Visit anywhere in the French Alps and you’ll be struck by the sense of freedom that they impart upon residents and guests. The pure white snow that coats the area’s hills and mountains serves as a blank canvas onto which all manner of excitement, adventure and fantasy can be projected. Whatever one wants to do with their time here, be it performing athletic feats unencumbered, experiencing a spiritual awakening or simply taking in the vibrant social scene, the landscape offers a sense of unlimited possibility. Continue reading “Climate change in the Alps” »
Not to be confused with the similarly named UK music awards, The BRITS is Europe’s original winter festival and offers unrivalled opportunities for entertainment and relaxation. It’s unlikely that attendees will at any point be subjected to the sight of Jarvis Cocker’s malnourished rear end, find themselves embroiled in a feud with Liam Gallagher or incur the wrath of Adele. Instead, they can expect to enjoy breathtaking views, stunning slopes, the finest refreshments and late night live sets from a host of world class DJs and performers. The festival offers an impressive week’s worth of activities and can only be enhanced by a stay at one of our luxury catered ski chalets in Val d’Isere.
The BRITS is perhaps best known for its winter sports championships and the high standard of talent that these attract. Any British national can enter in the hope of achieving athletic glory, the most prestigious being the Slopestyle Championship, a celebration of aerial acrobatics certain to result in an adrenaline rush for both competitors and spectators alike. The Trespass Cross event was the most watched at the 2010 Winter Olympics and has been a phenomenally popular draw at The BRITS ever since, while the Dare2b British Half Pipe Championship is set to be equally unmissable. To cap things off, a new contest designed to test the prowess of daredevil British jibbers debuts this year.
If all of the above sounds a bit too daunting, then fear not. The beauty of The BRITS is that it offers something to enthusiasts of all skill sets. Festival wrist bands and lift passes offer week long access to numerous slopes of varying difficulty, while its musical programme has been designed to engender communal good times. The atmosphere of London eight piece Lazy Habits’ gigs has been compared to that of “the best house party that your parents never wanted you to have,” while a Back to the 90s disco will provide the perfect opportunity for many festival goers to relive their best years. Just be sure to pack your Adidas Originals in with your skis and snowboard.
Based in Tignes, an attractive commune nestled within the Tarentaise Valley, the festival’s hive of activity is but a brief distance from Val d’Isere, both settlements comprising the famed Espace Killy ski area. However, while seven days of uninterrupted revelry from 23 March 2013 doubtless appeals to many, our catered ski chalets in Val d’Isere mean that guests can choose when and for how long they wish to commute over to Tignes for a little Brits mayhem and use our designated drivers to take the pain out of skiing there and back.
Energy and lots of it is required when exploring the spectacular snow covered slopes of the popular ski resort of Val d’Isere. Preparing for a ski trip by being physically fit as well as enjoying a healthy, nutritious diet both before departure and at the resort can make all the difference to the whole skiing experience. At the luxuryLe Chardon catered ski chalets located in the private area of La Legettaz in Val d’Isere, cuisine is of paramount importance, with locally sourced fresh gastronomic food and fine wines available. Each chalet has a personal chef who designs delicious menus and creates splendid meals for visitors.
Being exposed to higher altitudes means the air is dryer, so when out all day on the slopes it is so important to keep hydrated by drinking lots of water. Drinking water will re-hydrate the body and keep energy levels high reducing the risk of a mid-morning or afternoon dip. The ideal way to start the day in preparation of being on the snow is to have a healthy filling breakfast, which will keep the body and muscles fuelled all morning. Carbohydrates are an excellent source of energy and also a great choice for a mid-morning or mid-afternoon snack.
Come lunch-time, the body is ready for a balanced meal combining lean protein, carbohydrates and healthy fats which provide the vital ingredients to keep energy levels up until it’s time to head back for a well deserved rest and a tasty evening meal. To re-charge the muscles after a long day out on the snow, nothing beats a soak in an outdoor hot tub. From there you can relax and take in the stunning scenery from a different point of view whilst you recall the twists and turns of the day and plan tomorrow’s adventures. To enjoy the ultimate skiing and food experience in Val d’Isere, visit Le Chardon to find out more about a luxury ski break in one of the leading French ski resorts.
Image credits: http://www.lechardonvaldisere.com
Stand by for another exciting new deal from Le Chardon Mountain Lodges below …
Now that the last of the champagne corks have been swept away, we’ve had some time to reflect on the journey that led us to here … shall I say it again? It does sound rather nice …
When we started the business, what started out as a fun passion to marry the greatest of sports with the greatest of luxury holidays seemed like a no-brainer at the time.
Little did we know how incredibly steep the learning curve was going to be before we could transform our dreams into reality.
We learnt very quickly that providing luxury skiing vacations doesn’t always centre on skiing. Yes, it’s a bit of a sacrilege for some but it must be said …
SOME PEOPLE DON’T COME TO VAL D’ISERE TO SKI!
There will always be a core of dedicated skiers in any group but we’ve learnt that luxury is all about catering to and anticipating a variety of tastes.
And what a range there is on offer in Val d’Isere:
1. Shopping - There’s everything from designer label clothes, jewellers, children’s clothes as well as ski and snowboarding shops in the town centre. There’s something for everyone here, from the browser to the serious shopper.
2. Fitness and Yoga Classes – Whether a personal trainer is required to come to the chalet or the non-skiers may fancy sampling a few of the enormous range of classes at the Centre Aquasportif, everything is possible. Classes range from AquaJogging to Stretch-Relax and Body Sculpting.
3. Swimming Pools, Hot Tubs, Hammams and Jacuzzis – Again, many of these facilities can be found at Le Chardon or in the village at the Centre Aquasportif where “A world of nothing but stone, wood and glass lets the mountains and the light of Val d’Isère come right up to the water’s edge!”
4. Indoor Climbing Walls, Squash Courts – These can be found locally for very reasonable prices.
5. Paragliding, Skydiving and Quad-Biking - Not for the faint-hearted and especially suited for the budding 007s amongst us. All these activities are a mere phone-call away.
6. Massage, Beauty Treatments and ManiPedis – Pampering in luxury is always available, whether by arranging for the beauty therapist to come to the chalet or a trip to the village is in order, all can be organised at the press of a telephone button.
The Definition of Luxury
All that’s required from the group is for one person to contact Le Chardon Mountain Lodges and between the sales and concierge team in Edinburgh, and the front-of-house staff in Val d’Isere, it is our job to make every wish become a reality.
Each member of the sales and concierge team has solid contacts in the local area. They know where to find EVERYTHING you could possibly need, including emergency supplies of Vogue, venison or the latest Wii game.
What’s more, they have great relationships with the local pharmacies, florists, farmers and vineyards for all sorts of last-minute emergencies.
The Big 2012 / 2013 Winter Season Couples Luxury Ski Deal
Due to popular demand and great success over the past few years, Le Chardon Mountain Lodges “shared chalets” are back with another extraordinary ski deal!
If you would like to take advantage of the following deal, make sure you ‘like’ Le Chardon on Facebook and tell us what you would most like to see or do when you arrive at Val d’Isere.
Here are the details:
- 4th – 8th December (4 nights) – Mistral – £595pp
- 8th December – Mistral – £995pp
- 15th December – Bergerie – £1,250pp
- 6th January – Mistral or Chardon – from £1,250pp
- 13th January – Mistral – £1,250pp
- 27th January – Chardon – from £1,250pp
- 3rd February – Chardon – from £1,250pp
- 14th April – Chardon – from £1,250pp
- 21st April – All chalets – £995pp
Prices are based on 2 sharing and include the following:
- Luxury accommodation for your chosen dates
- Dedicated service from chalet staff
- Pre-arrival and in-resort concierge
- Breakfast cooked to order daily
- Afternoon tea daily
- Champagne and canapés (6 nights)
- Gourmet evening meal (6 nights)
- In-resort chauffeur service (8am – 2am)
- Selection of house wines
- Daily housekeeping
- International newspapers
- Fresh flowers
- Luxury bathroom products
- Hairdryers, bathrobes and slippers
- Ski snacks, water and sunscreen
- Satellite TV, DVD, Wi-Fi and PC
- Comprehensive winter sports travel insurance
Contact us for more details via email or phone +44 (0) 131 209 7969 .
The Val d’Isere Winter Ski Season kicks off on the glorious 1st December 2012 until the 5th May 2013.
As many of Le Chardon’s regulars will know by now, there is something for everyone in the best French Alps resort of Val d’Isere.
If you are, or are in a relationship with, an extreme skier seeking the ultimate ski experience … or perhaps a young, time-precious family looking for a cozy mountain retreat, Val d’Isere specialises in glamour, adrenaline, luxury and relaxation.
Young or old, skier or apres skier, celebrity or royal, Val d’Isere is the top of the pops for quality runs, great night life and luxurious ski accommodation.
What’s more, if celebrity-bagging is your thing, then celebrity shoulder-rubbing will not be in short supply during the winter ski season of Val d’Isere 2012/13.
In fact, according to Le Chardon HQ’s Celeb-skidar (celebrity ski radar, sorry!), the word on the street is that this winter ski season in Val d’Isere is forecast to be particularly memorable.
Val d’Isere Ski Season Royalty
Le tout royalty of Great Britain seems to have passed through the slopes of Val d’Isere at one point or another.
The younger Princes William (pre-marriage) and Harry would often shake loose from the cloisters of their father, Prince Charles at Klosters and enjoy some fun in the notorious Val d’Isere nightclubs.
Even Princess Beatrice has been known to cut a fine figure on the slopes.
French Alps Pop and Hollywood Aristocracy in Val d’Isere
With its fabulous mix of glamour and luxury, Val d’Isere plays host to the world’s top stars of the international stage and screen.
Kate Moss, Bono, Victoria Beckham, Hugh Grant, Jemima Goldsmith and Robbie Williams to name-drop just a few.
Not to mention Cameron Diaz, Colin Jackson, Steve Coogan, Rob Bryden, David Suchet, Richard Branson Gary Barlow and the late Alexander McQueen. They have all found solace, camaraderie, good cheer and high spirits amongst friends old and new in the
wonderful French Alps.
There are bound to be tonnes more. Can you think of any? There must be loads who have come over the last 60 years. Do you have any photos you could share?
As usual, our staff are sworn to secrecy about the Who’s Who of visitors at Le Chardon. Exclusivity, luxury, privacy and attention to detail are just some of the reasons why our valued clients come back year after year.
Exclusive September 20% Special Offer at Le Chardon
What’s more, if you are thinking about taking a luxury ski holiday in the prestigious French Alps, the best time to book is most definitely now.
During the pre-season period, we have an exclusive deal for our loyal blog readers.
With a scattering of snow across the Alps this weekend there was a buzz of excitement about the forthcoming winter and thoughts turned to ski holidays and if we were going to receive that same bumper snow year like last winter.
With this in mind we thought it was about time that we brought you some great deals on luxury ski holidays in the French Alps.
So, for the month of September, we are offering 20% discount on the following luxury chalets for sole occupancy bookings on the following dates, 27th Jan, 3rd Feb, and the 14th April.
Chalet Le Chardon Val d’Isere : sleeps 20
Chalet Lafitenia Val d’Isere : sleeps 12
Chalet Mistral Val d’Isere : sleeps 14
Chalet Bergerie Val d’Isere : sleeps 11
Chalet Kilimanjaro Val d’Isere : sleeps 8
If you are looking for a delightful mix of glamour and cosy mountain comfort, Le Chardon Mountain Lodges can arrange everything to suit your heart’s desire.
If you would like to enquire about any of our luxury chalets, then please contact our bookings team … or call us on … to discuss further details.
Do stay in contact with this blog by becoming a subscriber. That way, every time a new blog post is published, with loads of goodies to do with local nightlife in Val d’Isere or the French Alps, unusual winter sports, bargains and discounts in the local areas (child care, ski lessons, ski hire, etc), they will all be announced here.
Otherwise, if you like Facebook, why not come over and join the conversation there. Le Chardon aims to be the number one luxury ski, activities and accommodation information resource so if it’s happening in Val d’Isere, it’s happening on this blog. Plus we’ve got some really inspirational images over there.
Guess what…its raining in Edinburgh again, so we are v envious of Chardon’s own Mr Jetsetter, David Ralph who is currently in Val d’Isere frolicking with the marmottes in the hazy sunshine. His summery photos have inspired us to cheer ourselves up by creating our own Summer Chardon cocktail, the Chardon Cherry Mojito. We are heading out to buy the ingredients now, and we will be mixing them up at lunchtime….so best not call us after about 2pm !
Here’s how you do it…..
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- Juice of 9 freshly squeezed limes
- 3 pounds juicy cherries
- 500ml black cherry or plain vodka
- 750ml sparkling water
- Bring sugar and 1 1/4 cups water to a boil in a small saucepan, stirring until sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat; let cool completely. (Makes about 2 cups syrup.) Top tip: The syrup can be refrigerated in an airtight container up to 1 month
- Put lime juice into a bowl. Halve and pit cherries; add to lime juice. Stir in syrup. Refrigerate at least 1 hour (or overnight).
- Stir cherry mixture and vodka in a large serving bowl. Fill 12 glasses with ice. Spoon 1/2 cup cherry-vodka mixture into each glass. Top off with sparkling water. Serve immediately. Or….if you are in Val d’Isere like our man, Dave…. Pop up to the glacier, pick yourself up some nice fresh ice, dash back to Le Chardon as quickly as possible, pop it in your cocktail glass, get the IPod dock out on the terrace and put your feet up on comfy terrace sofa and start sipping.
Not that we are at jealous of course!
Cocktail evenings at Le Chardon last season were a great hit. If you have already booked for 2012/13, let the concierge team know what your favourite tipple is and we will do our best to have the cabinet well stocked!
Perrier-Jouet Grand Brut is our house champagne of choice. We have favoured Perrier-Jouet for our guests for years and last season we hosted Perrier-Jouet UK for an educational champagne tasting supper which was a superb success. Our guests certainly love the champagne!
Perrier-Jouet is a champagne producer in the Épernay region of Champagne. The house was founded in 1811 by Pierre-Nicolas-Marie Perrier-Jouët and produces both vintage and non vintage cuvee and around 3 million bottles annually. Perrier-Jouet owns an impressive 266 acres of vineyard in the Champagne region. One of the world’s oldest champagnes, a Perrier-Jouet Vintage 1825, was opened, tasted and celebrated in 2009.
The history of the 200 year old champagne house began when a local cork merchant Pierre-Nicolas married Adèle Jouët in 1811. They celebrated their marriage by founding a champagne house. Perrier-Jouet champagne soon became highly prestigious with followers including Queen Victoria, Napoleon III and King Leopold of Belgium.
The family business has since been passed through the generations building the reputation of the house and expanding their produce. First the Brut, then a Vintage then the Belle Epoque were created. The inspiration for the beautiful design of the Belle Epoque bottle was the discovery of a bottle, dating from 1902, found gathering dust in a cupboard. The bottle featured artwork by the now renowned glassmaker Emile Gallé. Gallé had created this bottle at the request of the house to celebrate the 1890s but it was never used. The first Vintage of Belle Epoque, a Brut, was the 1964. It was followed by the Belle Epoque Rose in the 1976 Vintage and then by the precious Belle Epoque Blanc de Blancs of which only a limited number of bottles are produced and exported.
At Le Chardon our guests enjoy Perrier-Jouet champagne, with all its history and beauty, with canapes each evening before sitting down to dinner.
Penny, Le Chardon Mountain Lodges
SPECIAL OFFER! We have a superb Split Week offer during April. For those who wish to book a chalet room in a shared chalet rather than a full chalet for exclusive use then this is the perfect ski experience to enjoy the luxury and service of Le Chardon for superb value.
During April we are offering a 7 night stay for £995 per person arriving 8 April, 15 April or 22 April based on 2 guests sharing a room.
Perfect for a special romantic mountain retreat, for a small group of friends or small family the stay includes a private chef, catering, in-resort chauffeur, Concierge Service and luxury bathroom products.
Having had a record amount of snow, Val d’Isere has retained an excellent base of snow for a long ski season and continues to have great sunshine! Perfect for April skiing.
Contact our Sales Team for availability and booking on 0131 209 7969.
Val d’Isere descended on Tignes to spectate the event and soak up the exciting atmosphere being followed by tv, press and radio from all over the world.
There were no British on the podium this year but it was the strongest year yet for the Brits male and female in the finals.
Bigger and better with a new slopestyle course, snow smooth pipe and bluebird weather this year was another success and with the most famous names in skiing and snowboarding competing it was a superb showcase for French resorts. Look out for details of next year’s event!
Le Chardon guests last week enjoyed wow-ing at the event. Come and experience it with Le Chardon in 2013!
Footage of the event can be watched on You Tube posted by the organisers of the X Games.
There’s just one week’s hire left for the exclusive Le Chardon chalet before the end of the season. The week of March 18th is still available for anyone looking for true luxury and wonderful skiing.
This season’s snow and weather has been perfect and shows no sign of breaking, so you’re guaranteed a terrific week on the slopes whether you’re skiing, telemarking or boarding. At the end of the day you can wind down in one of two private treatment rooms with a private masseur, enjoy a glass of champagne while you relax in a hot tub or take a gentle swim in the 18-foot swim spa. Or you could just do nothing in front of the open fire in one of the two living rooms.
The chalet’s only a two-minute drive in our chauffeured car from the centre of town and the buzzing nightlife, if you want to go out. But there’s no need: everything you could possible want has already been thought of. There’s an open bar stocked with beers, fine wines, spirits and soft drinks. Children’s lunches and dinners, if required, and five-course gourmet dinners cooked by your private chef. Satellite TV and internet connection. A concierge and two hostesses on hand to pamper you. Not to mention a terrace with a carved-snow bar and, in daylight, spectacular views from every room.
Le Chardon really has to be the best luxury ski chalet in France, for families, friends or corporate groups. It sleeps up to 20 in ten twin or double en-suite rooms. Everything is designed for your comfort. You can ski to the pistes in two minutes so there’s no time wasted at the beginning or end of the day.
All you need now is your 19 closest friends!