It’s been another fun filled ski season here at Iglu Ski. We’ve worked hard in our Wimbledon offices over winter and played hard out in the mountains experiencing everything we can to further our ski expertise and enjoy ourselves doing what we love. The Iglu Ski team managed to visit over 30 ski resorts across 5 countries in Winter 2015/2016 including: France: Tignes, Val d'Isere, Serre Chavalier, La Plagne, Les Arcs, Peisey Vallandry, Val Thorens, Meribel, Courchevel, Morzine, Avoriaz, Flaine, Alpe d'Huez, Les Deux Alpes, Les Gets, Sainte Foy, Morgins. Austria: St Anton, Lech, Zurs, Stuben, Mayrhofen, Kreischberg, Turracher Hohe, Obertauern. Andorra: Soldeu, El Tarter. Canada: Whistler, Sun Peaks. USA: Jackson Hole, Heavenly, Squaw Valley. We know what our customers top 10 ski resorts for winter 2015/16 were, so here are Iglu Ski’s best moments of the ski season.
Where have you been this season? Val Thorens in December with Club Med and then El Tarter and Val d’Isere in March. What have been your highlights? Enjoying the premium all-inclusive concept at Club Med Val Thorens Sensations with the Iglu Ski team A Helicopter tour of the valley in Grandvalira, Andorra – what a great experience, especially when the pilot took us low to the ground over a ridge and dropped down into the open bowl behind... heart in the mouth moment! Taking Charlie (my 7 month old son at the time) on his first ski holiday and seeing him enjoying Ski Esprit’s fantastic childcare in Val d’Isere. Real peace of mind for parents and he absolutely loved it. Where would you like to go next winter? Anywhere! Looking forward to checking out Club Med Cervinia in December and don’t mind where else as long as I get to ski I’m happy!
James in Val Thorens in December and the helicopter tour in Andorra
Where have you been this season? Val Thorens, St Anton, Kreischberg, Turracher Hohe, Obertauern, Les Arcs and La Plagne. What have been your highlights? The See Taxi in Turracher Hohe. Instead of a gondola, there is a cat on a frozen lake that drags you across to the other side of the mountain. I’ve never seen that before anywhere else, such fun! Where would you like to go next winter? I’d really like to go to Japan (still) or Chile, but realistically, anywhere in Austria or maybe Zermatt, Morzine and Ischgl.
Top: Linda with the Iglu Ski girls in La Plagne. Bottom: See taki skiing in Austria.
Where have you been this season? Val Thorens in December, Morgins in Portes du Soleil for Christmas, Whistler in February and Tignes at Easter in April. What have been your highlights? Heli Skiing on a bluebird powder day for my 50th Birthday in Whistler and the very last day of skiing on 09.04.16 skiing in Powder with my 5yr old daughter, Maxine. Where would you like to go next winter? St Anton to see and use the new link to Lech, Zurs and Warth Shrocken and Verbier for the best New Year’s party in the Alps.
Top: AJ heli skiing in Whistler. Bottom: Awesome early season coditions in Val Thorens on 2nd December.
Where have you been this season? Val Thorens, Lake Tahoe, Tignes and Val d’Isere. What have been your highlights? North America has had incredible snowfalls this season and I had some epic powder days in Heavenly and Squaw Valley. Where would you like to go next winter? I’d love to do a Canada trip and go to Banff, Kicking Horse and Revelstoke next season.
Top: Phil in Lake Tahoe and hiking for first tracks in Val d'isere. Bottom: Phil's double backflip in Val d'Isere.
Where have you been this season? To kick off winter a large group from Iglu Ski stayed at Club Med Val Thorens Sensations in December, then in the same month I also went to Tignes and Val d’Isere staying at Chalet Hotel Aiguille Percee. In March I went to St Anton with a large group of friends before ending the ski season in April at Club Med Peisey Vallandry in the amazing Paradiski area. What have been your highlights? Ticking off a few ‘firsts’ – first experience of a Club Med ski holiday, first time in St Anton and first time at the legendary Mooserwirt and Krazy Kangaruh. Going back to La Plagne, where I spent my second ski season. I love this resort and had an insane time snowboarding with the Iglu Ski girls. Where would you like to go next winter? I would love to go somewhere I haven’t been before, maybe an Italian, Swiss or North American resort. I loved the end of season conditions – sunshine, slush and long days – so I’ll definitely be doing another April trip.
Krystelle in St Anton with Mooserwirt in the background and snowboarding with the Iglu Ski girls on a powder day in April in Les Arcs
Where have you been this season? Only managed to ski 3 resorts this season! Sun Peaks and Whistler in December and Les Deux Alpes for the first time in March. What have been your highlights? Skiing fresh powder on near deserted slopes at Sun Peaks in early December followed a wonderful couple of nights stay at the Fairmont Chateau Whistler. The upgrade to BA Club World on both legs of the trip was also a fantastic surprise! I should also include a special mention to the wonderful food cooked by my Chalet host at Chalet L’Olan in Les Deux Alpes, thanks Vicky! Where would you like to go next winter? I still have yet to make it to Zermatt in Switzerland and Livigno in Italy has been on my list for a while. I learnt to ski in Norway and I am super excited about the new Scandinavian destinations we will soon have on offer! It would be great to go back and check them out.
Nick in Sun Peaks and with friends in Les Deux Alpes
Where have you been this season? I topped and tailed this season enjoying the Christmas festivities in Mayrhofen, Austria and then the sunshine (and powder!) of spring skiing in Les Arcs and La Plagne What have been your highlights? The forest Christmas markets in Mayrhofen are pretty special but you can’t get much better than a Les Arcs powder day in April followed by beers in the sunshine. Where would you like to go next winter? There is lots in Austria I’m still to explore both on the mountain and off!
Laura in Les Arcs and Mayrhofen
As our favourite ski month began, our Iglu ski and snowboard enthusiasts raced of to the mountains to get their snow fixes and enjoy some of the best ski conditions of the season so far. You can follow the Iglu Ski team’s antics on social by #igluinthesnow Take a look at where we’ve been this March:
Krystelle (Editor) was in St Anton last week which is located in the vast Arlberg region in Austria. There were huge snowfalls on the build up to our ski holidays and so we were lucky enough to be greeted with excellent snow conditions with fresh powder pockets and spectacular sunny days for the majority of the week. With snow, sunshine and the world’s best après, we couldn’t have asked for a better week in the stunning Austrian mountains!
St Christoph in Arlberg
Above the clouds at Valluga in St Anton
Galzig in St Anton
Apres at Mooserwirt
It was equally as beautiful over in Lech Zurs
Senior sales expert, Scotty, escaped to the beautiful Portes du Soleil ski area for a week staying in Les Gets with his family. With on and off snow throughout the second week of March, the snow conditions are excellent over in France too!
Sales expert, Guy, is jet-setting across the pond to check out Jackson Hole for its 50th anniversary. Just like the team in the Alps, Guy had been greeted with fresh snow in Wyoming – what a perfect way to kick off the week!
Nick (Product Manager) is back on his skis in Les 2 Alps for ‘the best week of the season,’ which is what the locals were calling it. With huge dumps of snow the week before and quiet slopes during their stay it was a fantastic week in one of Europe’s most snow-sure resorts.
Meet the Iglu Ski team
In December 2015 Peter, Marco and George took to the sunny slopes of Tignes for their start of season ski trip with ski holiday partner Ski Total. Ski Total provide affordable ski chalet holidays in many of Iglu Ski’s top selling ski resorts, including a brilliant selection in Tignes and Val d’Isere.
Peter talks us through his time in Tignes and Val d’Isere, what he thought about the slopes, what he got up to off the slopes and much more in his account of his trip to the mountains in mid-December...
Tignes, togther with Val d'Isere forms the Espace Killy ski area in France
It was the Chalet Alaska that was to be our home for the duration. A 24-26 person property, built into the hillside in Tignes Le Lac and just a couple of minutes’ walk to the lifts the Alaska is warm and comfortable chalet, equipped with sauna and hot-tub (I don’t go anywhere these days unless there is a hot-tub). After a bit of a rocky start to the trip involving a ‘misplaced’ passport and subsequent missed flight, I finally arrived in resort at 22:30. I tipped out of the transfer bus at the resort headquarters, Maison de Tignes, where colleague Marco came to my rescue and marched me up the road to the Alaska where I dumped my bags before heading straight out to ‘Loop Bar’, a popular and lively apres venue in the resort centre, right by the bottom of the piste, at the end of Promenade du Tovière. It was here I met the chalet staff, Marcus and Annabelle, who had been kind enough to plate me up some soup, duck and sticky toffee pudding that the others had been able to enjoy at dinner time while I was still battling my way, alone, to the Alps. But I found this out when I arrived at the bar.
Peter at the Grande Motte Glacier in Tignes
After a surprisingly comfortable night’s sleep it was time to hit the slopes. Where the rest of Europe had been suffering from a poor start to the season, with plenty of green on the mountains where it should be white, Tignes’ altitude had enabled it to retain the covering of snow it had received weeks before, giving way to some of the best early season skiing on the continent. A morning carving ensued as we gradually made our way across the Espace Killy area over to the neighbouring resort of Val d’Isere, where the conditions continued to be nothing short of awesome, considering we were only a week into the season.
Marco and George, Iglu Ski Sales Experts
Val d’Isere is home to Ski Total's new flagship Chalet Hotel Le Savoie; part of their exclusive and high end Platinum range located on the main drag, only 3 minutes from the Solaise chairlift. Having formerly been an independent 5 star hotel, the beautifully decorated and charming Chalet Hotel Le Savoie boasts an array of lavish, modern and spacious suites; an airy dining area complimented by an extensive bar and a conservatory; an in-house ski hire shop and a spa area with an indoor pool, two whirlpool hot-tubs, two saunas, a steam room, a modest fitness area and massage treatment rooms that provide a haven for achy, post-skiing muscles. The children’s play room even has a Playstation.
With the day’s formalities over, the rest of the afternoon was spent exploring the vast Espace Killy area before being treated to night-time tobogganing and hot vin chaud by resort staff, followed by a generous buffet dinner at the nearby Italian restaurant, L’Escale Blanche.
Top: View of Val d'Isere from Chalet Hotel Le Savoie. Bottom: Tobagganing by night
The evening was spent in the Marmot Arms pub, a friendly establishment on Rue de la Poste, where the barkeep embroiled us in a Jenga ‘tournament’. Except, by the time our table finally knocked down our monstrous 34 layer tower (narrowly missing the pub record of 38 layers), everyone else had got bored. I won by default and was awarded with a pint.
The first order of business the next day was a visit to Chalet Arktic and Chalet Atlas, located next to each other on Chemin de Crouze, 150m from the Chardonnet lift and piste.
The team in Tignes Val Claret with the Grande Motte (Glacier) Funicular in the background
Chalet Arktic is a fantastic, polished property that, like the Savoie, benefits from being part of Ski Total’s Platinum range. As well as an enhanced menu, extras such as fluffy bath robes, luxury toiletries and slippers add that little bit of sparkle to an already superb holiday.
With its ideal location, modern interior design and really quite excellent indoor pool and outdoor hot tub facilities, it’s not difficult to see how this is one of the most popular chalets in Tignes. The floor-to-ceiling windows and the terrace on which the hot-tub can be found afford stunning views over the lake, Lac de Tignes, from which the village gets its name. The coffee table in the lounge area is particularly interesting (as coffee tables go); an entirely unique and hand-made piece, made from parts of a dismantled cable car, it’s a curious assortment of cogs and gears laminated between two sheets of glass. Next door the Chalet Atlas, which shares the same breath-taking views as its Platinum counterpart, again has a sun terrace, outdoor hot-tub and sauna. Also benefitting from being a few metres closer to the lift and town!
The highlight of the trip followed that afternoon when we ventured up to the top of the Grande Motte glacier. With the pistes being relatively quiet anyway, by patiently waiting a few minutes for everyone else to disembark the gondola and set off, we had the slopes entirely to ourselves. With amazing scenery and no-one but Marco and George to see when I inevitably stacked it, we had an enjoyable ride back down the slopes all the way into Le Lac. At the bottom of the run we met up with the others at Tignes Cusine, next to Loop Bar, and enjoyed an incredible chilli beef burrito, which I heartily recommend. A quick jaunt that evening to nearby Tignes Le Lavachet, via the efficient and free bus service, and a visit to the cleverly branded ski hire and clothing shop, ‘Tignes Spirit’, yielded a hooded top that I am proudly wearing as I type.
The Grande Motte Glaceir in all it's glory at 3100m
The trip drew to a close after a quick pint at the Marmot Arms and a (relatively) early night in anticipation of the 04:30 transfer pick-up. Having spent just two days in Tignes it’s clear that there is so much more the resort has to offer. There is a reason why people go back year after year; the vastness of the Espace Killy ski area is astounding, and the presence of the Grande Motte glacier bears some of the best early season skiing you’ll find this side of the Atlantic.
Words by Peter Fleckney, Iglu Ski Sales Expert
View Ski Holidays in Tignes | View Ski Chalet Holdays in Tignes | View more Iglu Ski Team Blogs
As the UK’s largest online ski specialist, we work with over 50 ski tour operators so we can offer the widest range of ski properties and holidays to help find our customers the perfect ski holiday. Alpine Action is one of the tour operators we work with who offer 14 catered ski chalets in the 3 Valleys. The ski chalets offer quality accommodation run by very experienced staff. In December 2015, Alpine Action took 3 of our ski experts, Seb, Ian and Rufus, to Meribel to discover the Alpine Action ski experience. Here is Seb’s account of his trip:
Alpine Action run a very slick operation in Meribel and La Tania - everything was done to ensure we had a relaxing time. We were transferred quickly and efficiently to Chalet Serpolet in a brand new coach and we were treated to a drinks reception upon arrival by our two chalet hosts (who were very friendly and helpful throughout our stay). Alpine Action boast an impressive portfolio of chalets, all of which have their own character and style - they range from the traditional cosy chalet (Chalet Cote Coeur), the modern (Chalet Toubkal) and the retro (Chalet Rosalie with it’s smashing 70s bathroom). What the chalets all have in common is that they certainly fall into the more luxurious end of the market - our chalet featured an outdoor hot tub, sauna, games room and a spacious living area (very comfortable sofas).
Rufus, Ian and Seb
The Meribel chalets are all located within walking distance of the resort centre, but Alpine Action employ several drivers that whisk guests straight from their chalet door to the lifts in private minibuses. Once you return from the slopes in the evening, you simply give a driver a call and he will take you straight back to your chalet. Evening meals were always an interesting experience - first up were canopies (mozzarella on a shortbread base), accompanied by sweet wine and the warm glow of the log fire. We were then served served with some of the best chalet food I have come across (the salmon and the duck were particular highlights). Dinner was followed by a cheese board and port (and beer pong).
The duck dinner, Chalet Cote Coeur & the salmon meal
The resort of Meribel is centrally located in the 3 Valleys, so it serves as a great base from which skiers can explore Courchevel and Val Thorens. We were shown around the ski slopes by the Alpine Action boss, Ian, whose knowledge of the 3 Valleys is second to none. He took us on a ski trip over to Les Menuires and then up to Val Thorens (there was some great powder snow there), before he treated us to a meal in Pizzaria Du Motteret (where I would thoroughly recommend the Hawai Pizza). We also spent a morning skiing into Courchevel (although the snow was a bit icy here), before venturing down towards La Tania, where there was some relaxing tree skiing (and another fine pizza at the end). The run down from the top of the Saulire Express down to Meribel (with some spectacular scenery in the dying light of the day) was a highlight for me.
The town of Meribel is great for those who enjoy apres skiing. Some of the best bars we went to was the Rond Point Bar (good live music in there) and the Meribar (ideal for a quick drink while waiting for your driver). For those wanted to experience some good nightlife I would recommend Barometer (try out the Mutzig beer in here) and Jacks. If you wish to dance the night away, look no further than O’Sullivans (formally known as Dicks T Bar). The great thing about Meribel is that all the bars are located around the town centre, so you never have to walk very far from one to another.
The Alpine Action experience is certainly memorable and it is one I would certainly recommend for people looking for high end accommodation, good food and great customer service.
By Seb Mearman
Chalet Trois Coeurs
Chalet Rosalie One
Chalet Rosalie Two
Chalet Cote Coeur
Chalet Toubkal One
Chalet Toubkal Two
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