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Archive for the ‘Ski accommodation’ Category

Still unsure where you want to go for your ski holiday? Read on for recommendations on the best resorts for Family ski holidays, local charm, ski in ski out apartments, cheap ski holidays and ski resorts suitable for large groups.

 

Best ski accommodation for families

We would recommend L’Amara in Avoriaz – which itself recently won best Family ski resort in the World Snow awards.

L'Amara: New Family friendly apartments in Avoriaz

L’Amara: new family friendly apartments in Avoriaz

The residence has lots of 2 bedroom apartments, many with 2 bathrooms and spacious and comfortable living areas. BBC TV is available (including CBeebies). In Avoriaz there is a great children’s club and baby sitting can be arranged.

If you need to rest after a long day on the piste, have a break in the spa area complete with treatment rooms, swimming pool, jacuzzi, sauna and relaxation room.

Relax in the swimming pool area at L'Amara

Relax in the swimming pool area at L’Amara

 

Best for ski-in ski-out

Avoriaz ticks this box as well, but we would recommend Arc 1950 le Village at the top of the vast Paradiski area.

You can usually manage to ski right back to the actual door of your ski locker as well as access all Arc 1950 bars, restaurants and shops by skiing through the village itself.

Arc 1950 is composed of 8 buildings, each having their own reception and access to the  indoor car park. The large self-catering apartments are stylishly decorated in modern Alpine style. There are a wide range of facilities available in the village including supermarket, a pharmacy, cash point and plenty of restaurants to suit all tastes. There is also the possibility to relax in style in the brand new luxury spa.

Arc 1950 Le Village

Views of Le Village, Arc 1950

Best ski accommodation for large groups

Les Ecrin des Neiges Tignes

Les Ecrin des Neiges Tignes

The definition of large could be interpreted as large apartments or good places to go with a group, so we have gone for a mix! Les Ecrins de Neiges in Tignes has a lot of apartments which sleep 8 or more. Plus the geographical/high altitude nature of the resorts suits groups.  Also the ski area works for groups of mixed abilities and the après ski is varied enough to suit most people.

However a good runner up in this category, which also has a plethora of larger apartment sizes is Les Menuires Alpages de Reberty.

Poolside views at Alpages de Reberty

Poolside views at Alpages de Reberty

The residence sits in the area above Les Menuires and benefits from doorstep skiing. There is also a large selection of mountain sports and activities available: Quad biking, sledging, ice skating, snowscooters, snowshoes and more…

Best for traditional charm

Les Carroz d’Arraches is located in the heart of the Grand massif ski area. Our rustic Fermes de Soleil residence is built around the ice rink which gives you a very ‘ski resorty’ feeling and the village itself is charming and has the added bonus of being one of the closest ski resorts to Geneva with a transfer of only 45 minutes.

Best ski resort for people on a budget 

At Residence la Marelle et le Rami  in  Les Coches prices now start from only £311 for a studio cabine for 4 (week commencing January 2017) – only around £80 per person if you fill it with 4 people.  Add to that, resort prices down in Les Coches are markedly less than in its higher neighbours and there are some great happy hour offers. If you do decide to splash out on a Paradiski pass you actually have a chance to use it effectively as the Vanoise Express is only 1 lift and a short ski away.

 

We hope that’s given you some options to suit the type of ski holiday you want. Feel free to browse more ski apartments on the Pierre et Vacances website. We’re in pretty much every France ski resort.  Whatever you choose – have a great time!

 

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Make the journey part of your ski holiday

February 16, 2012 1:41 pm
posted by Sarah

This week’s guest blog is courtesy of seasoned snowboarder and travel writer Daniel Elkan, who has worked as a rep and led holidays for Ski Club of Great Britain in Saas Fee, Cortina, Andorra and Davos. Daniel has also written ski features for The Guardian, Observer, Daily Mail, Sunday Times, Ski+Board, Daily Mail Ski&Snowboard and Conde Nast Traveller.

In 2009 Daniel co-founded Snowcarbon, an independent website dedicated to helping skiers and snowboarders reach ski resorts by train from the UK. And he’s visited more than 30 ski resorts by train! Here are his tips on the best French resorts to reach by train, and why you should shun the long airport queues and tedious transfers for a speedy snow train: 

‘When you first started skiing, what struck you about the French Alps?  One thing was surely how beautiful and striking the mountains are. But were you also surprised about how long it takes to reach them?

‘Door-to-door, whether you fly, drive or take the train, it always takes a while to get to the snow.

‘It was the airport queues and transfers that first prompted me to look for alternatives to flying, and along with friends I started going to resorts by train, to try to make the journey part of the holiday. We were surprised to find that daytime journeys take little longer than flying – and are so much more enjoyable.

‘In 12 years of travelling this way, we’ve had loads of fun on the train, seen great scenery, met people, bantered, played games, read, and just relaxed.  And we sometimes travel to resorts overnight on Corail sleeper trains to get extra time on the slopes.

‘Though the journeys were great, finding the travel information was always difficult – you had to look here, there and everywhere. So a couple of years back, I set up Snowcarbon to help other skiers and snowboarders find out how to travel to ski resorts by train.

Pierre & Vacances have always shown their support for rail travel to ski resorts, and it is great that so many of the resorts they feature are convenient by train.  Here are ten of the best:

Avoriaz

The resort’s car-free, ski-in-ski-out village, at the heart of the 650-km Portes du Soleil, makes a great base for families skiing and intermediates.

 Chamonix

This classic resort has always been a magnet for experiences skiers, drawn to its wondrous off-piste terrain, including the incredible Vallee Blanche, as well as a lively, authentic town.

La Clusaz

An absolute charmer of a village set amongst the stunning Aravis mountain range, with great intermediate terrain and impressive off piste, yet relatively unknown to the British. A discovery!

Les Arc

Copyright Manu Reyboz

Les Arcs’ traffic-free villages give access to the epic Paradiski area – a huge playground for intermediates with plenty of challenge and good beginner areas too.

Les Menuires

Les Menuires makes a great base for the Three Valleys, located right at the heart of this huge area. A good-value resort – ideal for families –  with great skiing.

Megève

Megeve’s traditional village is proper winter-wonderland stuff and the relatively quiet slopes – part of the 400km Evasion Mont Blanc ski area – are home to some of France’s best mountain restaurants.

Meribel

A favourite with the Brits for generations, as it has so much to offer.  A buzzing village with lots of wooden chalets,  set at the heart of the 600km Three Valleys.

Serre Chevalier

Four villages all give access to a wonderful wooded ski area in the Southern Alps. The French love it – it suits families especially – and the British are just getting to know it.

Tignes

Very snowsure and a big favourite with intermediates, as the resort has 300km of pisted terrain, graduating from gentle blues through rolling reds to challenging blacks.

Val Thorens

With a village at 2300 metres, Three Valleys’ Val Thorens is the Alp’s highest ski resorts, with snow-sure skiing, good family facilities and the Folie Douce for après on the slopes.

‘And here are some photos from my train journeys.  Happy travels!’

Snapping scenery from Eurostar Cafe bar, on way to Les Menuires

TGV cafe bar on the way to Megeve

This kid was having a great time on a journey to La Clusaz

Lunch at Gare de Lyon, Paris

A little read before bedtime, on the way to Avoriaz

Corail Lunea sleeper train in the morning

The cheese shop opposite Bourg St Maurice station, near Les Arcs. Whiffy!

Happy family on the train to Chamonix

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Après ski cocktail recipes

February 8, 2012 4:20 pm
posted by Rebecca

Nowhere does après ski quite like France!

There’s nothing like a busy day on the piste for working up a thirst.  And there’s definitely nothing quite like that first grande biere or vin chaud for satisfying that hard earned thirst…apart from a cheeky après ski cocktail that is.

Here’s our guide to some of the top tipples you should be tracking down in the French Alps this season, and how to make them at home.

Après Ski

That’s right, what better place to start our mixologist’s guide than with the Après Ski itself.

Make it at home?

25ml  vodka

25ml Pernod

10ml measure green crème de menthe

4 fl oz sparkling lemonade

Shake the vodka, Pernod and crème de menthe with ice, and after that strain into a highball cup with a few of ice cubes inside it. Add the lemonade.  Enjoy with a sprig of peppermint and a piece of lemon.

On the piste? 

For true glitz and glamour head to Courcheval 1850 and the Parisian style cocktail bar, Purple Cafe.

Chartreus’ito

Fancy a local French twist on the Mojito?  Try the Chartreus’ito, substituting rum for the herbal Alpine liqueur. Guaranteed to warm those cockles.

Chartreuse is one of the oldest and most mysterious spirits around…with nearly 400 years of history and the added kudos of being produced by Carthusian monks.  Allegedly only three monks from the order know the secret recipe – each hold one third of the recipe and have taken a vow of silence.  Its origins are said to be as an elixir of life!

Make it at home?

Mix 1/4 lime and sugar in a glass

Add fresh mint leaves and ice cubes

And 50ml Green Chartreuse

Top up with soda

Stir and serve with straws

And what could be better than a sunny day on the slopes?  A Chartreuse Soleil!

1 part Green Chartreuse

6 parts orange juice

Over ice

On the piste? 

You’ll find Chartreuse just about anywhere in the Alps and L’Alpe D’huez is one of the closest resorts to the spirit’s Grenoble home.

Toffee Apple

Meribel and Val d’Isère have become synonymous with toffee vodka.   This can be enjoyed as a fiery shot but why not linger over a long drink such as the Toffee Apple.

Make it at home?

50 ml Toffee Vodka

25 ml apple schnapps

25ml apple juice

12.5ml lemon juice

Over Cubed ice

One spoon of grenadine

Add to shaker Toffee Vodka, apple schnapps, apple juice (the sharper the better) and lemon juice.

Shake and pour into a Collins glass with cubed ice, then add one bar spoon of grenadine to create that marbled look and garnish with a piece of fresh apple.

On the piste?

Head to be Meribel or Val d’Isère, the home of Thunder Toffee Vodka.

St Germain Cocktail

Another local speciality, St Germain is made from elderflowers grown in the French Alps and makes for a very refreshing cocktail.

Make it at home?

Champagne or dry sparkling white wine

25ml St Germain

Topped with club soda

Fill a Collins glass with ice.

First, add St Germain, then champagne, then club soda. Stir well, and garnish with a lemon twist.

On the piste?

Where better to sip a refreshing cocktail than the heart of Paradiski at Plagne Soleil with its sunny climate and spectacular views of Mont Blanc.

Génépi

Génépi is the general term in the Alps for a home-made liquor featuring local mountain flora (the herb, Artemisia).  For a warming aperitif try it mixed with spirits and apple juice for a long drink.

Make it at home?

In a shaker filled with ice, pour:

25ml Génépi

50ml vodka

Apple juice

25ml syrup blue Curacao

Shake for 10 seconds and serve in a tall glass.

Or go for something a little more frisky…

The Powder

25ml Génépi

25ml peach cream

6cl orange juice

25ml cassis liqueur

Place 2 ice cubes in a tumbler and pour the ingredients in the order of the recipe.

On the piste?

You won’t have to search far in Avoriaz to find a bottle of Génépi behind the bar.

Black Forest

The title of this suitably fruity cocktail may remind you of skiing off-piste…

Make it at home?

ke it at home?

25 ml crème de cacao

25 ml cherry liqueur

25 ml cherry brandy

25 ml cream

Shake ingredients together and pour into glass. Add a little more cream on top, then add a cherry to garnish.

On the piste?

For a twist on the traditional recipe, head to Jack’s Bar in Meribel where they serve it with raspberry liqueur, white crème de cacao with hot chocolate and Chantilly cream. Yummmmy!

Hot Bunny

Also known as the Ski Bunny or Snow Bunny, this is ideal when you want a hot chocolate with an edge.

Make it at home?

25ml Triple Sec

1 Cup Hot Chocolate

Top with Whipped cream

Heat mug.  Pour in hot chocolate, add Triple Sec and stir.  Top with whipped cream or marshmallows. Sit by the fire place and enjoy.

On the piste?

You’ll need a Hot Bunny after tackling the slopes of Europe’s highest ski resort, Val Thorens.

French 75

Arguably one of the most sophisticated cocktails, the French 75 is said to have originated at Harry’s New York Bar in Paris in 1915, created for returning World War I fighter pilots.  The combination was said to have such a kick that it felt like being shelled with the powerful French 75mm howitzer artillery piece.

Make it at home?

1/2 oz lemon juice

50ml gin

25ml Cointreau

Champagne

Pour the lemon juice or gin and Cointreau into a cocktail shaker with ice cubes.

Shake well.

Strain into a chilled Champagne flute.

Carefully add the Champagne.

On the piste?

If you’re going to drink a classy cocktail then where better than Chamonix.  Head somewhere like the Clubhouse for some of the best cocktails around.

Which is your favourite post-piste tipple? Come and tell us on our Facebook page!

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Spa and ski holidays to France

January 30, 2012 4:53 pm
posted by Rebecca

Ski breaks are hard work! A full day whizzing up and down the French pistes can result in tired and aching limbs… So what better way to prepare yourself for some après-ski drinks and delicious alpine ski cuisine than with a relaxing swim and sauna, a light warm-down in a state of the art fitness suite, or a soothing massage for those weary muscles.

Deep Nature Spas’ by French marine brand Algotherm are offered at seven of the Pierre & Vacances’ Premium residences in French ski resorts including Aime la Plagne, Arc 1800, Chamonix, Les Carroz D’Arâches, Les Menuires, Méribel Village and there is also a brand new spa for this winter in Arc 1950 alongside Le Village district.

Facilities offered include indoor and outdoor swimming pools, saunas, steam rooms, cardio fitness suites and relaxation studios. And spa packages are pre-bookable, so you can plan your post-piste pampering before you leave home.

Here are some examples of the facilities on offer at the Pierre & Vacances Premium ski and spa residences, whether it’s a short weekend break or a two week holiday:

Les Arcs 1950, Pierre & Vacances Premium Residence Le Village 

Le Village is a Savoyard-style district offering eight Premium residences. The spacious, comfortable apartments all have a balcony or terrace overlooking the Arc 1950 village or the mountain. The newly launched ‘Deep Nature Spa’ is located in the lower part of the resort and is designed in the style of a cave with walls made up of rock and timber. There are seven treatment rooms, heated indoor and outdoor swimming pools, a sauna, steam room, Jacuzzi, fitness suite, sensory shower and nail bar.

Enjoy Arc 1950 with its beautiful views of Mont Black, with prices at Le Village starting from £40 per person per night.

Aime-La-PlagnePierre & Vacances Premium Residence Les Hauts Bois

The ski in ski out residence lies in the heart of the vast Paradiski area and is just a stone’s throw away from the resort’s shopping centre. The apartments are decorated in the traditional Savoyard style and all guests have access to WiFi and the underground car park. The residences’ ‘Deep Nature Spa’ has a cardio-training room, indoor heated swimming pool, saunas, steam rooms and treatment rooms.

Enjoy the Paradiski area with a stay at Les Hauts Bois starting from £23 per person per night.


MéribelPierre & Vacances Premium Residence Les Fermes de Méribe

The recently renovated Les Fermes de Méribel is set in the heart of Méribel Village, just 50 metres from the shops. Its six chalets made of wood and stone have ski in ski out facilities, a balcony or terrace, a bakery ordering service and a covered car park. The Algotherm Spa has a well being area with a steam room and sauna, a heated indoor pool, fitness room and lounge with fireplace.

A two week ski holiday to Les Fermes de Méribel in the heart of the beautiful Portes du Soleil region starts from just £26 per person per night.

For more details and to book a spa and ski break to France visit the Pierre & Vacances website or ring 0870 0267 145.

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A video guide to skiing at Arc 1950

January 24, 2012 3:47 pm
posted by Sarah

At the heart of the French Alps, Arc 1950 is a car-free resort with a Savoyard flavour which blends itself into the shape of the surrounding mountains…

Ski-out accommodation, views of the magnificent Mont Blanc, relaxing spa, buzzing bars, cosy pubs and restaurants serving the best French cuisine for hungry skiers, and of course – fantastique snow! But don’t just take our word for it, check out what guests at Arc 1950 this season have to say – and recommend!

If this whets your appetite, check out our Pierre & Vacances Premium Residence Le Village complete with a Deep Nature Spa to get those weary post-piste limbs ready for the après-ski!

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