One of my colleagues Thomas Moulton trekked out to the two gorgeous French resorts of Tignes and Val D’Isere a few weeks back and was eager to get some words out about his adventures. And no, the photo isn’t from twenty years ago.
Tignes (26th March 2008)
Club Med’s legendary welcome was evident with cheery Club Med G.O.’s [Gracious Organisers] dispensing mulled wine and hot dogs by the entrance. The Village is next to the lifts and pistes suitable for all standards. At reception we were met by Jaclyn McCabe, a friendly Durham graduate from Middlesbrough. After a successful winter, Jaclyn was looking forward to a summer season with Club Med in the Caribbean. We also met the Tignes Chef de Village Jean Marc, not from Middlesbrough but just as friendly and efficient. Jaclyn later explained that Jean Marc can really turn the atmosphere on, has a great voice and talent for acting which is all part of Club Med’s entertainment program. After a magnificent lunch, we were given a tour. Particularly impressive are the large number of single rooms, the abundance of staff for the kids in the Mini and Junior Club, the qualified instruction and Spa facilities.
Val d’Isere (27th March 2008)
If the Tignes property was impressive, the Val d’Isere goes one better. Decorated in more traditional style, the Val d’Isere Club Med is more like an Alpine Chalet with lots of wood. Thick carpets in the dining room also provide a more intimate atmosphere. The facilities including the bedrooms (all en suite and with plasma TV), gym, Turkish baths, sauna, disco and bar, were then shown to us, this time by Julie Bonot who previously worked in a smart hotel in Lyon and with a restaurant boasting many Michelin stars. As usual we had a sumptuous lunch leaving us feeling content and a little rounder. We then met the Chef de Village JC, who looked similar to his Tignes colleague – a sort of fun French Brad Pitt lookalike.
Despite a busy schedule of hosting 500 guests and managing instructors, chefs, DJs, barmen et al, JC still had time to have a poke at us about the previous evening’s England-France football match. Like the rest of the staff, he engendered a good atmosphere which includes a daily round of après ski shows, stand up comedy, theme nights, cabaret and more. Participation is optional but if you want to join in, pack something in preparation. During the day guests are equally well looked after, a great bonus is the qualified instruction for all levels and one of the reasons why Club Med maintains a solid lead on imitators. Overall it’s good value and if clients are looking for quality accommodation food and skiing and not needing their own chalet, it doesn’t get any better.
- Thomas Moulton