Les Barmes de l’OursVal d'Isere / France / France Ski
Val D’Isère is famed for its slopes, and none are more coveted than the Face de Bellevarde. So perhaps it’s not surprising that Les Barmes de l’Ours, which sits at the bottom of the piste, is also a highly desirable destination in its own right. With its varied décor and Michelin-star restaurant, it’s easy to see why this traditional alpine retreat is one of only three five star hotels in the resort.
What to love
- Pampering: the 800m sq wellness area offers a sauna, heated indoor pool and a range of beauty treatments
- Michelin-star 'La Table de l'Ours' restaurant
- The L'Ours Suite has its own fireplace, projector screen and open plan jacuzzi
What to know
- Double rooms and suites overlook the piste or village, while twin rooms have a forest view
- Ski right up to your door from the Face de Bellevarde slope
- Rooms are decorated in four styles: Alpine, American, Scandinavian and contemporary
From the moment you are greeted by the life-sized mechanical polar bear that stands sentry in the entrance, you are in no doubt that Les Barmes de l’Ours is a very special hotel. The large timber building houses 56 rooms, with each of the four floors having its own unique character.
The alpine chalet revels in its traditional, rustic charm, while the ‘contemporary’ floor is spacious and modern. Meanwhile the American lodge brings a taste of Colorado to this corner of the continent, and the Scandinavian floor completes the quartet with its effortlessly- stylised minimalism. The result is a hotel diverse enough to suit every taste.
Diners are also spoilt for choice, with the hotel housing three gourmet restaurants, including La Table de l'Ours restaurant (one of only two Michelin-anointed establishments in the whole resort). Overseen by chef Anthony Maubert, certain dishes are accompanied by a rural aroma created by blasting dry ice into a glass filled with hay-scented water. If you fancy something slightly less formal, then Le Pas de l'Ours offers a mouth-watering buffet to feast on after a hard ski on the slopes.
The Sofa Bar is one of the highlights of the resort and the atmosphere changes throughout the day, as afternoon tea is followed by complimentary canapés at 7pm. Tuesday nights promise the sultry jazz of Le Vitamine band, while singer and pianist Huw Lewis serenades an audience every Wednesday.
Teenagers can entertain themselves in the games room while you enjoy the spacious Comfort Zonal spa area, complete with jacuzzi, hammam, sauna and heated pool. The perfect way to warm up after a day spent battling the elements.
The hotel’s location means you can ski straight up to the door, ensuring you don’t have to spend a minute longer than necessary away from the slopes. It also means that every morning brings a fresh sense of wonder, as you draw back the curtains to soak up the breathtaking views of the mountainside.
The hospitable and accommodating staff ensure that the hotel is a firm favourite of couples, families and anyone else with a passion for the alpine life.
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
21st 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.
Les Barmes de l’Ours boasts a fantastic location where you can ski right up to your door from the Face de Bellavarde slope. It is in the heart of Val d’Isere, close to the restaurants, bars and boutiques.
A private or shared transfer will take 2hr 45mins for the 180km journey to Val D’Isere from Geneva. Alternative airports include Lyon, Grenoble (both approx. 3hrs 00mins transfer) or Chambery (1hr 45mins transfer).
The hotel has a playroom (inc playstation and pool table) which is supervised from 4pm during the school holidays.
There is a children’s menu available in the hotel restaurant.
Family friendly Suites are available with fun bunk bedrooms for the children.