It was an early start, still dark as we left home. The bonus was that there was no traffic on the roads. Gatwick was reached in less than 2 ½ hours. The flights were on time and we were soon landing at Grenoble airport, a short coach ride from The French Alps and our resort Alpe d’Huez.
Set high in the Vallee de L’Oisans, Alpe d’Huez sits at 1860m and rises to 3330m. A perfect resort for all abilities especially intermediate to advanced. The resort boasts 287km of ski runs and the longest black runin Europe “La Sarenne” a full 16km. It goes right from the top of Pic Blanc and ends up in the middle of a gorge, between the main resort and Auris. On a quiet day it feels like it’s just you and the mountain. But with 38 beginners runs though there is plenty of scope for everyone.
Our Hotel was called La Sarenne owned and run by Club Med. The beauty of the Club Med experience is that once you have paid for your holiday there is literally only your ski hire and insurance to pay for. Initially the prices can look expensive but having skied many times I am only too aware of the cost of lift passes, lunch on the mountain and drinks in the evening. I can honestly say that a Club Med ski holiday will ultimately offer better value.
My room was a “Club room” spacious with a south facing balcony overlooking the snow clad mountains. The shower was hot and powerful and the bed very comfortable. To be fair with 20 inches of fresh powder and an all-inclusive bar I wasn’t going to spend a lot of time in it!
The in house ski technicians looked after our ski and board requests upon arrival and were full of advice as to which of the many slopes to head for when the lifts opened in the morning. Alpe d’Huez is lucky to have some one of the most up to date lift systems in the world and consequently queuing for more than a couple of minutes is now a thing of the past.
There is no better feeling if you are a skier than on the first morning when you open the curtains and you are greeted with a cobalt blue sky, the sun creeping above the peaks and the icy white brightness of fresh powder. It seems an age until 9am when the lifts open!
Alpe d’Huez is set in a bowl with views of the mountains in every direction. It is easy to plot a few runs and be back to the hotel for lunch. Every day a feast awaited us, you had to be disciplined or you would fall into the trap of over indulging and wanting an afternoon nap. More leisurely skiing in the afternoon and a visit to The “La Grotto de Glace” a cave hewed out of the ice, with amazing bluey white coloured walls and carved sculptures, it is set high up the mountain near the glacier.
Dinner was always an event in itself. From a huge selection of salad or soup to start with through to pastas, a variety of fresh vegetables and a diversity of stews, fish and roasted meats. There was always a “special” on offer and a smorgasbord of cold meats and cheeses. The choice was outstanding.
It is already snowing in The French Alps! So there is no better time to research your annual return to the mountains.
Top 5 Reasons to consider Club Med for your skiing holiday
• All Inclusive food and drink
• Includes full area lift passes.
• Includes lessons or guiding
• Ski from your door in the morning
• Indoor swimming pool
So whether you are looking for an action packed winter sports experience, a pampering retreat, a special family memory or just chilling out with a group of friends, a Club Med holiday ticks all the boxes.
Skyplane Worldchoice Travel Agency in Hellesdon, have been providing ski and other sports holidays including golf and bowls for over 25 years. For help and advice on when and where to travel and an amazing deal, call their friendly and experienced team on 01603 424010 or email [email protected]