A vital part of the life and history of Val Thorens, this hotel, with its unique character, occupies a very special place at the heart of the ski resort. To stay at Le Val Thorens is to discover the beating heart of an avant-garde and modern resort that fosters links between local players and external partners.
Although these guest artists, craftsmen and women, snow-sport professionals and “small producers” come from different backgrounds, they’re driven by the same natural curiosity and a desire to work together in Le Val Thorens at the foot of the peaks. Le Val Thorens is an invitation to share emotions, enjoy an alternative travel experience, and to realise the promise of an entire Group: Les Hôtels d' En Haut.
Les Caves d’Affinage de Savoie
In the heart of the Savoie mountains, in Rognaix, tens of metres of underground galleries have been converted into cellars to ripen more than 80 varieties of Savoie cheese, including Bauges, Tarentaise and Val d’Arly. At a depth of 65 metres inside a cliff, Beaufort and Tommes cheese are refined at 13°C for days to months in ideal and natural maturing conditions. Here, in these galleries, at 95% humidity, the cheeses mature at their own pace, in harmony with the seasons. The cheese refiner, one of the last in the Beaufort AOP, works with some forty or so local producers to create these marvels for Le Val Thorens, which reflect the spirit of the region and are made with the meticulous skill of local craftsmen.
Prosneige, made in Val Thorens
Prosneige was founded in Val Thorens in 1996. The team behind this chain of ski schools and sports stores has been managed by Claire Jurine-Gastaud for more than a decade. A former high-level snowboarder, Claire now manages a group of 75 multilingual monitors, 20 ski men, 15 technicians and five bootfitting specialists, whose services have proved invaluable to customers. The Prosneige team accompanies or provides guidance to skiiers of all levels in its ski shops and schools, where children from the age of three benefit from teaching tailored to their needs. Meeting at Les Planches chalet every morning, groups of six to ten people can take part in a range of activities, some truly magical, such as building an igloo at nightfall, high-altitude evenings, night skiing, “free Saturdays” (when children are kept busy, leaving adults “free”), paragliding, helicopter rides and more. Prosneige has been popular with parents for more than 20 years, and recently launched its operations in Méribel, in addition to its existing services in Menuires.
Léon Rey: dairy supplier
Léon Rey is a family business that supplies the Hôtels d’en Haut with cheese, crème fraîche and dairy products. Specially selected from big and small producers in Savoie and Haute Savoie, all of Léon Rey’s dairy supplies are “terroir” products, in other words, they are sourced from local producers with a strong reputation for quality techniques, unique recipes and outstanding expertise. Some of the cheeses are matured in their own cellars. Tomes, tome d’alpage de Megève, reblochon, beaufort, comté, and Mont d’Or all pair perfectly with warm potatoes or a handful of lardons for a truly tasty meal.
ABCO, custom carpenter
A precious and truly distinctive material, wood plays an important role in the renovation projects of the Les Hôtels d’En Haut. Nicolas, carpenter and business owner, who heads a team of six artisans, has already worked on four of the group’s sites. “We can do anything, but usually it’s the least obvious things. When you enter a bedroom, our work is everywhere - on the doors, shelves, cupboards and lots of other places - but you can’t see it. That’s the sign of a job well done!” Artisan of the invisible and a lover of wood, ABCO is a small local business that respects local traditions. “For Les Hôtels d’en Haut, we work within the rules, but we love the fact that each site presents us with new challenges, which means we have to innovate and work with new materials. For the Roches Rouges hotel, for example, we’re going to craft canework and hessian. Because we’re involved in such different projects we have to push ourselves and that’s what we like.”
Sulivan Cornu, mountain dweller, and more…
“This was where I was born,” says Sulivan, who lives in harmony with the mountains and the seasons. He knows Val Thorens like the back of his hand and loves nothing better than to set off by himself on long winter hikes. In winter, he climbs the pylons to maintain and check the chairlifts, cable-cars and ski lifts of his ski resort. But seven months a year, he descends the slopes to work as a site manager for BTTP, the company that supervised the restructuring of the group’s three hotels: Val Thorens, Fitz ROy and 3 Vallées. “I feel really lucky to work for Les Hôtels d’en Haut. They are wonderful hotels. And even though you can’t see our work, when the first customers arrive, we’re always extremely proud of what we’ve accomplished. This year, we’ll be following Les Hôtels d’en Haut to the shores of the Mediterranean to renovate the Roches Rouges in Saint-Raphaël. It’s another adventure, far from the mountains, but on an equally exceptional natural site.”
Ice Driving Academy
This academy is named after Alain Prost, winner of four Formula 1 championships, and plays host to the annual Andros Trophy. Situated at 2,200 metres altitude, 760 metres long and 12 metres wide, its circuit is managed by a team of professional sports engineers and accredited for ice-driving instruction. Although technically challenging, it is still suitable for learners, ice-driving devotees and anyone who wants to perfect their skills. While some drivers take lessons in their own cars, others organise team challenges on the ice, or try their hand at ice-karting. From 15 December to 15 April, the Ice Driving Academy is a place for team fun, thrills and emotion to enjoy in a sporting, professional and friendly environment.
Taxi Hudry, auto brothers
Maxime and Thierry Hudry are taxi drivers. Born in the valley, they offer visitors to the Fitz Roy and the Val Thorens classic transfers and regular services. “I know my region really well and I like sharing its secrets with travellers,” says Maxime. The brothers have a fleet of five vehicles, each transporting up to eight people. Available from November to May, the rest of the year they make the most of the ski area’s “exceptional landscape” and the “best slopes in the world”.