The beautiful resort of Valmorel in the French Tarantaise really is a winner for all families.
When choosing a family ski trip it is very easy for us men to over play our abilities and opt for a resort that is aspirational for us but in reality totally unsuitable for a family ski trip. The core requirement of a family holiday is to suit the needs and ski levels of the children first and foremost or else you could put them off skiing for life.
Proximity to the slopes, snow quality, suitable terrain, and a user-friendly lift system should all play their importance in your final decision. With this in mind, this Easter we opted for Valmorel. Ok, it isn’t the highest of resorts but 1450m is the same height as Meribel and we had access to slopes with skiing up to 2500m.
The Club Med all-inclusive hotel was perched at the top end of the resort around 200m above the resort centre. The welcome on arrival was informal but very friendly and our children felt at ease with the this concept which allowed them to help themselves to the complimentary drinks and nibbles whenever they required; indeed the non-alcoholic cocktails went down a storm with the children whilst we adults made our way through the proper cocktail menu.
Whilst the children were in ski school my wife and I enjoyed some adult time skiing with the inclusive ski school and enjoying the off-piste that the area has to offer. The fantastically untracked Col du Mollet was the highlight of the week even if a taxi is required to return to the village. For the children they excelled in the friendly ski school and we opted to ski as a family in the afternoons. The area is easy to navigate and the choice of runs for a week is vast allowing you to take in the other villages on the network of St Francois Longchamp and Doucy Combelouviere. The ski domain has a large amount of wooded terrain and this provides super coverage for white out days or flat light skiing, not to mention it is far prettier than the lunar-landscape resorts of Arcs 2000, Val Thorens, etc.
Accessible by skis, the centre of Valmorel is a pedestrianised cobbled street and although developed in the 80s it has a rustic mountain architectural sympathy that is void in many of the French resorts. The shops are all small and seem to be owner managed which helps with the friendliness of this little Alpine gem.
The Club Med experience offers an excellent standard of cuisine with a choice of two restaurants, a speciality Savoyard eatery and a self-service buffet styled dining experience. The latter is split into three dining areas so gives a feeling of three restaurants in one.
The main bar has various themed evening entertainment and for those looking for a more peaceful evening there are reading rooms and alternative bar areas. Away from the bars there is a fantastic spa with indoor and outdoor swimming pools, an outdoor hot tub, steam rooms, treatment rooms, a gym, and lots more.
Overall the Club Med experience is of a very high standard and the focus on guest satisfaction can be seen by every single member of staff.
Leaving Valmorel was a sad experience but the family all agreed that it was a resort that we would revisit without the blink of an eye. It’s no wonder that it is referred to as “Valmorel La Belle”.