In 1971, when the first ugly apartment blocks rose from this white wasteland, French Olympic ski champion Christine Goitschel described it as “like living in the Wild West”. But Val Thorens has since developed into an almost attractive, sophisticated resort.
The concrete edifices of Val Thorens’ early years have largely been re-clad with more favourable materials, and more recent construction is in a more sympathetic Savoyard style. The resort’s increasingly wealthy and discerning clientele demands – and receives – a clutch of some of the smartest hotels and apartments in the French Alps. There’s also plenty of cheaper accommodation, including vast apartment complexes aimed at 20-somethings without a platinum level of disposable income, who revel in the range of terrain.
UCPA Val Thorens
With shared rooms, open-plan social areas and an on-site bar, UCPA is a not-for-profit holiday centre where guests mix with like-minded visitors of all different nationalities and stay at remarkably low cost in what is more hotel than hostel. The centre offers good food too.
Book it: Full board from £786, including equipment hire, lift pass, tuition or guiding, with Action Outdoors. Excludes travel.
Résidence Le Hameau du Kashmir
A four-star hotel and apartment hamlet at the entrance of Val Thorens, just metres from the mid station ski lifts, ski-in/ski-out Résidence Le Hameau du Kashmir is a little complex built in traditional Savoyard style, with a pool, spa and two restaurants.
Book it: From £909, self-catering, based on four sharing, with Inghams.
Family run since its creation in 1976, Le Sherpa has a great ski-in/ski-out location. The wood clad bedrooms are comfortable and the best are south-facing with balconies. The rustic dining room is charming and serves excellent home-made food. There’s a traditional sauna, steam room and hot tub plus a ‘Cosmic Sauna’ on the terrace with panoramic views.
Part of a trendy group of French Alpine hotels, Fahrenheit Seven is in a ski-in/ski-out position near the Peclet lift and ski school meeting point. It has 109 modern rooms, many with spectacular views, a lively bar, huge terrace and good restaurant. The unique ski room includes sofas, a bar and table football.
Club Med Val Thorens Sensations
The architecture of Val Thorens Sensations is designed to stand out – it’s built in the shape of the Club Med’s trident logo. Inside the atmosphere is as exciting as the architecture with daily après in the two hotel bars.
Book it: Full board from £1,707 including travel, lessons and lift pass, with Club Med.
The Altapura is more cutting edge Scandinavian chic than cosy. It’s a bit out of the way for the nightlife, set at the foot of the slopes in the centre of the resort, but houses a luxury spa, with outdoor pool and a choice of three restaurants, including chic Casa Alta serving beautifully-presented French classics.
Now belonging to the Les Étincelles group, the five-star Koh-i-Nor has been renamed Voulez Vous for 2023/24. At the top of the town, with panoramic views over the resort, changes include refurbishment and three newly relaunched restaurants. One of these, Il Savoia, will serve Italian-influenced Savoyard dishes.
Le Fitz Roy
One of the flagship five-star hotels of Val Thorens, Le Fitz Roy has fabulous views over the mountains, is right next to a piste and had a huge renovation in summer 2021. The décor is modern throughout and there are two restaurants, an indoor pool, sauna, steam room and treatments.
Chalets and apartments
Residence Les Temples du Soleil
Residence Les Temple du Soleil is located at the foot of the slopes and close to the lifts. Its modernised apartments all have balconies, and in the building there is a small supermarket and a wellness area, with two whirlpools, a sauna and a steam room.
Book it: From €1,251 for seven nights in an apartment sleeping five, with Pierre et Vacances.
Close to the Plein Sud blue piste, you can ski from the door to the lift, and the chalet is 400m to the resort centre. Sleeping up to eight people, it has a sun terrace, wellness area, sauna and steam room plus spacious lounge and wood-burning stove.
Book it: From £1,449 with Ski Solutions.
Booking.com rates above are guide prices per person per night, please note that packages can differ across accommodation. Please check the properties’ websites for further information on what’s included.
Unless stated otherwise, package prices are per person, based on two sharing a double or twin room, half-board, for seven nights, including flights and transfers.