A week before the official opening of Club Med Val Thorens Sensations on Dec. 14, the company held the inauguration of its new village in the French Alps. More than 700 guests from 26 countries were on hand for the festivities. PAX was also in attendance for this grand opening event:
The first thing that strikes you when you enter the new Club Med Ski Village is the focus on hotel design by Sophie Jacqmin. Upon entering the resort, we immediately noticed the massive central staircase winding between four floors of the main building, along colors that entice the pupil as well as a climbing wall.
The resort’s lighting features 95 per cent LED bulbs (to reduce energy consumption),ranging in colour from purple to red to orange and increasing in brightness, depending on the time of day; thus, the hours and emotions are changing and we rediscover an already visited place in a different atmosphere.
The rooms echo these vivid color codes as well. Our room was comfortable and spacious enough to easily accommodate two people. Well-equipped with a desk, a large flat screen TV, a large bed that can be split into two single beds and a bathroom, everything is designed to make guests feel relaxed after a day of skiing. A transparent wall between the bathroom and bedroom may come as a surprise to some travellers, an issue which could be fixed with a curtain.
In total, Val Thorens Sensations has 384 rooms including six suites, five junior suites and 12 deluxe rooms.
Geared towards modernity, the new Club Med Ski Village is fully connected. In addition to WiFi throughout the hotel, touch screens scattered throughout inform skiers of the current snow conditions, the day's activities, theme evenings and more. A mobile application can also be downloaded to geolocate in the resort, allowing travellers to find ski partners on the social network Club.
A culinary experience
The main restaurant, Yurts, offers guests a kingdom of decadence served buffet style. From appetizers to desserts through the dishes and cheeses, the choice and quality is amazing. It’s impossible to eat the same thing twice during a stay at Val Thorens Sensations.
For even more gourmet experiences, travel a floor above to the Epicurious Gourmet Lounge, featuring an adaptable dining concept. At 10 a.m., we opt for a cozy lunch, while at noon, it will be the preferred place to enjoy a chic picnic (sandwiches, soups, pies and quiches) to start on the slopes as soon as possible. At 4 p.m., the lounge offers hot meals for skiers to warm up with after a day outside, while at 6 p.m., it’s time for tapas to be served. In the evening, on reservation, "discoveries dinners" prepared by Chef Edouard Loubet are offered to the gastronomically inclined.
The Epicurious space is complemented by a wine cellar (featuring 107 wines) and a delicatessen. A one-hour tasting session is offered in the Club Med package.
Paradise for skiing and wellness
Val Thorens, again this year elected best ski resort in the world at the World Travel Awards, is the perfect setting for the Club Med Village to provide a focus on the pleasures of skiing. Located at 2,300 meters above sea level, the resort is located on the ski slopes of the Three Valleys, featuring 335 runs, 600 km of which are 85 per cent above 2,000 meters.
The Club Med package includes ski lessons and snowboarding for all levels, taught by l’École de Ski Française (ESF) instructors. Equipment from Rossignol is also offered, which is changed every year. While the departure and return is on skis, Club Med Val Thorens Sensations is traversed by a trail – a very convenient feature.
Upon returning, why not make a trip to the Spa by Carita to relax? With the choice of massage for back, legs or face, it’s the perfect comfort after a day of sport.
The day will then end with a performance by the teams of Club Med at Oxygen bar on the fourth floor.
According to Henri Giscard d'Estaing, CEO of Club Med, the Village Val Thorens Sensations is a reflection of the upmarket strategy and internationalization of the company. Approximately $115 million has been invested to open the property in just 17 months, the new flagship of Club Med in the mountains.
One look at the old Club Med resort located in front followed by a tour of the new complex is enough to convince that it is primarily the client who comes out ahead.
In total, Club Med currently has 22 mountain villages (15 in France, three in Switzerland, two in Italy, and one each in China and Japan).
This trip was made possible by Club Med Canada in partnership with Air Canada.