With three months of skiing still left, the popular resorts of Les Trois Vallées and Espace Killy in the Savoy region of the French Alps offers spectacular slopes but deciding on suitable accommodation is never easy. Here’s a run-down of seven of the most interesting options this season.
Les Trois Vallées
Hotel Altapura - classic 88-room, Alpine accommodation in a five-star setting, with three restaurants, three bars and a three-level, 1,000 square meter relaxation area, encompassing a ‘Pure Altitude’ spa, gym, indoor and outdoor plunge pools, Jacuzzi, two hammams, a sauna and a funky ‘Igloo’ room. Managed by Frédéric Carbonnel, it’s airy, with a decor of wood, stone and glass, creative wall decorations fashioned from skis and a large open fireplace in the middle of the downstairs lobby. Rooms are spacious, high, multi-level wood ceilings and French windows providing magnificent views over Cime de Caron and Aiguille de Peclet peaks.
Koh-I Nor Hotel - ‘Mountain of Light’ in Persian and the name of the 105.6 carat diamond set in the Queen of England’s crown, this five-star property opened just this season. It features 63 rooms and suites and 35 apartments, two pools and a lounge bar with an imposing, diamond-shaped glass frontage that allows light to flood in. It is well served by two restaurants, one with international cuisine and one a luxury brasserie, and a 800m2 Valmont spa. A small lounge with a wide selection of cigars in stock is named after Britain’s wartime Prime Minister Winston Churchill, known for his fondness for stogies, particularly the Romeo y Julieta brand.
Les Menuires and Saint Martin de Belleville
Résidence Les Clarines - with an expansive foyer arrayed with chairs and soft sofas, a stone-framed fireplace, wood-lined walls and ceiling and a decorative set of silver birch tree trunks, this property offers self-catering apartments with fine views over nearby slopes. The nearest gondola is a mere hundred meters away. Friendly, multi-national front-desk staff are helpful and a fitness center, sauna, heated indoor swimming pool and spa using Decleor and Carita products offer relaxing après-ski options.
Hotel Le Savoy – this elegant, 37-room, wood and granite 4-star property combines classic lodge décor with an air of modernity, old framework and oak floors fusing smoothly with contemporary furniture and images from some of the world’s top photographers. A sauna, a hammam – as well as a Themae spa – and a library with fireplace provide relaxing escapes. Rooms – with terraces overlook the mountains and the resort - feature sleek interiors and brightly-colored furniture, creating a pleasant, contemporary atmosphere. Each has an Ipad for guests to order room service. Conveniently located beside the main shopping street and ski lifts and a five-minute walk from the town’s largest sports center which includes an ice rink and a full-length swimming pool.
Hotel Annapurna - with 57 rooms and 13 suites, this 5-star property nudges the slopes, a 25-minute walk from the village center (the hotel has a free shuttle service). With balconies in some rooms, a spacious spa and gym area, including indoor and outdoor pools, a large childrens’ games room and live piano music every night, this classy wood and stone hotel caters to both families and single adults.
Chalet Quezac – occupying a picturesque location in Tignes-les-Brévières overlooking Le Lac des Brevieres below and La Sache peak high above, this chalet was built by four-times world champion ski free-rider and rally driver, Guerlain Chicherit, and his American wife, Lauren. A well-designed, three-story 600 square meters property, it boasts elaborate interior artwork and six spacious en-suite rooms plus a 4-bunker kids’ room. The young couple are informal and amiable with Guerlain delighted to explain the various trophies on display he has won for his daring exploits on wheels and skis.
Le Blizzard - this five-star hotel emanates cosy Alpine chic, with lots of wood paneling lending it an unpretentious 'ski lodge' feel. Rooms are cosy and the views from its rear terraces over the heated outdoor pool and Jacuzzi and on to the illuminated Bellevarde slope are spectacular. Spa facilities are spacious (with Clarins products) and the hotel’s chic bar with its subdued lighting and sumptuous sofas has become the place to unwind after a long day on the slopes. It possesses an enviable location right in the heart of the resort.