Hotel in the snow

The best Hotels in Les Arcs

Our hotel and residence guide

By: Simon Wilkinson

Welcome to our guide to the best hotels in Les Arcs, we offer our valued opinion and the opportunity to get in early and book one of these fantastic locations. Les Arcs is indeed a fantastic ski area with genuinely good skiing for all levels.The resort is split into 5 main villages starting with Peisey Vallandry/Plan Peisey situated at 1600 meters and elevating all the way up to Les Arcs 2000 for accommodation.

Mountain Rescue Transfers is actually based here not at Les Arcs 2000 but in Peisey Nancroix, the small village nestled into the tree line and at the foot of some rather tasty off piste runs. We thought it about time to give you our guide to the best hotels and the residences of our local ski area.

CGH Résidences & Spas Orée Des Cimes – 4 stars 

Google maps: Route des Espagnols, 73210 Peisey-Nancroix, France 

Peisey Vallandry is a great location for homing your skills and on low visibility days it’s the perfect place to be with lots of the runs winding through the trees.

This is where we start with guide of Les Arcs by recomending the CGH Residences & Spas Oréé Des Cimes. It’s in a cracking location and offers Ski in ski out which is always nice.

The residence has a Spa heated indoor swimming pool, hot tub and even a hammam. All of the spacious apartments enjoy great views of the surrounding mountains and it’s only a 5 minutes’ walk to the village of Peisey Vallandry. The village has some good shopping and the hotel is situated close to the Mont Blanc bar which is not only lively but shows all major sporting event as well as live music and even the odd comedy night.

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Hôtel Arcadien – 3 Stars

Google maps: Arc 1600, 73700 Arc 1600, France 

Moving up to Les Arcs 1600 and we would like to recommend the Hotel Arcadien. The Arcadien is a 3-star hotel that is extremely popular and often availability is very low so you will need to book this one early if your hoping to stay here on peak weeks.

Each room comes with a flat screen TV and French cable channels for classic holiday viewing. The hotel has 2 onsite restaurants, La Cabuche offering Savoyard dishes and Les Arolles offering other local flavours.

It’s certainly very good value for money and very popular although not on the piste it’s only a 9 minute walk from the Mont Blanc and Cachette ski lifts and here you can arrange ski lessons and other activities. It’s our favourite in Les, Arcs 1600.

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Appart'Hotel Odalys Prestige Eden

Google maps: Lieu dit Le Chantel - Arc 1800, 73700 Arc 1800, France 

Les Arcs 1800 could be considered as the ideal location to spend your ski holiday. Its high enough to give you direct access to some of our favourite slopes and lifts and its easy to go straight up and over to Les Arcs 2000. Our recommended Les Arcs 1800 Hotel or residence is going to be Hotel Odalys Prestige Eden it’s a relatively new hotel and offer ski in ski out due to its rather splendid location overlooking Les Arcs 1800.

Each of the ski apartments has as expected flat screen TVs and all towels and linen are provided. It has a very modern feel and retains a real alpine environment with tasteful décor. There is also a restaurant on site.

Ski lifts are abundant and its only 400 meters from the Chantel ski lift, 50 meter from the Dahu and 500 meters from Les Villards and the Vagere on of the best lifts in the area for starting a run down to Peisey Vallandry.

Les Arcs 1800 has a great selection of shops, bars and restaurants that are split up into two areas. It’s a really nice place to walk around at night close to the pistes and being up high in the mountains it has a really special feel to it.

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Pierre & Vacances Premium Arc 1950 Le Village - 5 star

Google maps: Le Village, 73700 Arc 1950, France 

Les Arcs 1950 is a world until its self really, it’s an amazing place to stay for a high-altitude ski holiday. There are ski lifts and runs scatted all around the resort nearly all modern and very fast. There is one very slow lift called the Comborciere but it’s a lovely place to take a rest and eat a sandwich. Unless it’s absolutely freezing of course then avoid it like the plague.

So to our recommended place to stay well Pierre & Vacances have it pretty much sown up here its an extremely well run operation and the level of comfort and professionalism to top notch.

The apartments themselves have a lovely alpine feel to them and all include Wi-Fi as well as a furnished balcony area or terrace all the kitchen equipment you will need and some apartments even have a fireplace.

Other feature of Le village is the indoor swimming pool, sauna, steam room as well as a fitness room for some apartments at an additional cost.

The 1950 village has lots going on, there are shops a supermarket several restaurants and bars and it’s has a winter wonderland feel a real ski holiday location.

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Taj-I Mah 5 star

Google maps: Arc 2000, 73790 Arc 2000, France 

We reach the summit, Les Arcs 2000, on a clear day we recommend you head up the highest peak in Les Arcs the Aiguille Rouge (3,250 meters) from here you can get a breath-taking view across the Alps spy on the other high points of this fantastic range. Once you are done sight seeing its time for some skiing again and from the top of the Aiguille Rough you can descend 7 KM all the way to Villaroger a small farming village close to Tignes but still part of the Praradiski ski area. Conditions should be good to make the full descent and when they are its one of the best tree filled runs you can do.

So after a hard days skiing there is now where better in Les Arcs 2000 to stay than one of the most luxurious hotels in the Alps the Taj-I Mah. This recently opened 48 bedroom hotel is at the top of the stack in every way. Top of the hill and top of the luxury market.

With two restaurants one of which is Michelin star its a fantastic place to eat and well as sleep. The rooms are very airy and have spectacular views of the mountain. The whole hotel makes very good use of its surrounding with lots of glass in place to let the outside in. Its certainly a top notch joint for a world class resort so please check in and check it out.

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Off piste run in ski resort

Why The Tarentaise Valley is The Best Part of The Alps

By: Cliff Frank

The Tarentaise Valley hosts the largest group of Olympic quality ski runs anywhere. The valley also has beautiful towns with luxurious resorts open both for winter sports and summer fun.

Long before Caesar invaded Gaul, Darantsia was the capital of a tribe called the Centrones. Le Vallée de la Tarentaise is named after this ancient village. The Tarentaise Valley runs along the Isère River in Savoy, a typically beautiful region of the French Alps.

There are four towns in the valley: Albertville, at the western entrance, is the largest, followed by Moûtiers, Aime, and Bourg-Saint-Maurice. These towns support world-class ski resorts, headlined by Les Trois Vallées, Paradiski, and Les Arcs. The 1992 Winter Olympics was hosted by the city of Albertville and used the fantastic slopes of the Tarentaise Valley. If you ski, these resorts are the primary reason that you should make the Tarentaise Valley a destination.

Les Trois Vallées has more slopes and cross-country trails than any ski area in the world. It is a beautiful year-round tourist destination as it intersects with the Vanoise National Park, one of the most beautiful National Parks in Europe. There are currently four valleys with interconnected ski lifts which create the greatest variety of skiing on a single lift pass anywhere. There are 370 miles of ski slopes and about 800 miles of cross-country trails. Les Trois Vallées currently runs 183 ski lifts transporting as many as 260,000 skiers every hour. Les Trois Vallées places a strong emphasis on safety and employs 424 ski patrollers for the protection of its clients. It also hires 1,500 ski instructors, so rest assured that you don't have to be an Olympian to have a great time.

Paradiski offers fantastic ski slopes between La Plagne, Les Arcs and Peisey-Vallandry. Beginning in December 2003 Paradiski has been served by the Vanoise Express, a double-decker cable car that connects La Plagne with Les Arcs. The Vanoise Express is an exciting ride, transporting 200 people at a time more than 1,200 feet above the valley in a ride that takes seven to ten minutes. It has a pair of units that can run independently and is constructed without pylons. Paradiski offers a lift pass that connects it to Les Trois Vallées.

Les Arcs is considered the first of the "mega-resorts.” Its architecture is 20th century "avant-garde" for the most part, though its newest structures are built in the 19th-century chalet tradition.

In the Winter Olympics of 1992, Arc 2000 was used for speed skiing. The slope is 2000 meters long with a stopping zone of 700 meters. This slope is still there, one of the many reasons that the Tarentaise Valley is considered the finest skiing destination in the French Alps.

Bourg-Saint-Maurice, Arc 1600, Arc 1800, Arc 1950, and Arc 2000 form the spectacular area called Les Arcs, which hosts 106 ski runs served by 54 lifts. The high point is the mountain called Aiguille Rouge (Red Needle) with a vertical drop of more than 2000 meters that descend directly to the lovely hamlet of Villaroger.

bourg-st-maurice funicular

Bourg St Maurice

The town

Bourg St Maurice, known to the locals as Bourg, is the biggest town in the Tarentaise Valley, nestled between the mountains in the heart of the French Alps. One of its major attributes is that it is open all year round, unlike many ski resorts, and there is always something going on.

Used as a base for may mountain operations Bourg is ideally placed for access to Primarily Les Arcs via the funicular train but close by road as well to La Plagne, Tignes, Val dIsere, Ste Foy and the La Rosiere ski area. Chalet companies use Bourg as the main distribution point for food and weekly shopping trips. Choose your shopping day carfully as often a simple shop in Bourg super U can turn into a minefield whilst you navigate your way round flocks of chalet hosts busying themselves purchasing local ingredients and stocking up on wine and beer.

While there’s no skiing in Bourg St Maurice itself, it’s a mere stone’s throw, or more accurately, a short ride on the Arc en Ciel funicular railway up to Arc 1600 and the rest of the Les Arcs region. Arc 1600 is a firm favourite with the locals, offering spectacular views of Mont Blanc and stunning woodland areas. It is quieter than some other resorts in Les Arcs, offering a fantastic skiing experience.

Just above Arc 1600 is Arc 1800, the largest of the Les Arcs resorts. From here there are excellent links to La Plagne via the Vanoise Express, so Bourg St Maurice provides easy access to some of the country’s best-loved ski regions.

Things to do in Bourg

More tranquil and affordable than many other towns in this part of France, Bourg St Maurice is no less entertaining. For those who are feeling adventurous, it offers fantastic opportunities for outdoor pursuits such as mountain biking and hiking as well as water sports including kayaking and white water rafting. Other popular activities include paragliding and hang gliding.

Those looking for a more relaxing experience can enjoy a picnic overlooking the mountains, delicious meals at one of the many eateries or an ice cold beer or glass of wine on a sunny terrace. There are plenty of shops to buy souvenirs, designer clothing and local delicacies. There are also several excellent spas where visitors can rest and recuperate before getting back on the slopes.

Depending on the time of year, there are various live music events in and around Bourg St Maurice in addition to street festivals, concerts, parties, fireworks displays and ski competitions, there is now a Winter film festival held in November at the Cinema Cour d’or.

How to get to Bourg St Maurice

The best way to get to Bourg St Maurice is by train or airport transfer. Choosing train or transfer takes the hassle out of hiring a car, driving on the ‘wrong’ side of the road and navigating to your accommodation. Get the Eurostar direct from St Pancras, London or fly into Geneva and get the train to Bourg from there. 

Mountain Rescue offer short transfers all around 30-45 minutes from Bourg to Tignes, Vald Isere, Les Arcs, La Plagne, St Foy and Le Rosiere. The  service is a friendly and cost-effective way to maximise your time on the slopes and gives you reliable, door-to-door transportation around your flight or train times. Contact us today to find out more and to book your transfers.

the vanoise express in summer

Why we love the Vanoise Express

The Vanoise Express is the daddy of all cablecars. First off, it’s a double-decker lift, so it can transport more than up to 180 people at a time. This is really helpful as it means queues are minimal even in peak season.

Secondly, it covers a distance of 1,800 metres, which is no mean feat. That’s 1,800 metres of stunning scenery, carrying you over the valley at a height of 380 metres. Just imagine the photos you could take as you travel!

Thirdly, it connects two key skiing resorts: La Plagne and Les Arcs, providing a vital link in the famous Paradiski ski area. That means you can enjoy twice as many fantastic slopes during your skiing holiday. And these ski areas are pretty amazing…

La Plagne has 225 kilometres of slopes and a large off-piste area. Its 134 slopes offer 15 black runs, 30 red runs, 72 blue runs and 10 green runs. Les Arcs has 106 runs and 200 kilometres of descent, with an exhilarating mixture of open and wooded runs.

Fourthly, it’s super speedy. The trip takes less than ten minutes, so you can get where you’re going in no time at all! Not that you’ll want the journey to end, as it really is spectacular. The good news is you’ll get to make the return trip when you’re done skiing!

Fifth, it feels really safe even for those who are scared of heights. Completely closed in, it is sturdy and durable, and the pace is steady. If you’ve ever felt afraid standing at the top of a mountain or travelling in a wobbly cable car you can rest assured that you’ll perfectly safe in the Vanoise Express.

Five facts about the Vanoise Express to wow your friends with:

  1. It cost more than €15 million (£13 million) to build
  2. It officially opened in 2003
  3. It operates without any supporting pylons
  4. The two units can operate separately and have spare engines, just in case!
  5. In December 2013, two slack-wire walkers cavorted between the two cars (we don’t recommend you giving this a go!)

Book your ski transfer now

Just as travelling between Les Arcs and La Plagne is a doddle with the Vanoise Express, so is travelling from the airport to either of these ski regions, and many more besides, thanks to Mountain Rescue Transfers. We’ll pick you up and drop you to the door of your accommodation and get you back to the airport in plenty of time at the end of your holiday. Our service is reliable, affordable and takes all the hassle out of your journey. Contact us today to book your transfer.

Exterior of Hotel Taj-i Mah in the snow

Hotel Taj-I Mah, Les Arcs 2000

This winter Les Arcs is opening the doors of its first 5 Start Hotel, the Taj i Mah in Arcs 2000. Named after the largest un-mounted diamond in the Iranian crown jewels collection it translates to “Crown of the Moon”, very French indeed.

Situated bang on the piste next to the “Le Cabriolet” gondola customers will of course be able to enjoy ski in/ski out access as well as amazing views of the piste and mountain range.

All of the rooms at the Taj i Mah enjoy private balconies, wifi access, mini-bar, Nespresso machine and a private safe.

The Taj I Mah hosts two restaurants, a comfortable lounge/bar area, a kids playroom, a panoramic terrace and a 400 meter square spa and swimming pool. The hotel includes a 24/7 turndown service and a baby pack for infants under 3 years old. 

Michelin star holder Eric Samson will manage the hotels two restaurants, The “Dialant Noir” focusing on gastronomic delights and “La Rotisserie” offering local dishes with a casual twist of style.

Its certainly going to take things up a notch in Les Arcs and now it joins the likes of ValdI’sere and Courchevel in housing a luxury 5 star hotel and restaurant. The advantage of staying at 2000 meters however is fantastic and Les Arcs has a super snow sure record to match any of the regions resorts. Les Arcs is directly linked to La Plagne via the 180 person cable car the Vanoise Express, making the massive Paradiski ski area and for that reason making it one of the most popular ski destinations in France.

To book you luxury holiday in Les Arcs for winter 2016/17 visit Alpine Answers for more information.