Alpine-style Ski Chalet Group Getaways And Celebrations At Ski Total Chalets, Les Arcs, France
Flights from the UK to Geneva are quick and relatively inexpensive. From there, you’ll be met by your Ski Total host, with coach transfer to Les Arcs – about a three-hour drive away. En route, you’ll not only be able to take in the mountain scenery as you gain altitude, but reps will also take the opportunity to talk you through various available add-ons, like lessons and lift passes.
Chalets traditionally offer a house party atmosphere, which is perfect if you are planning a group getaway, multigen holiday or celebration. Ski Total’s Chalet Panda, itself is part of the larger Chalet de l’Ours, has seven bedrooms and can host 14 comfortably; six of the bedrooms have ensuite bathrooms and almost all have balconies.
Downstairs, you’ll find an equipment rental and retail store, as well as spacious, secure locker rooms with heated boot racks. Breakfast and afternoon tea are prepared for you by chalet hosts, who arrive bright and early each morning to ensure that you’re suitably fuelled and fed by the time the lifts start running. When you return in the afternoon, it’s to the smell of freshly baked cake, served with pots of hot tea and coffee; later on, after you’ve had time to relax in the chalet’s own sauna, or to swim a few lengths in the adjacent Chalet Altitude’s pool, you’ll gather back around the open fire to be served a glass of bubbles. Dinner is a three-course affair and you don’t have to do so much as a scrap of clearing up. Alpine style wood sets the theme for the decor, along with gingham curtains at the windows; cosy rooms with lovely views of whitened mountains and fairytale pines complete the idyll.
Skiing in Les Arcs
Arc 2000, in which Chalet Panda is located, is, as the name suggests, at an altitude of roughly 2000m in the Les Arcs ski area. Snow cover is consistently good – the 2017/2018 season was a cracker, with an average summit depth of 3metres. Just 250 metres away from the Chalet’s front door, you’ll find the button lift that takes you up to the main ski area; from here, you can access its wide variety of pistes via a network of 47 lifts and gondolas. Need lessons? SkiTotal can arrange these for you; their preferred provider is the uber-reputable ESF (École du Ski France) – and even if your skills don’t need brushing up, you can also call upon their guiding services – not a bad option when there’s 200 metres of piste to be explored.
During the day
There are plenty of restaurants lining the main ski area at Arc 2000 – don’t miss the Le Savoy for its upmarket vibe, generous servings and charming decor. Elsewhere, out on the mountain, choose from several boots-on mountain huts serving up vin chaud – a warm red wine – and hearty lunch fare to keep your energy levels up for the last few hours before the lifts close for the day. Ski in to the chocolate box village of Arc 1500 for wonderfully fragrant bowls of chocolat chaud, as well as warm bakery treats – not to mention some Insta-worthy photos in front of its quaint storybook buildings.
Wile Away The Evening
The après scene is as lively as you’d expect – and you can avoid the risk of FOMO thanks to your Ski Total reps, who will drop by the chalet from time to time to keep you apprised of what’s going on in the various bars and clubs. You can keep it low-key and reasonably cerebral with a pub quiz early in the evening, before heading on to watch live music and cover bands as the drinks flow and the adrenaline of the day is released in a party atmosphere.
Tie The Knot
There’s a large church in Bourg Saint Maurice, the town below the resort; otherwise, the quaint chapel at Arc 1800 allows you to hold a religious ceremony with about 30 to 35 guests, subject to the permission of the Catholic priest in Bourg St Maurice.Equally, it’s perfectly possible to get married back home and then just host your party in Les Arcs, where there’s a range of seminar rooms, which can be uniquely decorated to your specifications; tourism office staff can assist you with arrangements. Alternatively, you can arrange the private hire of a restaurant in the fairytale surroundings of Arc 1950; recently, one bride had her reception in a series of yurts. Higher up, in Arc 1800, you hire out The Lodge on request, which offers jaw-dropping mountain views and practical gondola access; staff here can also take care of food and entertainment for you.
Ski Total (01483 791 935) offers seven nights at the four-diamond plus Chalet Panda in Les Arcs, France from £659 per person. Price includes flights from London Gatwick to Geneva, resort transfers and chalet catering (skiers breakfast, afternoon tea with homemade cake and three-course evening meals with complimentary wine).
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