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- Huge area shared with Tignes, with lots of runs for all abilities
- One of the great resorts for lift-served off-piste runs
- Once the snow has fallen, high altitude of slopes keeps it good
- Wide choice of schools, especially for off-piste lessons and guiding
- For a high Alpine resort, the town is attractive, very lively at night, and offers a good range of restaurants
- Wide range of package holidays – including some comfortable chalets
- Some green and blue runs are too challenging, and all runs back to the village are tricky
- You’re quite likely to need buses at the start and end of the day (but they are very frequent and efficient)
- Many lifts and slopes are liable to close when the weather is bad
- At times seems more British than French, especially in low season
- Eating and drinking expensive; it’s among the four priciest resorts in France for this
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Val d’Isère is one of the world’s best resorts for experts – attracted by the extent of lift-served off-piste – and for confident, mileage-hungry intermediates. You don’t have to be particularly adventurous to enjoy the resort; but it would be much better for novices and timid intermediates if the piste classifications were more reliable.
The drawbacks listed above are mainly not serious complaints, whereas most of the plus-points weigh heavily in the balance. For a combination of seriously impressive skiing and very pleasant village ambience, there are few places we’d rather go.
News – this season 2012/13
The slow Fontaine Froide quad chairlift on Bellevarde is to be replaced by a six-pack that will start from the same place but finish at the top near the Olympique gondola. There are plans for a new jumbo gondola from the resort to Solaise, but it is not expected to open until 2014/15.
The L’Atelier d’Edmond restaurant at Le Fornet gained a Michelin star.
News – last season 2011/12
Snowmaking was increased in the terrain park and the ‘chill out’ zone improved. Two hotels, the Christiania and Blizzard, were awarded 5-star status.
News – 2010/11
The resort seems to be concentrating more on swish hotels than new lifts – how times have changed. No new lifts since 2008/09, but four hotels have been promoted to 5-star status in the last couple of years (including the Blizzard and the Christiania most recently). And the Becca restaurant in Le Laisinant has become the second restaurant in the resort to be awarded a Michelin star.