Where to stay in Val d’Isère

Cosy up in the luxurious, five-star Les Barmes de l'Ours or hit the slopes a short distance from the Yellowstone Ski Lodge in Val d'Isère.

Les Barmes de l'Ours

What's so special

If you want luxury in the heart of one of the Alps' best ski resorts, you need to book into Les Barmes de l'Ours. The hotel is Val d'Isre's first five-star hotel under France's new classification scheme.

How they rate it

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Despite being a large hotel, Les Barmes de l'Ours manages to offer a "cheery chalet atmosphere", says Minty Clinch in The Independent. "The mountain lofts under the roof are the most luxurious, with cockle-shaped baths and wood fires." This is an "unstuffy five-star hotel", says Nick Wyke in The Times. The place may attract "well-wadded Russians, Parisians and other Europeans", but "on my visit, there was not a showy, ostentatious feel to the hotel or guests".

The menu

La Table de l'Ours is one of two restaurants in Val d'Isre with a Michelin star. It is "coolly elegant", says Clinch. There is a set menu for €85, or choose la carte and enjoy dishes such as tartiflette with truffled pork.

The cost

Double rooms costs from €430, half board. For more information, visit www.hotel-les-barmes.com or call 00 33 4 7941 3700.

Yellowstone Ski Lodge


What's so special

This top-of-the-range chalet is usually rented out on an exclusive-use basis, but it is possible to book by the room and enjoy it as a hotel. It is ideal for anyone wishing to ski the fantastic slopes on offer at Val d'Isre while maintaining some distance from the town's lively nightlife, as the hotel is located just outside the main town.

How they rate it

You can "dip in and out" of Val d'Isre with ease, but the "supremely chic" Yellowstone's guests "tend to gravitate towards their own beautiful lodgings", says Francesca Syz in The Daily Telegraph. It is a "temple to serious lounging, with its soft woollen sofas, wood-burning fires and outdoor hot tub". All rooms are en suite with "deep, luxurious baths". If you can drag yourself away, the lodge is only 30 seconds from the ski lift in the village of Sainte Foy.

The menu

The chalet has a resident chef who "rustles up exquisite gourmet meals". Be sure to have the tarte au citron.

The cost

Double rooms cost from £566 per person per week, or you can rent the whole place (it sleeps 12 adults and three children) for £8,500 per week. Find out more at www.yellowstoneskilodge.co.uk, or call 020-3058 1234.

What the travel writers are saying


"No airport queues, no extra charges, no hassle it's much more civilized to get to the slopes by rail," says Tom Chesshyre in The Times. Here are four of the best skiing resorts you can reach by train.

Val Thorens in France will take around eight hours to get to by train with Powder White (Powderwhite.com; 020-8877 8888). At 2,300m, it's "a safe bet for good snow". The resort is also trying to shake off its "bland image", with more restaurants and a "livelier vibe". Moreover, it's "very good value for the Three Valleys".

Or take an overnight train journey from St Pancras with Crystal Ski (Crystalskico.uk; 0871 2312256) and you can reach the "family-friendly" resort of La Plagne in just nine and a half hours.

If you are prepared to stay on the train for a bit longer, then head for Kandersteg in Switzerland (pictured) with a trip offeredby Inghams (Inghams.co.uk; 020-8780 6680). It will take you around ten hours, but you'll be rewarded with a "family-friendly resort" with slopes at 1,175m and 1,900m. The area is particularly "good for beginners and cross-country skiers".

For those who love rail travel and don't mind a slightly complicated journey, Railbookers (Railbookers.com; 020 3327 0800) has put together a trip that will get you all the way to Austria but with two train changes. You can get to St Anton's slopes in 11 hours 35 minutes with changes in Paris and Zurich. "The journey involves a lovely stretch along Lake Zurich".