Winter treats and altitude luxury

If you’re anything like me, you definitely associate winter with cold and gloomy weather, warm bed, hot tea and a sparkling fireplace …

I bought a beautiful and very expensive (sexy, no doubt) ski outfit a couple of years ago and wore it just one time last winter when it was my first and last skiing lesson. I then realized that I’ll never ski – it’s just not my winter sport. Honestly, winter and sports don’t go together for me.

However, there are a few places that can make you love winter even though you’re not skiing. Let’s take a glimpse on these winter treats.

About three years ago, a friend visited one of the top ski resorts in the world. He keeps coming back to the area ever since, so I was tempted to study and share that special place with you.

When someone mentions France, I think of the best wine, cheese, fragrance and cosmetics plus a few favorite designer brands.

My friend is a keen ski fan but also a nightlife lover, so besides the story of the black and red runs, the exceptional views of the three valleys, the amazing ski-able altitude (up to 2300 m!), I was much more impressed by his clubbing experience. In addition, there are some breathtaking spas that offer an exquisite touch to wellbeing.

I’ll start with the party places and then move on to the relax retreats …

First, we’ll indulge into the luxury and unique winter fairy tale, called Courchevel. The resort has five villages and you can explore their beauty at the exciting website but our focus here is the ever-popular Courchevel 1850. It is the perfect blend that gives you the ultimate pleasure  of the popular winter sport and an après-ski that challenges even the best city nightlife.

Les Caves is a legendary club, striving for over 20 years to meet the most demanding requirements of its VIP clients. Sipping divine champagne like Armand de Brignac Nebuchadnezzar, also known as “Ace of Spades”, Crystal or Dom Pérignon Rosé is the perfect supplement to the rock, house, disco or RnB music, mixed by some of the best DJs worldwide.

This club is composed of two rooms: the large room on the first level of Caves and The Salon at the underside. With a capacity of 450 people, including 220 seats, it is also possible to privatize this magical nights of Courchevel. The Lounge has a capacity of 120 people including 60 seats. It is in this festive place where customers appreciate luxury spirits and premium cigars: Cohiba Siglo VI, Cohiba Robusto, Cohiba Esquistos, Partagas D4, Montecristo No.4 … Naturally, Caves offers valet parking and luxury limousines. Chic, classy and sensual the club will surely awaken your senses and ensure a voluptuous escape throughout the winter.

For those who prefer a milder, more relaxed and sophisticated experience, there’s the
Bellini’s bar with Europe’s best bartender or Le Saint-Roch where homemade hot chocolate makes you realize why the French Alps are so special …

Divine spas are the second reason that made me share Courchevel with you. These places not only give winter a whole different perspective but also make you dreaming to go back and have that experience over and over again. Many prestigious brands are represented at the hotels in Courchevel, so I’ll share my top priorities and leave you to explore the rest on your own.

The must-do in pampering is the Spa by La Prairie where you’ll reach the peak of wellbeing. In addition to the luxury face and body treatments and the regular spa facilities, you’ll find a pool with counter-current swimming system, an integrated Jacuzzi, aquagym, exterior hot tub and Kérastase branded hair rituals. If the place is fully booked (which definitely won’t be surprising in high season), you have one more La Prairie option with “The Art of beauty “ program at Le K2 Goji Spa. The added value to your extraordinary adventure there is the double booth where you can show your loved one what he’s been missing while conquering the ski slopes.

Explore the Clarins treatment philosophy at the newly enlarged Lana Spa. Their belief is that “plants help beauty to flourish” and you’ll be delighted by everything they have to offer – from essential oils to osteopathy. The 15-meter indoor pool with lessons of aquaerobics, aquabiking, swimming and Power Plate complement that distinctive indulgence.

Courchevel is part of the largest ski resort in the world and is known to be home to some of Europe’s most expensive restaurants and hotels. However, there are 3 valleys in this piece of winter paradise and Val Thorens happens to be the highest point. It’s voted Best European Ski Resort 2014 and is nominated for European Best Destination 2014. It already is pronounced Most Improved Ski Resort 2013 and is the winner in 2013 World Ski Awards! So let’s see together why it is such a special place …

The first amazing thing about Val Thorens (besides the unlimited ski options, of course) is that it’s semi-pedestrian which means no cars are allowed at the resort, except for brief luggage unloading. This fresh and natural environment, combined with the crisp Alpine air provides a real pampering holiday feel and makes you blend right in, organically.

As promised: party’s first! Hold your breath…At Val Thorens you’ll find “The dancefloor on top of the world”. La Folie Douce is the highest open-space club in Europe (2600m!) with a 700m2 dance floor. If you’re looking for the coolest, trendiest and most awesome people in the resort, that’s the place to find them. From 3 to 5pm every day over 1000 people enjoy drinks, dancers, DJs and performers for a top-notch party environment that turns the mountain into a legendary winter Ibiza. You might want to book a table at the VIP zone as it gets really packed! True to its name (that translates as “sweet madness”), LFD blends the gourmet cuisine, refined drinks and progressive sound for a memorable sensation that brings back tourists every year, often more than once. Moreover, there are two restaurants with different menu styles to impress even the most demanding taste. Trying the premium dining experience, La Fruitière is a must but for some quality afternoon snacks or delicious desserts, you’ll be more than gratified at the Nuvo Self. The Jazzy Lounge background music will accompany you inside all afternoon, and outside until 2 pm, before the artists take over the stage and show you what party’s all about!

For the adventurous and non-traditional tourists, Val Thorens offers another
excitement – a romantic night in a traditional Mongolian yurt! The private dinner at 2500 m is surely a thing to remember when you look back to your winter holiday :) And if that’s not enough, there’s the biggest nightclub in the Alps – Le Malaysia. Its signature are live bands and moving walls – totally worth visiting!

Last but not least, we’ll focus on SPA services. The brand new Koh-I Nor SPA is 800m2 pure luxury.Besides the two pools, sauna, hammam and Jacuzzi, they have salt wall, ice fountain and sun lounge. For those of you who wonder why the salt wall is so precious, I can’t omit emphasizing on its amazing benefits. It relieves respiratory conditions such as asthma and seasonal allergies. Salt minerals naturally cleanse the air in a room without the risks of synthetic air purification methods. Salt therapy improves the look and overall health of skin. It also helps reduce inflammation, clear blockages and fight infection. The beauty care at this spa offers the Valmont brand for hair and skin treatments. It’s a cellular cosmetic line that magically transforms every skin cell into a glowing diamond. Visiting the Koh-I Nor Spa equivalents a certain physical and spiritual revival!

Another delightful spa location in Val Thorens is Spa Pure Altitude. Indoor and outdoor pool, “Nordic Spiral”, leading to “Igloo” area and tepidarium are just a few of the numerous treats that await you at this 1000 m2 wellness nirvana. The beauticians here use their very own, specially designed Pure Altitude cosmetic line that is made of mountain plant extracts (e.g.edelweiss) to rejuvenate and enrich your stylish look.

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