Club Med’s first Exclusive Resort in the French Alps, Club Med Val d’Isère is now open for the summer season.
After a Є50-million renovation with its real estate partner, Club Med has transformed its Val d’Isère mountain resort to one of their first Club Med Exclusive Resorts.
This was all done sustainably as part of Club Med’s commitment to responsible tourism and their “Happy to Care” initiative.
Club Med Exclusive Collection Val d’Isère has achieved two Good Level certifications by BREEAM, an independent eco-construction seal of approval, recognised as being one of the most demanding in the world, both in the category of “renovation” for the pre-existing building, and that of “new construction” for the extension. This recognition reflects the efforts, which have been made to optimise the performance of the facilities.
The installation of heat pumps for hot water production, more efficient insulation and glazing, and an advanced building management system (BMS) all contribute to making the Val d’Isère Resort a more efficient site that consumes less energy.
TTN was able to have a sneak peek at what will be on offer for the summer and spoke to the resort’s Chef d’la Village (General Manager) Barq Guessoum on its first winter season and what the summer might bring.
“First, we are lucky to be within this famous destination of Val d’Isère and we had an amazing first winter season as an Exclusive collection. Within 24 hours of the bookings opening, we were full. We are now beginning a new experience by opening in for the summer season. In the past, mountain destinations were not that popular in the summer but now we are finding this to be a new trend. We are already at 60 per cent occupancy level for the summer months, which is excellent and we are sure this is going to get better as a lot of people book at the last minute finding that the big city is getting hot and they seek fresh mountain air. With this and all we have to offer with hiking, biking, cycling, yoga to help relief stress and the food and beverage offering, I am sure we will have a successful summer.”
As part of a fam trip, we arrived through Lyon, (but from the Middle East, one can get to the resort by flying through Lyon or Geneva via a three-hour drive. If your client is already in Europe, you can fly them into Chambery and then the resort is a two-hour drive. If traveling by train, Bourg St Maurice is the designated station, followed by a 40-minute road journey to the resort).
As we made our way from Lyon, I immediately felt a strong connection with nature. The journey showcased breathtaking mountains adorned with cascading waterfalls, meandering rivers, and serene lakes. Upon arrival at Club Med Val d'Isère, nestled in a valley within the picturesque Savoie region of the French Alps, we were warmly greeted by the friendly staff, known as GE's. They swiftly took care of our luggage, handed us our Club Med bracelets (serving as our keys), and personally guided us to our respective rooms.
The resort has 216 deluxe rooms and suites ranging from 25 sq m to 60 sq m, all with balconies. 70 per cent of the inventory is suited for families. My own room was a deluxe room, featuring a separate living area and bedroom, exuding a cozy ambiance with its wooden decor and tasteful red furnishings that complemented the majestic mountain views. The bathroom offered ample space, complete with both a shower and a bath, as well as a double sink, catering comfortably to couples or families.
There are over 22 activities included in the all-inclusive offering -- from a variety of hikes and biking to yoga for all levels. There is also glacier hiking that has an additional charge as also spa treatment Spa by Cinq Mondes. However, the swimming pool, the outdoor whirlpool, hammam and sauna are part of the all-inclusive. There is also a well-equipped gym.
Located within the Vanoise Mountains National Park, these walks provide captivating encounters with various aspects of the natural environment. Along the trails, you'll encounter farm animals, including cows that are milked to produce the delectable French cheeses. The charming presence of marmots, large ground squirrels that are beloved mascots of the French Alps, adds to the enchantment. Furthermore, the journey unveils the mesmerising beauty of cascading waterfalls. The knowledgeable GOs (Gentle Organisers) not only guide you along the walking and biking trails but also offer insights into the area's history, as well as its diverse flora and fauna.
For the e-bike ride, while the bikes are electric and assist with the pedaling, it's advisable to have prior biking experience. However, there's no need to worry, as the attentive GOs will ensure that you receive thorough instructions and guidance based on their skill level. Upon your return, a well-deserved snack awaits you on the terrace, providing a delightful conclusion to your adventure.
A must visit is the charming town centre of Val d’Isère where you will find a 16th century church and charming stone and wood chalets, boutique shops and it is just a 15-minute walk from the resort. There is also a shuttle that will take you there.
Yoga sessions are offered by Yoga School by Heberson and it also runs workshops on relaxation and meditation, breathing, back pain management, strength and endurance. Depending on the weather, yoga sessions are also conducted outside.
Like all Club Med resorts, Club Med Val d'Isère is designed to cater to families. The resort features the Mini Club Med, specifically tailored for children aged 4 to 10, and the Junior Club Med, designed for youngsters aged 11 to 17. These dedicated clubs provide a wide array of activities. Babysitting is also available at an extra charge.
Again, with Club Meds all-inclusive, the food and beverage is aplenty. The resort boasts a variety of dining venues to satisfy every culinary preference. The main restaurant, Le Bellevarde, takes inspiration from the architectural charm of Val d'Isère's traditional chalets.
Les Millésimes, a specialty restaurant, offers a late lunch option, an English-style tea-time featuring freshly baked pastries, and an exquisite five-course dinner complete with carefully selected beverage pairings.
The lounge bar, La Légende, strikes the perfect balance between sophistication and relaxation. Its decor pays homage to the resort's rich history and celebrated champions. The centerpiece of the spacious room is a grand stage where talented musicians perform, providing a delightful ambience for dancing the night away.
The Main Terrace, located at the south front entrance of the property, serves as a vibrant hub for snacks, refreshing drinks, and early evening entertainment. It's the ideal spot to unwind and enjoy the lively atmosphere.
With such beauty, cooler climate and Club Med Exclusive offering, Club Med Val d’Isère is ideal for travellers looking for the great outdoors this summer.
Dnata Representation Services has represented Club Med in the GCC for 10 years and is the go-to for more information. -TradeArabia News Service