- Return flights and transfers
- All meals (including lunches) with wine, beer and soft drinks
- Unlimited drinks and snacks
- Ski and snowboarding lessons
- Local Ski Pass
- Mini Club and Juniors’ Club
- Baby Welcome
- All leisure activities
As far as business models go for ski companies, you have to go an awfully long way to beat the example set by Club Med, as I found out in Les Arcs last week. I received an invitation to stay for 4 nights in the 4 star Hotel Club Med Peisey Vallandry to see what all the fuss is about, and I have nothing but good things to say!
We flew out from Heathrow Terminal 1 with Swissair and the transfer coach whisked us to resort. Pretty standard procedure really, but it is here that the Club Med experience really kicked in. We were met in the lofty, plush reception area by a team of smiling, friendly staff who gave us a welcome drink and an envelope containing our lift passes and door keys. Within the hour our bags were taken to our rooms by the porters, our ski tuition and guiding requirements were met by the in-house ESF team, our ski hire was sorted by the in-house fitting team and we were enjoying canapés in the comfortable bar before dinner.
Hotel Club Med in Peisey Vallandry
Dinner at Club Med has to be seen to be believed! There are a lot of Club Med properties of varying standards across the Alps but the quality of the food, I am reliably informed, changes little. I felt like a kid in a toy shop! After asking for a bottle of red from the smiling waitress, I strolled into the buffet area to find at least 5 separate areas of starters, salads, mains, Alpine specialities and desserts, each with a helpful chef on hand to advise you. (All-you-can-eat has its drawbacks, I discovered, and it was only on the second day that I learned the importance of pacing myself.)
After dinner it was down to the theatre / bar area for the evening’s entertainment which, although fun to watch, is very “Euro”. There’s no limit on how many cocktails you can order from the bar, and a wide selection of beers and spirits complements the stock nicely. It’s only the champagne that you have to pay extra for. The bar has no less than 4 separate seating areas to choose from and a large outdoor terrace area for enjoying the spring sunshine. The entire area is spacious, open and welcoming.
And so to bed… The rooms in the property are all a very good size and the en suite facilities I saw were all perfect, and spotlessly clean. The beds are comfortable, the rooms well designed and the facilities such as TVs, balconies and lounge areas make the rooms very comfortable indeed.
Fresh Powder Skiing in Les Arcs
Our first day on the mountain went like this: Wake up, go to breakfast, go to the ski lockers, ski out from the back door with our ESF instructor, return for lunch, ski out from the back door again, return for dinner, go to the bar, go to bed. It was like that for the next two days except that in the afternoon of the second day it began snowing heavily, and didn’t stop! The pistes around Peisey are all tree-lined and are just glorious. As you head round the mountain towards Arc 2000 you climb above the tree line to more open ground but the entire area is a pleasure to explore. We woke up on day three to a mountain of fresh powder and decided that instead of heading back over to Arc 2000, we’d session the tree runs around Peisey. 6 hours spent tracing fresh tracks through the forest is 6 hours well spent in my book, but it was getting dark and I was hungry so I went back for dinner and a well earned beer…!
Club Med has something for everybody. Groups of young adults would really benefit from the all-inclusive nature of the food and drink offered. Families with kids in tow can easily use the in-house childcare facilities, and people of advanced years would thoroughly enjoy the general level of comfort afforded them in Hotel Club Med Peisey Vallandry. Any non-skiers won’t be bored either – the hotel is equipped with a heated indoor/outdoor pool, sauna, hammam, studio, gym and wellness centre with fully qualified masseuses on hand, which is also beneficial if you’ve spent the day throwing yourself down the mountain while learning snowboarding, and need a soothe before dinner…
Chris stayed in Peisey courtesy of Club Med where all-inclusive prices start from £1,249pp. For more information on this or any other Club Med property in the Alps, please give us a call at our London sales office or visit http://www.interactiveresorts.co.uk/ski_chalets and search for “Club Med”.