Karen M and Adam from the Ski Independence team had the pleasure of visiting a huge number of our featured luxury hotels and residences in the Tarentaise ski resorts of Val ThorensTignes, Val d'Isère and Les Arcs in December, as well as sneaking in a couple of days on the slopes. Karen sums up the trip below. [caption id="attachment_9862" align="aligncenter" width="335"]Adam & Karen enjoying a sunny lunch Adam & Karen enjoying a sunny lunch[/caption]

5-Star Experience - First stop: Val Thorens

We arrived in Val Thorens on the afternoon of a beautiful sunny day at the start of December to begin our mini-tour around the Alps. Neither of us had been here before so it was great to see it for the first time on such a lovely day. After quick lunch we started our visits around to a few of the luxury hotels Val Thorens has to offer. Our first and probably favourite visit was to the 5-star Hotel Altapura which was an amazing hotel to kick things off! As soon as you walk in it oozes modern luxury with lots of light wood and fur furnishings. Downstairs there is a wonderful open area which is where you find the selection of restaurants and the bar which are very well suited to families, particularly in the bar area. There is an open fire pit with lots of low comfortable seating making it very family friendly! The rooms at the Altapura were very fitting to the hotel with light wood and luxury furnishings, they are spacious and the duplex suites are great for couples looking for a special room or for a family with small children. For 5-star families looking something friendly and luxurious this is definitely the place for them in Val Thorens! [caption id="attachment_9869" align="aligncenter" width="662"]Bar area at the Altapura Bar area at the Altapura[/caption] [caption id="attachment_9868" align="aligncenter" width="663"]Hotel Altapura Terrace Hotel Altapura Terrace[/caption] Another favourite was the new Fahrenheit 7 hotel which sits right on the slopes. It is quirky, modern and relaxed with a definite couples vibe throughout the lobby and bars, offering a variety of drinks and tapas style snacks. The part of the hotel that really stood out to us was the ski room which has a bar serving drinks in the morning before you head and also in the afternoons after your day of skiing, which I know will appeal to lots of people staying at this hotel! There is certainly nothing better than a fresh cold beer or drink when you have just come off the mountain! For the next two nights we stayed at Hotel Le Koh-I-Nor which is another fantastic 5-star hotel with amazing restaurants and definitely ideal for real foodies who like to sample some genuine French cuisine. The restaurants' food ranges from fine dining to traditional fondue and cheese dishes, so there's definitely something to suit everyone. The style here is very chic with dark fur throws and wood making the rooms cosy and comfortable, whilst the full size windows really brightens the space. This hotel also sits in a ski-in/ski-out position on a blue run so it is really easy to access for skiers of all abilities. Should you need to head to the ski school meeting point there is a shuttle service on demand and will be happy to assist you when you need. On our second day we were fortunate enough to ski for the day and with the sun shining we couldn’t have asked for better weather. We also had a guide for the morning who showed us all the best spots around Val Thorens and look us to some amazing viewpoints which are definitely worth it for the view. The picture below is from our lunch spot at ‘Les Aiguilles des Peclet’. [caption id="attachment_9867" align="aligncenter" width="1024"]Les Aiguilles du Peclet View from Les Aiguilles du Peclet[/caption]

Les Arcs

After Val Thorens our next stop was a couple of hours’ drive away in Les Arcs where were we were able to check out the amazing, brand new (5-star!) Hotel Taj-I-Mah. This brand new hotel sits right on the slopes in Arc 2000 and is owned by the same company that runs the Koh-I-Nor, so it is very similar in style. They have many different room types and suites, making it a brilliant place for larger families or couples looking for amazing value 5-star accommodation. A big bonus here is the spa which has a huge pool overlooking the ski slopes; if you fancy taking a day off skiing to relax then this spa would be the perfect place to do so.


After a flying visit to Les Arcs, Tignes was up next and we arrived here in the evening where there were lots of restaurants open to grab a quick bite to eat. The restaurants in Tignes are very varied from traditional fondues and raclette to pizza and beer, making it ideal for all age groups who would holiday here. Tignes is such a big seller for families and the restaurant we ate in ‘Brasserie du Petit Savoyard’ had loads of families in and definitely caters for all age groups. Next we stayed at 4-star Residence Le Nevada and we were bowled over by the service and quality of accommodation here. The reception staff were really helpful and offered to order breakfast for us for the next morning and were also kind enough to give us a show around of the spa and swimming pool area. The apartments here are very well sized with a large kitchen/dining and living area which is ideal for self-catering. These apartments are a definite must for people looking for central Tignes Val Claret as they are just a short stroll along to the slopes. Another property we saw in Tignes was 5-star Hotel Les Suites Du Nevada which is also in Val Claret, just opposite the Residence, which is an incredible hotel. The huge rooms all feature lots of dark wood and fur throws, a very comfortable and welcoming atmosphere. For families looking for 5-star in Tignes this is a definite go-to because they have large suites with separate bedrooms or open plan with bunk beds for the children. [caption id="attachment_9873" align="aligncenter" width="809"]The superb Hotel Les Suites du Nevada in Tignes The superb Hotel Les Suites du Nevada in Tignes[/caption] Hotel Les Suites Du Nevada was by far one of our favourite hotels and if Adam hadn’t fallen in love with Tignes before, then he certainly had now!

Val d'Isère

The next resort we headed to was Val d’Isère which is just about 25 minutes’ drive from Tignes and where we visited lots of amazing 5-star luxury hotels. Val d’Isère really is an exclusive, luxury resort and the main street shows this off just as much as the hotels. The streets are lined with high quality luxury shops and stylish bars to explore and certainly enough to keep you entertained for a week’s holiday here, even if you choose to take a little time off skiing. We stayed in L’Aigle Des Neiges which is located in the heart of the village and close by for everything really. The service here was impeccable! From the moment we approached the hotel in the car the concierge was outside and expecting our arrival. As we checked in the concierge very kindly unloaded the car and our bags were delivered to rooms almost at once - a service we didn’t expect or have in any other hotel over this trip. Their attention to detail is second to none and we couldn’t have asked for a more delightful stay to round up our trip. One of the restaurants here where we had our last dinner is a ‘hot stone’ restaurant where you cook your own meats and vegetables to your liking, quite a novelty for such a high-class hotel and something I would more than recommend to clients! You are able to use your half board supplement here too making it an absolute must! Making the hotel even better, there is a Skiset shop on site with the latest equipment and from here you are just a short 3-4 minute walk to the slopes where you will have access to the whole ski area. To round off our trip, we had a wonderful day skiing in Val d’Isère where we had amazing snow for early December and managed to explore lots of the Tignes-Val d'Isère ski area. The real skiing highlight was up on the Grande Motte Glacier in Tignes where the snow was amazing and there was no-one around, meaning we could fly down the pistes with no-one in our way. I don’t think we could have asked for a better last day of skiing! [caption id="attachment_9870" align="aligncenter" width="615"]karen-m-solaise-magic-carpet-vally-d Adam and I trying out the new beginners Solaise Magic Carpet[/caption] We visited lots of hotels in Val d’Isère, all offering something a little different but most certainly with the 5-star quality and service attached and I can just about guarantee everyone would find your ideal luxury hotel here! To arrange your very own 5-star experience this winter, simply get in touch with our team of Ski Specialists. You can call them on 0131 243 8097 or request a tailor-made quotation online.