Expert guide to Val d’Isère
In autumn 2017, Val d’Isère embarked on an ambitious, £170 million building project to redevelop the centre of the resort. It included two hotels which opened in 2019/20, Refuge de Solaise (at altitude) and Airelles (in resort). This winter there are two new arrivals, the five-star Hotel K2 Chogori, with 21 rooms and suites, and the four-star Hotel Mont Blanc owned by the Moriano family.
As is fitting for the resort’s popularity with the British ski market, as well as plenty of hotels, lots of tour operators run chalets here, catering for all budgets, as well as a growing number of chalet apartments.
Accommodation is spread out as the village sprawls along the valley, but location isn’t too important as there are seven access lifts into the slopes, and the free ski bus is efficient, running up to every three minutes at peak times.
Refuge de Solaise
The highest hotel in France, at 2,551m in the former Solaise cable car station, Refuge de Solaise has a spa, 16 luxury rooms, four apartments and a 14-bed dormitory, and is only accessible via the lift and the pistes; once the Solaise gondola closes at 4.30pm guests have the mountain to themselves and an extra five hours of daylight (two in the morning, three in the evening) compared to those staying down in the village. A new restaurant, Gigi au Refuge de Solaise, opened in 2021/22.
Built in 1914 – long before Val was a ski resort – the Hotel Tsanteleina is now a traditional four-star hotel in the centre of the village with some good family rooms, and has been a favourite of British holidaymakers for generations.
Avenue Lodge Hotel
Located in the main street, the Avenue Lodge Hotel is built in contemporary savoyard chalet style with black slate floors and cowhide chairs. Bedrooms are more cutting edge in design than in any other hotel in the resort, and there’s also an impressive pool and spa.
Airelles Val d’Isère, Mademoiselle
This five-star hotel from the Airelles group, which opened in 2019, is at the foot of the slopes in the centre of the village. Offering 41 rooms and suites, including five private penthouses with their own dedicated butler, there’s also a Guerlain spa with pool, a children’s playroom styled as a forest, and a choice of restaurants, including new for 2021/22, Loulou aux Airelles.
Les Barmes de l’Ours
A five star at the foot of the spectacular La Face black run, Les Barmes de l’Ours has rooms and suites on each of its four floors, which vary in style and decoration. Choose Scandi-cool or North American lodge, Alpine chalet or sophisticated contemporary. There’s also an elegant spa and its Michelin-starred restaurant, La Table de l’Ours, has been renovated for 2021/22.
Run for many years by the Bertoli family, the popular Christiania hotel has been recently bought by the Roederer group (of Louis Roederer Champagne fame) but Bastien Bertoli remains the hotel manager. It has a very airy, open feel, as the main reception area links to the bar, lounge and dining area. There’s a large sun terrace, where lunch is served in the spring, and an excellent spa and pool. Plans are afoot for full renovation in spring 2022.
Also in the middle of town, this five-star establishment is a favourite with the locals, not least for its restaurant, which is one of the best in town. Le Blizzard is decorated in contemporary chalet style and has a pool and spa.
UCPA Val d’Isère
Sleeps 250 people aged 18 to 45 in rooms and dormitories for two to eight people. The non-profit UCPA residential centres were originally set up by the state to encourage young people to make use of the great outdoors. Prices at UCPA Val d’Isère include full board, equipment rental, lift pass and tuition or guiding.
Book it: From £705 full board, including six-day lift pass, equipment hire, lessons, evening entertainment and return coach travel, with Action Outdoors.
Chalets and apartments
Chalet La Belle Etoile
Run by independent tour operator Le Ski, La Belle Etoile is a 12-person chalet three-minutes walk from the bus stop on the edge of the village. Spacious en-suite bedrooms and a beautiful open-plan living room and dining area with huge picture windows make La Belle Etoile feel very special.
Book it: From £739 with Le Ski.
Chalet Maison Rose
Superbly situated just a 375m walk from the town centre and at the very foot of the Solaise nursery slopes, Chalet Maison Rose is ski-in/out. Sleeping up to 10 it’s ideal for a large group looking for a homely family-friendly base.
Book it: From £739 with J2Ski.
Booking.com rates above are guide prices per person per night, please note that packages can differ across accommodation. Owing to the current coronavirus pandemic, these rates may change. Please check the properties’ websites for further information on what’s included.
Unless stated otherwise, package prices are per person, based on two sharing a double or twin room, half-board, for seven nights, including flights and transfers.