The pioneer in the guided holiday category, Trafalgar, releases its 2015 Europe and Britain programme featuring a record 117 carefully crafted itineraries, across 10 trip styles and covering 44 European countries. These itineraries include more than 1118 of the brand’s authentic Insider Experiences, carefully selected to showcase the uniqueness of each respective destination.
“Our 2015 Trafalgar product offers the real deal. We continue to dig deeper and enhance every itinerary to give guests a deeper and more comprehensive experience of each destination. Our built-in Insider Experiences are designed to bring each destination to life. These include our exclusive Be My Guest experiences, Cultural Insights, Local Specialists and Authentic Accommodation. Trafalgar today is more than just the finest guided holiday, we are a great holiday. We leave our guests enriched from their travels with us, building their knowledge and understanding of the places they travel to with us,” says Trafalgar MD Theresa Szejwallo.
“We have our most exciting product range in our 70-year history. In 2015, we provide our guests with a more meaningful choice of trips and Insider Experiences than any other guided travel company. Trafalgar has built the best product and operating team in the business, which ensures that we not only create, but also consistently deliver amazing holidays for our guests.”
Szejwallo says Trafalgar is now in the fourth year of its insider positioning introducing the world to a modern guided holiday.
Another innovation for 2015 is Trafalgar’s new website which features independent guest reviews provided by feefo, one of the world’s most trusted suppliers of ratings and reviews. Szejwallo says, “we believe that the user generated content is a powerful form of advocacy, ”
“We offer the greatest choice, 117 itineraries across multiple travel styles, each designed based on consumer needs and feedback. These include, our new for 2015 Hidden Journeys – leveraging all of Trafalgar’s expertise in letting guests experience less visited places that are often difficult to access,” she says.
This new Hidden Journeys trip style for a maximum of 26 guests adds to Trafalgar’s established choices of Family Experiences; At Leisure; Country Explorer; Regional Explorer; Cruise, Rail & Combinations; Special Interest; Discovery; CostSaver and City Break options.
“In 2015, Trafalgar is offering even deeperInsiderExperiences, one of our key variables when we evolved from escorted tours to guided holidays,” adds Theresa.
Trafalgar’s Insider Experiences are made up of Be My Guest, Cultural Insights, Local Specialists and Authentic Accommodation. New 2015 Insider Experiences include two new Be My Guest wineries in the Welsh countryside; a guided walk with a Local Specialist at Pont du Gard across the top of the aqueduct; and a Cultural Insight into a famous Swiss delicacy with a visit to the Kambly biscuit factory.
Trafalgar’s 2015 Europe and Britain programme continues to offer the Trafalgar Difference from being led throughout by Travel Directors to staying in the right hotel in the right location to the VIP benefits of exclusive access to sights and avoiding queues at attractions. Itineraries are carefully crafted to include the right balance of sightseeing plus leave genuine free time for self-discovery.
Trafalgar is offering an unprecedented seven new itineraries to Ireland in 2015 meaning nine standalone Ireland holidays and 15 Irish holidays in total including Britain & Ireland combinations. Other destinations with new itineraries are France, Greece (with Corfu), Italy, Ireland, Switzerland and Turkey, which Theresa says are all designed to expand agent sales to the most ‘in demand’ regions.
Theresa says Trafalgar’s early bookings for next year have been strong and this is underscored by the fantastic Early Payment Discount on Easy Terms for travelers. Guests can save up to 10% per person when booking and paying in full for their 2015 Europe holiday prior to 30 January 2015.
Guided holidays are also a great way for singles to travel and to make it cost effective for solo travellers Trafalgar has decreased its single supplement by 50 to 100% on multiple departure dates for 17 holidays in 2015. Brochure pages and the website will both display applicable departures and reductions.
A selection of Trafalgar’s new 2015 holidays include:
7-day Secrets of Italy, a Hidden Journey trip– Taking you deep into the scenery and gastronomy of Italy’s Piedmont region famous for its antipasti, amoretti and wines plus explore the stunning Aosta Valley. Departures from April 2015. Priced from R23 900 per person twin share.
14-day Amazing Ireland, an At Leisure trip – The north and south come together with all the famous cities and sights and exclusive experiences like a private reception at Christ Church Cathedral. Departures from April 2015. Priced from R32 950 per person twin share.
13-day Madrid to Rome, a Regional Explorer trip – Uniting Spain, France and Italy, spend time in classic favourites like Madrid, Barcelona, Florence, Rome and the French Riviera but also more unusual spots like Zaragoza and Jean les Pins. Departures from April 2015. Priced from R34 150 per person twin share.
For more information visit your ASATA agent, call Trafalgar directly on (011) 280 8400 or go to www.trafalgar.com You can also follow the conversation on Facebook or Twitter.
Trafalgar is the world’s leading guided holiday company offering exceptional quality and value itineraries to a range of exciting destinations. With nearly 70 years of experience and unrivalled local expertise, Trafalgar provides an authentic insider’s view to create truly unique travel experiences in Europe, Britain and Eastern Mediterranean, Australia and New Zealand, China, Mexico, Central and South America, Asia, USA and Canada.
So you would like to take an active European vacation, but you definitely don’t want to be on a tight schedule with a tour group and planning the whole trip by yourself seems like a hassle. What’s an independent traveler to do?
Why not take a self-guided bike or multi-sport tour through Italy, France, Spain or other parts of Western Europe? Veteran award-winning bicycle tour operator Discover France offers fully-customizable itineraries with the same quality, service and comfort of a guided trip; the only difference is YOU are the guide! With your input, Discover France will create the perfect trip for you and your guests!
Here are some of the highlights of a self-guided tour:
• Choose the dates of your travel
• Travel with your own small group, typically 2 to 10 travelers
• Route and lodging are meticulously planned by our experienced staff
• All plans are completely customizable according to your wishes and interests
• You have a choice of hotel options to fit your budget
• All your luggage transfers are included
• GPS with itinerary built in to ensure perfect navigation
• New, top-of-the-line bikes serviced by in-house team of specialists
• You have access to local support and emergency services 24/7
Each Discover France itinerary is created by local guides and inspected each year to ensure accuracy and safety. Not only will you receive a first-day welcome and orientation with a local guide, you will also receive a detailed road book with suggestions on what to explore, where to dine and other tips to help you along your route.
Don’t get stuck trying to make arrangements with multiple companies along your route – and possibly get lost or lose your luggage – when Discover France can take care of everything so all you have to do is enjoy the ride!
For more information about Discover France’s self-guided tours, visit www.discoverfrance.com or call 800-929-0152.
French mountain resorts are constantly increasing and improving their range of accommodation, from a palace to a yurt. Regardless of which end of the budget spectrum, French resorts endeavour to upgrade the size, comfort, style and fittings, to ensure that their accommodation meets and exceeds the expectations of an international clientele. Here is a selection of new accommodation from across the mountains of France for the coming winter.
Morzine: Laurys and Le Paradis have merged and will open on December 14th 2014 as:
The Rude Lodge (accommodation and café): central location, from £25 pp / night (breakfast included), modern rustic design, 41 beds (dorm/twin).
The “Paradis” at Rude (après-ski bar and club) bringing a new après-ski flavour, legendary bands twice/week, French DJs every week.
Val d’Isère: New 5* Hotel Yule (41 rooms) opening 25th December 2014. The former Grand Paradis Hotel in the centre of the village on the snow front has been completely refurbished and will include: 3 beauty treatment rooms, hammam, 2 saunas, ski boutique, games room and cinema.
Val Thorens: New Club Med Village Val Thorens Sensation (4 Tridents), opening 14th December 2014. Consisting of 384 rooms from 24m2, and including 12 deluxe rooms, 5 Junior Suites and 6 Suites
Courchevel: Le K2 Hotel was awarded “Palace” status in July 2014, a category reserved for the very finest 5* Hotels in France, “to award official recognition to the finest 5-star that have exceptional qualities that embody French standards of excellence and contribute to enhancing the image of France throughout the world”, as decided by Atout France. It is the 3rd Palace hotel in Courchevel and the 16th in France.
Avoriaz: Hotel des Dromonts 4* Boutique Hotel reopens on 12th December 2014 having been bought and wholly refurbished by the distinctive Maisons & Hotels Sibuet brand, with 34 rooms, state of the art facilities including spa, pool, kids’ play area and 3 restaurants: Les Enfants Terrible high end bistro; DOWN for cocktails and tapas and Le Table du Fromage serving traditional Savoyard cuisine.
Les Gets: Le Chasse-Montagne is an old farm from 1820 which has been transformed into a charming hotel, provisional opening 20th December 2014. Located at 1,350m overlooking the resort, Le Chasse-Montagne is directly on the slopes and offers a 360 degree view of Mont Chéry. There is a huge terrace facing south and an outdoor Jacuzzi. The 11 bedrooms are decorated in a chic alpine style with stone, old wood and steel.
Val Cenis: In Val Cenis, the new owners of 3-star hotel Alpazur, have completely renovated the building. The cosy hotel now offers 28 spacious and comfy bedrooms, as well as a sauna and Jacuzzi. From €96 per room per night with breakfast, opening 13th December 2014.
Vars: Nevalhaia **** Chalet Hotel Sleeps up to 14 and can be booked as a private chalet or as a hotel by the room. The state of the art environmentally friendly building is complete with every mod con and enjoys panoramic views of the surrounding peaks. Opening 19th December 2014.
Valmorel: La Grange aux Fées, new luxurious self-catered apartments including pool and spa facilities. It has an Ô des Cîmes spa and an indoor pool, as well as a paddling pool. Open from 20th December 2014.
Flaine: Pierre & Vacances’ brand new premium residence Les Terrasses d’Hélios opens 13th December 2014 in the hamlet of Flaine Montsoleil. It features a 24 hour English speaking reception, Deep Nature™ Spa, complete with indoor pool and Hammamm 2 saunas and indoor and outdoor Jacuzzis, as well as all the features of a P & V Premium residence.
La Rosière: 4* Le Miravidi opened with 13 brand new 3-4 bedroom apartments in July 2014. The residence has a hammam and fitness room and the apartments are designed with families in mind.
Following the successful openings of “Les Fermes Emiguy” in Les Gets in winter 2011/12 and “Les Chalets d’Emeraude” in Les Saisies in winter 2012/13, Lagrange Holidays is pleased to introduce its newest Lagrange Prestige self-catering ski property, “Les Hauts de la Vanoise” in Pralognan la Vanoise, which opened in winter 2013/14.
Pralognan la Vanoise may not be a ski resort that is talked about often on the UK market, but it is very popular amongst French families due to its small size and stunning natural setting. Tucked away at the end of the Tarantaise valley, down the road from Courchevel, Pralognan la Vanoise’s situation in the heart of the Vanoise National Park offers visitors an incredible access to nature, not available at larger resorts, where it is not unusual to come across chamois and ibex when out skiing.
While the downhill ski area is limited in terms of its size (26km), it makes up for this with its variety, offering a solid mix of greens, blues, reds and blacks, and excellent snow cover. The resort also offers a large indoor ice skating rink (used for curling in the 1992 Winter Olympics) and the fourth largest cross-country ski area in the Savoie, with additional paths alongside most of its 25km for snowshoeing and walking.
Lagrange Prestige “Les Hauts de la Vanoise” is a stunning new self-catering residence built in the typical Savoyard architectural style, offering studios, one, two, three and four bedroom apartments, swimming pool, sauna, steam room, fitness suite and a stylish reception area.
The property boasts an exceptional location at the foot of the slopes in the upper part of Pralognan la Vanoise, with breath-taking views of the Vanoise National Park.
Prices for accommodation start at £267/wk for a studio apartment. 6-day lift passes can be added to the booking for just £77/adult and £64/child. It is also possible to pre-book food hampers and local wine to be ready in the apartment upon arrival, from £52 for a food hamper and £24 for three bottles of wine.
Lagrange Holidays is one of the largest tour operators and suppliers of self-catering accommodation in France, offering four of its own brands: Lagrange Classic, Lagrange Confort+, Lagrange Prestige and Lagrange City, as well as accommodation from partner suppliers. For over 30 years,
Lagrange has provided additional service to UK customers and the UK travel trade with a dedicated office in the UK and ABTA membership. Lagrange produces a ski and summer brochure each year specifically for the UK market, featuring a wide range of accommodation to suit all budgets and styles.
The full programme includes over 300 destintations, including 90 ski resorts, is available online.
Accommodation can be booked alone, or as a self-drive or rail package.
For brochures and reservations, UK customers should call 020 7371 6111 or visit www.lagrange-holidays.co.uk
From Chic Châteaux To Heavenly Hotels, The Bouches-du-Rhône Region Has Lifted The Veil On Luxury AccommodationOctober 26, 2014 on 12:12 pm | In Europe, France, Paris | Comments Off
Marseille’s title of ‘European Capital of Culture 2013′ saw the city’s image be restored, renovated and revamped. The changes didn’t stop there as the face lift swept across the Bouches-du-Rhône region to reach towns such as Aix, Arles and La Ciotat. Hotels, B&Bs and guest houses have lifted the veil on their illustrious new designs to compliment a luxury escapade to the region, to appreciate its charm and elegance.
With 194 rooms on offer, the most recent addition to Marseille’s portfolio of hotels is the Hôtel Intercontinental.
A Clarins Spa and Roman-style indoor pool set the tone for this impressive building where two chic eateries are headed up by the talented chef, Lionel Lévy. The terrace has one of the finest views on offer to sit and appreciate the Old Port and Notre Dame de la Garde basilica. Just a short distance from the hotel, Marseille’s oldest museum the Palais Longchamp has been given a new lease of life for families strolling through the surrounding lawns and parks to explore. It includes the Fine Arts Museum, natural history museum and a water tower built into the three-part body.
Moving out to Aix-En-Provence, the Hôtel Renaissance with its five-star distinction has 133 elegantly designed rooms set amongst the landscaped gardens in Aix’s new cultural quarter, Sexitus Mirabeau. Maintaining France’s reputation for fine food, star-rated chef Jean-marc Banzo runs both a gastronomic restaurant and brasserie with tantalising food and magnificent views to add another layer of luxury to any guest’s visit.
Hidden away in the fold of the Alpilles, the Villa La Méduse in Cassis strikes a balance between splendour and authenticity as the hilltop villa embraces the views of the Bay of Cassis and four ultra-chic bedrooms with contemporary design furniture. Stroll among the footpaths of the fjords for spectacular plunging views or for a more sedate pace, unwind on the Villa’s terrace watching the ballet of yachts and fishing boats below.
Continuing to live up to its cultural capital title, accommodation in Marseille and the rest of the region have pulled out all the stops to offer guests faultless service, unbeatable views and designs that will leave guests lusting after the life of luxury from their time in the Bouches-du-Rhône region.
For more information on tourism in the Bouches-du-Rhône, visit www.visitprovence.com.
Every year, pilgrims from all over the world set out on a Camino adventure and now, with this fantastic offer, you can join them.
With CaminoWays.com, you can choose from more well-known routes, such as the French Way, or lesser known paths, such as the Camino routes in France or the Via Francigena, the Camino to Rome.
Regardless of which Camino path you select, you are guaranteed to discover incredible history, rich culture and stunning scenery that will make it the trip of a lifetime.
See below for a selection of current deals from www.CaminoWays.com:
Classic week on the Camino
Discover the last 100km of the French Way from Sarria to Santiago de Compostela.
6 nights exploring the most popular Camino route
From ONLY €537pps in high season and from €456pps
in low season.
Via Francigena in gorgeous Tuscany
Walk from beautiful San Miniato to Siena in stunning Tuscany
6 nights in charming family-run hotels and guesthouses
From ONLY €724pps in high season and from €623pps in low season.
To the end of the world on the Finisterre Way
Experience the only Camino route starting in Santiago de Compostela
5 nights in hotels and country cottages
From ONLY €501pps in high season and from €423pps in low season.
Portugal’s Camino along the Coast
Journey through charming seaside towns and villages via stunning Northern Portugal to Santiago de Compostela
11 nights in hotels and country cottages
From ONLY €1157pps in high season and from €973pps in low season.
Discover the Camino routes in France: Le Puy Way
Start in Le Pu yen Velay and journey along one of France’s most traditional Caminos to Aumont-Aubrac.
5 nights on the first section of the Way of St James
From ONLY €488pps in high season and from €412pps in low season.
Prices includes: Standard packages include half-board accommodation, luggage transfers from hotel to hotel and holiday pack with practical information.
Prices do not include: Flights or insurance.
Optional: Ask our team for hotel upgrades available.
Start planning your Camino trip today, logging onto www.caminoways.com email@example.com or calling 0203 468 1516.
Today, the global Cognac market represents nearly 150 million bottles and is worth 1.7 billion Euros. 4 bottles of Cognac are consumed every second in the world. The name ‘Cognac’ is protected and only brandy produced in the region is entitled to carry the name on its label. The Cognac region is located in the Western-France and production is centred around the medieval town of Cognac.
The most famous Cognac houses (Camus, Otard, Hennessy, Martell, Courvoisier, Remy Martin) all organise guided tours and provide a fascinating insight to the world of Cognac production, its history and of course a visit to old cellars followed by a tasting. It is also well worth visiting some of the smaller producers and family businesses such as Boutiers Brard Blanchard near Cognac or Breuil Domaine de Segonzac, both specialising in organic production.
Each year from December to February the various houses hosts open weekends and invite the public to discover the secrets of brandy making. The weekend programmes include dinner at the distillery, concerts in the cellar and a Cognac tasting.
The Cognac trails are made up from five different routes of ‘Les Etapes du Cognac’ and run from one village to the next, providing an opportunity to meet local people and gain an insight into winegrowing traditions, gourmet food and the heritage linked to the vineyards of Charente that make up the Cognac area.
And finally, to complete the stay visit the ‘Cognathèque’ in Cognac itself which has the largest display of cognacs in the world (450 cognacs and 50 pineaux des Charentes) and also offer tasting workshops covering the history of cognac, grape varieties, production processes.
More information on Cognac and the Cognac Houses: http://tourism-cognac.com
More information about the Cognac trails: http://www.cognacetapes.com
More about the Poitou-Charentes: http://www.visit-poitou-charentes.com/
On Friday, October 24, 2014, Air France will transform a piece of Manhattan into a rendezvous point for hundreds of hopeful travelers, suitcases in hand, eager for the chance to depart immediately on a journey to Paris. The first-ever US edition of Air France’s Instant Takeoff promotion will take place at a prominent outdoor public space in Manhattan, where two lucky winners and their guests will be selected from the crowd and whisked away on a flight leaving that same night. While there will only be a few winners, participants will experience complimentary French treats and music in a specially designed check-in lounge from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Those who wish to enter the sweepstakes must pre-register at http://airfranceinstanttakeoff.com/. The location will be revealed to registrants via email on the day of the event. Both the entrant and their guest will need to arrive at the pop-up lounge with bags packed and passports in hand* to gain admittance to the lounge and await the random drawing.
After the drawing, the winning couples will be escorted in a private car to John F. Kennedy (JFK) International airport. Winners will enjoy Premium Economy seats on Air France’s Flight 009 to Paris. The package also includes hotel accommodations at Pullman Paris Montparnasse, a lunch voucher to Bistro Allard and free access to The Louvre, provided by American Friends of the Louvre. The winners will spend a weekend in the City of Light, with a return flight on Monday, October 27.
“Recently, Air France completed a series of significant investments in its products and services to offer our customers in all classes the highest levels of luxury and comfort,” said Marnix Fruitema, Senior Vice President, Air France-KLM. “The Instant Takeoff is a fun and engaging way to show consumers Air France’s innovations and to remind them that Paris is just a few hours away aboard our airline.”
The sweepstakes is open for pre-registration now and will close on October 24 at 4 p.m. Entrance to the lounge will be first come, first served for qualified, registered participants until capacity is reached. Names will be randomly selected on site from the pool of participants present in the lounge at the time of the drawing.
For more details, visit http://airfranceinstanttakeoff.com/ or Facebook and Twitter (@AirFranceUS #AFInstantTakeoff).
*The contest is open to individuals residing in United States, aged 18 and over, who hold a valid passport to enter France on October 25, 2014 and that is valid for at least three (3) months beyond the return date of October 27, 2014. All rules are posted on http://airfranceinstanttakeoff.com/
About AIR FRANCE
AIR FRANCE, with its regional subsidiary HOP!, operates 1,500 daily flights in France, Europe and worldwide. Its fleet comprises 350 aircraft in operation.
Since 2004, AIR FRANCE and KLM have formed a major player in the air transport industry. The two airlines operate the leading long-haul network on departure from Europe.
In 2013, AIR FRANCE and KLM carried 77.3 million passengers.
The two airlines currently offer their customers access to a network covering 231 destinations in close to 100 countries from their hubs at Paris-Charles de Gaulle and Amsterdam-Schiphol.
Their Flying Blue frequent flyer programme is leader in Europe and has over 24.5 million members.
AIR FRANCE and KLM and their partners Delta and Alitalia operate the biggest trans-Atlantic joint-venture with over 250 daily flights.
AIR FRANCE and KLM are members of the SkyTeam alliance which has 20 member airlines, offering customers access to a global network of 16,323 daily flights to 1,052 destinations in 177 countries.
Website : www.airfrance.us
Twitter : @AFNewsroom
This month has seen the launch to the marketplace of European Waterways’ 2015 Brochure, featuring a choice of luxury hotel barge cruises in nine European countries – France, Belgium, Italy, Holland, Luxembourg, Germany, Scotland, England and Ireland.
The new 62-page, full-colour, illustrated Brochure – and accompanying price insert – features a double page spread on the scenic cruise destinations – from the Canal du Nivernais and Canal du Midi in France, to the River Po in Italy and Caledonian Canal in Scotland; sample regional menus and fine wines; and a taste of the daily excursions to be experienced en route.
Highlights for 2015 include:
In April a series of three, 6-night World War One Commemorative cruises aboard the 12-passenger hotel barge La Belle Epoque, along waterways which pass through the battlefields of Flanders and the Somme
Off-the-beaten-track excursions, for example, the Aalsmeer flower auction in Holland, or the Troglodyte cave dwellings in the Loire Valley
Longer waterway journeys through Holland, Belgium, France, Germany & Luxembourg – trans-regional voyages for the more adventurous travellers, navigating a longer route of varied landscapes
Accommodating from 6 – 20 passengers, the fully-crewed fleet of 18 European Waterways’ floating hotel barges offer discerning travellers the chance to embark on journeys of discovery along some of Europe’s most beautiful inland waterways, while enjoying first-class service and like-minded congenial company.
The hotel barge cruising “difference” – varying from that of the more mainstream forms of cruising – provides a relaxed, private house party atmosphere; access to waterways inaccessible to larger vessels; travelling less than 70 miles at a leisurely pace; and unique experiences such as the Arzviller Boat Elevator, Eiffel’s Pont Canal de Briare and the Malpas Tunnel.
Groups of friends, or multi-generational families can also charter any of the hotel barges exclusively – perhaps for a special celebration; or a wide selection of themed charter cruises can be arranged, appealing to special interest groups, whether golf, or wine appreciation, walking, or tandem barge cruises for larger groups.
Typically, 6-night voyages include all meals, selected domaine and chateau wines, an open bar, daily escorted excursions, local transfers and use of all onboard facilities such as bicycles and spa pools.
2015 prices for a 6-night cruise, based on double occupancy, lead in at £2,290 per person aboard La Bella Vita cruising in the River Po Valley, or at £14,000 (4 people) for a whole-boat charter aboard the 6-passenger Nymphea in the Loire Valley.
About European Waterways
European Waterways, Europe’s largest luxury hotel barge cruising company, carries over 2,000 passengers a year. Founded nearly 40 years ago, they own, operate and market a private fleet of luxury hotel barges with cruises in France, Italy, Scotland, Ireland, England, Germany, Belgium, Holland and Luxembourg. Pioneers in hotel barging, they were the first company to operate a hotel barge on the Upper Nivernais in Burgundy, and the “Château country” of the Loire. They are also the only cruise company offering barge cruises in Scotland and in the Venetian lagoon and River Po valley.
Follow European Waterways on Facebook and Twitter and view their YouTube channel.
Full details: www.gobarging.com
For Reservations Tel: +44(0) 1753 598555
Boutique chalet operator The Alpine Club, which is based in the charming Trois Vallées resort of St Martin de Belleville, is launching a blog this season aimed at lifting the lid on life in a ski resort.
‘St Martin Uncovered’ will feature in-depth interviews with a range of key people who work in St Martin and help it to function as the most sought-after hidden gem resort in the Trois Vallées. These individuals range from ski instructors to massage therapists, ski shop owners to après ski bar managers, estate agents and more.
The blog will reveal what their job entails, whether it be managing on only four hours’ sleep a night as the local bar owner or checking weather reports and booking overnight stops in mountain huts as the ski instructor. It will also feature insider top tips covering everything from the most scenic, secret ski run in the resort to which are the most popular skis to hire for the season and where to get the very best hot chocolate on the mountain.
Helen Raemers, the owner of The Alpine Club, which runs a collection of beautiful chalets in the resort, comments: “We really appreciate the contribution that these crucial people make to life in St Martin de Belleville. They are the behind-the-scenes unsung heroes, and we wanted to highlight what they do and to thank them.
“Where would we be without the massage therapist who rubs our aching limbs after a hard day’s skiing? Or the restaurant manager who serves up perfect tartiflettes every day? Or the bar owner who lays on lively, impromptu après-ski sessions each night? They all deserve praise and attention for the hard work they do, plus we thought it would be fun to delve into their worlds a little.”
‘St Martin Uncovered’ will feature two profiles each month. Among those appearing will be Didier Collomb, a private ski instructor for the local ESF school, Lucy Chittenden who owns and runs the famous Piano Bar in the heart of St Martin, and Sandy Ritters who manages Le Montagnard restaurant in the village. Others include Olivier Bertrand who runs the Twinners ski hire shop, Emma Horsfall who works for the local Leggett Immobilier estate agents, realising people’s dreams of buying their very own chalet in the Alps, and even Estelle Roy, the local tourist officer, who keeps visitors informed on local events, furnishes them with piste maps and even directs them to their chalet or hotel.
Helen will also be revealing what it is like to run a leading luxury chalet company in the Alps, in her capacity as owner of The Alpine Club.
“There is a real buzz in St Martin now about the blog,” she says. “Everyone seems to want to appear on it, which is fantastic. We just really wanted to put something back and to thank these brilliant people for the contribution they make to the running of this wonderful, properly local, Savoyard ski resort that lies in the heart of the Trois Vallées.”
The Alpine Club – www.thealpineclub.co.uk
tel: +33 (0)7 78 84 57 10
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