LUXURY SKI HOTEL VAL THORENS – ALTA-PURR-A
LUXURY SKI HOTEL VAL THORENS – ALTA-PURR-A –
A SCANDI-CHIC HOTEL SEXES UP VAL THORENS
By ERICA DUECY
Val Thorens may not be topof-mind for many American skiers, but it’s the new sexy on the European ski scene. Part of France’s legendary Trois Vallées—the largest ski area in the world with 200 lifts on one ticket—the region is comprised of Méribel, Courchevel, and Val Thorens. For comparison’s sake, take Aspen and Jackson Hole, then throw in Whistler and a few more resorts, and you still don’t come anywhere near the size of Trois Vallées. Even so, Val Thorens has historically been the underdog village, considered less hip than its stylish neighbors—until the arrival of Altapura in late 2011.
Without a doubt, Altapura is one of the slick-est ski lodges on any mountain. Jocelyne Sibuet, CEO of Maisons & Hotels Sibuet, collaborated on the Nordic-chic design with her 30-year-old son, Nicholas, and husband, Jean-Louis. The result is a plush, playful, almost futuristic interpretation of Scandinavian design. Instead of the rustic, wood-paneled rooms and dark plaid fabrics of more traditional mountain lodges, Altapura’s décor is a study in light and color. Pale, birch wood hues dominate the walls and wooden furniture; pops of green, turquoise, magenta, and orange make their way onto wall coverings and custom-designed fabrics.
The 88 spacious guest rooms and suites take advantage of sweeping mountain views, with large windows overlooking the six surrounding glacial peaks. In-room amenities include silver stone-lined bathrooms, iMac and iPod docking stations, and heated cupboards to dry out soggy ski garments. With its mix of tech, style, sumptuousness, and eco-initiatives (such as the use of solar panels and energy-saving architecture), Sibuet tells us Altapura appeals to a “young, athletic clientele who seeks a current spirit and design while keeping the history and tradition of the mountains.”