor of the restaurants are best described as cosy luxury; you know you are in a top-end establishment but with a relaxing ambiance.


The lounge bar is the perfect place to relax in the evenings with a drink or three. There are two main features here; the large, roaring fireplace and the grand piano. There is a definite musical atmosphere in the lounge bar and sitting relaxing listening to some of your favourite tunes emitting from the expertly played ivories is a very special experience.


Those wishing to sit outdoors and watch mountain life go by should head for the south-west terrace. The positioning of it ensures it catches the sun all day long and you can sit for hours here watching both the action on the slopes and in the resort itself below.


For those guests who want to take their relaxation and well being to a whole new level, there is an outstanding 800m2 spa. Operated by spa experts Valmont, the spa will offer 2 swimming pools, fitness room, hammam, sauna, jacuzzi, ice fountain, salt wall, solarium, relaxing zone and 4 treatment rooms offering the very best in those special treatments which make you feel more relaxed than you thought possible but also put a spring in your step.


If the opportunity of staying at a brand new, luxurious hotel doesn’t happen very often but you now have that chance by booking into the Hotel Koh-I Nor. Check out their website for all manner of opening season offers including packages that allow children to stay for free as well as plenty ski orientated ones for the adults. This may be its first season but the Hotel Koh-I Nor is set to make its mark on Val Thorens, and for all the right reasons.


The Statistics

How many Stars: 5* Hotel

Sleeps: 63 rooms

Closeness to the piste: Ski in Ski out

Resort location: Rue du Gébroulaz, Top of resort

Style: Modern, beautifully done

Swimming Pool: Yes

Spa: Yes

Michelin Stars: none

Specialness: It has the comfiest piano bar in the resort which crackling fire

Internet: Free WiFi

Disabled Facilities: Yes

Pets allowed: No

Our rating: 5/5

Hotel Le Sherpa, Val Thorens

Posted on: February 12th, 2018 by SkiGB

Charming is a much overused term when it comes to describing the multitude of quality hotels which pepper the world famous ski area known as Trois Vallées. Each of the resorts offers a vast choice of accommodation catering to all needs and budgets. Val Thorens has more than its fair share of these top end establishments, and charming is just one of the numerous superlatives which can be applied to the gorgeous Hotel Le Sherpa.

Situated at the very heart of the resort, Le Sherpa offers its guests top quality accommodation right on the slopes. It’s location also allows everyone to enjoy the very best of Val Thorens’ après ski, which is considered one of the best in Europe. The hotel is built in the traditional and visually appealing chalet style and boasts spectacular views of the ski area right at the top of the Belleville Valley.

Hotel Le Sherpa Val Thorens

The rooms and suites are tastefully decorate to offer luxurious comfort for 1-4 guests. Warm colours blend seamlessly with top quality wooden furniture to offer a rustic chic without compromising on style. As well as the standard amenities you would expect each room also has satellite TV, Wi Fi and a balcony boasting amazing views over the valley. There are special family suites available too which boast separate children’s rooms, perfect for a spot quality time once they are in bed.

The warm and welcoming ambience extends to both parents and children making this one of the most family friendly hotels in the area. Nothing is too much trouble for the staff who, from the moment you arrive, do everything they possibly can to make your stay as enjoyable as possible. Children are allowed to be children at Le Sherpa, which is exactly what you want when holidaying as a family.

Extra special attention is given to the dining experiences guest at Le Sherpa have at their disposal. The restaurant serves buffet breakfasts to give you the energy needed for a hard day on the slopes and 5 course gourmet meals at the end of the day accompanied by one of the fine wines which France produces as standard. Gastronomic delights are easy to find around Val Thorens but having one as part of your half board package is a real treat.

There are several areas in the hotel which have been specially designed to allow you to spend some quiet time. Relaxing by the roaring fire in one of the cosy lounges or bar area with the nightcap of your choice is a wonderful way to round of yet another thrilling day at one of the world’s top ski resorts.
If you want to make the most of clean, crisp air there is a quiet, south facing terrace offering stunning panoramic views.

There is also a full beauty centre if you want to indulge in a bit of pampering as well as a steam room, jacuzzi and sauna to enjoy. In short, Le Sherpa is the haven you will look forward to returning to after a full day of whatever kind of thrills you have had on the slopes. If you are planning a trip to Val Thorens and are still debating over which hotel to choose, Le Sherpa could be the best decision you ever made.


The Statistics

How many Stars: 3* Hotel

Closeness to the piste: Ski in Ski out

Resort location: Quarter Péclet, Very Top of resort

Style: Classic Chalet

Swimming Pool: No

Spa: Yes

Michelin Stars: none

Specialness: Fantastic Location

Internet: Free WiFi

Disabled Facilities: Yes

Pets allowed: No

Our rating: 3/5

Restaurant review of L’Epicurean in Val Thorens

Posted on: February 12th, 2018 by SkiGB

There is real buzz around L’ Epicurien restaurant in Val Thorens at the moment; and little wonder. This gourmet eaterie nestling in the French Alps has been awarded a brand new and shiny Michelin Star for 2015, making this the hottest seat in the Trois Vallées. In area boasting a plethora of world class restaurants what it is about L’ Epicurien that sets it apart from a very impressive crowd? We thought it would be rude not to check it out for ourselves.

From the moment you step through the door you just know you are entering somewhere very special. There is an ambience about a top class eaterie that lesser establishments wish could be bottled and sold. You cannot put your finger on it, never mind describe it in mere words, suffice to say dining here is more an experience than merely satisfying your hunger.

L’Epicurean in Val Thorens

The interior is very contemporary with the interior colours replicating those of the landscape around it. Don’t make the mistake of thinking this makes it cold and clinical however, far from it. The exquisite design and lay out makes for an essence of intimacy and the perfect spot for that romantic gourmet meal in the mountains. This is not the place to come if you are looking for a happy hour to feed your kids!

The man behind the success of L’ Epicurien, and the reason for this prestigious award is Jérémy Gillon. An esteemed French chef in his own right, Msr Gillon has unleashed his passion on the ski set with his mission to completely reinvent French food as we know it. Using only seasonal and noble food products from traditional, local producers he has transformed this restaurant into a world beater.

Jérémy Gillon

You will want to set aside a healthy budget if you intend to eat at L’ Epicurien, that’s if you were savvy enough to book your table well in advance of course. There are several menus to choose from, each one more mouth watering than the last. Ranging in price from around 50€ – 90€ per head, this may seem expensive to some but when you compare the prices to some of the other Michelin starred restaurants around the world it is one of the most affordable.

Of course, you will be looking for a very special wine to accompany your meal and once again L’ Epicurien surpasses all expectations. The wine menu has soft, palatable reds rubbing shoulders with Krug Grande Cuvée Champagne and fun, sparkling roses. With a healthy choice of aperitifs, cocktails and non alcoholic beverages this is not one of those establishments where you will be disappointed by not being able to get a drink you are partial too.

L’Epicurean in Val Thorens

As you would expect, the staff are both attentive yet invisible. Polite, knowledgeable and efficient, they are the epitome of how front line employees should present themselves, and other restaurant owners could do with taking a gold leafed page out of L’ Epicurien’s book.

Jérémy Gillon and team

If you are planning a trip to Val Thorens and yearn to sample the delights of L’ Epicurien for yourself then booking in advance is a must. Few get to experience fine dining of this calibre and if you want to create that extra special moment in the Trois Vallées mountains then this is the place to come.

If this is something you would like to try for yourself here is a link to their website so you can book before coming out! CLICK HERE


Hotel le Val Thorens

Posted on: February 12th, 2018 by SkiGB

Having benefited from a thorough recent refurbishment, Hotel le Val Thorens has a friendly and welcoming atmosphere, making it the ideal base for a skiing holiday for families or other large group. As the first hotel to be built in this Savoie resort, Hotel le Val Thorens builds on a tradition of excellence, and welcomes guests with modern luxuries such as free wifi, graceful modern wooden furniture, a trendy lobby,  in-room flat screen TVs, and free entry to the new onsite spa, which includes a sauna, steam room, and heated indoor pool. Beauty therapies and massages and other treatments are also available for a further supplement.


The spa is a real selling point for this hotel, with amazing powerful showers (ideal for an apres-ski shoulder massage), and warm pool perfect for either an invigorating swim or a more relaxing dip. Imagine coming straight from the piste immediately to a waiting masseuse, or a steamy sauna. At Val Thorens, this is a reality.

Another benefit to this hotel is its town centre location: as the resort is car-free, this is an important bonus as guests can easily walk everywhere. The Val Thorens also offers direct ski-in and ski-out access, making it supremely comfortable as a base to stay and hit the slopes- and then relax properly afterwards. While many rooms benefit from dramatic mountain views, the main restaurant serves delicious modern French cuisine on the terrace, making an ideal lunch or dinner spot on sunny days.


The terrace’s seating area also includes sheepskins and other warm rugs to keep the cold at bay for guests who like to dine al fresco. Service is exceptional in the hotel’s main restaurant, and diners benefit from short wait times between ordering and eating, allowing them to return to the slopes and resume skiing as quickly as possible! Enjoy lighter oeufs cocotte dishes here, or dine more informally in the bar area. The hotel also has a more traditional restaurant, La Fondue, serving up delicious savoury cheeses and raclette in quantity for tired and hungry skiers. In the evenings, the hotel’s cosy west facing bar welcomes tired guests to watch the sun set over the mountains with delicious cocktails and a warm, snug environment with roaring log fire, far away from the bitter wind and snow of the slopes (the mojitos here especially come highly recommended).


Rooms have a restful yet modern European vibe, with views of the slopes, fur throws, cosy bath robes, and ambient contemporary lighting. While the hotel’s own restaurant serves up excellent and wholesome fare, the Val Thorens is also ideally located for other gourmet destinations in the town, including La Maison, Le Fitz Roy, and Face West. All details are considered, with the hotel offering heated boot storage for guests’ comfort. The central atrium and lobby are both stylish and light-filled, with striking artworks: the Val Thorens is as much a boutique or design hotel as it is a ski hotel, and its friendly staff further add to the traditional Alpine hospitality to be found here.


The Statistics

How many Stars: 4* Hotel

Closeness to the piste: Ski in Ski out

Resort location: On place de Caron, the centre of the resort

Style: Contemporary décor

Swimming Pool: No

Spa: Yes

Michelin Stars: none

Specialness: Location is tough to beat

Internet: Free WiFi

Disabled Facilities: Yes

Pets allowed: No

Our rating: 3.5/5

Mercure Hotel 2300, Val Thorens

Posted on: February 12th, 2018 by SkiGB

At a height of 2,300 metres, the Mercure Hotel in the Val Thorens ski resort is the highest hotel the chain owns in all of Europe. Offering guests all amenities to ensure their ski holidays are happy and successful, Hotel Mercure 2300 sells lift passes, arranges ski rentals, provides children’s entertainment (including a dedicated children’s entertainer/play assistant during the French school holidays), and has a spa for apres-ski relaxation, offering sauna facilities, a jacuzzi, a hammam, beauty treatments, and massages. Additionally, an on-site shop with extremely helpful staff rents and sells ski equipment and clothing.


The spa is an especially attractive feature of this hotel, with guests enjoying the warmth and bubbles of the jacuzzi as they watch the sun setting and the snow ploughs preparing the pistes for the following day. Food is also much better than your average ski hotel’s, with breakfast laid on as a generous continental buffet, including treats such as smoked salmon as well as bacon, sausages, pancakes, eggs, bread, fruit, and bottomless tea and coffee. Take advantage of the restaurant’s gastronomic offerings and stay half board at the hotel: the modern and tasty French cuisine from the hotel’s kitchen definitely makes this option worthwhile. Options are either fixed menu, or based around local ingredients and specialities: fondue is included in the half board prices, but needs to be ordered the day before. Hearty soups and crisp salads complement main meals, while dessert is served buffet-style for the sweets, accompanied by a full selection of delicious savory cheeses.


The bar area has typical Alpine wood panelling, creating a traditional, cosy atmosphere which comes as a relief after a hard day on the mountain. Its quiet yet welcoming atmosphere makes it a luxurious haven in the evening, with a lovely fire to keep things snug on the coldest nights. The bar sometimes hosts live music, while occasional karaoke nights ensure that everyone’s kept entertained. The adjacent terrace is a real sun trap on bright days, making it the perfect spot for some apres-ski tanning, or simply sitting out with a book and a coffee (or a glass of something a little stronger). Hotel Mercure 2300 also provides guests with an array of useful services to make stays more comfortable, including free wifi, and numbered downstairs lockers which correspond to room numbers, making the trip out to the piste and the gathering all of your equipment easy. The Mercure 2300 Hotel also offers direct access to the pistes, with a ski-in ski-out facility ensuring that the transition from hotel room to slopes and back again is seamless.


If you are planning to stay for just a weekend, or need a room for a stay that doesn’t begin or end on a Saturday, the Hotel Mercure 2300 is one of the few hotels in Val Thorens who can accommodate you: even during the peak ski season, rooms can be booked on a night by night basis, meaning that you don’t have to commit to a week or a fortnight, as in other establishments in the area. Finally, with a games room and a kids’ entertainment centre, the Mercure 2300 Hotel is ideally set up for a truly memorable and enjoyable skiing holiday, whether you are travelling alone, as a couple, a family, or in a large group.


The Statistics

How many Stars: 3* Hotel

Sleeps: 104 rooms

Closeness to the piste: Ski in Ski out

Resort location: Next to the Slalom

Style: Modern décor

Swimming Pool: No

Spa: Yes

Michelin Stars: none

Specialness: Location is perfect

Internet: Free WiFi

Disabled Facilities: Yes

Pets allowed: No

Our rating: 3/5