La Rosière has become a favourite Christmas ski destination for our family due to its excellent snow record and high-quality slope side accommodation in the hamlet of Les Eucherts. Skiing over to La Thuile in Italy adds a sense of excitement and adventure to the holiday and the new Montvalaisan runs have enhanced the skiing experience in La Rosière itself.
Last Christmas, we stayed at the newly built Hotel Alparena, in a top floor apartment with extensive views of the Tarentaise Valley. It didn’t take the teenagers long to get the measure of the sophisticated digital controls for the heating and colourful lighting. The master bedroom was very cosy with carpeted floors and complimentary robes and slippers. Other apartment highlights included a log burner in the sitting room, an illuminated wine fridge in the kitchen and two bathrooms, one with a jacuzzi bath. The jacuzzi jets were found to be most effective by one family member who enjoyed a Paddington Bear moment pressing a button and accidentally setting off a sea of bubbles! The bunks in the alcove were sturdy and comfortable for older children.
Even the ski room was more luxurious than most with an efficient drying system, carpets and plenty of bench space. From the same level we could put our skis on outside the door and whizz down to the Les Eucherts chairlift.
At the end of the day’s skiing, we returned via the Papillon piste to the ski room door. It was also easy to ski back for lunch at the hotel’s piste side restaurant, Le Solario, which served everything from Savoyade specialities to stir fries and pizzas at reasonable prices.
This was our third Christmas ski holiday to La Rosière and on each occasion we have been fortunate to have fresh snow. However, over Christmas 2019 the snow conditions were truly exceptional with heavy snowfalls throughout the week. If I ever woke during the night, I would peer out of the curtain like a small child to marvel at the large, beautiful snowflakes coming down and watch the snow level steadily rising on the balcony.
There was so much snow it had to be cleared day and night by the lorry load from the road outside. We enjoyed observing this operation from our balcony whenever we weren’t out skiing.
With heavy snow and whiteout conditions on several days we became accustomed to skiing through deep powder in a blizzard. If only I hadn’t just traded in my all-mountain skis for new piste skis! Even green runs became challenging due to the depth of the snow and poor visibility and deciding to follow my son on one occasion inevitably led to finding myself waist deep in a snowdrift, which he found hilarious. On one of these snowy days we stopped for lunch at Le Relais du Petit St Bernard, where the “plat du jour” was good value and service efficient. On other occasions we enjoyed stops for “vin chaud” and “chocolat viennois” next to the cosy wood burner at L’Antigel mountain restaurant on the Tétras piste.
We were fortunate to have two sunny days with superb skiing conditions and luckily one of these was Christmas Day. At last, all the lifts and pistes were open and we cruised around runs of every colour until the sun set and the lifts shut. We also ventured over to La Thuile but this time it was windy on the Italian side and the conditions were more favourable in La Rosière. The highlight of the week was skiing several laps of my favourite La Rosière run, the red Fontaine Froide piste, which winds through the forest down to 1176m. As one approaches the end of the run there is a welcoming smell of woodsmoke from le Vieux Chalet mountain restaurant, enticing one in for a light lunch or “gaufre au chocolat”, before a slow and scenic ride back up on the Ecudets chairlift.
In the evenings we enjoyed walking along the beautiful woodland path between Les Eucherts and the main village of La Rosière 1850 and the Christmas trail was even more magical than usual with so much fresh snow. We also made the most of the superb spa and relaxation area at Hotel Alparena, where the facilities included a swimming pool, warm Jacuzzis, steam rooms, and saunas. From the top level one could walk barefoot through the snow to an outdoor hot tub and sauna and from the latter there was a panoramic view of the Tarentaise by night through the round window. Back outside, it was wonderful sitting in the hot tub with fresh snow falling or looking up to starry skies on the clear nights.
On the final Saturday we left La Rosière early to spend the day skiing in Les Arcs. It was exciting to find that it had snowed right down to the funicular carpark in Bourg Saint Maurice. The funicular was busy but nevertheless, soon after 9:30 we were at the top of the Mont Blanc chairlift above Arc 1600 contemplating the day’s skiing. We made our way over to the scenic wooded area of Peisey-Vallandry and had a fantastic morning skiing the quiet tree-lined runs there. Over in Arc 1950 and Arc 2000 we found the runs were busier but luckily managed to get a table for lunch at Le Savoy restaurant in Arc 2000. Here we met up with my husband who had purchased a pedestrian lift pass for the day due to a ski injury and found he was able to get around quite easily to enjoy the views and meet up with us.
The afternoon’s itinerary included skiing down to try out the swish new Pre Saint Esprit chairlift near Arc 1950. Later, we skied from the top of Col de la Chal to the funicular in Arc 1600 via the Grand Renard piste. The funicular was much quieter going down and once our skis were stowed away in the car roof box, we made our way to the Novotel in Beaune, arriving in time for dinner and enjoying one final “menu du skieur”!
We would highly recommend the Hotel Alparena apartments in La Rosière due to the excellent piste-side location and luxury self-catering facilities. We enjoyed the holiday so much that we have already booked our next stay at Hotel Alparena with Peak Retreats!
If you're ready to book your next ski holiday or if you need some advice on where to stay, call us on 023 9283 9310 or request a quote and we will find you the perfect Alpine holiday! Don't forget to sign up for our newsletter to get all the latest news and deals.