Has anyone been to Val d'Isere?

Jan 30th, 2004, 01:02 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 250
Has anyone been to Val d'Isere?

My husband (an expert skier) is hellbent on going to Val d'Isere this winter. From everything I (okay skier, expert "spa-er") read, the skiing is mostly advanced level, the village lacks charm, and there aren't so many great hotels an restaurants. I'm afraid that if we spend a week here I'll spend most of it wishing we were back at Courchevel (last year's ski destination).

Can anyone tell me more about Val d'Isere?

babette is offline  
Jan 30th, 2004, 01:21 AM
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We passed through Val d'Isère last winter and it seemed perfectly pleasant. Haven't been to Courchevel so I can't compare the two, I'm afraid.
We didn't ski there, but there were certainly a number of good restaurants. In fact, we went up to a restaurant on the slopes for lunch (took chairlift up) and had a fantastic meal.

My brother is an extremely competent and experienced skier, who has been to countless ski resorts in the Alps and the US. He reckons Val d'Isère is his absolute favourite resort in the Alps, if that's any help!
hanl is offline  
Jan 30th, 2004, 02:33 AM
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I go to Val d'Isere every year. While Tignes (the neighboring and connected resort-all part of the Espace Killy) certainly lacks charm, Val d'Isere is more charming/authentic than many neighboring resorts, incl. Courcheval. The skiing is about equal between advanced and intermediate levels. I prefer the pistes and lift system in Val d'Isere to that in the Trois Vallees (Courcheval included, which I find involve a lot of traversing from lift to lift). Remember that if you have a car, your ski pass incl. one free day in the 3-vallees and isn't that far of a drive from Val d'Isere.

Nidwaldner_Chris is offline  
Jan 30th, 2004, 03:13 AM
Join Date: Sep 2003
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Hi -

I predict you'll like Val d'Isere - it's at such a high altitude that even their blue & green pistes (slopes) are always fluffy and nice.

But perhaps you could stay in Meribel instead? It's a bit of a British destination (so you'll have no problem with speaking English for spa treatments/renting skates at the Olympic rink/great shopping) & hubby can connect up to Val d'I no prob every morning.

Plus the apres ski is pretty happening in both BTW. Check out

Finally Courchevel is more expensive than these less-chic but just as authentic stations-de-ski . . . have fun finding a place : )
ealing_calling is offline  
Jan 30th, 2004, 03:31 AM
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I went to Val D'Isere last year and have to say it was one of the most horrible places I have ever been to.

The skiing is very good but there is very good skiing elsewhere in the Alps. Also, as it is France, heli skiing is banned so you have to go into Italy to heli ski which is a hastle.

Tignes is a horrible town but Val is not much better. The town has no charm whatsoever and unfortunately is over run with horrible Brits fromn places like Esssex. It caters to so many Brits that nearly everyone who lives in the town speaks English. All my skiu clothes were bought in Switzerland and Italy, yet shop assistants generally say "hello" when you enter a shop as opposed to "bonjour." I have never been identified as a Brit elsewhere in France or in Switz and I found the prevalence of English in Val quite sad.

There are not many hotels in Val - people tend to get chalets. there are some very luxorius ones if you have $30,000 to spend a week.

If you want good skiing and harm head for Zermatt. Even Verbier, Chamonix, Davos etc have more charm than Val.

Also, Val is ridculously expensive - i remember a pint of beer often costing over $10.
UKUKUK is offline  
Jan 31st, 2004, 02:02 AM
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Posts: 250
Thanks for all your interesting and varied opinions. Perhaps we can spend a couple days at Val d'Isere and a couple at another nearby resort. Courchevel or Meribel?
babette is offline  
Jan 27th, 2005, 09:11 AM
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I went to Val d’Isere with 6 of my friends (active guys aged 29-33) in March of 2003. Val d’Isere is a wonderful ski resort in the French Alps which is a truly gigantic ski area with skiing for all abilities. The skiable area it truly immense, it took me 4 days to actually ski and be able to view all the different skiable areas (compared to 2 days for Whistler, 1 day for Vail, 1 day for Kitzbuhel, couple days for Chamonix since it's spread out over the valley). The whole mountain lift system is very modern while the resort lodges and resort village have a nice Savoy feel to them. Normally the lift lines had little and we were able to avoid lift queues. Since he resort village base is at a high elevation, abundant snow at lower levels (until April) allows skiers to ski back to the resort. The village is smaller than Chamonix, but still has plenty of bars and restaurants to keep someone occupied for 2 weeks. I ate at a trendy restaurant called Victor’s which had the most amazing food and a great crowd. I stayed at the Alpina Lodge which is very nice and offers the comfort of having your own kitchen and I also stayed at Hotel Blizzard is truly a first class hotel (with outdoor swimming pool, outdoor and indoor hottub, great restaurant, and they have a great wellness area and spa). I think you will like Hotel Blizzard.

I would recommend going to Val to anyone, whether it’s going with friends, family, or just a couple.

Val d’Isere is connected to Tignes which offers comparable terrain at a slightly higher elevation. The big difference is the village of Val is MUCH nicer. Tignes is a good 10 or 15 minute drive from Val, does not have the glitz of Val, and has many ugly looking ski condos that may have been built in the 1970s.

Ski Val d’Isere if you get a chance! You wont be disappointed

vtskihouse is offline  
Jan 27th, 2005, 06:04 PM
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We stopped for a night 20 years ago in September and it was deader than dead. Stayed in a cute chalet type hotel and had raclette at a cute Alpineish restaurant but most hotels and restaurants were closed.
daph is offline  
Jan 27th, 2005, 06:41 PM
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Alain Ducasse has a place there, I noticed this on a brochure from his other places I have spent a night. I no longer ski after fracturing a leg twice in a row so this is one place of his I wíll not try.
cigalechanta is offline  
Mar 13th, 2005, 07:32 PM
Join Date: Mar 2005
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We went to Val D'Isere this January. The snow was spectacular and we had sunshine every day. We stayed at the Club Med in Val D'Isere. I highly recommend this resort and would go back in a heart beat. The ski guides are excellent. I highly recommend using ski guides in Val because it is huge - also good to improve your skiing. The food at Club Med was excellent. They also had entertainment every evening. The staff is extremely helpful and very friendly. I found the village very charming. Ski over to Tignes des Brevierres for some beautiful rustic French charm. This is definite go to resort if you are into skiing.
Denise_from_Toronto is offline  
Dec 11th, 2006, 11:40 PM
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For anyone still reading this post:
The last comment above is worth commenting on:
Often you just can't find the best hotel/chalet in that "perfect" Savoise village and you do find something in the more modern villages. Don't stress about it, especially at a place like Val D'Isere. With a guide, or some simple planning with a trail map, you can visit some really great villages for a ski lunch, light shopping, then hop back on your lift returning to the more elevated and modern villages. Often the trails to these villages are below tree line, so you get some long, quiet runs into the villages.

I've been doing this for years, and I find the lunch prices MUCH better in these villages, food better and friendly service, the shops are open, and real french residents are about.

Keep in mid that the quaint ski village you thought you'd find is often at night full of drunk, rowdy, international travellers (which is fine, they're on ski vacation). And you're often too tired after skiing to want to explore the village much. So I recommend skiing down to those pretty villages, share your travel funds with these more authentic businesses and communities.
LCBdane is offline  
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