Trip Report: Les Arcs, February 25 – March 5, 2023
A group of 34 Fund-Bank Ski Club members took part in the Les Arcs, France, trip departing on February 25 and returning on March 5, 2023.
Les Arcs has three locations and since our hotel was in the Village 2000 - on the highest elevation of the mountain ridge, we experienced fabulous ski-in, ski-out snowy conditions that are rarely available on a European trip. Les Arcs 2000 is a ski town of style, elegance and class…and, of course, great skiing.
Once the group met up in Geneva with our Land Only travelers, we were on our way to Les Arcs. On the two and a half-hour bus ride, we experienced a bright sunny morning and majestic French Alp views passing through picturesque villages, like Annecy spread around a magnificent lake and considered to be the most beautiful town in France. When we unloaded from the bus, we were greeted with delicious snacks and soft drinks and a detailed presentation from the Chief de Village about our upcoming week, including all the activities the hotel offered. After the presentation, we were offered a gourmet lunch.
The trip was a tremendous success: we were lucky to ski good snow in a year when Europe has experienced snow cover shortage. We enjoyed sun and perfectly groomed slopes throughout our stay. In a nutshell, Les Arcs rewarded us with six fabulous days of skiing, great off-piste experiences, amazing views of Mont Blanc and comfortable weather. All of us were assigned to groups with experienced ski instructors, had lessons “on the go” and skied and explored challenging mountains that Les Arcs and La Plagne have to offer. Once on the slopes off we go to groomed or ungroomed off-piste slopes and then to relax for lunch in our lodge enjoying a great meal….sun…..and may be a glass of French wine!
ClubMed Hotel Extreme is a true ski-in, ski-out location, conveniently connected to the other villages of Les Arcs by Gondola and free shuttle bus. An exotic funicular connects Les Arcs to the town of Bourg-Saint-Maurice. We will never forget gourmet lunches and dinners with delicious duck confit and fresh oysters, raclette, racks of lamb and Italian station just to mention few, as well as “all you can possibly imagine” breakfasts all of which were a part of the package. And if get tired of the European gourmet dishes cooked by the Chef de Cuisine you could always go to another restaurant and cook yourself Swiss Fondue as well as grill meats and vegetables right at your tableJ….Elaborate menu and friendly staff.
There was no jacuzzi at our hotel…..so, many of the group went to the modern-day Deep Nature SPA nearby and floated for hours on stream beds of the swimming pool, relaxing in steam baths and jacuzzi.
The group chemistry was so good that we just glued together, meeting at breakfast, having lunch together, celebrating Joie de Vivre at the apres-ski, socializing during dinners at the reserved tables assigned for the group.
Skiing in Les Arcs was truly exciting, offering a panoramic view of Mont Blanc, challenging slopes (sometimes, very challenging for me), diverse quality of snow (we do not have that kind of snow in the US), endless off-piste terrain, freshly groomed slopes, comfortable skiing for all levels, and sunny and comfortable weather. No wonder that the whole area is called Paradiski, as it really IS a paradise for skiers….The sun was strong and everyone got a nice suntan. Majority of the group skied 5-6 days, and we never got bored with the slopes, skiing most of them for the first time.
We usually started our days by meeting at the entrance of the hotel at 8:30, taking a puma chair to the meeting place with guides, then switching to chair lifts during the day, and did not stop until 5 PM when the lifts were closing, sliding all the way down to the hotel ski room.
All skiers were assigned a guide and stayed with the same group during the first five days of skiing. But on the last day a group of 15 went to the nearby resort La Plagne: taking two lift chairs and a Ski Tram with a glass floor to ski on the famous Bellecote glacier. It was a nice day full of adventure, including a relaxing two-hour lunch on the top of the mountain and disco dancing at La Folie Douce.
Endless skiing, “fine dining”, sun tanning, endless exploration of the beautiful mountains, endless challenges, endless fun. What more can a skier dream about? Only a nice après-ski and dinner!