I hadn’t been skiing for 5 years so when I got the opportunity recently to go to Tignes, France with Mark Warner I jumped at the chance. I was excited and nervous and until a week before we got there it hadn’t snowed for a month! However we arrived to a winter wonderland and the white stuff didn’t stop falling for my whole trip. See how I got on in beautiful Tignes.
Our Hotel – Chalet Hotel L’Ecrin du Val Claret
We stayed in the ski resort of Tignes Val Claret at the Chalet Hotel L’Erin du Val Claret. The flight was very easy from the UK taking just an hour and a quarter from London Heathrow to Grenoble with British Airways. Once there we boarded a lovely warm coach for our 3 hour transfer to Tignes. I loved the fact that once we arrived we just went to our rooms and our bags were delivered to us.
As soon as I walked into my room I felt all warm and cosy. There was a very rustic feel to it with wooden walls, plush soft furnishings and paintings of ski scenes from years gone by. I had twin beds in my room and these can be pushed together to make into a double, very much the norm for European hotels. Sadly there wasn’t any coffee making facilities or water in the rooms which would have been nice but the hotel does have free tea, coffee, water and juice all day in the restaurant, Ski resorts always seem to prefer you out of your room and enjoying their facilities. From 4.30pm-5.30pm every day they serve afternoon tea with delicious cakes, pastries, and soup for savoury lovers like me! This was great after a hard days skiing, get back, have a snack then rest and shower before dinner. (Or pop to the spa for a massage, more of that in a minute!).
Dinner is included in the Mark Warner package and is served from 7.30pm each day, with a choice of 3 starters, mains and desserts with different menus. I particularly enjoyed the cod boulliaisse and warm goats cheese tart!
There is a lovely bar with very reasonably priced drinks too and a pool table plus plenty of comfy sofas and chairs near roaring fire. On Mondays they have a pub quiz too although sadly we came last! The questions were a tad ski heavy for us novices!
Skiing in Tignes
Being a relative beginner ski lessons are a must and I was keen to learn from our instructors at Evo2. As I had been skiing before (one week in 2003 and another in 2011) I was put with the lovely Vicky from vickyflipfloptravels.com who was of similar ability to me. Our instructor Alex took us over to Tignes le lac both mornings with a free shuttle bus running all day from right outside our hotel.
My first day back on the ski slopes
On day 1 it seemed I had forgotten everything I ever knew about skiing! The constant snow did nothing to boost my confidence and having never skied in powder before I had a shakey start. However after the first hour on the green runs I started to find my ski feet and so we ventured on to blue runs. We had a great time and I was shocked when the 2 hour and a half hour lesson was over. Time flies when you’re skiing but I felt I made the most of it. After a hearty lunch Vicky and I practiced all afternoon and we really saw some improvements.
Alex took us up the Palafour ski lift and we skied down the runs of Combe and Anémone. Conditions were very windy and unfortunately a lot of the resort lifts were closed due to the weather. At the top of Palafour it was as windy as I could cope with and visibility, to start with, was very low. The first run I was terrified and fell over about 10 times, one time I looked up the hill and could hardly see the people skiing towards me, I thought if I can’t see them they can’t see me so I jumped up pretty quick! The second run I enjoyed a lot more, soft snow is fun, lots of fun and I only fell over twice, managing to get short parallel turns and reduce my speed.
I was really happy with my instruction and felt Alex was very patient with me and helped improve my posture no end. I saw such a great improvement from my wobbly start so have lots of motivation to ski more and build up my confidence. An instructor, especially in these tricky conditions, is an absolute must. A big thank you to Alex and the Evo 2 team!
Après Ski with Mark Warner
After 2 days of skiing a little pampering is required so I thought I’d try one of the many treatments available in the Viva Spa, the massage menu was amazing and every day they had a deal on a group of treatments. Having never had one before I went for a hot stone massage, something I’ve been curious about for years. Before my masseuse Emma started she gave me a choice of 4 different oils each one targeting different things such as relaxation and de-stress. I went for the detoxifying oil called Cellutox active body oil with sea buckthorn, sea fennel lemon and juniper, it smelt wonderful! My massage was an hour long and at the end of it I was the most relaxed I’d ever been from a massage, every aching muscle was soothed and floating. Just what you need after exerting so much energy for 2 days.
I also checked out the rest of the spa facilities, the pool, steam room and sauna. After all the hot stones and steam rooms the pool felt a little cold for my liking but the atmosphere was relaxing and quiet, the perfect end to my 2 day adventure. It really felt like a perfect cosy indoor haven from the biting cold and relentless snow outside.
A big thank you to Mark Warner for inviting me on this trip. I had a great time, improved my very basic ski skills and felt fully pampered at their wonderful resort. 7 nights departing on 17 April at Chalet Hotel Ecrin de Val Claret in Tignes costs from £549 per adult and £314 per child, including flights, resort transfers, accommodation, breakfast, afternoon tea and three course dinner with wine, lift passes collection service, with free evening childcare.
To see a fantastic video of our trip go to xamiliax.com where Amelia captures it all wonderfully.