Ever since I learned to ski on the relatively modest hills surrounding Toronto, I’ve dreamt of taking a ski trip to a mountain range like the Alps. Not only for the epic runs, but also for the glorious après-ski life that European mountains are known for.
First Stop: Club Med Valmorel
We flew from Toronto to Lyon, where a Club Med shuttle picked us up and drove us to the hotel. It was a 2-hour ride through the scenic French countryside, and soon we could see the mountains.
Club Med Valmorel is perched in the shadows of the glistening peaks of the French Alps like a castle in a fairytale. I couldn’t believe this was going to be our home for the next few days.
After we got settled in our rooms, we went down to the Ski Shop to get our ski rentals for the next few days. There are lockers available for all guests to store their equipment and the hotel is situated on a slope for the most convenient ski-in/ski-out experience.
After 5pm most of the slopes are closed and everyone returns to the resort for happy hour. Club Med is an all-inclusive resort, which means I got to enjoy as many Aperol Spritzes as I wanted – no complaints there! For dinner we went to the main buffet which offers a huge selection of local and international dishes. One night there was even an unlimited oyster shucking station – yum!
The next day was finally ski day. I was excited to get out and explore the huge domain. The hotel offers ski and snowboard lessons for all levels, and I decided to join an intermediate class. We spent the day enjoying the endless runs and breathtaking scenery around us.
After a long day of skiing, we enjoyed dinner at the restaurant La Laiterie. They serve traditional Savoyard dishes – comfort food from the French Alps such as raclette, fondue, and other delicious things with cheese.
Snowshoeing is another popular activity here and something I’ve been wanting to try for a while. We gathered at the ski shop and met our guide, who helped us put on our snowshoes and get ready for a hike into the mountains.
I was expecting to stay mostly near the resort at low altitude, but as a pleasant surprise we got to take a chairlift up and ended up snowshoeing on the mountaintops with views like this. It was one of my favourite experiences of the trip.
In the afternoon we decided to pay a visit to the pool and hot tub, because what better way is there to relax after a long day on the slopes.
Next Stop: Club Med Les Arcs Panorama
It was time to say goodbye to Valmorel, but we were excited to visit our next destination – Club Med Les Arcs Panorama. It’s a brand new hotel that just opened in December of 2018 and it looks stunning. It was hard to believe, but the mountain views got even better when we arrived at Les Arcs Panorama.
The main lobby and restaurants at Les Arcs were located between the 9th and 11th floor, so every lunch was accompanied by a panorama of the surrounding peaks.
After getting settled, we took the free shuttle bus to explore one of the villages nearby – Arc 2000. It’s located at 2000m altitude, and there are plenty of restaurants, shops, and patios to explore, all set against the backdrop of the spectacular Alps.
Les Arcs is part of Paradiski, the second largest ski domain in the world. The highest cable car goes up to 3226m and that was our first stop.
The domain was so large we didn’t have to go down the same run twice. Thankfully Club Med is located right on a run so it was easy to get back.
In the evening we had a wine tasting in the cellar and tried different French wines along with a delicious cheese board. The perfect end to a perfect day of skiing!
This was our last full day in the French Alps and we decided to take it easy and make it a self-care day. We visited the Spa and got a well deserved massage, before going up to enjoy the Belvedere Lounge hot tub.
There was a huge celebration in the evening dedicated to the hotel’s first successful winter season, complete with champagne fountains and fireworks! The timing couldn’t have been more perfect as it was also our last night, and we all celebrated what a great time we had in the French Alps the past week. It was truly the ski trip of a lifetime!
Thank you Club Med for hosting my stay. All opinions are my own.