Located in Val Thorens - Europe's highest ski resort - the ultra-contemporary Altapura is the resort's first truly stylish hotel, and one that could well put the resort on a par with neighbouring Meribel and Courchevel.
After all, the resort has always had the skiing earlier, later and better than the neighbours but lacked a special place to stay. Enter Altapura, with 88 rooms and suites featuring contemporary Nordic design, birch wood furniture and stone clad bathrooms. The public areas are equally stylish, with faux cowhide and giant snowflake décor.
There are three restaurants at Altapura, including Les Enfants Terribles for hearty mountain cuisine, La Laiterie for quintessential ski resort fondues and 2.Mille.3, a restaurant with terrace for lunch and dinners that are a more eclectic affair including a rotisserie, Asian stir-fries and pasta dishes.
The large Spa Pure Altitude specialises in nurturing après-ski limbs with a fine range of muscular relaxation and recuperation treatments and a Nordic Spiral area with an Igloo where skiers can experience extremes of hot and cold to stimulate blood oxygen circulation - apparently the ideal way to revive tired limbs ready for another day on the pistes. Alternatively take a dip in the hotel's indoor/outdoor pool for similar results.
The hotel is ski in/ski out with access to the incomparable Trois Vallees network and the less well-known 'fourth valley' of Orelle, best accessed from Val Thorens.
Why We Love It
Because at 7,545 ft Altapura is the highest luxury hotel in Europe. Cool in all senses of the word.
L'Hélios is a boutique hotel in the heart of the Three Valleys and its ski in/ski out location makes it the perfect base from which to explore the world's most extensive ski area.
The hotel's 18 soundproofed suites, all face south or south west to command views of the valley, the village and the peaks. The Luxury Junior Suite has a romantic air to it with plump pillows, cosy throws and comfy leather chairs whilst the Hélios Suite, with separate lounge area, is perfect for families.
Guests can enjoy the restaurant's take on Savoyard specialties in the understated dining room or south-facing terrace. Think foie gras, beef filet with truffles followed by apple and chestnut éclairs, all washed down by a fine wine pairing recommended by the chef.
The small number of suites means that warm, personal service is guaranteed, yet the facilities are befitting of a far larger hotel. The spa by Carita boasts an indoor pool with jet stream, steam bath and treatment rooms, while the private cinema's velvet seats are perfect for sinking into after a long day skiing.
With Les Trois Vallées on your door step (offering a multitude of ski slopes for beginners and pro's alike) there's no question that skiing fills the winter months but the hotel is a year round destination as, come summer, the valleys become a playground for avid hikers and bikers.
Why We Love It
The Lounge Bar offers an array of fantastic French wines and its warm ambience make it the perfect place to park up (and warm up) post-ski.