As North American skiers patiently await news on when Club Med will return to the continent, the iconic French holiday company was busy last December opening its latest four-trident village in Val Thorens, France. Les Trois Vallées, the largest resort in the Alps with 600 km of pistes, begins just outside the ski-room door.
With guests booked this winter from more than 50 countries, the new timber-and-glass, 380-room resort is likely a world away from your last ski vacation—unless yours had a specifically designed LED indoor light “program” that changes throughout the day.
As with all Club Med ski trips, included are all meals at endless decadent buffets, an open bar, ski lessons or off-piste guiding (including transceiver, also useful at the buffet), and teen and children programs at specific resorts. Despite a fundamental shift from courting singles to marketing instead to families, a new Club Med app keeps the flame burning by helping guests find ski partners. (No mention about nightskiing partners.)
Val Thorens is one of 22 ski destinations in France, Switzerland, Italy, Japan and China where more than 50 per cent of guests are international; sometimes, like in Switzerland and Italy, more than 80 per cent. As well as Val Thorens maintaining a rep for an international crowd, so, too, does Chamonix, Val d’Isère, Tignes and Val Morel. Easy access is on direct and non-stop Air Canada flights into Geneva, Zürich or Milan.
The longest corporate bidding war in French history ended in mid-January with a Chinese investment group beating out an Italian bid to take control of the iconic French company headed by the son of a former French president.
And where are we hedging our bets for a North American Ski Club Med? Given that Cirque du Soleil’s co-founder Monsieur Le Massif, Daniel Gauthier, attended the Val Thorens splashy opening soirée, we’re expecting to hear news from the Charlevoix before our next issue is printed.