Ski Bespoke Blog

School Holidays

Written on February 11th, 2017
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You may have heard in the press again this week, the row over taking children out of term time for and the cost of travelling within school holidays, we wanted to make it clear to our valued clients where we as a luxury tour operator stand on the issue.

We are the only known luxury ski tour operator to actually pass on our contracted child rates to our clients and we also do not increase prices for peak periods.

We spend many hours contracting our hotels and negotiating our preferred tour operator rates with our partners and because of this we feel strongly about passing these advantageous rates onto our clients. However many of the larger operators do not pass the child rates on and we feel this is immoral, especially when some of the child rates are 70% less than the adult rates!

As a small luxury ski tour operator we do not hold mass allocations or bulk buy flights and beds. As we work on request with our hotels we are able to negotiate such good rates and also help find availability where other operators fail. Our pricing and currency is not pre-set and we are bound by the hotels and airline rates, they are the ones who determine which are peak weeks.

While you may read of many operators hiking up prices for the peak school holidays be rest assured we are not one of them.

Val Thorens reinvented

Written on January 6th, 2017
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Val Thorens has always been a very popular resort for skiers and boarders. A few reasons for its popularity, it is part of the excellent 3 Vallees ski area, true ski in/ski out hotels, snow sure during the whole season, perfect for early and later season skiing. There have been a lot of changes over the past few seasons and new hotels built so we thought we better go and investigate. As we planned our trip to the highest resort in Europe we were really excited to see the changes in the resort and the hotels.

 

So the first weekend of December we set off on our trip, with a flight from London Gatwick and no sooner had we taken off we had landed, quickly through security, bags collected and then off to collect our hire car. Finally bags in and SAT-NAV set we were off.

 

Having never driven to Val Thorens we discovered the drive was very easy and pretty, and we were in resort with 2 hours 30 minutes!

 

Having settled down for our first evening with a sumptuous dinner (which has to be done in the mountains) we were eager to explore the following day. We were lucky enough to stay at the 5* Koh I Nor Hotel.

 

Summary: Nice, relaxed, contemporary 5 star hotel. Very good food and plenty of it.

 

Day 2: Up early, breakfast and we were off, our first stop was back down the mountain to Saint Martin delle Belleville to see some beautiful chalets. From Val Thorens to Saint Martin de Belleville it only takes about 30 minutes by car. This charming little resort is steeped in tradition and has a lovely feeling of peace and tranquillity, yet only a cable car ride to the huge 3 Vallees network. The resort is actually the same height as Meribel.

 

Summary: The chalets we feature in this resort really are delightful, like a home from home with every detail thought of.  Each chalet is individually styled but all 3 have the same level of luxury and comfort. They are simply stunning, a very relaxed feeling and like your own piece of mountain heaven. The staff that run the chalets have been carefully selected and nothing is too much trouble. These 5 star chalets come with a 4 star price tag.

 

Then we were off back up the mountain and time to explore the village of Val Thorens. Although one resort it is clear that it is on 3 levels as you walk around.

 

Lower level – Hotel Altapura 5* and Village Montana Apartments 4* & 5*

 

Mid-level – Hotel Fitz Roy 5*, Le Val Thorens 4*, Fahrenheit 7   4*

 

Higher Level – Hotel Le Sherpa 3*, Hotel Pashmina 5* and the Hotel KOH I Nor 5* (which is the highest ski hotel in Europe).

 

The resort is easy to walk around or there is a shuttle, and if you are staying in one of the 5* properties then each has its own private shuttle service.

 

Day 3: After another early start….but not before a good mountain breakfast we were off to visit the hotels.

 

First stop the lovely 3* Le Sherpa

Summary: warm, cosy and charming, everything you would expect in a good 3* hotel and more.

 

Next stop the 5* Pashmina.

Summary: This hotel oozes love of the mountains. It is understated luxury, it is a total chill out experience with style, comfort and ease.

 

After a brisk walk down to the lower level we visited the 4* & 5* village Montana Residences.

Summary: Perfect self-catering option. Good position and a good level of comfort. The 5* Residences have that extra touch of comfort, luxury and space.

 

We then visited the 5* Hotel Altapura.

Summary – from the minute you enter you see and feel the attention to detail. Perfect position and fabulous terrace. When you ski back at the end of the day it feels like your own private part of Val Thorens. This really is a true 5* hotel.

 

Finally we walked back up to the middle level to see the last hotels. (not before stopping for the obligatory hot chocolate and pastry, well we were in the mountains!).

First hotel of the afternoon was the totally refurbished 4* Fahrenheit 7 hotel. This hotel is just fabulous, lots of lovely little touches. For example every room door as a black and white vintage photo of Val Thorens.

Summary: Lovely fun hotel for all, good use of space and lots of nice contemporary colours. The hotel is in an excellent position, a true ski hotel for skiers/boarders.

 

Secondly we visited the refurbished 5* Fitz Roy, which is the oldest hotel in Val Thorens.

Summary:  Fabulous ski in/ski out hotel. Lovely, cosy hotel, with clever use of space. You feel relaxed and cocooned from the minute you walk in/ski in!

 

Lastly we saw the 4* Le Val Thorens, this hotel again has been refurbished and they have cleverly used the space to its full potential. Although contemporary in style it still retains its mountain charm.

Summary: Good positon, great contemporary relaxed feel.

 

Ski School Feature – While we use all the large well known ski schools we are always searching for that independent smaller ski school that offers just that little extra. We are so happy to say we have found just that in Val Thorens, the wonderful Ski Cool. This ski school has been running since 1981 and there emphasis is on fun and quality. We were lucky enough to have coffee with Annie the ski school director. From the minute we met her passion, knowledge and love of skiing shone through.

 

We discussed the usual adult and children group and private lessons, and then we got onto all of the unique programmes they offer.

 

Cool Ride for 12-16 yrs – suitable for those children that desire the thrills and freedom the mountain offers without their parents. The course offers the opportunity for children to try freeride, freestyle, skicross and monoski.

 

Cool Ride Mountain – This offers adults the chance to get familiar with off-piste techniques and to discover pristine, untouched powder with a professional guide

 

Ski Therapy Women Special – This gives ladies the change to enjoy a zen morning on the slopes with relaxed breathing and visualisation techniques.

 

Les 3 Vallees Sensations – The opportunity to explore the world’s largest ski terrain with a guide, just for you!

 

Les Weekend Privileges – the chance to start off with confidence and get your bearings at the start of your holiday.

 

Heli-Ski – Take a Heliski outing of your dreams with one of their specialists.

 

EXCLUSIVE to Ski Cool

Share n Ski – Create your own mini group and share lessons with others, let your self be surprised by who you may meet and share the fun.

 

Wing Jump – Ski Cool are the only ski school in Val Thorens to have the educational ‘toy’ the Wing Jump. This is used the children’s classes, it gives children experience and confidence with controlled speed, turning and progressing.

 

Paramotor Flights – Stop dreaming and start flying! Experience Val Thorens and Belleville Valley form a birds eye view.

 

Off-Piste Certified Training – Ski Cool are the first ski school in the 3 Vallees to offer a new international avalanche training programme ISTA to prevent mountain risks.

 

And then we were finished.

 

Val Thorens Summary: After a whistle stop weekend we realised Val Thorens had been reinvented for us. The resort has an excellent selection of hotels and apartments, should you want a chalet then Saint Martin delle Belleville is the perfect option. Val Thorens is a friendly resort and has a good atmosphere and it is a true skiers resort. But it also caters for those who are just beginning, non-skiers or those who just want to enjoy a mountain experience.

 

Please call for details 01243 200 202 your Val Thorens adventure starts here.

 

Day 4: Sadly our final mountain breakfast and stunning views, we were back on the road for our journey home.

 

Our first stop on the way back down the mountain was the utterly fabulous 4* Hotel La Bouitte in a hamlet of Saint Martin delle Belleville, which is part of Relais & Chateau and best of all it has a 3 star Michelin restaurant! We had a quick guided tour as they were preparing to open in 4 days and we had a plane to catch. We were even lucky enough to meet one of the chefs, what a treat.

 

Summary: This hotel is truly stunning and we are delighted to say we are the FIRST UK ski tour operator to be working with them. This property is the perfect start or end to your holiday or even your whole holiday. Beautifully decorated, it really does exude style and luxury, yet comfort.

But Shhh don’t tell anybody….

 

We felt sad to leave this property as we would have loved to have a satellite office there but we were finally back on the road. But our adventures didn’t end here. We decided to use the SAT-NAV in the car and not the one that had brought us here. After fiddling and deciding we had entered the details correctly and selected the right route we were off.

 

After a while we realised that we had not gone through any tolls??? Ooops we had taken a different route home, but not to worry we would surely end up back in Geneva Airport. After a little while longer there was a shriek of excitement from the front seat – ‘Lake Annecy!’

 

We then realised we had taken the scenic route and were driving round Lake Annecy, what a treat and it was truly beautiful. Now the important question, did we have time to stop for lunch? After a quick calculation, yes we did, just about. So we jumped out of the car and found a charming little restaurant and had a quick lunch by the lake. Having been lucky enough to do this new experience we would recommend this route to or from Val Thorens, it really is stunning to see the lake and the mountains and just adds that little extra touch to your holiday.

(Also not forgetting Lake Annecy is a fabulous summer destination and we can happily say we can help with any summer holiday)

 

We finally made it to the airport, checked in and we were flying home.

 

Please call for details 01243 200 202 your Val Thorens adventure starts here.

Refresh & Revive

Written on January 6th, 2017
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Time to refresh and revive with a fabulous ski & spa break. See 2017 in with some excellent skiing and a fabulous relaxing spa, start the New Year in style.

 

Ski & Spa

  • Hotel W, Verbier, Switzerland
  • The CHEDI, Andermatt, Switzerland
  • Au Coeur du Village, La Clusaz, France
  • The Altapura, Val Thorens, France
  • The singer Sport Hotel, Berwang, Austria

The snow just keeps falling so time to go skiing with your friends

Written on January 6th, 2017
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Here is our guide to the perfect ski breaks with friends, as they say girls just want to have fun and boys will be boys!

 

The best skiing with friends

Ski & Après

  • St, Anton, Austria
  • Meribel, France
  • Val d Isere, France
  • Ischgl, Austria
  • Solden, Austria
  • Val Thorens, France

 

Ski & Spa

  • Verbier, Switzerland
  • Andermatt, Switzerland
  • La Clusaz, France
  • Megeve, France

 

Steep & Deep

  • Val d Isere, France
  • Zermatt, Switzerland
  • Andermatt, Switzerland

 

Classic Luxury

  • Cervinia, Italy
  • Cortina, Italy
  • Lech, Austria
  • Zermatt, Switzerland

 

Best skiing in the Alps

  • Lech, Austria
  • Zermatt, Switzerland
  • Val d Isere, France
  • Val Thorens, France
  • St Anton, Austria

Fabulous chalets but Shhh don’t tell anybody…

Written on January 6th, 2017
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Skiing, far from the Madding Crowd?

We have the perfect option for those who prefer a bit of peace and quiet yet still having access to fantastic skiing. We feature in our collection 3 outstanding chalets in St Martin de Belleville, France. These super chalets really make the perfect ski holiday, with exceptional one to one service, luxury furnishings, and great positioning within St Martin du Belleville.

 

This charming resort really is a hidden gem, being a sanctuary from the larger busier resorts yet being the gateway to the fabulous 3 Vallees ski area!

Welcome back

Written on December 12th, 2016
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Welcome back!

It is time to dust off those ski boots.

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What’s New?

Over the beautiful summer here at Ski Bespoke we have been working hard renewing our longstanding and nurtured contracts, as well as selecting new resorts and stunning hotels to add to our collection.

 

New resorts

Solden, Austria

Selva Val Gardena

 

New Hotels in Austria

Bergland 4*Superior, Solden

Das Central 5*, Solden

Solaria 4*, Ischgl

der Berghof 4* Superior, Lech am Arlberg

Kristiania Lech 4*, Lech am Arlberg

Almhof Schneifer 5*, Lech am Arlberg

Raffl’s Tyrol 4*, St Anton am Arlberg

Kaiserhof 4*, Kitzbuhel

 

New Hotels in France

Le Savoy 4*, Meribel

Pashmina 5*, Val Thorens

Le Fitz Roy 5*, Val Thorens

Le Val Thorens 4*, Val Thorens

White 1921 4* Superior, Courchevel 1850

Le K2 Palace 5*, Courchevel 1850

Le K2 Altitude 5*, Courchevel 1850 (formally the Kilimandjaro)

Le Yule 5*, Val d Isere

 

New Hotels in Switzerland

Montpelier 3*, Verbier

 

New Hotel in Italy

Alpen Royal 5*, Selva Val Gardena

 

New for the Shhh don’t tell anybody collection

The resort of Neustift im Stubaital and the fabulous hotel Jagdhof Resort & Spa

The Resort of Grossarl and the stunning Hotel Grossarler Hof

 

Please call for details

 

What has stayed the same?

Our high level of service.

You will still have a dedicated personal travel specialist who will help select your perfect holiday and will be there from start to your return and hopefully for years to come.

Concierge still comes as standard with every booking with no charge, so however big or small your request our team would be delighted to help.

In-depth hotel and resort knowledge.

 

Please call to discuss your next ski holiday.

Our Top Picks

Written on December 12th, 2016
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Our top picks for Christmas and New Year 2016

St Anton, Austria

Kitzbuhel, Austria

Zermatt, Switzerland

Cervinia, Italy

Val d Isere, France

Val Thorens, France

Courchevel 1850, France

 

Our top picks for February Half Term 2017

Meribel, France

Val d Isere, France

Tignes, France

Courchevel 1850, France

La Thuile, Italy

Kitzbuhel, Austria

Lech, Austria

Zurs, Austria

St. Christoph, Austria

Verbier, Switzerland*

Zermatt, Switzerland*

Villars, Switzerland*

*If transferring to the resort by Swiss rail children under 15 years travel free!

Villars – Under 9 years ski free!

 

 

The snow is fabulous

Written on February 25th, 2016
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There is still plenty of time to ski this season, whether you are looking for a ski weekend, a short break, skiing over Easter or spring skiing the options really are endless.

We are getting snow reports daily showing that the snow in Europe really is good and there is more forecast.

The mountains are calling.

Easter

Easter is great time to ski, with great snow, sunny days and it is far less busy that February half term!

Although there is only a few weeks until Easter there is still plenty of availability so if you are an expert, intermediate, complete beginner, non-skier or you would like something far from the madding crowd we will be able to fine you the perfect Easter break.

 

Ski Weekends – Our top 5

Just perfect for a quick ski fix

Chamonix

La Clusaz

La Thuile

Courmayeur

Megeve

 

Short Breaks – Our top 5

Great for that extra ski trip

Engelberg

Villars

Verbier

Andermatt

Kitzbuhel

 

Spring Skiing – Our favourites

Making the most of the snow and the sunshine before it goes for another year.

Val d Isere

Tignes

Lech

St Anton

Zurs

Ischgl

 

Ski until the end of May! – Our top 3

For those keeny beanies that just can’t get enough of this winter.

Val Thorens

Zermatt

Cervinia

 

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Time to think of your summer holiday

Written on February 13th, 2016
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Whether you are looking to spend your summer holiday in the mountains, relaxing on a beach or discovering new places our dedicated summer team at Travel Bespoke will be able to help. We work very closely with our preferred suppliers through us the world is your oyster.

This month’s top 3 summer in the mountains destinations

Zermatt, Switzerland

Cortina, Italy

Kitzbuhel, Austria

 

Conrad Maldives (2) HEROSummer inthe mountains

Truly bespoke Honeymoon

Written on February 13th, 2016
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A ski holiday makes the perfect honeymoon whether you ski or not! There is something very magical about the mountains and will leave you memories that will last a lifetime.

 

Honeymoon inspirations

Secluded lodges & chalets just for 2

Le Portetta Lodge, Courchevel 1650, France

Grand Alpes Private Hotel & Spa, Courchevel 1850, France

Kilimandjaro & K2, Courchevel 1850, France

 

Shhh Don’t Tell Anybody

Art Furrer Royal, Riederalp, Switzerland

The CHEDI, Andermatt, Switzerland

Singer Sporthotel, Berwang, Austria

 

More than just skiing!

W, Verbier, Switzerland

Arlberg, Lech, Austria

St Antonerhof, St Anton, Austria

Sivoliere, Courchevel 1850, France

Altapura, Val Thorens, France

Julen, Zermatt, Switzerland

The CHEDI, Andermatt, Switzerland

Call now to speak to one of our specialist and let us help you plan your perfect honeymoon 01243 200 202

 

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“We had a wonderful week, thank you for all your help and advice”

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Tel: 01243 200 202
Email: sales@skibespoke.com

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