Pretty in Pink: Sensations Club Med Resort
Pretty in Pink
CLUB MED’S LATEST CONFECTION IN THE HAUTE-SAVOIE
The latest pride of Club Med’s chain of escapist hotels.
Here’s the thing about an Old World rosé: It’s dry, versatile, and not too intense—and chances are it’s made in France, où les plus belles choses sont roses.
Something similar could be said about Club Med. It’s true, the inventor of the all inclusive vacation has hotel offerings from Majorca to Mauritius, many of them in sultry southern locales with cabanas by the pool, sculpted staff, and fruity, well-endowed drinks. Yet Club Méditerranée may be at its best at home chez France, in the midst of the country’s suave, snow-covered Alps, where Old World alpine tradition meets modern mountain chic.Indeed, like a fine French rosé, the experience at a Club Med ski hotel is versatile, light, and not too sweet. It doesn’t hurt that the Med’s latest hôtel de ski is dressed in the color pink.
The idea was to create an offbeat, dynamic, and complete vision that reflects the essence of the mountains and expresses the sensational nature of this resort in a surprising way.
Val Thorens Sensations Club Med Resort debuted in winter of 2015. The latest pride of Club Med’s chain of escapist hotels, Sensations is built on a hillside overlooking the pistes of
Les Trois Vallées, home of France’s Haute-Savoie and the highest ski-in/ski-out resort in the world. From outside Sensations’ sliding front doors one can access 321 trails, six glaciers, and 25 peaks. A view of spectacular Mont Blanc shining in the sun is but a lift ride away.
Like France itself, Val Thorens Sensations is a curious thing. It’s packed floor to ceiling with contradictions, including its very space-age look in the midst of the storied Haute-Savoie region, where timber, stone, and fine alpine tradition is evident in everything from architecture to food and fashion. Sensations took only seven months to build yet it boasts the largest footprint in Val Thorens. There’s no kids’ club at this hotel, even though kids’ clubs are a staple at Club Med. Sensations’ architecture and decor is ultra mod—think: James Bond’s romp on the Schilthorn circa 1969 in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service—yet its setting is as old as dirt. Oh, and did we mention the interior of the hotel is pink?
From the cushions on the sofas and beds,to Sensations’ carpets, lamps, couches, modish chairs, and multiple tinted glass walls, most accents are a soft yet spellbinding shade of pink. Designer Sophie Jacqmin is the creative force behind the hotel’s unusual interior design. “The idea,” she says, “was to create an offbeat, dynamic, and complete vision that reflects the essence of the mountains and expresses the sensational nature of this resort in a surprising way.”
Offbeat and surprising… yes. Yet it works. Sensations’ rosy palette stands out against a backdrop of snow white, and the hotel’s generous use of wood, stone, steel, and glass give all rooms airiness and space—at Sensations, you really do feel as if you’re on top of the world, or at least right at home at 7,546 feet.
The hotel’s architectural design is futuristic, too, with its four open floors of lobby and lounges stacked on top of one another like a series of elegant terraces, connected by a spiraling set of stairs. A four-floor indoor climbing wall—oui, a climbing wall—stretches high along the hotel’s all-glass front, offering guests a spectacle as they climb the stairs or retire to one of the many lounges to sip rosé. Ski country has rarely seen an indoor climbing wall as a lobby’s focal point of a four-star hotel… yet somehow the French make it très élégant. Afternoon tea served daily along side elaborate pastries and crêpes add to the ambiance.
There are four restaurants at Sensations, all under the direction of Michelin-starred chef Edouard Loubet. As is Club Med’s signature, the restaurants are all-inclusive and all-you-can eat. In Haute-Savoie tradition, cheese stars consistently on the menus, and dishes are oft served in miniature Le Creusets. Restaurants morph cleverly into night clubs and lounges when food is not being served—a smart and futuristic use of space.
Naturally Sensations has a spa, with Carita products as its brand of choice, plus a separate “teen spa” for young adults aged 11 and up. And while kids are welcome at Sensations, this Club Med has broken the mold, opting out of its signature kids club. Adults and kids are expected to vacation together here in the Haute-Savoie—not especially difficult when the playground for skiers expands to 373 miles.
Club Med’s G.O.s (Gentil Organisateurs) are everywhere, of course, with smiles, songs, and multiple o¤ers to assist. Ski pros o¤er lessons and tours all day, everyday. No, they’re not outfitted in pink, but everything else is… Mais oui, Sensations is pretty in pink.