After counting down the days until we hit the pristine slopes of Club Med Val Thorens, the big day finally arrived – and what a treat our stay was!
The resort is located at an altitude of 2,300 meters and is constantly covered in snow. My family and I were warmly greeted by staff members and were quickly immersed in the buzz of fellow arrivals. Welcomed with an aperitif, we knew it was going to be a fantastic holiday. My cozy room looked onto a snow-covered mountain. I was in a completely different and surreal world.
The excitement hit while we fitted our ski equipment. Although, we were quick to realise that we had all the gear but NO idea.
At the end of the 10 ski sessions offered over five days, we were determined to whizz down the blue slopes, tumble-free. We decided that it would be suitable to attend the beginners’ class with the group ranging from 12 years old to 60-odd. The instructors working at Club Med are from the highly-rated ESF ski school. Our instructor was a slightly larger Frenchman who had skied for France in his youth. His name is Michael, and he had us in fits of laughter throughout the holiday. The standard of the lessons is extremely high. The instructors are patient, accommodating and it is obvious that they love what they do.
Awaiting the guests after each session is a drink and food station, better known as après-ski. The smell of Gluvine lingered in the air. My dad headed straight for the slithers of fois gras on baguette, and I to the ice-filled bucket of Rosé and other wine. In the background, music played out of large speakers, the gentils organisateurs (GOs) were dressed in ridiculous outfits and danced wildly on huge blocks for everyone’s entertainment. Photographers circled around taking photos of flustered but smiling guests who enjoyed the warmth of the sun on their backs.
As if we had not eaten enough, we dined in the main restaurant for breakfast, lunch and dinner. In the contemporary and unique interior of the restaurant, we were amazed at the large variety of Michelin star-quality food. The meals ranged from typical French cuisine to an array of international meals. The mix of dishes changed every day and catered for all diets. With both hot and cold beverages available at all times, the service is no less than outstanding.
One morning, snow fell from the cloudy skies, and the visibility was hindered by the fog. Looking from the outside through the windows of the hotel, we saw those who decided to stay indoors cuddled up in chairs, drinking hot chocolate and reading their books. However, skiing in this weather is a thrilling experience and proved to be quite magical.
With a few aches and pains from the odd fall, it didn’t take long before we noticed the Club Med spa. We all came to the decision that a 60-minute massage was necessary. We were each allocated our own room to enjoy an hour of pure relaxation followed by a lie-down in the sauna. We were ready to tackle the next few days.
At night the family celebrated a series of successful ski lessons. We decided to celebrate at the main Club Med bar, Oxygen. Each night there are different activities and functions. My brother, his girlfriend and I decided to enter the quiz that was on that night (in which we learnt that the 68 ski slopes of Val Thorens cover up to 600 km of ski trails). Much to our surprise we won the competition! Our prize was our choice of breakfast served to our rooms the next morning by a waiter dressed as, what we had selected, a Christmas fairy. This was the cherry on top at the end of our Club Med Val Thorens experience.
Staying at Club Med is really hassle-free. The energetic employees are fluent in multiple languages and are easy to approach at all times. Club Med is brilliantly organized and made our experience a fantastic one which will never be forgotten.
Hmmm, which Club Med should we go to next?