Val Thorens Lodging and Accommodations
Written by Greg and Heather Burke
Val Thorens is the largest ski resort village of Les Trois Valleys – which just happens to be the largest interconnected skiing France and the world. Val Thorens is not as glitzy as Courchevel or charming as neighboring Méribel. Val Thorens is more modern and modest Alpine, much of it built in the 1970s, but everything is truly ski-in ski-out within the valley village that sprawls up the slopes. The best places to stay at Val Thorens are the 5-star hotels – there are four such luxury mountain hotels, including the Hotel Pashmina and the more family-friendly Altapura.
Among the most beautiful lodging properties in Val Thorens is Hotel Pashmina, perched above the village, it's new but designed in traditional chalet style. Pashmina is the pan-ultimate for those seeking a chic ski environment - posh but comfortable, and 5 star – steps to the slopes and a stroll down the street to the village. From check-in to the spa to dining, everything is furry, fancy but fun. Hotel Pashmina’s decor is rather ironically modeled after a mountain base camp, with outdoorsy influence only upscale, hardly camping.
To truly experience the great alpine, stay in the Hotel Pashmina’s roof top Igloo- a very cool way to spend the night. Actually it's glamping – a luxe yurt style geodesic dome –the igloo is surprisingly warm and romantic with fur bedspreads, carpets and chairs, electric candles, a wood stove and heated towel bars, plus a small bathroom with shower – pretty chill so to speak - for a night under the stars or snow in our case listening to the groomers pack the fresh powder on the slopes. The next night we moved indoors, to a spacious Pashmina hotel suite with a grand slope view balcony, sitting room and spacious bath – much more so than the cozy igloo. Hotel Pashmina has a swank Spa by l”Occitane, with two hot tubs, one in and one outside by the ski slopes, a pool, beauty and massage treatments, robes are ready in your room. For après ski, enjoy drinks on Pashmina’s outdoor deck just off the ski slopes with a cocktail bar, a fun vintage chairlift blanketed in fur, and a great hot tub. Dinner at Hotel Pashmina you have a choice of Base Camp for comforting local food – pastas, soups, and classic French dishes, or the Michelin Les Explorateurs prix fixe gourmet tasting menu – the Chef shows off with sophisticated small plates. The cozy fur-lined lounge at Pashmina offers a warm inviting space for evening cocktails while listening to live entertainers, admiring the slopes and lights of the Val Thorens village below.
Altapura is another 5-star hotel in Val Thorens, built by the lift company, with an ideal on slope location, and a casual comfy vibe. Altapura is not as swank as most 5-star hotels, it's more relaxed here from the small hipster lobby to the young staff. Upper floor rooms and suites offer urban alpine décor – with sheepskin throws and funky carpeted walls, modern stone and tile bathrooms. Altapura is good for young families, given its slopeside location, a short ski down to ski school, and its laissez faire atmosphere. In fact – kids rule- Altapura has its own kids' concierge in the hotel to see to your children’s every whim, even take your kids to dinner for you or play with them in the kids' zone downstairs below the spa. Altapuras spa has an indoor outdoor pool, treatment rooms and beauty salon. Next floor has a comfy bar with sheepskin lounge chairs and couches for après ski, plus a fun gondola for selfie photos. This open lounge leads to the hotel’s three dining options. Altapura has La Laiterie - a Fondue and Raclette dining room, a second restaurant serving local cuisine called Les Enfants Terribles, neither have slope views. Finally, Altapuras buffet dining room 2Mille3 where your breakfast is served has a nice slope view, where family style dinner is served. In the morning, your skis and boots are in a locker and you ski right out the door down to the center ski lifts of Val Thorens. More on the Altapura at Val Thorens
Noted for its après ski, Val Thorens has over 100 bars and 60 alpine restaurants. Up on the ski slopes, there’s La Folie Douce that gets crazy with music, dancers doing routines on stage and rallying the crowd of skiers as drinks flow from mid-afternoon to close. Fahrenheit 7 is the place for après ski just off the slopes at the new Fahrenheit Hotel – built by the founder of the La Folie Douce concept. Le Zinc at Fahrenheit has music and mayhem après ski as well. Or enjoy just walking around the casual bars and pubs of Val Thorens village.