Chalet Hotel Le Val d’Isere – Mark Warner
Chalet Hotel Le Val d’Isere – Mark Warner
Situated in France, this resort is a firm favourite with the British and offers some of the best skiing and snowboarding in the world.
With over 300 km of marked pistes and unlimited off-piste skiing, the Espace Killy area is dedicated to all aspects of skiing, with 96 lifts across 10 miles. With its high altitude and excellent snow conditions, you can generally ski back to the heart of the village right until the end of April or sometimes even the beginning of May.
The Chalet Hotel Le Val d’Isere is situated in the heart of this chic resort, in a perfect position for the slopes, shops, bars and restaurants. It offers family, single & interconnecting rooms, TVs in the bedroom, WiFi, a swimming pool and an in-house crèche. Childcare includes Baby Club, Toddler Club, Mini Club, Kidz Club and evening Crèche Club.
Entrance to the chalet is via a keypad, as is the ski locker, and there is always a member of staff on reception during the day - and evening security - should you require any assistance.
We flew into Grenoble and had a 3-hour transfer to the resort. Mark Warner staff were there to greet us and help with baggage on arrival. We had already been given our room numbers during the transfer, and the keys were in the bedroom doors so no long check-in - we just walked into the chalet and went to our room. Fantastic service and very well organised by the team there.
Once settled, we ventured out to pick up our ski rental equipment ready for the next day’s skiing. You can pre-book all your equipment through Mark Warner or book it yourself via the internet. We chose to book our equipment directly with Snowberry Ski Rental. The chalet has a ski locker where you can leave your skis and poles, although I would always recommend taking your ski boots to your room as the ski lockers can be cold and a little damp! You can get a padlock for your locker from the Mark Warner reception for a 5 Euro deposit, so you know your skis are safe.
You can also pre-book ski lessons through Mark Warner should you wish; we decided to book direct, however, with Evolution2 for the intermediate lessons and a ski clinic with Progression Ski. There are many different ski schools and an amazing choice of lessons and clinics, so do your research to get the most from your skiing.
We had pre-booked our ski passes through Mark Warner and these were waiting for us behind Reception on arrival. They are electronic passes that fit into a pocket on the arm of your jacket - you just wave your arm at the ski barrier and it allows you to pass through.
Pre-dinner on the first evening, we were invited to welcome drinks with canapes in the bar area, where the Mark Warner team introduced themselves and made us feel welcome. The bar area is located near to the reception desk and has a television and comfy sofas, as well as board games and books.
The restaurant is on the top floor overlooking the resort and overs great views of the town and the mountains behind. Mark Warner ski holidays include a hearty hot and cold breakfast buffet-style, and afternoon tea where you are tempted with home-made cakes, biscuits and a selection of cold meats and cheeses as well as homemade soups. Try not to eat too much of the afternoon tea, however, as you still have a 3-course evening meal with wine to look forward to, all included in your holiday price! The food was excellent and there was always a vegetarian option on the evening menu. The evening meal is waiter service and the wine was really good – the perfect way to refuel after a day on the slopes.
Tea and coffee is available in the restaurant all day, and you can grab a mug to take back to your room if you prefer.
The bedrooms in the Hotel Chalet Val d’Isere are fairly basic but our bathroom has recently been refurbished and was very nice indeed, with both a bath & shower plus a heated towel rail. We had a television which showed a couple of British channels and a safe to lock away your passports and valuables whilst out on the slopes (N.B the safe is not big enough for an IPad).
Our room (number 42) was at the front of the chalet and was therefore a little noisy first thing in the morning as the resort sparked into life!
Our room was cleaned every day except Thursday, when the team just popped in to empty the bins and leave a new loo roll! The rooms were clean and ours had a balcony.
Thursday was the Mark Warner team's night off, so we therefore ventured into the resort for dinner. I had asked the reception team to book me a good fondue restaurant which they duly did. La Casserole restaurant was just a few minutes walk from the chalet; the service and fondue were both excellent.
Summary of the Accommodation:
Basic accommodation but with good facilities and excellent food. The location of the chalet is perfect for both the resort and the skiing, and the team working there were incredible. Nothing was too much trouble and they were always on hand. There is a bus stop outside the chalet and this free bus service around the resort runs every 4 minutes during the day (less frequently in the evening) and is a great way to get around the resort with your skis or for a drink in the evening in another part of Val d’Isere.
Summary of the resort:
We had incredible snow and sunshine, and took to the slopes for 6 days of amazing skiing. We travelled in March, outside the British and French holidays, so there was no queuing for the lifts. The slopes were fairly quiet as people spread out over the 10 miles of pistes available in Val d’Isere and Tignes. The only busy runs were back into the resort at the end of the afternoon; these were not for the faint-hearted and became very bumpy and crowded, so the option of coming down on the Solaise Express Chairlift, the telecabin or the funicular railway is worth remembering!
Skiing across to Tignes is easy, and you have the option of catching the funicular railway and then cable car to the top of the glacier for incredible views across the Alps and some amazing skiing all the way down to Tignes Val Claret (one of the longest ski runs in Europe).
A couple of mountain restaurants to watch out for are La Folie Douce and Le Signal – both offering live bands and entertainment on the slopes. Check out their websites for more details.
I would definitely travel with Mark Warner again and would certainly recommend Hotel Chalet Val d'Isere and the resort to skiers of all abilities and to single travellers, couples, families and groups.
- 26th August 2017