Snow has already fallen in some Alpine resorts, but booking an early season ski trip is always a risky business, so TravelMole asked Crystal Ski Holidays destinations manager Kevin Nelson where he would recommend for guaranteed snow.
Where? Tignes in France is a world-class resort made up of five small villages. Set high in the magnificent Savoie Alps, it’s got guaranteed snow, a lively apr-¨s ski scene and some of Europe’s best slopes.
What’s your favourite run? From the top the La Grande Motte Glacier you can choose from a variety of terrain, spread over 20km, and some runs even take you all the way back to Tignes.
Where do you like to party afterwards? At Couloir, it’s one of the most popular bars, located in upper Val Claret. Most days you can listen to some amazing acoustic singer-songwriters.
Is there a downside to Tignes? It’s a purpose-built resort, so it lacks some of the old-world charm enjoyed by its neighbours, but the variety of chalets, hotels and apartments to suit all budgets more than makes up for that. Best of all, Tignes is part of the Espace Killy ski area, shared with Val d’Isere, so you get to enjoy glaciers and great views, without the Val d’Is-¨re price tag.
Where would you stay? Sitting just 150m from the lifts in Tignes Le Lac is the astonishingly beautiful, recently-renovated Tignes 2100 with fabulous views over either the slopes or the lake. Each room has been designed to make the most of the space with clever, compact storage options and contemporary glass bathrooms – don’t worry, there’s a curtain if you want to be more discreet.
The hotel is even getting a good reputation for its atmospheric new restaurant and bar area and if you head up to the next floor, you’ll find a cosy library area with comfortable fireside views out over Le Lac and the legendary mountain ‘fingers’, a choice of comfy sofas and even the chance to do a book swap with the one of the many titles that scale the entirety of one of the walls.
Next door to the library is a gorgeous brand new spa, with huge floor-to-ceiling windows and lots of seats to laze around on. Step into the sauna and enjoy panoramic views over the lake or detox in the Turkish bath, plunge into the outdoor hot tub on the balcony, or for ultimate relaxation, arrange a massage in the treatment room.
What’s the price tag? A week’s half board at the three-star Hotel Tignes 2100 costs from £695 per person (based on two sharing) with flights from Gatwick to Chambery and transfers for departures on 16 December 2017 with Crystal. Direct flights available from all major UK airports.