If it’s a great vibe you’re looking for then Val d’Isère has a real buzz. Skiers come for its après ski as much as for the fabulous, extensive skiing. Its famous bars like the original slopeside bar, La Folie Douce, where dancing on the tables is pretty much compulsory, live up to the hype. Did you know that the wine cellar at La Folie Douce is one of the biggest in the Alps? They also mature cheese down there!
We loved the exquisite attention to detail and stylish décor at Chalet Skadi, a collection of beautifully styled apartments, with its own spa and a relaxing low-lit pool area. From the clean-cut mountain headboards to the eye-catching wallpaper and distinctive lighting, this is an interior designer’s dream and exudes style, like the resort itself.
For location, with doorstep skiing, the Chalets Jardin Alpin were pretty spot on. When we visited, we could watch people returning from a morning on the slopes from the sunny balconies of these 4-star chalet apartments.
Skiing with our fantastic ESF guide meant that we could explore so much more of the ski area. The ESF instructors we’ve come across are always knowledgeable but on this occasion, our guide also happened to be in the French ski team and had grown up in Tignes. His grandfather had opened one of the first hotels in Tignes Le Lac and even had a piste named after him (the blue piste Henri) so we felt like we truly had the inside track!
Our guide took us to his favourite picnic spot at the top of the Grand Pré lift, where there was a spectacular viewpoint, the iconic Val d’Isère sign for some Instagram moments, and a choice of gentle greens for post-lunch skiing. The luxury apartments at Le Jhana are a great self-catered option with ski-in/ski-out access.
From Tignes Val Claret you can take a funicular railway through the mountain up to the Grande Motte glacier, which also opens for summer skiing. In April, this gave us superb conditions; crisp, hard, perfectly groomed slopes, as well as views that literally stopped us in our tracks (we did get a bit snap happy!).
Back down in Tignes Le Lac, we visited Le Taos, which offers hotel accommodation and self-catered apartments. This stylish property in the heart of the resort (it’s on the Lavachet slope) had stunning views over the resort and an excellent restaurant with an impressive panorama. Striking décor, blending natural materials and modern comforts, and plenty of natural light set the accommodation we saw apart.
Tignes and Val d’Isère feel like big hitting resorts with a heart; exploring and rediscovering the ski area reminded us what’s so special about this huge domain.
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