After 2 winter seasons with record-breaking snowfalls, there is a very positive atmosphere in ski resorts across the Alps which have been investing heavily in providing new services, infrastructural improvements and good deals to make your ski holiday even more unforgettable – whether with family or friends. From small improvements such as renovated lifts to the opening of a new satellite ski resort at Tignes 1800, there has been a buzz of activity and enthusiasm that hasn’t been felt for years in the ski industry. Find out what’s new in the ski world for this coming 2013-2014 winter season.
The development work in the small village of Tignes Les Boisses on the edge of the Chevril Dam, on the Isère River, has finally been completed. The old village has been renamed as Tignes 1800 and has high-speed ski lifts linked to the huge Espace Killy ski area, modern facilities and top quality accommodation such as the brand new four star residence Kalinda Village made up of 107 apartments and 6 chalets. The new satellite ski resort of Tignes 1800 is, at the same time, hi-tech and energy-conscious, while respecting the traditional mountain style construction techniques using mainly stone and timber from local sources. This gives this new ski resort a more cozy, traditional feel than its neighbour resort of Tignes Val Claret.
Why not treat yourself to some luxury this winter, in the famous French ski resort of Val Thorens in the Three Valleys in the brand new five star Koh-i-Nor residence, a super-sized apartment complex with its own spa, restaurant and a brasserie with two-star Michelin chef Yoann Conte in the kitchen.
In the popular Swiss ski resort of Verbier, the development of the new base ski area at Médran includes the first installation of a W hotel in a ski resort. This impression hotel will open on the 1st of December 2013. This new hotel complex includes 15 apartments and a shopping mall and respects the contemporary but comfortable style of this international hotel chain. Another success story in Switzerland is the former army town of Andermatt, which was experiencing a rapid decline in number of visitors as well as in the number of residents until a rich Egyptian businessman, Samih Sawiris, decided to make the Swiss ski resort his latest project. Now known as Andermatt Swiss Alps, the resort offers luxury accommodation and services including the opening of the first five-star Chedi hotel in Europe.
In the Southern Alps of France in Pra Loup, 2 new practice areas dedicated solely to beginners will be available this winter season making this ski resort even more attractive for family ski holidays. In 2 other southern ski resorts of Isola 2000 and Auron the concept “Handiski” has been put in place with 2 specially adapted wheelchairs which can be taken up the mountain in the Mercantour gondola. This new concept enables people with reduced mobility to ski with the help of a specially-trained ski instructor and to join their family and friends on the slopes. Also in France, in Meribel in the Three Valleys ski area, the more adventurous among you can test your skills on the new black run, originally the Couloir Tournier. This has been rightly named the “Vertical Xperience” and you can even register to be filmed! A new picnic area is available too which can be accessed by the Saulire Express gondola.
As well as the spectacular new W Hotel in the Swiss ski resort Verbier, this winter season you will also be able to make the most of the 2 new lift connections that will make it much easier to access the whole 4 Valleys ski area. The first gives access to the hidden Bruson ski area which until now, the locals liked to keep to themselves and the second is a high-speed gondola which simplifies the link between the other 4 Valleys ski resorts of Nendaz and Siviez.
Not forgetting, of course, on the other side of the big pond, 2 new chairlifts have opened giving access to a whole new area, named Peak 6, in the popular US ski resort of Breckenridge. Back country ski fans will also be delighted to discover access to a whole new snow covered playground.
If, like me, you have caught La Folie Douce fever, then, like me, you’ll be thrilled to know that this chain with its daytime dining/clubbing concept has opened its latest establishment in Alpe d'Huez. Believe me, you have to try this unique daytime après-ski experience at least once in your skiing lifetime… The floor-to-ceiling windows of the Gaislachkogl Restaurant in Solden, situated at 3048m of altitude, allow you to really appreciate the simply breath-taking surrounding scenery of the Ötztal Valley. The modern structure is connected to the mountain peak, which inspired the restaurant’s name, by a suspension bridge.
Being lucky enough to have parents who were crazy about skiing, my love for the mountains started when I was 4 years old on our first family ski holiday to Austrian ski resort of Obergurl. One ski holiday a year was never enough and tears rolled down my face as I looked out the back window of the car on the drive down the valley on the way home!
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