Val d’Isere has opened its doors today to welcome in ski season 2012 / 2013. As well as the usual mixture of slopes to explore and off-piste discoveries to be made, there is an array of events published for this season and they look good!
In fact, after investigating these offerings, Le Chardon is actually pretty excited! Welcome everyone to ski season 2012 / 2013 Val d’Isere.
1st and 2nd December 2012
The official opening will take place today, Saturday 1st December where skiers, snowboarders and everyone who loves the mountains can enjoy the “First Tracks” event. All the major ski brands will be down there: this is your time to get some first hand ski tips and advice, see what’s new in the ski industry and meet some fantastic locals who will share their experience, the best runs and let you know where to party apres ski.
8th – 15th December 2012
The Alpine Skiing World Cup is taking place in Val or the “Criterium de la Premiere Neige” as it is known. Some of the best skiers in the world are attending this year with the men’s Giant Slalom and Slalom events taking place first on the Face de Belledbarde on the 8th and 9th December followed by the women’s Downhill and Super G on the 14th and 15th.
22nd – 29th December 2012
Val d’Isere does the festive season well, with a background of snow and glittering lights the ski resort can look magical at the best of times, but over Christmas and New Year you may bump into Father Christmas himself. You can also enjoy local church services, street concerts, shows or join in the torch lit procession down the mountain.
The annual Polo Masters Cup takes place in Val d’Isere during this week. For 4 days the international polo teams will battle it out at the foot of the Face de Boullevarde. A great event to watch.
29th – 30th January 2013
Val d’isere will be cultured and sophisticated during the Classicaval Music Festival: Opus One. The music festival is held in the St Bernard de Menthon baroque church in the town centre and features a programme of pieces composed by various well know artistes from Beethoven to Schumann. This promises to be a wonderful week of classical music performed by internationally acclaimed artists right here in Val. (Opus Two takes place from the 19th – 21st March 2013.
9th – 16th February 2013
Val d’Isere rather than Val Thorens is hosting Frost Gun this year. A freestyle event which emerged out of Denmark, Frost Gun will turn Val d’Isere into a party town with its apres ski concerts and parties. Have a look for yourself…
The Grande Finale – April 2013
Throughout the entire month of April, the ski resort is offering spring ski deals on lift passes and also ski tuition from the French National Ski School. There is also a variety of concerts, shows and evening parties planned to end the ski season with on a high.
5th – 7th April 2013
On a different note, Val is hosting a Yoga and Wellbeing Festival this weekend in April. 3 days of mind strengthening and body revitalising yoga will be practised in a variety of centres throughout the resort.
7th – 13th April 2013
If yoga is not your thing, but golf is, try winter golf in the Manchet Valley during this mid April week. More details to follow.
22nd – 25th April 2013
Last but not least, the annual Festival du Film Aventure et Decouverte is being held in Val next year. This festival, which began in 1996, invites short film makers to submit a documentary which is judges by a selection of the public and notorieties within the each specified theme (adventure, exploration, sport or expeditions). The 11 best documentaries are shown throughout the week. Entry to the films is free and you get the chance to question the producers/directors afterwards – one for the film buffs.
Many thanks to valdinet.com and polo-masters.com for the images
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 .
It is with the greatest of pleasure that we announce winning the prestigious “France’s Leading Ski Resort” at the glamorous World Travel Awards in the Algarve on 6th October 2012.
At a glittering ceremony, Le Chardon Mountain Lodges’ Director, Paul Gow received the award on behalf of the whole team.
An Exceptional Chalet Establishment in an Exceptional Ski Resort
“We’ve been in this business for 20 years and we’ve perfected something rather special,” he continued. “The guest questionnaires, the surveys, the customer testimonials have all been quite exceptional.”
Paul said he was “flattered and chuffed” to represent Le Chardon and Val d’Isere at the World Travel Awards 2012.
“We choose polished personnel, we polish them up some more in their training and then we look after them well. We take care of them and in turn, we expect them to take care of our guests,” said Paul.
“It’s basically our mantra of quality of care – exceptional care for exceptional people.”
A Symbol of World Travel Quality & Luxury
With that philosophy running through the core of Le Chardon’s service, it’s impossible to imagine expecting anything but the very best for our guests, staff and the incredible resort of Val d’Isere.
Thank you to all our lovely guests and fans for helping us achieve this wonderful award. You won’t be surprised to learn we will be using this lovely emblem of our success on all our brochures, blogs and social media from now on.
It’s All About The Team
Finally, it would be wrong to finish this blog post without mentioning the relentless and tireless work carried out by the legions of back room staff, advisers, consultants and suppliers who all work to such a high standard.
As with the definition of luxury itself, it is always in the detail and consideration where luxury can be found.
We are honoured to have surrounded ourselves with like-minded people who believe in excellence at any cost.
Over to You
Why not join us on our journey as we strive for continued excellence?
Join us on our many and varied social media sites to catch up to the minute deals, last-minute cancellations and all kinds of information on what’s happening in Val d’Isere, ski fashion, special group activities and celebrity-spotting on the slopes.
And finally, here’s Paul Gow doing his interview at the World Travel Awards 2012.
When planning a family ski holiday over the Christmas and New Year period you have to plan ahead. There are the invites, the actual trip preparations along with everything to do with Christmas such as presents and family meals/entertainment. Here at Le Chardon Mountain Lodges, we take a lot of the stress out of the preparation through our planning service and the fact we can organise, on your behalf, almost anything you wish to do whilst in Val d’Isere.
The festive time of year within the wintry Alps is definitely enchanting and each year there is a special event in the ski resort to celebrate the occasion. Christmas is much less commercial in France compared to the United Kingdom, which means that you will not find Santa in the shops or hear “It’s Christmas Time” in October – however, you can invariably be certain of a cup of mulled wine, several carols as well as some fantastic fireworks – the occasion does not go unmarked.
Staying in catered ski chalets means you can plan with our chef in advance what your party would most like to eat and drink, but if choosing to eat out, most places will put on a Christmas menu with bubbly as well as standard French meals. Le Chardon can recommend and book beforehand on your behalf if you wish to treat yourself to dinner out. Similarly, planning in advance is recommended for those who really want to see in the New Year in a specific club or bar – most of them tend to be ticket only, so it is important to enquire beforehand to prevent disappointment!
The week prior to Christmas sees Val Thorens gleaming with festive cheer. The festive lights are up throughout the entire resort, the market is under way and Santa Claus himself might even appear. Christmas mass, music concerts as well as shows for children all add to the fun of your ski trip.
At midnight on New Year’s Eve tons of drunken revellers head down to the roundabout in the middle of the resort for the big countdown – not a recognised occasion as such, more of a long-held custom. When the clock strikes 12, champagne corks are popped and fireworks are set off in celebration.
Here’s the link to our chalet availability and pricing over the Christmas and New Year period. Call or email us if you would like to be kept up to date with offers and last minute cancellations deals.
In the Alps children are encouraged to ski from a young age and become proficient very quickly. Competing in races and events is commonplace amongst children in ski clubs and La Scara, established 35 years ago as an international alpine ski race for boys and girls aged between 12 and 15 years is one event many aspire to. It is held at the conclusion of the winter months.
In the past, it was a competition for the youngsters from Val d’Isere as well as other nearby ski clubs, however, more and more newcomers led to the coordinators looking at the format of the race, and enrolling the competition on the International calendar. La Scara is currently regarded in the world of skiing as a genuine “Children’s World Championship” and it is used today as a part of the selection procedure at national level.
The competition was originally opened to boys but in 1990 it allowed girls to compete, and runs over four days. French children need to qualify for the “International races” which in turn take place over the subsequent days.
In the past, the competition has drawn attention to 1,400 competitors; consisting of roughly 300 International skiers coming from 28 countries and 1,100 French skiers. The standard of skiing is extremely high and there are definitely several potential Winter Olympic candidates in the making!
For 30 years, the Val d’Isère skiing club has continued to use the name Scara, and these days it acts not only as a certification regarding racers potential selection at a countrywide as well as global level but it is additionally a part of the inner circle of the five key children’s international competitions including the Pokal Loka (Slovenia), Topolino and Pinocchio Cup (Italy), and the Whistler Cup (Canada).
Original news source: valdinet.com
Having operated in Val d’Isere for around 20 years now, Le Chardon Mountain Lodges is firmly integrated into the local ski community. However, we thought you may be interested in a few historical facts around the town which is now famous as a one of the best ski resorts in the Alps.
Val-d’Isère is situated in South-eastern France on the boundary of the Vanoise National Park, and is only three miles (five Kilometres) from the Italian border (when you buy a ski pass ask for a Val / Tignes pass as the locals do). Many alpine ski events were held here during the 1992 Winter Olympics including the men’s giant slalom as well as the alpine mixed. Part of the town was restructured especially for these winter games. Val-d’Isère also played host to the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in 2009.
The central and western parts of Val-d’Isère are mostly identifiable by their “chalet” structures, offering holiday ski accommodation, whilst the eastern area of the town houses high buildings that dominate the scenery. Together with nearby Tignes the region makes up part of the “’Espace Killy,” the self-titled “Most Beautiful Ski Area in the World.”
The Pissaillas Glacier provides good summer skiing giving the illusion of typical winter fare but without the harsh winds found on the Glacier during the coldest spell of winter. Snow cannons are put on particular slopes to support heavy skiing during the peak season, so ski conditions are almost always perfect. High capacity lifts offer great accessibility from the valley and there is no shortage of fast chairs higher up. However, there are still several slow chairs as well as draglifts available that suit beginners and children and the Olympic Gondolla is a great way to get to the top of the mountain ski range and into Tranquil. There are brushed slopes to be found and also backcountry (off-piste) skiing, with plenty of powder. The slopes’ difficulty level is especially high. Nevertheless, as in Tignes, there are many good, simple motorway pistes to enjoy.
Val d’Isère skiing first began in the 1930’s after a drag lift was constructed on the slopes of the Solaise. This was then followed by a cable car and is now a a plethora of chair lifts, gondollas and toe-ropes which cover the resort and enable skiers of all ability to to enjoy the mountains from October through to April. We’re all excited about the 2011/12 season and hope you can join us out there.
How fortunate for us that the ancient Roman tradition of celebrating 14th February to honour Juno, queen of the gods, continues today as St Valentine’s Day, when we can indulge our loved ones (and ourselves) with tokens of love and appreciation.
If you’ve exhausted most choices of gifts over the years, how about surprising the person in your life with the pick of luxury ski holidays in one of the top ski resorts in the world – Val d’Isere?
The deciding factor when thinking about luxury catered ski chalets must surely be the fact that you can share the experience together, and the food and service will be second to none.
Remember that in Val d’Isere, skiing continues right through until the end of April, so your Valentine ski break doesn’t have to take place in mid-February. If it is going to be a Valentine’s gift, why not gift-wrap a small token – maybe a bobble hat and some lipscreen, and let them work it out?
The majority of you are probably organised and will have done most of your Christmas shopping. However, if there’s anyone out there like me, who hasn’t, then this blog is my Christmas present for you. I’ve done all the legwork and rounded up some of the best articles, blogs and websites for Christmas presents for skiers and snowboarders. Many are compact and can be easily and secretly transported to your catered ski chalet for your Christmas ski holidays.
So, here goes, in no particular order, my treasure trove of Christmas goodies. Enjoy…
Top Ski and Snowboarding Movies – An American slant but that’s no bad thing when there’s so much choice, and the author, Marko Pyjaharvi is a seasoned and knowledgeable ski veteran . All the DVDs listed should also be available in PAL format for the UK. Great for those days or nights when there’s a blizzard out there! http://homeboyski.com/2009/12/16/christmas-presents-for-skiers-10-ski-movies-to-entertain-you/
OnTheSnow.co.uk, the most popular snow sports Web site in the UK, provides ski and snow reports to over 2,000 ski resorts around the globe. Contributing Editor Rachael Hodson has put together some nice ideas for presents, although they’re all priced in dollars for some reason.http://www.onthesnow.co.uk/news/a/13783/onthesnows-picks-for-holiday-gifts-for-skiers-riders
Sail GB, as you might have guessed, caters mainly for the sailing and diving crew. However they have a nice selection of goodies for skiers, ranging from shin protectors to snow trikes, a good place to look for some novel ideas!http://www.sailgb.com/c/christmas_gifts_skiing/
Simply Piste – A very easy to navigate, clear website with every product you can think of related to skiing. Love the name, too!http://www.simplypiste.com/home.aspx
Blog – An excellent blog post by Powder Monkey. Although dated November 2008, it has some great ideas and links to useful sites.http://www.chamberyflights.co.uk/blog/ski-snowboard-kit/christmas-gift-ideas-skiing-snowboarding-fans
Finally, Alpine Guru have a great blog which leans towards all the latest gadgetry, which I love, and it also lists some brilliant safety kit too.http://www.alpineguru.com/6-gadgets-that-you-shouldn%E2%80%99t-be-without-in-the-mountains/
You should still be able to get most items by Christmas if you’re online shopping, but it might be worth checking to make sure, as some retailers have suspended deliveries to certain parts of the UK due to the recent bad weather. Happy shopping…
France stands proudly as the top destination in Europe for British skiers, offering a fabulous choice of ski resorts to suit all abilities and budgets. Skiing in France is very diverse, with resorts in the Vosges, the Jura, the Massif Central and the Pyrenees. However, because of its high altitude, the French Alps offers the most reliable snow conditions.
Choose your French destination carefully to ensure the best conditions – ideally high altitude for perfect powder, with a wide variety of runs for all levels of experience. This is especially important near the beginning or end of the ski season. All resorts have snow cannons and piste bashers, but the primary influence of temperature and location will play a key role in the quality of your skiing holiday.
In the northern Alps, you’ll find resorts such as Avoriaz (a mecca for snowboarders), and Morzine, although at an altitude of only 1000 m conditions are not always so reliable. Val d’Isere, Chamonix, and Les Trois Vallées can be a safer bet.
Val d’Isere, combined with Tignes, offer 300 km of pistes at high altitude – the highest are over 3000 m high. The area has an extensive range of pistes for beginners and inexperienced skiers as well as challenging runs and off-piste skiing for the more adventurous. Val d’Isere is considered the best ski resort in Europe, and one of the top ski destinations in the world.
Families with children are restricted by school holiday dates, so it’s wise to plan ahead. Forward planning is also crucial if you have other specific requirements. If you are planning a group ski holiday you should book in plenty of time to ensure the best price and accommodation choices. Repeat business is very high, especially for highly sought after large catered ski chalets, so our advice is too book up group accommodation well in advance.
Our french ski chalets offer ski in, ski out access, are fully staffed and include hot tubs, wide-screen TVs and full wi-fi access and are perfect for groups, families or corporate hospitality.