During the 2014/2015 winter season, the Carlton Hotel St. Moritz will be celebrating 150 years of winter tourism in the Engadin Valley of Switzerland. Located in the birthplace of winter tourism, the Carlton Hotel St. Moritz is offering experiences reminiscent of “the bet” that established this international winter hotspot 150 years ago.
The original bet in St. Moritz involved a confident hotelier and four skeptic English guests who did not believe the Engadin winter sunshine could be enjoyed short-sleeved on a terrace – the hotelier undoubtedly won the bet as the four sceptics stayed in St. Moritz from Christmas to Easter 150 years ago. “The Bet” experience offered at the Carlton Hotel St. Moritz allows guests to follow in the footsteps of these pioneers.
“The Bet” at the Carlton Hotel St. Moritz includes a ride in a Bob Taxi on the Olympic Bob Run, a chance to learn how to play Bavarian Curling, and a Cresta Run beginners’ course. In addition to the sporting activities, the offer includes four nights’ accommodation in a suite or junior suite with a daily breakfast buffet, access to the luxurious Carlton Spa, private butler service, ski shuttle to Corviglia ski resort, 24-hour chauffeur service in St. Moritz and much more.
Also offered this year at the Carlton Hotel St. Moritz is the “St. Moritz Gourmet Festival” experience. The St. Moritz Gourmet Festival, held from January 26-30, 2015 will also be part of the 150th anniversary celebrations, launching this year’s “British Edition” of the festival in honor of the areas very first visitors.
The “St. Moritz Gourmet Festival” allows guests to enjoy the culinary expertise of the new Head Chef at the Carlton Hotel St. Moritz, Gero Porstein and guest-chef Angela Hartnett’s award-winning Cucina Italiana. Guests will also have the opportunity to enjoy the Welcome Cocktail Party at the Kempinski Grand Hotel as well as the legendary Kitchen Party at the Badrutt’s Palace. The offer includes three nights’ accommodation from January 26-29, 2015 in a suite or junior suite with a rich and varied buffet breakfast, private butler service and access to the luxurious Carlton Spa.
The new experiences, “The Bet” and “St. Moritz Gourmet Festival,” celebrating 150 years of winter tourism, can be booked online at www.en.carlton-stmoritz.ch/
About the Carlton Hotel St. Moritz
The Carlton Hotel St. Moritz reopened in December 2007 following a substantial refurbishment by renowned Swiss architect Carlo Rampazzi. It is now one of the most fabulous hotels in the Alps – with 60 lake-view rooms, two restaurants, one of the best spas in St Moritz, and the only indoor and outdoor heated pool overlooking the Alps in this area. en.carlton-stmoritz.ch/. The Carlton Hotel St. Moritz is part of the privately owned Tschuggen Hotel Group. The group comprises three multi-award winning luxury hotels in the 5-star superior category and two holiday hotels in the 3- and 4-star segment. It is synonymous with unique experiences, unostentatious hospitality, award-winning fine dining, superlative spa and wellness facilities, bright and colorful interior designs, and breathtaking views at Switzerland’s premier locations: Arosa, St. Moritz and Ascona.
With their attractive innovations and offers, the hotels aim to appeal first and foremost to discerning individual guests seeking something out of the ordinary. www.tschuggenhotelgroup.com
As summer fades to fall and winter so does the barking lockers of 4×4′s, the squeals of delight from rafters on the mighty Colorado River and the multitudes of people, and a softer side of Moab begins to immerge.
Long recognized worldwide for its extreme sports and beautiful National & State Parks, many do not think of Moab as a late fall and winter destination. During these months visitors enjoy off –peak season rates and a chance to see Moab for what it really is…a charming small western town.
With the crowds of the main season gone, the serenity of the parks unfold as you explore nature, take in the scenic beauty and enjoy fantastic fall hiking in Arches and Canyonlands National Parks. With temperatures ranging from the mid 50′s to the mid 60′s, late fall/early winter provides sunny warm days that make hiking especially pleasurable.
Known as the mountain bike capitol of the world, Moab provides miles of incredible riding trails, ranging from the low-impact Mill Creek Parkway, providing miles of in-town riding, to the Slick Rock Bike Trail, guaranteed to challenge even the most experienced riders.
These trails are accessible year round, as are the multitude of four-wheel drive trails that will transport you into a magical world of breath-taking scenery. Visitors can rent jeeps or take guided tours with one of the many experienced tour operators in Moab.
To experience real tranquility, plan a visit to Moab during the months of December and January. While the daytime temperatures can dip into the 40′s, the generally mild winters still make for pleasant day hikes.
Under a blanket of white, or even a skiff of snow, the views in the parks are magnificent with the glistening white snow creating a stark contrast against the red rock. Rock formations that go unnoticed during the other seasons suddenly come to life in the winter snow. Photograph opportunities are spectacular due to the added dimensions brought out by the white of winter, when even a clump of sage brush is magically transformed into a picture of beauty.
What is perhaps most unique to winter visits to Moab, is that you can be hiking a trail in the red rock desert one day and then cross country skiing the next without changing your overnight accommodations or spending hours driving. The Lasal Mountains, just 35 miles from downtown are the 2nd highest peaks in Utah and offer a variety of winter activities.
WHERE IS MOAB?
Located in southeastern Utah, Moab is located in the heart of the west, with Las Vegas, Nevada to the southwest, Yellowstone National Park to the north, Denver Colorado to the east and the Grand Canyon to the south. Moab will surround you not only with beautiful scenery, but with the warmth and hospitality of a small resort town.
The unique combination of beautiful red rock scenery, the Colorado River and the majestic Lasal Mountains (where you can rise to 10,000 ft in less than an hour), has made Moab one of the most sought after destinations in the southwest. Add this amazing scenery to the numerous activities that can be enjoyed and Moab becomes an “outdoor wonderland” for hikers, bikers, rafters, golfers, four wheelers, hunters and fishers, sightseers, photo buffs, historians, heritage culture seekers and so much more. Most Moab adventures can be tailored to fit the visitor, be it mild, wild or extreme, there is something for everyone.
HOW DO I GET THERE?
Moab’s extreme popularity is due in part to its unique and remote location. Nestled in a green valley beneath towering red rock canyons on the banks of the Colorado River, Moab is a diamond in the rough and well worth the effort to get there.
Located on Hwy 191, just off Interstate 70 in the southeastern corner of Utah, Moab is conveniently located within one day’s drive of international airports in four major cities:
Salt Lake City, UT: 235 miles/4 hours
Denver, CO: 355 miles/5.5 hours
Las Vegas, NV 458 miles/7 hours
Albuquerque, NM 387 miles/6 hours
While the closest international airport is located in Salt Lake City (SLC), Skywest Airlines connects directly from Salt Lake City Utah (SLC) to the Canyonlands Field Airport (CNY) located 16 miles north of Moab. Reservations can be made using www.Delta.com.
For more info: www.discovermoab.com/airline.htm
Durango, CO – A blanket of fresh powder cloaks the rugged mountains in Southwestern Colorado for Durango’s magical winter season! In addition to skiing and winter sports, our charming Colorado mountain town boasts a vibrant arts scene, relaxing natural hot springs, five craft breweries, scrumptious locally inspired cuisines, unique winter festivals, and more–all set in a quintessential old west mountain town. With over a Dozen Vacations in One Destination, start planning your Colorado winter vacation at http://www.durango.org.
Durango Mountain Resort
Whether you choose to ski, snowboard, snowshoe, tube, sleigh or simply relax, Durango Mountain Resort (DMR) has it all. Recently named “Top 3 Livable Ski Towns” and “Best Ski Value in North America” for two years in a row, DMR knows how to create fun winter adventures. With 88 trails across 1,360 skiable acres, the mountain offers prime skiing and snowboarding for beginners and advanced alike. New this year: The Burton Riglet Park, a terrain-based learning center in the base area, allows the youngest snowboarders, ages 3-6, to experience sliding on the snow. Lodging and lift value packages offer deep savings. From family-friendly events to beer tastings, DMR hosts entertaining festivities throughout the season.
Now in its 37th year, Snowdown is a long-time Durango tradition that brings locals and visitors together for a winter celebration guaranteed to chase away the winter blues. Parades, competitions, adult-only and children-friendly events combine to create a weeklong zany winter festival.
Durango Tourism’s New Website
Durango welcomes the holiday season with a new and improved travel and tourism website. Durango.org has a whole new look and simple navigation tools for easy trip planning, events, lodging and more. www.durango.org
Winter wonders aboard the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad
From November 2014 – January 2015, take a ride on the Polar Express. Based on the award-winning book by Chris Van Allsburg, this winter ride is a magical journey for everyone on board. Sip hot cocoa while theatrical staff read the Polar Express, keep your eye open for The North Pole, reindeer and Santa Claus!
Experience the wonder of the wilderness in winter on the Cascade Canyon train.
Enjoy brunch, live music and desserts on the New Year’s Train, Romance on the Rails on the Valentine’s Day Train, or practice your photography skills on breathtaking snow-capped wilderness aboard the Winter Photographers Train.
Blanketed in winter white, Mesa Verde National Park takes on a new look in the winter months. Home to 5,000 known archeological sites, including 600 cliff dwellings, winter in the park is void of summer crowds and offers a whole new look. Check website for hours of operation and site openings. Year-round tours available from Durango.
Under snowy or sunshine skies, relax in a natural geothermal mineral bath at Trimble Spa & Natural Hot Springs. Take a hike along the Animas River Trail or try fly-fishing in the crisp waters of the Animas River. If you prefer to take it indoors, visit the Durango Rec Center’s indoor water park and pools.
Let the dogs be your guide
Whisk through winter on a dog powered exploration of the snowy peaks of Southwest Colorado. Durango Dog Ranch and Durango Mountain Resort offer dog sledding adventures and events all winter long. If you’re up for it, you will get a chance to drive the sled!
Fresh Produce and Local Wares
Although the bountiful weekly Farmer’s Market season comes to a close, local farmers are committed to delivering their goods year round.
Sprinkle your Winter Holiday with History
Whether your visit is a week, a night, an evening or a tour, be sure to visit the beautiful and historic lodgings in downtown Durango. The Strater Hotel, built in 1887, is decorated with period decor, beautiful handcrafted woodwork, and the largest collection of American Victorian walnut antiques. It recently received the prestigious “Historic Hotels of America Legendary Family Historic Hoteliers of the Year Award”. The Rochester Hotel and Leland House, build in 1927 and 1892 respectively, have been renovated by a mother and son team. The décor boasts original antiques and woodwork, as well as Western-movie themed rooms. The General Palmer, built in 1898, blends the comforts of modern living with Victorian charm in the heart of the historic downtown.
Arts in Winter
Take in Durango’s vibrant art scene during the holidays and winter season with the monthly First Thursday Art Walk, live performances at the Strater Theatre and Community Concert Hall at Fort Lewis College, live music at restaurants and local theatre at the Durango Arts Center. The Durango Film celebrates a decade of independent film festivals in March of 2015. A hidden jewel in the arts and cultural world, Durango boasts over a dozen galleries that carry treasures from American Indians, Contemporary Western and Southwestern works of museum-quality art represented with sculptures, pottery, baskets, fine art photography and home furnishings.
Holiday Festivities 2014
Local artisans gather every year for the annual Noel Night–a downtown evening of local delights, unique shopping, refreshments, free gift-wrapping, carolers, music and more. Mesa Verde decorates with luminaria for their Holiday Open House. For a complete list of Durango’s holiday events please visit our event calendar.
About the Durango Area Tourism Office
The Durango Area Tourism Office is a not-for-profit organization operating with the mission to promote Durango and La Plata County’s multitude of tourism attractions, events and services. For more information, visit www.durango.org or call (970) 247-3500.
Switzerland, October 2014: This winter season, the Kulm Hotel St Moritz (www.kulm.com), the resort of St Moritz and Switzerland as a country are celebrating 150 years of winter tourism – and the Kulm Hotel is set to take centre stage as it played such a key role in its development.
To mark the occasion, the hotel has put together a unique package that will take guests behind the scenes to historic parts of the property, not normally open to members of the public.
It was just over 150 years ago, in September 1864, that the then owner of the Kulm Hotel St Moritz, Johannes Badrutt, made a bold bet: he promised the last departing summer guests, who were British, a free stay from December to the following spring, if their winter holiday in St Moritz was not as sunny and as pleasant as it had been over the summer. Tanned and full of enthusiasm, the guests returned to England the following spring (1865) and spread the word about their fantastic mountain winter at (what was then called) the Hotel Engadiner Kulm in St Moritz.
KH_Kulm Hotel_seppia Kulm Hotel_Johannes Badrutt Stüva 1 (1024×683)
Historic view of the Kulm Hotel St Moritz; the Stüva, Mr Badrutt’s former office & living room,
all set for a gourmet dinner
Previously, St. Moritz had only been a popular summer holiday destination: a place to which people, mainly British who comprised about 75% of the guests, flocked for relaxing spa, gentle walking and inspirational painting holidays.
Badrutt, however, could see the potential to extend the holiday season through the winter and this he did with his wager, laying the foundations for the creation of Alpine winter tourism. The Brits returned year after year and soon found ways to entertain themselves in the snow: sledding from the Kulm Hotel onto the frozen Lake St Moritz (leading to the creation of the world-famous Cresta Run) and sliding down the mountain slopes on planks (the birth of downhill skiing).
To give guests a taste of those first winter holidays, the Kulm Hotel St Moritz has put together a “150 years of winter tourism” package that includes an atmospheric candle-lit gourmet dinner in the wood-panelled Stüva, the former living room and office of Johannes Badrutt, which remains today very much as it was in his day. Guests will also be taken on a tour behind the scenes at the property, so that they can see all the historic parts, and they will enjoy a romantic horse-drawn sleigh ride through the winter landscape. Every evening, they will retire to the bedroom once used by Mr and Mrs Badrutt.
The full package includes: 3 nights’ half-board accommodation, including the exclusive four-course dinner in the Stüva complete with beverages, a behind the scenes tour, a bottle of Champagne in the room, traditional Engadin walnut cake, the sleigh ride to Lej da Staz, a 50-minute body massage per person, unlimited access to the Kulm Spa St Moritz and a daily-changing Fit & Fun sports programme.
Prices start from CHF1,420 (approx £930) per person sharing the Badrutt bedroom (unless this is already booked, in which case guests will automatically be upgraded to a Junior Suite). The package is only bookable from Sunday to Thursday.
The Kulm Hotel St Moritz is open from 5 December to 5 April; for more information and to book the “150 years of winter tourism” package, please visit www.kulm.com
Why it Rates: The 90-year old Tauck is truly one of the creators of the modern tour industry, and continues to be an innovator and trail-blazer in its third generation of family management. Other tour operators closely watch Tauck to see where the industry is headed and to be sure not to be left behind. Heli-hiking was one of the company’s more inspired and novel innovations back in the 1970s and is back now in a new incarnation called “Heli-Exploring.” Tauck is always worthy of note. – David Cogswell, TravelPulse tour operators editor
Ninety years after Arthur Tauck Sr., helped launch the escorted tour industry, the family-owned and operated company bearing his name will be celebrating the pioneering spirit and traditions of innovation that continue to drive it today. To mark its 90th anniversary next summer, and for a limited number of departures only, Tauck will once again operate “heli-hiking” (or “Heli-Exploring” as it is now deemed by Tauck) trips in the Canadian Rockies.
Invented in the 1970s by Arthur Tauck Jr., Tauck’s chairman and son of the company’s founder, heli-exploring brings guests high into the Canadian Rockies via helicopter to experience incredible alpine wonders paired with the comforts and convenience of lodges originally built for helicopter-assisted ski vacations.
Tauck will operate six departures of its “Bugaboos Adventure” in July and August of next year. The seven-day itinerary (from $5,990 per person, double occupancy, plus airfare) begins with two nights at The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise in Banff National Park. On day three, guests will board helicopters and be transported to the Bugaboo Lodge high in the Purcell Mountains.
During a three-night stay at the lodge, guests will explore the surrounding area on guided daily walks in small groups based on guests’ preference for easier or more challenging terrain. (Hiking gear including boots, jackets and rainpants is available to use free-of-charge, or guests may bring their own.)
On day six, guests will be ferried by helicopter down from the Purcells, exploring Yoho National Park and visiting Emerald Lake while en route to a final night spent at the iconic Fairmont Banff Springs hotel. Included in the price are all lodging, helicopter and ground transportation, airport transfers, all meals (except for one lunch at Lake Louise), most gratuities, and much more.
THE BIRTH OF HELI-HIKING
Heli-hiking was born in the late 1970s when Arthur Tauck Jr. was enjoying a heli-skiing vacation at an alpine lodge in the Canadian Rockies. Befriending the lodge’s owner, Hans Gmoser, Tauck asked how the lodge and two others owned by Gmoser were utilized in the warmer summer months. To Tauck’s surprise, Gmoser replied that the lodges were mothballed until the following ski season.
Recognizing an opportunity, Tauck proposed a partnership with Gmoser in which Tauck would bring guests of all ages and abilities to the lodges during the summer months, allowing them to experience alpine landscapes and amazing views previously enjoyed only by skilled mountaineers.
Tauck’s first heli-hiking trips began operating in 1978 and for 31 years they were rated No. 1 among all Tauck itineraries for guest satisfaction. At the same time, they also provided Arthur Tauck Jr. with some of the most gratifying moments in an illustrious career spanning more than 50 years in the travel industry.
“As I look back over our 90-year history in the travel business, hosting guests all over the world, one of my greatest pleasures has been seeing and hearing the emotions expressed by guests who went heli-exploring with us in Western Canada’s magnificent mountains,” said Tauck. “I am thrilled that we are bringing back this opportunity for our guests in 2015 on ‘Bugaboo Adventure,’ for it truly is an experience of a lifetime that is unequalled anywhere.”
PIONEERING SPIRIT AND HISTORY OF INNOVATION
Where Tauck’s “Bugaboos Adventure” celebrates the birth of heli-hiking, the first-ever Tauck journey in 1925 was no less creative despite its more humble trappings. That initial Tauck “tour” (a six-day, 1,100 mile, all-inclusive trip that cost $69) was in fact a modified sales trip through New England and southeastern Canada led by Arthur Tauck Sr., a self-educated and self-employed inventor and traveling salesman.
The decades since have seen a steady stream of Tauck innovations reflecting Arthur Tauck Sr’s pioneering spirit. In the 1950s and 1960s respectively (and after being awarded the first-ever Tour Brokers license by the federal Interstate Commerce Commission), the company was the first to combine private air charters with escorted tours, and it opened the castle-hotels of the Canadian Rockies to group travel at a time when the hotels were owned by the Canadian Pacific Railway and reserved essentially for their clients only.
More recently, Tauck has expanded to operate in more than 70 countries and on all seven continents, launching Tauck Bridges trips for families, small-group Culturious journeys for active boomer-age travelers, and a portfolio of European river cruises that have been voted the “world’s best” by the readers of Travel + Leisure magazine in each of the past two years.
The company has also formed innovative alliances to provide its guests with deeper and more enriching immersion into various destinations, working with the award-winning filmmaker Ken Burns on a number of domestic itineraries and once-in-a-lifetime events, and partnering with the nature documentarians at BBC Earth on a collection of Tauck Earth Journeys safaris and other itineraries providing unique access to the wonders of the natural world.
TAUCK’S 2015 NORTH AMERICAN PORTFOLIO
Tauck will operate 38 all-inclusive land journeys in North America in the coming year, from an expedition in Manitoba, Canada, coinciding with the annual polar bear migration there, to a five-day exploration of the roots and legacy of jazz music with Ken Burns in New Orleans. Also included are five Tauck Bridges itineraries, a new Earth Journeys exploration of Alaska in partnership with BBC Earth, and a special five-day event exploring the culture and history of New York City.
Those interested in more information can contact their local travel professional, call Tauck at 800 468 2825, or visit the company’s website at www.tauck.com.
Read more travel news at www.travelpulse.com
Club Med has long been known for its circus activities at many of its resorts. Kids can learn tricks or become clowns, while adults can fly on the trapeze. But now the venerable all-inclusive brand is taking that circus training to a whole new level.
At a special event in New York on Oct. 23 attended by press and top travel agents, Club Med unveiled a new partnership with Cirque du Soleil, the company that effectively reinvented circus arts and turned them into top-notch entertainment, especially in places like Las Vegas. Together the two companies will launch a new concept in experiential travel called Club Med Creactive by Cirque du Soleil.
The new Creactive concept will debut at Club Med Punta Cana, one of Club Med’s largest resorts, in the Dominican Republic in June 2015. Guests will be able to learn many of the acrobatic, aerialist and artistic techniques showcased in Cirque du Soleil productions, including high bungee jumping, flying trapeze, aerial silk, tightrope and trampoline, juggling, percussion and dance, and mask painting, among others.
In all there will be 25 different circus activities available for guests, who will learn from Cirque du Soleil-trained “gentile circusians,” Club Med’s term for the circus trainers. Club Med’s resort staff members are known as “gentile organisateurs” or GOs. Guests are known as “gentile membres” or GMs.
Guests will be fully immersed in a circus environment that is custom-designed to encourage both adults and children alike to learn new skills, play and have fun under the supervision of Cirque du Soleil-trained staff. The Creactive concept also will be part of the resort’s all-inclusive price, so there will be no additional charges. Cirque de Soleil circus training will take place in a dedicated area at Club Med Punta Cana that will feature circus equipment in a colorful, dynamic space.
PHOTO: A rendering of the Creactive by Cirque du Soleil concept, which will be offered in a newly constructed, dedicated area at Club Med Punta Cana. (Rendering supplied by Club Med)
“This partnership is a natural progression, stemming from the success and uniqueness of Club Med having provided circus instruction for over 25 years,” said Daniel Lamarre, Cirque du Soleil’s president and CEO. “Now with Cirque du Soleil’s 30 years of experience and know-how, this activity will have a new color.”
Henri Giscard d’Estaing, Club Med’s chairman and CEO, said his company had long had an ambition to develop a partnership with Cirque du Soleil. “We are driven by the same passion to be pioneers in our respective markets to give the public new experiences.”
Club Med will now merge its premium resort experience with Cirque du Soleil’s training in the circus arts. “Cirque de Soleil will take it to a whole new and higher level,” said Giscard d’Estaing. He added that the Creactive concept will be rolled out to many of Club Med’s other resorts in the Caribbean, Europe and China in the next few years, although as of now there are not plans to offer the experience beyond Club Med Punta Cana in 2015.
Cirque du Soleil evolved from group of 20 street performers when it began in 1984. Today it is now a major Quebec-based organization providing high-quality artistic entertainment. It has nearly 4,000 employees, including 1,300 performing artists from nearly 50 different countries.
Club Med, widely recognized as the all-inclusive pioneer, features 65 resorts around the world, including the Caribbean, Asia, Africa, the United States, South America, Europe, the Indian Ocean and the Middle East. Each Club Med resort features chic accommodations, top sports programs and activities for all ages, children’s programs, gourmet dining and premium drinks.
Read more travel news at www.travelpulse.com
The premium, tailor made holiday provider, is witnessing record breaking sales for popular resorts for winter 2014/15 with bookings up 21% compared with last season. Direct sales, including online, are also performing well with a 24% increase verses this time last year. New client bookings are also performing well, witnessing a 13% increase in demand.
Club Med has recently invested in its ski offering and is launching a luxurious 4T resort in Val Thorens, voted the World’s Best Ski Resort. Opening in December this year, resort is already preforming as the third most popular location for ski.
The Val Thorens resort will cater for more advanced skiers and those looking for adventure with a range of innovative snow sports including speed-riding, boarder cross, winter mountain biking, sledging and riding snow scooters.
You can view a video of the new resort showing the stunning design in 3D and further information on the resort is available here. To see more on Club Med ski check our Snow Protector Ski Videos showcasing why Club Med is the expert in ski holidays offering hassle free holidays where everything is included…Après ski, lift pass, ski lessons, just to name a few.
TOP RESORTS FOR COUPLES & GROUPS OF FRIENDS
NEW: Val Thorens 4T Resort
New resort tailored to advanced skiers and groups of friends. Flexible ski programmes with a range of adventurous activities, including a snowboard booster course. No kids clubs on site.
Val d’Isere 4T & 5T Resort
The perfect resort for couples with no kids clubs and peaceful chill out zones. CINQ MONDES spa with duo treatment rooms, indoor heated pool and a 5T luxury space.
Chamonix 4T Resort
Resort to cater for new parents with babies with Baby Club Med available in the resort. Set in a romantic French town, the resort features beautiful altitude bars with panoramic views and outdoor terraces.
TOP RESORTS FOR FAMILIES WITH CHILDREN
Special teen ski programme and kids club available from 24 months to 17 years.
Peisery-Vallandry 4T Resort
Special teen ski programme and kids club available from 2-17 years.
Serre-Chevalier 3T Resort
Introduction to skiing from the age of three and a special teen ski programme. Kids club available from 24 months to 17 years.
Pragelato Vialattea 4T
Special teen ski programme and kids club available from 2-17 years.
Arcs Extreme 3T
Designed with teens in mind and specific entertainment and club zones.
SAVE BIG: EARLY BIRD OFFER
To save big this ski season, Club Med has its Early Bird Offer which ends on 15.10.14. Families can save up to £960 and couples can save up to £640 on winter bookings. Prices are available on request.
For more information on Club Med resorts visit www.clubmed.co.uk or call 08453 670 670.
Following the inaugural success of Snowsport England’s national snowsports participation GO SKI GO BOARD campaign, for 2014-15 there will be two new elements to the programme, GO FREESTYLE and GO RACE. The Sochi effect and an increase in funding for the British Park and Pipe athletes, will continue to attract more people to the artificial and indoor snow facilities in England. As destination partner of the GO SKI GO BOARD campaign, the Austrian Tirol region is the next step in improving your freestyle skills. There are 33 terrain parks across Tirol to choose from, offering suitable obstacles from novices to experts. Read on for some further inspiration:
The Kaunertal Glacier, one of Tirol’s 5 glacier ski resorts, serves up consistently good conditions from October to June, an abundance of natural snowfall, stunning mountain views and one of the best terrain parks in the Alps. The Snowpark Kaunertal, at an altitude of 2990m, offers a great range of kicker and obstacle lines suitable for beginners, who have never been in a terrain park, up to experts and athletes in training. The Kaunertal glacier will officially open for the 2014-15 season on 10th – 12th October, with its legendary opening festival weekend, now in its 29th year. It’s one of the earliest opening dates with snowboard contests, concerts and parties as well as the “Testival” which includes brand new material for the next season. At the end of the season the UK snowboard industry decamps to Kaunertal for the annual Spring Break Snowboard Test, now in its 20th year.
There is no specific resort base at the Kaunertal Glacier but it is easily accessible by ski bus. A 7 night holiday starts from €322 per person, including a 6 day lift pass. easyJet fly daily to Innsbruck from December (offer valid 12.01 – 01.02 2015). For more holiday offers visit http://www.tirolergletscher.com/en/offers.
Ever since Kühtai hosted the Freestyle skiing and snowboarding events at the inaugural Youth Winter Olympic Games in 2012, the KPark Kühtai is the word on everyone lips. Since it came under the management of the Air & Style Company in 2013/14, the KPark is establishing itself as a freestyle hotspot for skiers and snowboarders. The K-park set up offers an easy, medium and proline with a selection of kickers, rails and boxes and Austria’s biggest superpipe at almost 7m high. Located within 30 minutes of Innsbruck airport, Kühtai is small and compact benefiting from the convenience of doorstep skiing and as one of Austria’s highest resorts at 2020m, Kühtai boasts a wonderful snow-sure record from December through to May.
Inghams (www.inghams.co.uk; 01483 79 11 14) offers a week’s catered accommodation at the Chalet Hotel Elisabeth in Kühtai from £459, including flights from Gatwick (as well as all major UK airports) to Innsbruck and resort transfers.
Vans Penken Park
Set in the mountainous heart of the Ziller Valley, Mayrhofen is one of Austria’s leading resorts and long been a British favourite and is home to one of the best and largest terrain parks in the Alps. The Vans Penken Park on Penken is on the must shred list for everyone, whether you are a beginner or a pro. The park has its own chairlift, the 4 –seater SunJet, to ensure that snowboarders and freeskiers can maximise their rides and when in the park can do all the showing off in the world to the audience overhead.
There are six areas across the park; Medium Area, Fun Area, Advanced Area, Challenging Pro Area, Halfpipe and Kids Park with a total of 11 Kickers, 2 Hips and 34 Boxes & Rails.
In the Zillertal there are seven parks to choose from, including the Better Park in Hintertux and the Actionpark Zillertal Arena in Zell am Ziller, which operates a Snowboard and Freeski workshops every Tuesday during the season, with introductions to the park, bag jump sessions, ride with the pros and video coaching.
Ski Solutions (www.skisolutions.com) offers a week at the 4* Hotel Strass in Mayrhofen from £764, including flights from Gatwick to Innsbruck and resort transfers. Regional flights are available at a supplement.
Playstation® Vita Ischgl Snowpark
The talented park designers carve their magic each season at the Playstation® Vita Ischgl Snowpark to create one of the big draws on the freestyle scene.
Consisting of three different areas, beginners can practice on the easy boxes and small jumps in the Public and Beginner Parks and with a permanent airbag jump there’s margin for error too. Advanced riders can use the pro kickers and rails in the King Size Park, with one of the longest prolines in Europe with over 20 elements. Access to the freestyle action is served by three chairlifts and with two mountain restaurants close to the snow park, Idalp and the Alpenhaus, means you can get a real spectators view from the sun terrace too.
Ski Total (www.skitotal.com ; 01483 791933) is offering the Chalet Zita from just £639 per person, based on 2 adults sharing, and including catered accommodation, return flights from Gatwick to Innsbruck (Manchester available at a supplement), transfers, free wifi and free ski hosting.
Snow Park Stubai Zoo
The Moreboards Stubai Zoo is located at the Stubai Glacier, Austria’s largest glacier ski area, with a total of 110kms of piste and all less than 45 minutes away from Innsbruck. The snow park attracts snowboarders and freeskiers, from beginners to pros and serves as a training ground for many British athletes.
Last November the GB freestyle team, Jenny Jones, Aimee Fuller, Jamie Nicholls and Rowan Coultas, were at the Stubai Glacier getting in some practice ahead of Sochi. It was also at Stubai in May that Katie Omerod smashed the record for landing the First Ever Female Backside Double Cork 1080. The snowpark season starts from 17th to 19th October with the Moreboards Stubai Premiere and from this autumn there will be a new park lift in the snow park.
A 3 night holiday starts from €299 per person at the 4* Aktiv-& Vitalhotel Bergcristall on hlaf board, including a 2.5 day lift pass. easyJet fly daily to Innsbruck from December. For more holiday offers visit http://www.tirolergletscher.com/en/offers.
SkiWelt Fun Parks
For newcomers to freestyle the Funslope & Snowpark SkiWelt in Söll is one of the best places to try out your first jumps and tricks, while those with more experience can venture on to the medium line. The SkiWelt is Austria’s largest integrated ski area with over 280km of pistes and a further highlight in the area is the Boarders Playground, located at the Gampenkogellift in Westendorf. It is THE meeting place of the local freestyle scene with three different Lines (Easy, Medium and Hard) and countless kickers, boxes and rails of various shapes and sizes waiting for you to shred.
Crystal Ski Holidays (www.crystalski.co.uk; 020 8939 0726) offers a week bed & breakfast at the three-star Pension Scherntanner in Söll from £408 per person based on two sharing, including flights from Gatwick to Innsbruck and resort transfers. Direct flights also available from Stansted (+£9), Birmingham (+£29), Manchester (+£39), Newcastle (+£39) and Edinburgh (+£49).
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
Club Med, the premium tailor made holiday provider, opens its doors to a brand new Val Thorens 4T destination this December.
The resort will act as a flagship ski destination for Club Med’s Mountain resorts. Located at the heart of the highest resort in Europe, Club Med 4T Val Thorens will offer door-step access to one of the most prestigious ski domains of the French Alps: The 3 Valleys.
Club Med Val Thorens will offer a range of innovative snow sports including speed-riding, boarder cross, winter mountain biking, sledging and riding snow scooters. The resort will also boast a luxury wellness centre with Club Med Spa by CARITA offering exclusive treatments and massages. Working with two Michelin star chef, Edouard Loubet, Club Med has designed an exclusive menu for the stylish Epicurious Gourmet Lounge.
The new resort is also the first of its kind to use crowd-sourcing in its design stages. Through a Facebook app, fans were invited earlier this year to vote for what they wanted from Club Med’s latest holiday destination. In response, Club Med has tailored the look and feel of the resort and developed new sports facilities.
Club Med Managing Director Eric Chauvet said: “Our 4T Val Thorens resort is a real crowd-pleaser encompassing a great array of activities which can be enjoyed by teens, parents and groups of friends. Servicing elite skiers who are looking for a broad range of other sports and activities, to add to their ski holiday, the new resort really has something for everyone.”
Club Med estimates that almost 50% of the resort’s guests will come from outside of France, reflecting the status of the resort as an international ambassador for Club Med, as well as the ultimate ski resort for visitors of all nationalities. Designed as an exciting base for skiers and Club Med’s famous GM’s, alongside unique architecture and impeccable service, the resort means guests can enjoy a stay that is not only festive and cosy, but also stylish and modern.
You can view a video of the new resort showing the stunning design in 3D and further information on the resort is available here.
For more information on Club Med resorts visit
or call 08453 670 670.
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