Hotel ChristianiaVal d'Isere / France / France Ski
Full of rustic 1950s French charm and unparalleled views of the majestic Alpine mountains behind, the five star Christiania is once again in the running for Europe’s Leading Ski Hotel at the World Travel Awards 2012. The hotel offers door-step access to the slopes and understated old-school glamour. Think Hollywood stars, revolving gold and dark wood doors, and 31 rooms all boasting a heart-warming mix of modern design, plush drapery and wooden furniture.
What to love
- Centrally located opposite the slopes and less than 100m from the main lifts and ski school meeting points
- Gourmet mountainous dining with a brilliant wine list
- The honey and cinnamon facial over at the spa for off-piste pampering is something of a cult favourite winter pick-me-up with both locals and returning guests
- The vin chaud and cheese trolley after dinner is billed as the best in town
What to know
- Many of the rooms have south or south-east facing balconies with beautiful views
- There is a selection of interconnecting and cabin rooms which offer multiple options for families. The rooms are well-proportioned and larger than those of many other ski hotels
- Perfect for honeymooners – the hotel offers a ski trip full of sophistication and style
What defines La Christiania as one of the landmark luxury hotels in Val d’Isere isn’t just a commanding location and top-notch service from staff willing to cater to your every whim, nor is it the chocolate box exterior design flanked with stone and timber. Other siren calls which summon guests back every year include a brilliant proximity to the main skiing area of the Espace Killy with views that swoop down across the snow-peaked mountains and slopes chock-full of virgin powder, stylish and serene rooms, and welcome feasts laid out in the world-class, rustic-luxe restaurant.
The look may be incredibly refined with cozy carpeting throughout the communal areas and traditional alpine décor (after all, the Bertoli family who’ve owned the property since the fifties strive to maintain an unchanged ambience and style), but its modern amenities ensure young families and savvy travellers are well catered for too.
Sure you might bump into a celebrity or two in the airy reception area which leads straight across to the bar and restaurant. Mostly however you’ll come across low-key well heeled families, who check into the hotel year in, year out because they’ve grown to love the staff here. Attendants are always visible on hand to happily store away your heavy duty ski-coats and boots in cloakrooms before pouring you afternoon tea.
Most rooms have views reminding you how high up in the clouds you’ll be sleeping of a night with plumpy pillows and soft cotton sheets. The spacious junior suites have connecting rooms for older children fully equipped with widescreen TVs, DVD players and comfy chenille chairs.
The restaurant, one of Val d’Isere’s most sought after foodie destinations, is graced with crisp linens and silver service and dinner is always an event to remember, under the supervision of head chef Philippe Meyzin. Breakfast is a busy continental buffet affair of meats, cheeses, breads, condiments, pastries, cereals and coffee so fresh and perky you’ll be raring to hit those infamous runs.
Come spring and summer time the terrace is filled with sunshine beaming down onto the magnificent Joseray valley and is hugely popular for lunch and games of ‘guess-the-designer-sunglasses’.
After a hard day’s skiing the spa is the perfect destination to unwind and features a beautiful heated pool with adult and family access hours, a sauna and steam room. There is personal training on offer in the fitness suite and the beauty salon offers various treatments by the exclusive Sothys’ cosmetics spa brand alongside plantar massages, shiatsu, lymphatic drainage and deep tissue massage.
Room service is available 24 hours a day, and the hotel can also provide packed lunches for any day trips outside the resort.
When to travel
Ski Season: Late November – Early May
Early December: Val d’Isere hosts the annual ‘first race of the season’ known as Criterium de la Premiere Niege (which translates as the 'race of the first snowfall'). The event sees the world’s top skiers compete in downhill, Super G and Slalom races.
Summer Season: Late June – Early September
June: Fete de la Musique celebrates the Summer Solstice every year. This free event spills out of the bars and restaurants into the streets where visitors are treated to live music from classical musicians to club DJs.
Hotel Christiania is located in the centre of Val d’Isere, opposite the slopes, less than 100m from the main lifts and close to the restaurants, bars and boutiques.
A private transfer from Geneva will then take approx 3hrs for the 180km journey to Val D’Isere. Alternative airports include Lyon & Grenoble (both approx. 3hrs 15mins transfer) or Chambery (1hr 30mins transfer).
The Kids Corner welcomes children from 4 to 10 years old. Games and different activities like painting, dress-up, model making and discovery games are in the program. Cartoons and videos are also shown. Kids Corner: Open late afternoons and evenings during school holidays only.
Cots and child beds can be arranged for free (book upon reservation to guarantee availability). Check into a junior suite with interconnecting rooms for older children. Category B cabin rooms have bunk beds in the entrance hallway which can be closed off from the main bedroom.
Hired nannies and babysitters can arrange for mountain hikes, bike rides, café lunches, film nights, as well as help with feeding and dressing young children and babies. Within the hotel, kids can enjoy specially catered children’s menus. The restaurant comes equipped with high chairs and room service are happy to heat up baby food and milk.
If your time on the slopes hasn’t taken it out of your children enough, visit Val’s Aqua Sports Centre for an invigorating dip in the 450m2 pool, sauna, steam room, sports hall, climbing wall, squash courts and gym.