Evaluation: Airelles Val d’Isère, France (Excellent!)
Our major vacation spot for our ski journey to the French Alps was Airelles Val d’Isère, an unimaginable 46-room ski resort positioned in France. Whereas the city of Val d’Isère maybe isn’t probably the most thrilling ski city within the Alps, the snowboarding is great, and I can’t say sufficient good issues about this resort, which is a vacation spot in and of itself.
The rooms, facilities, service, eating places, and extra, merely couldn’t be higher. That’s precisely what I’ve come to count on from the Airelles model, although.
Why we determined to remain at Airelles Val d’Isère
Ford enjoys snowboarding, so we attempt to go on no less than one skip journey per 12 months. Whereas there’s nice snowboarding in america, we nonetheless benefit from the general expertise extra within the Alps. You possibly can’t beat the standard of accommodations, meals, and the all-around service degree that you simply’ll discover at lots of Europe’s high ski resorts vs. the highest ski resorts in america.
Final 12 months we determined to ski at Airelles Courchevel, which was one of the vital superb resorts I’ve ever stayed at. That keep has sort of made us obsessive about Airelles, which is a small French lodge model that has a handful of resorts. We cherished our keep in Courchevel a lot that we determined to remain at Airelles Saint-Tropez in summer season, after which stayed at Airelles Gordes in fall.
For this 12 months’s ski journey, we determined to take a look at Airelles’ different ski resort, positioned in Val d’Isère. Not solely had been we curious to see the way it in comparison with the Courchevel property, however lots of the unimaginable employees we met at Airelles Gordes stated they labored at this resort in winter, so we knew that service could be superb. Suffice it to say the resort didn’t disappoint.
We even managed to persuade associates to go together with us, which made it much more enjoyable.
Reserving Airelles Val d’Isère
Airelles Val d’Isère is open seasonally (from early December till early April). We determined to go to towards the tip of the season, within the second half of March. Airelles Val d’Isère has two sorts of charges.
There’s the usual price, which incorporates breakfast, a complimentary minibar, and another primary facilities. Then there’s the “all-in escape,” which incorporates three meals per day (breakfast, lunch, and dinner), ski gear leases, and ski passes.
I’d additionally word that Airelles is ridiculously beneficiant with its charges which are inclusive of meals. This isn’t a state of affairs the place you may have some restricted menu you possibly can order off of, after which there are dietary supplements for nearly every thing. Reasonably you possibly can principally order no matter you need, from truffles, to wagyu, to no matter.
For our dates, the speed was €1,600 per evening for the “all-in” price (the “primary” price was €400 per evening much less). It goes with out saying that that is some huge cash, however Airelles actually affords a spectacularly good expertise. In my view you additionally get much more worth on your cash in Europe than in america in terms of luxurious accommodations. For instance, for a similar dates, the St. Regis Aspen was working $2,300 for a base room, and that price included… *checks notes* not a complete lot.
The good factor is that every one charges obtainable instantly with Airelles are bookable by Virtuoso, in order that’s how Ford booked us. This affords extra perks, together with an improve topic to availability, a $100 property credit score, and extra. Should you’d like every assist with a Virtuoso reserving at an Airelles property, you possibly can attain out to Ford at [email protected]
Airelles Val d’Isère location
Val d’Isère is positioned within the French Alps. Should you’re flying in to go to the resort, the closest main worldwide airport is Geneva (GVA), which is round a 3 hour drive away. Should you’re coming from inside Europe (notably the UK), you too can fly to Chambery Airport (CMF), which is round a two hour drive away.
There are numerous completely different choices for attending to Val d’Isère. For instance, if you happen to’re coming from Milan, you would take Trenitalia (which has an unimaginable Government Class) to Chambery, after which take a automobile from there.
Airelles couldn’t have a extra central location throughout the city of Val d’Isère. The resort is ski-in, ski-out, and you’ll stroll nearly in every single place.
Should you don’t wish to stroll, the lodge additionally affords a complimentary shuttle service inside city.
Val d’Isère has a stunning setting within the Alps, because the city is positioned at an altitude of 1,850 meters (round 6,000 ft). The city itself isn’t notably posh, although, particularly compared to Courchevel. Whether or not that’s good or dangerous depends upon what you’re on the lookout for. In Val d’Isère you most undoubtedly get the sense that Airelles is the “it” spot.
Airelles Val d’Isère foyer & check-in
We arrived at Airelles Val d’Isère within the early afternoon. Earlier than we may even enter the lodge we had been greeted by Elio, the superior concierge who we had met just a few months earlier at Airelles Gordes (and his awesomeness is likely one of the causes we selected to remain right here).
Airelles Val d’Isère has an enthralling foyer, with a number of comfy seating preparations. It was even cuter within the evenings, when there have been candles all through the foyer, together with a fire.
Setting the tone of overindulgence on the resort, there’s a desk with all types of sweets that visitors will help themselves to only contained in the foyer. Truthfully, I really feel like I deserve some kind of an award for the way effectively I resisted many of the desserts on the resort, as a result of I needed to eat nearly every thing. All of the sweets at Airelles are selfmade, and are too tasty for anybody’s good.
Simply off the foyer is the cigar lounge, which additionally has an honor bar with spirits. You possibly can simply pour your self no matter you’d like, after which write down your title and room quantity.
We had been checked in by the beautiful Arline, and the method was fast and pleasant. We had been additionally provided heat towels and pear juice as a welcome drink.
Our room wasn’t fairly prepared but, so we went to get pleasure from lunch, after which our room was prepared shortly after that.
Airelles Val d’Isère room
For our keep we had been upgraded to room 501, one of many lodging on the highest flooring (the lodge has 5 flooring). These are technically marketed as “flats,” and our room was the Chantemerle Condo, measuring 68 sq. meters (simply over 700 sq. ft).
Despite the fact that the lodge solely opened in 2019, it doesn’t really feel new, in a great way. All the pieces feels fashionable and effectively maintained, whereas nonetheless having a way of place, and mixing in completely. Airelles properties have what I’d describe as quirky decor, which I really like.
Our room featured a protracted entryway with the lavatory space to the best, and the principle a part of the room to the left.
Since this room is on the highest flooring, there are even slanted ceilings, which I believed was enjoyable.
The room featured a cushty king dimension mattress, and a sitting space with a sofa and two chairs.
There’s additionally a desk space with an additional two chairs, in addition to a mirror that’s really a secret TV.
As is the norm at Airelles, the welcome items had been fairly lavish. For one, there have been two Airelles-branded shell ski jackets, which you’re free to get pleasure from throughout your keep, and in addition take residence.
On high of that, there was a welcome present consisting of some recent fruit, all types of sweets, and a bottle of champagne. Truthfully, certainly one of my largest complaints about Airelles is how a lot scrumptious meals they always offer you, because it’s unattainable to maximise the expertise.
The champagne welcome present was a bottle of Dom Perignon 2013 — very good!
Simply off the bed room space was the minibar, the place every thing is complimentary.
This contains 19 completely different candy and savoy snacks, all of which will be replenished each day.
There was additionally a Nespresso machine, in addition to a kettle, with a choice of tea.
Then there was the minibar, with quite a lot of smooth drinks and water.
The room had a small balcony overlooking the village.
Again down the corridor was a small (windowless) second bed room, that includes two twin beds. That is clearly supposed for households with babies, so we didn’t use this space.
Then there was the lavatory, that includes double sinks, a soaking tub, and a walk-in bathe, which doubled as a steam room.
Toiletries had been in Airelles-branded bottles, and appeared to be prime quality.
The toilet additionally had top-of-the-line stocked kits I’ve ever seen with toilet necessities, from a hair brush to lip balm.
The toilet was positioned in a separate room, and featured a bidet-style rest room.
Suffice it to say that it is a fairly superior room. A few different issues to notice…
Whereas I discovered the bedding to be comfy, there’s a drawer with some pillow samples, do you have to need a completely different sort of pillow throughout your keep.
I used to be additionally impressed how the notepads by the mattress had been monogrammed with our initials.
Moreover, as is customary at Airelles properties, there was a nightly present with turndown service, starting from ski socks, to pajamas, to fragrance.
Airelles Val d’Isère spa & pool
For a ski resort, Airelles Val d’Isère has an obscene variety of non-ski facilities. For instance, the lodge has a 1,200 sq. meter (13,000 sq. foot) spa and wellness space. The wellness space is open each day from 9AM till 9PM, whereas spa remedies can be found from 10AM till 8PM.
Let’s begin with the wellness space, which has a stunning 20 meter (66 foot) indoor pool, with loads of seating.
There’s additionally an enormous scorching tub positioned subsequent to the pool.
There’s even a separate pool for youths — how epic is that this?!?
Along with the swimming pools and scorching tubs, the wellness space additionally had one of many largest saunas and steam rooms I’ve seen nearly wherever.
I’m not normally a giant pool particular person, however I visited this pool day-after-day of our keep.
Along with the wellness space, Airelles Val d’Isère has a Guerlain Spa, and you could find the menu right here.
Whereas I didn’t get any remedies, the spa regarded nice, and I’ve to say, the pricing for remedies wasn’t as excessive as you would possibly count on.
Airelles Val d’Isère fitness center
Proper subsequent to the wellness space is Airelles Val d’Isère’s fitness center, which will be accessed by visitors 24/7. Whereas not the world’s largest fitness center, it had quite a lot of fashionable cardio and weight gear, and was greater than enough.
You even have to understand the eye to element that goes into every thing at Airelles, from the number of fragrances you possibly can spray your self with, to the juices, fruit, and granola bars, you possibly can assist your self to within the fitness center.
Airelles Val d’Isère children & teenagers room
Airelles Val d’Isère has unimaginable facilities for each children and youths. In actuality the teenagers room is for everybody, and we spent fairly a little bit of time right here. Along with an infinite provide of jelly beans and M&Ms, it had limitless video games, starting from air hockey, to racing, to pinball. How enjoyable!
There was then a separate room for youthful children.
Airelles Val d’Isère non-public cinema
Airelles Val d’Isère additionally has a non-public cinema, which will be reserved at no cost any hour of the day or evening. Simply inform the employees forward of time, they usually can principally display screen no matter you’d like there, from a traditional film, to a trashy actuality TV present. There’s even a popcorn machine, do you have to need a film snack.
Airelles Val d’Isère ski room & snowboarding
Airelles Val d’Isère is a ski-in, ski-out property, and has an enormous ski room. There are ski concierges there all through the day who will help you with getting the best gear, and can carry every thing exterior for you.
On high of that, the ski room had quite a lot of tasty treats, from cake, to juice, to espresso.
How are the snowboarding situations in Val d’Isère? Let me remind everybody that I solely realized to ski final 12 months, so I’m probably not the particular person to ask. Val d’Isère is positioned at an altitude of 1,850 meters, on the sting of the Vanoise Nationwide Park.
The altitude of Val d’Isère is a big benefit, since Europe in any other case had a very tough winter for snow. Fortuitously due to the excessive altitude, this wasn’t a serious concern in Val d’Isère. We had been additionally there on the very finish of the season, so I think about situations would have been even higher earlier on.
Are the Alps fairly, or what?
Eating at Airelles Val d’Isère
Now on to my favourite a part of any Airelles property — the meals. Airelles properties constantly have superb meals, and the Val d’Isère location isn’t any exception. As talked about above, we booked the “all-in escape,” so that features three meals a day in any of the lodge’s eating places.
Simply to be clear, don’t count on this to be a cruise ship-esque all inclusive expertise. Reasonably you possibly can order no matter you’d like at some superb eating places, you signal for the meals, after which they’re merely eliminated out of your invoice within the background. The standard is superb, and there are not any restrictions on what you possibly can order.
Right here’s a abstract of the lodge’s meals & beverage retailers, to offer you a way of what to anticipate:
- Loulou is the all-day eating restaurant, serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner; it serves Mediterranean delicacies, and is positioned on-property, on the ski slopes
- La Grande Ourse is open for lunch and dinner; it serves conventional Savoyard delicacies, and is positioned proper subsequent to the resort, on the ski slopes
- Matsuhisa is simply open for dinner; it serves Japanese & Peruvian meals, and is positioned on-property
- Le Piaf is simply open for dinner; that is extra of a celebration restaurant and nightclub, and it’s a couple of 5 minute drive from the lodge
- Le Bar Rouge is open all through the day; it serves drinks and light-weight snacks, and is positioned on-property, between Loulou and Matsuhisa
Now let’s go over the main points of every of those restauratns.
Airelles Val d’Isère Loulou
Loulou is such a cute restaurant, and has each an attractive indoor seating space (the place we loved breakfast every morning) and in addition an enormous out of doors terrace (the place we loved lunch most days).
There are additionally two rows of seats proper on the ski slope, do you have to wish to get pleasure from a drink there.
Breakfast was served each day at Loulou from 7AM till 11AM. This included a buffet — whereas not the largest buffet ever, every thing was prime quality and selfmade. The buffet had every thing from pastries and bread, to chilly cuts, to veggies, to yogurt, to cereal, to chocolate.
You may complement the buffet with something from the menu, with choices together with pancakes, crepes, oatmeal, french toast, or eggs any fashion.
I attempted to restrict how a lot I ate for breakfast, although I did have an omelet one morning.
There have been additionally quite a lot of drink choices, together with nice espresso and cappuccino.
You possibly can discover the Loulou lunch & dinner menu right here. The meal all the time began with a choice of freshly baked bread, in addition to a vegetable consommé.
The meals was unbelievably good, and over the course of our keep we tried the truffle pizza, beef carpaccio, kale salad, tomato soup, sea bass fillet, veal milanese, scallops, and lobster spaghetti.
On high of that, there was a stunning dessert buffet at each lunch and dinner. I’ve a confession to make, which I’m embarrassed to confess — I used to be all the time so full after the opposite superb meals that I didn’t really eat something from right here. Oops.
Airelles Val d’Isère La Grande Ourse
We had lunch and dinner sooner or later at La Grande Ourse. The restaurant has a pleasant out of doors terrace the place you possibly can get pleasure from lunch, after which the within is cozy for dinner, particularly with the hearth.
You possibly can discover the La Grande Ourse lunch & dinner menu right here. For lunch we had the onion soup, endive salad, roasted salmon, and the burger.
Then for dinner, we had the foie gras, cheese fondue, and the wagyu steak.
Airelles Val d’Isère Matsuhisa
Matsuhisa is positioned proper subsequent to Loulou, and in addition has an enthralling design.
It is a model that in fact wants no introduction — Matsuhisa is basically the extra intimate model of Nobu, and has fewer places. You possibly can discover the Matsuhisa dinner menu right here. To drink, I had the wasabi martini, which I extremely advocate.
To eat, we had the edamame, sashimi salad, crispy rice with salmon, yellowtail jalapeño, rock shrimp, and a choice of sushi.
After that we had a choice of mochi, plus the cappuccino dessert.
Airelles Val d’Isère Le Piaf
Whereas the lodge on the whole has a full of life ambiance, if you happen to actually wish to flip up, Le Piaf is the place to go. That is the one one of many lodge’s eating places that that you must drive to, because it’s a couple of 5 minute drive away. It’s open for dinner, and stays open till 2AM (or later), as you too can simply go right here to social gathering.
This was most likely my least favourite of the eating retailers on the lodge. That’s to not say it was dangerous, it simply wasn’t as distinctive as the opposite choices. Whereas service all through remainder of the lodge is superb and extremely attentive, service right here is a little more night-clubby, which is truthful sufficient.
You possibly can discover the Le Piaf dinner menu right here.
To eat, we had the pumpkin soup, frisée salad, scallops, and truffle pasta.
Then for dessert we break up the roasted pineapple with vanilla ice cream and the creamy puff pasty with chocolate sauce.
Le Piaf has dwell music for many of the evening. Truthfully, I like dwell music, and can exit of my strategy to eat someplace with it. Let me simply say that the performer the night we visited was… not superb. I’ll simply depart it at that. We nonetheless loved ourselves, however this isn’t a spot we felt we wanted to return to.
Airelles Val d’Isère Le Bar Rouge
Final however not least, Le Bar Rouge is the lodge’s bar, which has a fire burning all through the day, and dwell music within the evenings (in contrast to at Le Piaf, we cherished the music).
You possibly can discover the Le Bar Rouge drink menu right here. The cocktails right here had been superb, and fantastically offered.
Airelles Val d’Isère service
I truthfully can’t say sufficient good issues concerning the service at Airelles Val d’Isère. In my expertise, France has a number of the finest service on the earth, and in addition a number of the worst service on the earth, and this lodge undoubtedly match within the former class.
Each single worker simply appeared like they needed to ensure you had an excellent keep. There wasn’t a single service failure throughout our whole keep, which is kind of uncommon. It was good to see so many acquainted faces from Airelles Gordes, however truthfully everybody was superb.
It’s so good to be someplace the place you are feeling such as you’re genuinely welcome, and that’s one thing Airelles does an excellent job with.
The concierge, Elio, actually is in a league of his personal. We had the pleasure of interacting with him at Airelles Gordes, and he was simply as nice right here. He’s one of the vital current concierges you’ll discover at any lodge, he makes an effort to get to know every visitor, and he even makes the rounds every morning throughout breakfast to see if anybody desires something.
Airelles Courchevel vs. Airelles Val d’Isère
Now that we’ve stayed at each of Airelles’ ski resorts, which might I like to recommend? When it comes to service, inclusions, and common philosophy, they’ve quite a bit in widespread. Nevertheless, they’re additionally very completely different. Let me share just a few of the issues that stood out to me.
For one, Courchevel is far more over-the-top than Val d’Isère. Val d’Isère is essentially fashionable with Brits, whereas Courchevel is essentially fashionable with Russians. The final vibe of the cities, and the over-the-topness of every thing, displays that.
For instance, you’ll discover each designer retailer on earth in Courchevel. In the meantime the one luxurious retailer you’ll discover in Val d’Isère is the Moncler positioned inside Airelles. At Airelles Courchevel, the lodge’s home automobile is a Rolls Royce Cullinan. At Airelles Val d’Isère, the lodge’s home automobile is a (nonetheless very good) Mercedes van.
I don’t suppose one lodge is healthier than the opposite, essentially, however quite that all of it depends upon what you’re on the lookout for. In order for you a scene, you’ll wish to go to Courchevel. In order for you high quality and don’t care concerning the scene, Val d’Isère is nice.
There have been additionally issues I most popular concerning the Val d’Isère property. For instance, I most popular the restaurant ideas a bit, the bottom rooms in Val d’Isère are considerably bigger than in Courchevel, and I believe I barely most popular the decor of the lodge.
Airelles Val d’Isère is a flawless resort. It has all of the necessities you’d count on from a luxurious ski resort, and a lot extra, from an incredible wellness space, to a enjoyable teenagers room, to a non-public cinema, to exceptionally good eating places. Having now stayed at 4 Airelles properties throughout the previous 12 months, I can say that that is certainly one of my favourite lodge manufacturers.
It goes with out saying that our keep at Airelles Val d’Isère wasn’t low cost, however truthfully, I believed the worth was nice for what it was, particularly while you evaluate it to ski choices in america (how a lot you’d pay for accommodations, ski passes, eating places, and so on.). Sure, you may have nice snowboarding in america, however you gained’t discover this high quality of lodging and eating in any US ski resort (no less than not one which I’ve seen).
I can’t advocate Airelles Val d’Isère sufficient!
What’s your tackle Airelles Val d’Isère?