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Val Thorens

Val Thorens

The height of luxury at the loftiest and most snowsure resort in Europe

Val Thorens has always been high and mighty - Europe's highest resort and at the centre of towering slopes with guaranteed snow. But it is has steadily become very high-end too, and it now has a wide range of fabulous hotels - two of our favourites are Altapura and Koh-I Nor - and is truly a five-star resort.

Beginners and intermediates should not be put off by its lofty altitude. There are extensive slopes for all abilities.

The village of Val Thorens is at 2,300 metres (7,550 ft) at the very head of the incredible Three Valleys, the largest linked ski area in the world. The lift system surrounding Val Thorens is the fastest and most efficient in France and gives quick and easy access to the other Three Valleys resorts of Les Menuires, Meribel and Courchevel.

Almost all of the lodging in Val Thorens is virtually ski-in, ski-out...if you can't actually click into your skis at your door, you will only be a very short walk from the piste. Runs actually go right through the village.

It is purpose-built, but with a distinct style and village feel - buildings are timber-clad and the centre is largely traffic-free. The highest runs, and therefore the most breathtaking views, are all accessible to intermediates - the cable-car to the Cime de Caron is one of the great highlights for a top-of-the-world experience.

Val Thorens is the point at which the famous Three Valleys becomes the Four Valleys, with runs (including one from Cime de Caron) down to Maurienne. The skiing possibilities here really are endless - and some of Europe's best off-piste is on hand, with new powder staying in great shape sometimes for weeks because of the altitude.

Apres-ski starts early on the slopes at the Folie Douce - and the sunny terrace of its attached Fruitiere restaurant is a top place for a mountain lunch. In the village, the Frog and Roastbeef is a long-standing favourite, while the Saloon and the Downunder both have a devoted following.

For nightlife with live bands, the Malaysia starts late and goes on until the early hours.


Jean Sulpice

Jean Sulpice

Lending his name to his Val Thorens restaurant, Jean Sulpice has two Michelin stars and four Gault-Millau toques which assure you of this restaurant’s quality.

With an inventive selection of menus filled with an experimental and imaginative range of dishes, diners find plenty to test their taste buds. Drawing inspiration from memories and experiences, Jean Sulpice creates each dish to tell its own story. This may explain why his signature dishes focus on a precise balance between taste and texture including: pigeon cooked in a salt crust and verbena, Snails ravioli plins with purée of herbs and Meringue shell, apple, honey and liquorice.

Jean Sulpice is ideally located on the edge of the piste in the resort, making it the perfect spot for lunch as well as dinner. For the first time in your life access fine dining by ski, lunch in your ski attire with comfy slippers and bask in a lunch like no other.


Malaysia

Malaysia

A popular après ski venue for over 25 years, the Malaysia club is the place to be to sample Val Thorens nightlife. Boasting the biggest dance floor in the Alps (measuring 700m2), the Malaysia opens its doors to over 2000 people every night, all of whom can enter for free.

With the quality of entertainment that the club attracts, it’s little surprise that this is the only club open until 5am in the region, with big name DJs including Calvin Harris, Chase & Status and Pendulum all having performed to a trendy, international crowd.

It’s fairly modest exterior may not be much to look at, but enter Malaysia’s doors and be taken back by the sheer enormity of the place. The expansive dance floor combined with a low roof gives it a contemporary, underground feel that only adds to its popularity. With pricey drinks and an ever-growing reputation, Malaysia attracts a wealthier clientele, creating a chic, cool ambience.