Last week we ventured to Val Thorens in Les 3 Valleys for Iglu Ski’s first ski season trip. A large group from the Iglu Ski team was lucky enough to be invited by Club Med to visit their newest all inclusive hotel sited in the highest ski domain in Europe. The stunning Club Med Val Thorens Sensations is a large and contemporary hotel comprised of everything you need to live your day to the full. From extensive all inclusive menus at breakfast, lunch and dinner, to optional evening entertainment every night, to various activities around the hotel including a fitness centre, climbing wall and spa, as well as an ideal location next to the slopes for maximum mountain time. It’s not often we get the opportunity to ski in the first week of December, but after a huge storm in the Alps at the end of November the mountains were left with a lovely fat snow base. Val Thorens is the highest ski resort in Europe, so it has altitude on its side making it one of the most snow-sure ski resorts in the Alps and the perfect option for an early or late season ski holiday. When we arrived in Val Thorens we were greeted with a 90cm snow base and brilliant skiing conditions. This time last year the mountains were still brown and waiting for their first snow covering. The great snow conditions gave us 2 days of glorious skiing and snowboarding before heading back to the UK. The sun was shining but it was still cold so the slope conditions weren’t affected by the blazing sunlight. Even though there hasn’t been much snowfall since, Val Thorens is still holding up its 90cm base on the top slopes and 50cm base on the lower slopes with snow making and the cold temperatures. It currently boasts one of the top bases in France and is the ideal destination for a last minute ski holiday in December. Here are some of our photos from Val Thorens:
James, Head of Ski Product:
Amazing conditions for so early in the season. The pistes were in perfect shape although it was a bit shallow for any off piste. I was there at a similar time last year and things are looking much better this year – it’s a proper base.
Phil, Sales Team Leader:
Great piste conditions, much better than the same time last year. Risky off piste at the moment if rocky, but a good base for when the next snowfall comes.
View more photos from our trip to Val Thorens | View Last Minute Ski Holidays | View Ski Holidays 2016
We all deserve a little luxury in our lives, and what better way to treat ourselves than to indulge in an exquisite chalet setting for our yearly ski holiday. Luxury ski chalets aren't just for the rich and famous, we have a wide selection of affordable luxury properties in Europe, USA and Canada. A luxury ski chalet is how you would dream your ideal ski retreat, with opulent alpine furnishings, spectacular spa facilities, gourmet food and fine wines. The expert and professional staff will match that of 4 and 5 star hotels. They will cater for all your needs and enhance every detail of your stay so you will experience the finest week of your life. Excellent food is at the heart of a ski holiday. At a luxury chalet or hotel, an exceptional menu and cuisine is an essential part of the service. Chefs will tantalise your taste buds and cook to your likes and dislikes. From a hearty breakfast, to a gratifying afternoon tea after skiing and a dinner banquet fit for royalty. Expect canapés and aperitifs followed by a 4 course meal, then coffee and treats to bring the night to a close. Each luxury property will have its own unique features, from saunas and steam rooms, to private cinemas, hot tubs, gyms and even wine cellars. Iglu Ski has a large selection of luxury ski holiday options, including all-inclusive holidays. Take a look at our 10 favourite once in a lifetime ski chalets to inspire your next ski adventure and speak to our expert ski sales team to discuss your dream options.
Chalet Lafitenia, Val d'Isere, France
Chalet Sirocco, Verbier, Switzerland
Chalet Uberhaus, Lech, Austria
Chalet Ambre, Tignes, France
Chalet Maria Schnee, St Anton, Austria
Hotel Kaila, Meribel, France
Hotel Carlina, Courchevel, France
Hotel Fitzroy, Val Thorens, France
The Fairmont Banff Springs, Banff, Canada
Club Med Val d'Isere, France
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Live the celebrity lifestyle for a week and discover some of your best-loved A-lister’s favourite ski destinations. Many celebrities set aside a week of their busy schedules each winter to go skiing in their preferred ski resorts. These chic ski towns are filled with designer shops, ritzy hotels, glamorous bars and swanky restaurants. You don’t need to be a millionaire to experience these fantastic ski areas, we offer great value ski holidays to these resorts* so you can go skiing on the same slopes as Posh and Becks without the hefty price tag. Take a look at top celebrity ski destinations:
St Moritz, Switzerland
Nestled at the heart of the largest ski area in the world, Meribel is no stranger to hosting famous people. There are very few hotels here so celebrities can enjoy the privacy of their very own luxury ski chalet holiday. The restaurants and bars aren’t as glitzy as neighbouring resort Courchevel, so this is perfect for anyone wanting some quality time with friends and family away from the crowds. You may have to look a little harder for celebrities here but many have their own properties in this charming village in the 3 Valleys. Emma Watson purchased a luxury chalet in 2008 for £1 million and now the demand for property in Meribel has increased so much that it is now rumoured to be is worth between 3-4 million. Celebrities spotted in Meribel: - Prince William and Kate Middleton - Natalie Imbruglia - Sophie Ellis-Bextor
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Left to Right: Meribel ski resort. Sophie Ellis Bextor in resort, photo: The Mirror. Prince William and Kate Skiing, photo: Rex Features
Switzerland is one of the first-rate ski countries in the World. Home to iconic mountains, the most peaks over 4000 m and an elite ski scene fit for the rich and famous.Settled under the illustrious Matterhorn, Zermatt is a picturesque alpine village filled with gourmet restaurants, cosy ski chalets and world-class skiing. Celebrities spotted in Zermatt:
- Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt - Phil Collins - Vanessa-Mae and Frida Lyngstad (Abba) have homes in here
View ski holidays in Zermatt
Zermatt ski resort
With over 600 km of pistes on its doorstep, Courchevel is certainly rich in ski terrain. 1850 is the most chic of the villages which is home to six star hotels, Michelin star restaurants and glamourous shops. At peak season uber-rich Russians doned in fur lined ski wear fill the resort and can be spotted sipping their Dom Perignon at apres. This elegant ski town is full of alpine charm and a favourite of many of the Iglu team and the stars. Celebrities spotted in Courchevel: - Leonardo DiCaprio - Posh and Becks - Pippa Middleton - Geri Halliwell
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Left to Right: Courchevel ski resort. Posh and Becks, photo: Daily Mail. Leonardo DiCaprio in resort, photo: EOnline
Aspen ski resort is playground for millionaires and superstars. This ski haven is renowned for its exclusivity and harbors some of the most expensive properties in the US. With designer shops like Dior and Gucci amongst the delectable bistros, it’s no wonder this is a hot spot for the A-listers. A top location to spot a celeb is in the chic 5 star hotel The Little Nell. Michelle Obama and daughters Sasha and Malia are regular visitors to the resort, having spent 3 previous Presidents’ Day weekends skiing in Aspen. Other celebrities spotted in Aspen: - Mel Gibson - Kate Hudson - Mariah Carey - Paris Hilton - Jay Z and Beyonce - Antonio Banderas - Ben Fogle
Aspen ski resort
Famed for its annual snow Polo World Cup on the frozen lake of St Moritz, this prestigious event started more than 30 years ago and draws in more than 12 000 spectators and a host of top celebrities. At peak times, the resorts very own airport brings in more than 40 private jets a day so the rich and famous can enjoy the Swiss slopes or a ‘designer’ getaway to enjoy the fine amenities of the resort. With designer shops, exclusive sporting events and superb spas, St Moritz is always at the top of the exclusivity lists. You’ll find the biggest names in fashion here including, Dolce & Gabbana, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Prada, Roberto Cavalli and Versace. The best places to spot a celeb in resort are Badrutt’s Palace Hotel, Break 7, Roo Bar, Hanselmann tea room and the Polo World Cup. Celebrities spotted in St Moritz: - Robbie Williams - Claudia Schiffer - George Cloony - Charlie Chaplin - Alfred Hitchcock - John Travolta - Robert De Niro - Elizabeth Hurley - Tina Turner- Naomi Campbell- Boris Becker married his model wife here
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Left to Right: St Moritz at night. Naomi Campbell, photo: Daily Mail. Boris Becker getting married in St Moritz, photo: OK
Klosters - The Royals Deer Valley - Dustin Hoffman, Bruce Springsteen and John Travolta Telluride - Tom Cruise and Oprah Verbier - Richard Branson Val d’Isere - Jamie Oliver Obertauern - The Beatles filmed ‘Help’ here Champéry- Noel Gallagher Crans Montana - Roger Moore Cortina d'Ampezzo - Peter Sellers and Frank Sinatra
Have you ever spotted a celebrity on the slopes? Tell us on Twitter @igluski
*We do not offer ski holidays in Aspen
Whether you are enjoying the last of the winter snow in the Alps, or back in the UK for some spring adventures, Butta’s latest collection is the perfect inter-season wear. It’s that time of year when the weather is so unpredictable in the UK, one minute the sun is shining and then the next it’s chucking it down. If you’re like me and always get caught out by either wearing too many layers or just not enough, then Butta can save you this spring. Their 2015 collection was created and designed for active lifestyles and this erratic British climate.
Butta's 2015 collection
If you’ve had your head under a rock the past few years and haven’t heard of Butta, this awesome company was started in 2011 with an aim to make eco-friendly waxes for skiing, snowboarding and surfing. With greener waxes this can help preserve the mountains and oceans that we love to ride. Last season we named Butta as our top British Brand for Winter 2013/14.
As well as continuing to fine tune and develop their existing wax range, Butta have now created a range of stylish, lifestyle apparel and accessories so you can take Butta on the road with you, whatever your adventure. Last month I went on an end of season snowboarding holiday to Tignes in France to test out the new Butta range. The sun was blazing throughout the week which meant it was too warm for a jacket so I had the perfect opportunity to try out The Crew Sweat.
Spring riding in the Butta Crew Sweat in Tignes
This jumper quickly became my favourite riding top as I abandoned my other hoodies for the rest of the week. The extra length is ideal for snowboarding as it doesn’t ride up your back, plus the longer length adds extra style! The sweater is fleece lined and the elasticated neck, sleeves and waist make sure that there are no cheeky draughts when you’re on a long chairlift. The jumper is also great for weekend adventures, whether it’s a walk in the woods, an evening stroll along the beach or camping at a festival.
If you like the sound of The Crew Sweat, you are going to love The Lumbersexual. This tall style, heavy weighted check shirt is also made with spring riding in mind. Both the Crew Sweat and Lumbersexual are unisex and come in multiple colours.
Left: Wearing The Snapback in Tignes after a day on the mountain. Right: Packing my snowboarding gear
The last item you need to complete your Butta ensemble is the classic Snapback. As everyone should, I always wear a helmet when snowboarding, but as you come off the mountain and hit the first bar at après, The Snapback is perfect for keeping that afternoon sun out of your eyes (as well as taming that helmet hair!) What I love about this collection is the high quality and versatility for the items. I can enjoy these clothes in the mountains and back at home. There’s no need to pack your Butta wear away between seasons as these garments look stylish throughout the year. They'll be the first items I'll pack when winter 2015/16 comes around! Check out Butta’s website for their full collection
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