Club Med Val Thorens
Michelin two-star chef Edouard Loubet is creating dinner menus at the new Club Med Val Thorens (two photos above) which opened this weekend (December 14). Loubet was born in Val Thorens and is chef/owner of the Bastide de Capelongue and the Moulin de Lourmarin in the Luberon region of Provence. The new Club Med, at 2300 meters, boasts “doorstep access” to the largest ski domaine in the world, the “Three Valleys,” which offers 600 kilometers of powdery slopes along with paragliding, mountain biking on ice and tobogganing. The new Club Med has 384 rooms, three dining areas, an indoor climbing wall and Carita spa. Doing the day-to-day cooking in the fine-dining Epicurious restaurant is resort exec chef Thierry Van Rillaer, who came from Club Med La Plantation d’Albion, part of Club Med’s exclusive Villas & Chalets collection. (Two are open; a third will launch in the Maldives in February.) The “Chef de Village” (Club Med’s title for GM) is Daniel Guimaraes, who was at Club Med Chamonix last winter season. The advantage of an all-inclusive Club Med stay is that ski passes and lessons are included with your accommodations, along with meals, drinks, and entertainment. The new Club Med will finish its first season in May, 2015. Rates begin at $1332/€1330 per adult per week, all inclusive. For more info on the hotel, click here in English or here in French. For info on Val Thorens, click here.
Hotel des Dromonts
Maisons et Hotels Sibuet, which operates ten elegant villa and hotel properties around France, launched their newest hotel this weekend as well. Located in Avoriaz in the Haute Savoie, the four-star Hôtel des Dromonts (two photos above) is just under two hours from Annecy and three hours from Lyon, within the family-oriented Portes du Soleil ski area (296 ski runs, 11 snowparks, 11 bordercross runs). Perched at 1800 meters, it's an area known for sustainable development, one that Lonely Planet recently called "one of the finest ski resorts in France." The hotel first opened in 1966, with panoramic views and innovative cedar-shingle siding which gave it its signature pinecone shape. Since 1973, it's been host to the Avoriaz Fantasy Film Festival: Steven Spielberg, David Cronenberg, Brian de Palma, David Lynch, Luc Besson and other luminaries have been here to screen their work. When Jocelyne Sibuet and her team took over, everything was done to keep the hotel's original spirit; look for warm, 60s-inspired decor, custom fabrics and a focus on natural, local materials such as slate mined from a quarry in neighboring Morzine. The hotel has 28 rooms and six suites. For dining, there's Les Enfants Terribles Up for intimate dinners and classic cuisine. For more festive meals or lunch close to the slopes, there's Les Enfants Terribles Down, set around a famous bar and serving small plates, burgers, fondue and raclette. Avoriaz is completely carless and the hotel is accessed by a four-minute cable car ride. It will stay open until late April. Rooms range from 156€ to 516 €, suites from 506 to 786 €. For more info on Dromonts, click here. For info on Avoriaz, click here.