We visit the perfect resort for beginner, intermediate and advanced skiers
Words by Natalie Lukaitis
It’s not only the highest resort in the giant Trois Vallées ski area, but the highest in Europe and at 2,300m, it has one of the longest ski seasons, guaranteeing snow coverage from November to May. Anyone who wants to ski all week at whatever level will be happy too, thanks to the extent and variety of terrain offered on the mountain. There’s even a world class terrain park and skicross course. But the best part is, it accesses Meribel and Courcheval too, so you have days upon days of exploring different areas.
Hotel Pashmina Le Refuge. This five star haven sits in the heart of Val Thorens, with ski in, ski out access at one of the furthest points of the resort to give you the extra privacy you want.
Each room is kitted out to feel like a home away from home with most offering comfortable furnishings, all the amenities you need, a balcony and a fireplace to stay warm at night. For an extra special occasion, stay in the igloo attached to the hotel. Think plush, faux fur blankets, open fireplace and views of stars at night.
Downstairs, an indoor swimming pool, Jacuzzi, sauna, steam room (hammam) and a solarium overlooking the mountain will leave you feeling revitalised after a heavy day of skiing.
If you’re looking for something slightly more hipster, head to Koh-I-Nor. At 2,364m, it’s the highest 5 star hotel in Europe, so you can imagine the views. It also boasts a chic bar downstairs, which regularly hosts guests from all over Val Thorens, who fock to the hotel for their delicious cocktails and live music.
Pampering is at the forefront of their design too. Here, you will find two swimming pools, a Jacuzzi, sauna, Hammam, salt wall, fountain of ice, experience showers and relaxation zone.
La Maison. Pre-warning: book in advance. It’s extremely popular – and for good reason. This friendly brasserie is laid out over three floors and offers exceptional food for reasonable prices. It’s one of the most popular dining spots in Val Thorens with a menu that includes Confit shoulder of lamb of Aveyron cooked with sweet garlic, served with carrot & cumin purée, Specialty casseroles and burrata with truffles.
For lunch, head to La Fruitière. Here, you can enjoy the energetic vibe of La Folie Douce, while sitting in a sun-filled room, or out of the deck, as you enjoy a wholesome, gourmet experience. The décor has a dairy theme, with milk churns and the staff are warm and welcoming. It’s a must!
If you fancy staying in, award winning French chef Romuald Fassenet oversees the running of the Hotel Pashmina’s 2 restaurants (one of which boasts a Michelin star), along with Josselin Jeanblanc, providing a top notch culinary experience.
Hire your skis at
Skiset. With five rental spaces in Val Thorens, it’s one of the best and easiest to hire from. Experts will be able to guide you to the best equipment for your needs and if you’ve forgotten anything, it’s more than likely they’ll have it in stock for purchase.
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Open ski season generally begins at the start of December and because it’s one of the highest resorts in Europe, is open until mid April.