Review: Airelles Val d’Isère, France (Perfect!)

Review: Airelles Val d’Isère, France (Perfect!)

NAME: Airelles Val d'Isère
LOCATION: Val d'Isère, France
DATE: March 2023
REVIEW RATING:
BEN SAYS: Airelles Val d'Isère is perhaps the perfect ski resort, with beautiful rooms, endless amenities, impeccable service, and incredible restaurants. What a treat!
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EXTRA PERKS AVAILABLE Enjoy breakfast, upgrades, & more

Want to take advantage of Virtuoso benefits at no extra cost, including a room upgrade, free breakfast, a hotel credit, and more? Contact Ford ([email protected]) for more details. He doesn’t charge booking fees, and may even be able to help if you already have a stay booked.

Our primary destination for our ski trip to the French Alps was Airelles Val d’Isère, an incredible 46-room ski resort located in France (we also stayed at the Four Seasons Megeve). While the town of Val d’Isère perhaps isn’t the most exciting ski town in the Alps, the skiing is excellent, and I can’t say enough good things about this resort, which is a destination in and of itself.

The rooms, amenities, service, restaurants, and more, simply couldn’t be better. That’s exactly what I’ve come to expect from the Airelles brand, though.

Why we decided to stay at Airelles Val d’Isère

Ford enjoys skiing, so we try to go on at least one skip trip per year. While there’s great skiing in the United States, we still enjoy the overall experience more in the Alps. You can’t beat the quality of hotels, food, and the all-around service level that you’ll find at many of Europe’s top ski resorts vs. the top ski resorts in the United States.

Last year we decided to ski at Airelles Courchevel, which was one of the most amazing resorts I’ve ever stayed at. That stay has kind of made us obsessed with Airelles, which is a small French hotel brand that has a handful of resorts. We loved our stay in Courchevel so much that we decided to stay at Airelles Saint-Tropez in summer, and then stayed at Airelles Gordes in fall.

For this year’s ski trip, we decided to check out Airelles’ other ski resort, located in Val d’Isère. Not only were we curious to see how it compared to the Courchevel property, but many of the incredible staff we met at Airelles Gordes said they worked at this resort in winter, so we knew that service would be amazing. Suffice it to say the resort didn’t disappoint.

We even managed to convince friends to go with us, which made it even more fun.

Booking Airelles Val d’Isère

Airelles Val d’Isère is open seasonally (from early December until early April). We decided to visit toward the end of the season, in the second half of March. Airelles Val d’Isère has two kinds of rates.

There’s the standard rate, which includes breakfast, a complimentary minibar, and some other basic amenities. Then there’s the “all-in escape,” which includes three meals per day (breakfast, lunch, and dinner), ski equipment rentals, and ski passes.

I’d also note that Airelles is ridiculously generous with its rates that are inclusive of meals. This isn’t a situation where you have some limited menu you can order off of, and then there are supplements for just about everything. Rather you can basically order whatever you want, from truffles, to wagyu, to whatever.

For our dates, the rate was €1,600 per night for the “all-in” rate (the “basic” rate was €400 per night less). It goes without saying that this is a lot of money, but Airelles really offers a spectacularly good experience. In my opinion you also get a lot more value for your money in Europe than in the United States when it comes to luxury hotels. For example, for the same dates, the St. Regis Aspen was running $2,300 for a base room, and that rate included… *checks notes* not a whole lot.

The great thing is that all rates available directly with Airelles are bookable through Virtuoso, so that’s how Ford booked us. This offers additional perks, including an upgrade subject to availability, a $100 property credit, and more. If you’d like any help with a Virtuoso booking at an Airelles property, you can reach out to Ford at [email protected].

Airelles Val d’Isère location

Val d’Isère is located in the French Alps. If you’re flying in to visit the resort, the closest major international airport is Geneva (GVA), which is around a three hour drive away. If you’re coming from within Europe (particularly the UK), you can also fly to Chambery Airport (CMF), which is around a two hour drive away.

There are many different options for getting to Val d’Isère. For example, if you’re coming from Milan, you could take Trenitalia (which has an incredible Executive Class) to Chambery, and then take a car from there.

Airelles couldn’t have a more central location within the town of Val d’Isère. The resort is ski-in, ski-out, and you can walk just about everywhere.

Airelles Val d’Isère exterior
Airelles Val d’Isère exterior

If you don’t want to walk, the hotel also offers a complimentary shuttle service within town.

Airelles Val d’Isère shuttle

Val d’Isère has a gorgeous setting in the Alps, as the town is located at an altitude of 1,850 meters (around 6,000 feet). The town itself isn’t particularly posh, though, especially in comparison to Courchevel. Whether that’s good or bad depends on what you’re looking for. In Val d’Isère you most definitely get the sense that Airelles is the “it” spot.

Val d’Isère town

Airelles Val d’Isère lobby & check-in

We arrived at Airelles Val d’Isère in the early afternoon. Before we could even enter the hotel we were greeted by Elio, the awesome concierge who we had met a few months earlier at Airelles Gordes (and his awesomeness is one of the reasons we chose to stay here).

Airelles Val d’Isère has a charming lobby, with several comfortable seating arrangements. It was even cuter in the evenings, when there were candles throughout the lobby, along with a fireplace.

Airelles Val d’Isère lobby
Airelles Val d’Isère lobby
Airelles Val d’Isère reception
Airelles Val d’Isère lobby

Setting the tone of overindulgence at the resort, there’s a table with all kinds of sweets that guests can help themselves to just inside the lobby. Honestly, I feel like I deserve some sort of an award for how well I resisted most of the desserts at the resort, because I wanted to eat just about everything. All the sweets at Airelles are homemade, and are too tasty for anyone’s good.

Airelles Val d’Isère lobby snacks

Just off the lobby is the cigar lounge, which also has an honor bar with spirits. You can just pour yourself whatever you’d like, and then write down your name and room number.

Airelles Val d’Isère cigar lounge
Airelles Val d’Isère cigar lounge

We were checked in by the lovely Arline, and the process was quick and friendly. We were also offered warm towels and pear juice as a welcome drink.

Airelles Val d’Isère welcome drink

Our room wasn’t quite ready yet, so we went to enjoy lunch, and then our room was ready shortly after that.

Airelles Val d’Isère room

For our stay we were upgraded to room 501, one of the accommodations on the top floor (the hotel has five floors). These are technically marketed as “apartments,” and our room was the Chantemerle Apartment, measuring 68 square meters (just over 700 square feet).

Even though the hotel only opened in 2019, it doesn’t feel new, in a good way. Everything feels modern and well maintained, while still having a sense of place, and blending in perfectly. Airelles properties have what I’d describe as quirky decor, which I love.

Airelles Val d’Isère elevators
Airelles Val d’Isère hallway
Airelles Val d’Isère hallway

Our room featured a long entryway with the bathroom area to the right, and the main part of the room to the left.

Airelles Val d’Isère room entryway

Since this room is on the top floor, there are even slanted ceilings, which I thought was fun.

Airelles Val d’Isère room entryway

The room featured a comfortable king size bed, and a sitting area with a couch and two chairs.

Airelles Val d’Isère room bedroom
Airelles Val d’Isère room living room
Airelles Val d’Isère room living room

There’s also a desk area with a further two chairs, as well as a mirror that’s actually a secret TV.

Airelles Val d’Isère room bedroom

As is the norm at Airelles, the welcome gifts were pretty lavish. For one, there were two Airelles-branded shell ski jackets, which you’re free to enjoy during your stay, and also take home.

Airelles Val d’Isère welcome gift

On top of that, there was a welcome gift consisting of some fresh fruit, all kinds of sweets, and a bottle of champagne. Honestly, one of my biggest complaints about Airelles is how much delicious food they constantly give you, as it’s impossible to maximize the experience.

Airelles Val d’Isère welcome gift

The champagne welcome gift was a bottle of Dom Perignon 2013 — very nice!

Airelles Val d’Isère welcome gift

Just off the bedroom area was the minibar, where everything is complimentary.

Airelles Val d’Isère in-room minibar area

This includes 19 different sweet and savoy snacks, all of which can be replenished daily.

Airelles Val d’Isère in-room snacks

There was also a Nespresso machine, as well as a kettle, with a selection of tea.

Airelles Val d’Isère in-room coffee machine
Airelles Val d’Isère in-room minibar

Then there was the minibar, with a variety of soft drinks and water.

Airelles Val d’Isère in-room drinks

The room had a small balcony overlooking the village.

Airelles Val d’Isère room view
Airelles Val d’Isère room view

Back down the hall was a small (windowless) second bedroom, featuring two twin beds. This is obviously intended for families with small children, so we didn’t use this area.

Airelles Val d’Isère second bedroom

Then there was the bathroom, featuring double sinks, a soaking tub, and a walk-in shower, which doubled as a steam room.

Airelles Val d’Isère room bathroom
Airelles Val d’Isère room bathtub
Airelles Val d’Isère room shower
Airelles Val d’Isère room shower

Toiletries were in Airelles-branded bottles, and seemed to be high quality.

Airelles Val d’Isère room toiletries

The bathroom also had one of the best stocked kits I’ve ever seen with bathroom essentials, from a hair brush to lip balm.

Airelles Val d’Isère room amenities

The bathroom was located in a separate room, and featured a bidet-style toilet.

Airelles Val d’Isère room toilet

Suffice it to say that this is a pretty awesome room. A couple of other things to note…

While I found the bedding to be comfortable, there’s a drawer with some pillow samples, should you want a different kind of pillow during your stay.

Airelles Val d’Isère pillow menu

I was also impressed how the notepads by the bed had been monogrammed with our initials.

Airelles Val d’Isère monogrammed notepads

Furthermore, as is standard at Airelles properties, there was a nightly gift with turndown service, ranging from ski socks, to pajamas, to perfume.

Airelles Val d’Isère nightly gift
Airelles Val d’Isère nightly gift
Airelles Val d’Isère nightly gift

Airelles Val d’Isère spa & pool

For a ski resort, Airelles Val d’Isère has an obscene number of non-ski amenities. For example, the hotel has a 1,200 square meter (13,000 square foot) spa and wellness area. The wellness area is open daily from 9AM until 9PM, while spa treatments are available from 10AM until 8PM.

Let’s start with the wellness area, which has a gorgeous 20 meter (66 foot) indoor pool, with plenty of seating.

Airelles Val d’Isère pool
Airelles Val d’Isère pool
Airelles Val d’Isère pool

There’s also a huge hot tub located next to the pool.

Airelles Val d’Isère hot tub
Airelles Val d’Isère pool area
Airelles Val d’Isère pool drinks & snacks

There’s even a separate pool for kids — how epic is this?!?

Airelles Val d’Isère kids pool
Airelles Val d’Isère kids pool
Airelles Val d’Isère kids pool

In addition to the pools and hot tubs, the wellness area also had one of the biggest saunas and steam rooms I’ve seen just about anywhere.

Airelles Val d’Isère steam room
Airelles Val d’Isère sauna

I’m not usually a big pool person, but I visited this pool every day of our stay.

In addition to the wellness area, Airelles Val d’Isère has a Guerlain Spa, and you can find the menu here.

Airelles Val d’Isère spa reception

While I didn’t get any treatments, the spa looked great, and I have to say, the pricing for treatments wasn’t as high as you might expect.

Airelles Val d’Isère spa reception
Airelles Val d’Isère spa treatment room

Airelles Val d’Isère gym

Right next to the wellness area is Airelles Val d’Isère’s gym, which can be accessed by guests 24/7. While not the world’s biggest gym, it had a variety of modern cardio and weight equipment, and was more than sufficient.

Airelles Val d’Isère gym
Airelles Val d’Isère gym
Airelles Val d’Isère gym
Airelles Val d’Isère gym

You also have to appreciate the attention to detail that goes into everything at Airelles, from the variety of fragrances you can spray yourself with, to the juices, fruit, and granola bars, you can help yourself to in the gym.

Airelles Val d’Isère gym cologne
Airelles Val d’Isère gym drinks & snacks

Airelles Val d’Isère kids & teens room

Airelles Val d’Isère has incredible amenities for both kids and teens. In reality the teens room is for everyone, and we spent quite a bit of time here. In addition to an unlimited supply of jelly beans and M&Ms, it had endless games, ranging from air hockey, to racing, to pinball. How fun!

Airelles Val d’Isère teens room
Airelles Val d’Isère teens room
Airelles Val d’Isère teens room
Airelles Val d’Isère teens room
Airelles Val d’Isère teens room
Airelles Val d’Isère teens room
Airelles Val d’Isère teens room

There was then a separate room for younger kids.

Airelles Val d’Isère kids room
Airelles Val d’Isère kids room
Airelles Val d’Isère kids room
Airelles Val d’Isère kids room

Airelles Val d’Isère private cinema

Airelles Val d’Isère also has a private cinema, which can be reserved for free any hour of the day or night. Just tell the staff ahead of time, and they can basically screen whatever you’d like there, from a classic movie, to a trashy reality TV show. There’s even a popcorn machine, should you want a movie snack.

Airelles Val d’Isère movie theater
Airelles Val d’Isère movie theater

Airelles Val d’Isère ski room & skiing

Airelles Val d’Isère is a ski-in, ski-out property, and has a huge ski room. There are ski concierges there throughout the day who can help you with getting the right equipment, and will carry everything outside for you.

Airelles Val d’Isère ski room
Airelles Val d’Isère ski room
Airelles Val d’Isère ski room

On top of that, the ski room had a variety of tasty treats, from cake, to juice, to espresso.

Airelles Val d’Isère ski room snacks
Airelles Val d’Isère ski room snacks

How are the skiing conditions in Val d’Isère? Let me remind everyone that I only learned to ski last year, so I’m not really the person to ask. Val d’Isère is located at an altitude of 1,850 meters, on the edge of the Vanoise National Park.

The altitude of Val d’Isère is a huge advantage, since Europe otherwise had a really rough winter for snow. Fortunately thanks to the high altitude, this wasn’t a major issue in Val d’Isère. We were also there at the very end of the season, so I imagine conditions would have been even better earlier on.

Airelles Val d’Isère ski slopes

Are the Alps pretty, or what?

Skiing in Val d’Isère
Skiing in Val d’Isère

Dining at Airelles Val d’Isère

Now on to my favorite part of any Airelles property — the food. Airelles properties consistently have amazing food, and the Val d’Isère location is no exception. As mentioned above, we booked the “all-in escape,” so that includes three meals a day in any of the hotel’s restaurants.

Just to be clear, don’t expect this to be a cruise ship-esque all inclusive experience. Rather you can order whatever you’d like at some amazing restaurants, you sign for the meals, and then they’re simply removed from your bill in the background. The quality is amazing, and there are no restrictions on what you can order.

Here’s a summary of the hotel’s food & beverage outlets, to give you a sense of what to expect:

  • Loulou is the all-day dining restaurant, serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner; it serves Mediterranean cuisine, and is located on-property, on the ski slopes
  • La Grande Ourse is open for lunch and dinner; it serves traditional Savoyard cuisine, and is located right next to the resort, on the ski slopes
  • Matsuhisa is only open for dinner; it serves Japanese & Peruvian food, and is located on-property
  • Le Piaf is only open for dinner; this is more of a party restaurant and nightclub, and it’s about a five minute drive from the hotel
  • Le Bar Rouge is open throughout the day; it serves drinks and light snacks, and is located on-property, between Loulou and Matsuhisa

Now let’s go over the details of each of these restauratns.

Airelles Val d’Isère Loulou

Loulou is such a cute restaurant, and has both a beautiful indoor seating area (where we enjoyed breakfast each morning) and also a huge outdoor terrace (where we enjoyed lunch most days).

Airelles Val d’Isère Loulou Restaurant indoor seating
Airelles Val d’Isère Loulou Restaurant indoor seating
Airelles Val d’Isère Loulou Restaurant outdoor seating
Airelles Val d’Isère Loulou Restaurant outdoor seating

There are also two rows of seats right on the ski slope, should you want to enjoy a drink there.

Airelles Val d’Isère ski slope seating

Breakfast was served daily at Loulou from 7AM until 11AM. This included a buffet — while not the biggest buffet ever, everything was high quality and homemade. The buffet had everything from pastries and bread, to cold cuts, to veggies, to yogurt, to cereal, to chocolate.

Airelles Val d’Isère Loulou Restaurant breakfast buffet
Airelles Val d’Isère Loulou Restaurant breakfast buffet
Airelles Val d’Isère Loulou Restaurant breakfast buffet
Airelles Val d’Isère Loulou Restaurant breakfast buffet
Airelles Val d’Isère Loulou Restaurant breakfast buffet
Airelles Val d’Isère Loulou Restaurant breakfast buffet
Airelles Val d’Isère Loulou Restaurant breakfast buffet
Airelles Val d’Isère Loulou Restaurant breakfast buffet
Airelles Val d’Isère Loulou Restaurant breakfast buffet
Airelles Val d’Isère Loulou Restaurant breakfast buffet

You could supplement the buffet with anything from the menu, with options including pancakes, crepes, oatmeal, french toast, or eggs any style.

Airelles Val d’Isère Loulou Restaurant breakfast menu

I tried to limit how much I ate for breakfast, though I did have an omelet one morning.

Airelles Val d’Isère Loulou Restaurant breakfast

There were also a variety of drink options, including great coffee and cappuccino.

Airelles Val d’Isère Loulou Restaurant breakfast menu
Airelles Val d’Isère Loulou Restaurant breakfast
Airelles Val d’Isère Loulou Restaurant breakfast

You can find the Loulou lunch & dinner menu here. The meal always started with a selection of freshly baked bread, as well as a vegetable consommé.

Airelles Val d’Isère Loulou Restaurant lunch

The food was unbelievably good, and over the course of our stay we tried the truffle pizza, beef carpaccio, kale salad, tomato soup, sea bass fillet, veal milanese, scallops, and lobster spaghetti.

Airelles Val d’Isère Loulou Restaurant lunch
Airelles Val d’Isère Loulou Restaurant lunch
Airelles Val d’Isère Loulou Restaurant lunch
Airelles Val d’Isère Loulou Restaurant lunch
Airelles Val d’Isère Loulou Restaurant lunch
Airelles Val d’Isère Loulou Restaurant lunch
Airelles Val d’Isère Loulou Restaurant lunch
Airelles Val d’Isère Loulou Restaurant lunch

On top of that, there was a gorgeous dessert buffet at both lunch and dinner. I have a confession to make, which I am embarrassed to admit — I was always so full after the other amazing food that I didn’t actually consume anything from here. Oops.

Airelles Val d’Isère Loulou Restaurant dessert buffet

Airelles Val d’Isère La Grande Ourse

We had lunch and dinner one day at La Grande Ourse. The restaurant has a nice outdoor terrace where you can enjoy lunch, and then the inside is cozy for dinner, especially with the fireplace.

Airelles Val d’Isère La Grande Ourse Restaurant outdoor seating
Airelles Val d’Isère La Grande Ourse Restaurant outdoor seating
Airelles Val d’Isère La Grande Ourse Restaurant indoor seating

You can find the La Grande Ourse lunch & dinner menu here. For lunch we had the onion soup, endive salad, roasted salmon, and the burger.

Airelles Val d’Isère La Grande Ourse Restaurant lunch
Airelles Val d’Isère La Grande Ourse Restaurant lunch
Airelles Val d’Isère La Grande Ourse Restaurant lunch
Airelles Val d’Isère La Grande Ourse Restaurant lunch

Then for dinner, we had the foie gras, cheese fondue, and the wagyu steak.

Airelles Val d’Isère La Grande Ourse Restaurant dinner
Airelles Val d’Isère La Grande Ourse Restaurant dinner
Airelles Val d’Isère La Grande Ourse Restaurant dinner
Airelles Val d’Isère La Grande Ourse Restaurant dinner
Airelles Val d’Isère La Grande Ourse Restaurant dinner

Airelles Val d’Isère Matsuhisa

Matsuhisa is located right next to Loulou, and also has a charming design.

Airelles Val d’Isère Matsuhisa Restaurant seating
Airelles Val d’Isère Matsuhisa Restaurant seating
Airelles Val d’Isère Matsuhisa Restaurant seating

This is a brand that of course needs no introduction — Matsuhisa is essentially the more intimate version of Nobu, and has fewer locations. You can find the Matsuhisa dinner menu here. To drink, I had the wasabi martini, which I highly recommend.

Airelles Val d’Isère Matsuhisa Restaurant drink

To eat, we had the edamame, sashimi salad, crispy rice with salmon, yellowtail jalapeño, rock shrimp, and a selection of sushi.

Airelles Val d’Isère Matsuhisa Restaurant dinner
Airelles Val d’Isère Matsuhisa Restaurant dinner
Airelles Val d’Isère Matsuhisa Restaurant dinner
Airelles Val d’Isère Matsuhisa Restaurant dinner
Airelles Val d’Isère Matsuhisa Restaurant dinner
Airelles Val d’Isère Matsuhisa Restaurant dinner

After that we had a selection of mochi, plus the cappuccino dessert.

Airelles Val d’Isère Matsuhisa Restaurant dinner

Airelles Val d’Isère Le Piaf

While the hotel in general has a lively atmosphere, if you really want to turn up, Le Piaf is the place to go. This is the only one of the hotel’s restaurants that you need to drive to, as it’s about a five minute drive away. It’s open for dinner, and remains open until 2AM (or later), as you can also just go here to party.

Airelles Val d’Isère Le Piaf Restaurant exterior

This was probably my least favorite of the dining outlets at the hotel. That’s not to say it was bad, it just wasn’t as exceptional as the other options. While service throughout rest of the hotel is amazing and incredibly attentive, service here is a bit more night-clubby, which is fair enough.

You can find the Le Piaf dinner menu here.

Airelles Val d’Isère Le Piaf Restaurant seating
Airelles Val d’Isère Le Piaf Restaurant seating

To eat, we had the pumpkin soup, frisée salad, scallops, and truffle pasta.

Airelles Val d’Isère Le Piaf Restaurant dinner
Airelles Val d’Isère Le Piaf Restaurant dinner
Airelles Val d’Isère Le Piaf Restaurant dinner
Airelles Val d’Isère Le Piaf Restaurant dinner

Then for dessert we split the roasted pineapple with vanilla ice cream and the creamy puff pasty with chocolate sauce.

Airelles Val d’Isère Le Piaf Restaurant dinner
Airelles Val d’Isère Le Piaf Restaurant dinner

Le Piaf has live music for most of the night. Honestly, I adore live music, and will go out of my way to eat somewhere with it. Let me just say that the performer the evening we visited was… not amazing. I’ll just leave it at that. We still enjoyed ourselves, but this isn’t a place we felt we needed to return to.

Airelles Val d’Isère Le Bar Rouge

Last but not least, Le Bar Rouge is the hotel’s bar, which has a fireplace burning throughout the day, and live music in the evenings (unlike at Le Piaf, we loved the music).

Airelles Val d’Isère Le Bar Rouge seating
Airelles Val d’Isère Le Bar Rouge seating

You can find the Le Bar Rouge drink menu here. The cocktails here were very good, and beautifully presented.

Airelles Val d’Isère Le Bar Rouge drinks
Airelles Val d’Isère Le Bar Rouge drinks

Airelles Val d’Isère service

I honestly can’t say enough good things about the service at Airelles Val d’Isère. In my experience, France has some of the best service in the world, and also some of the worst service in the world, and this hotel definitely fit in the former category.

Every single employee just seemed like they wanted to make sure you had a great stay. There wasn’t a single service failure during our entire stay, which is quite rare. It was nice to see so many familiar faces from Airelles Gordes, but honestly everyone was amazing.

It’s so nice to be somewhere where you feel like you’re genuinely welcome, and that’s something Airelles does a great job with.

The concierge, Elio, really is in a league of his own. We had the pleasure of interacting with him at Airelles Gordes, and he was just as great here. He’s one of the most present concierges you’ll find at any hotel, he makes an effort to get to know each guest, and he even makes the rounds each morning during breakfast to see if anyone wants anything.

Airelles Courchevel vs. Airelles Val d’Isère

Now that we’ve stayed at both of Airelles’ ski resorts, which would I recommend? In terms of service, inclusions, and general philosophy, they have a lot in common. However, they’re also very different. Let me share a few of the things that stood out to me.

For one, Courchevel is way more over-the-top than Val d’Isère. Val d’Isère is largely popular with Brits, while Courchevel is largely popular with Russians. The general vibe of the towns, and the over-the-topness of everything, reflects that.

For example, you’ll find every designer store on earth in Courchevel. Meanwhile the only luxury store you’ll find in Val d’Isère is the Moncler located inside Airelles. At Airelles Courchevel, the hotel’s house car is a Rolls Royce Cullinan. At Airelles Val d’Isère, the hotel’s house car is a (still very nice) Mercedes van.

I don’t think one hotel is better than the other, necessarily, but rather that it all depends on what you’re looking for. If you want a scene, you’ll want to go to Courchevel. If you want quality and don’t care about the scene, Val d’Isère is great.

There were also things I preferred about the Val d’Isère property. For example, I preferred the restaurant concepts a bit, the base rooms in Val d’Isère are significantly larger than in Courchevel, and I think I slightly preferred the decor of the hotel.

Bottom line

Airelles Val d’Isère is a flawless resort. It has all the essentials you’d expect from a luxury ski resort, and so much more, from an amazing wellness area, to a fun teens room, to a private cinema, to exceptionally good restaurants. Having now stayed at four Airelles properties within the past year, I can say that this is one of my favorite hotel brands.

It goes without saying that our stay at Airelles Val d’Isère wasn’t cheap, but honestly, I thought the value was great for what it was, especially when you compare it to ski options in the United States (how much you’d pay for hotels, ski passes, restaurants, etc.). Yes, you have great skiing in the United States, but you won’t find this quality of lodging and dining in any US ski resort (at least not one that I’ve seen).

I can’t recommend Airelles Val d’Isère enough!

What’s your take on Airelles Val d’Isère?

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  1. Schar Diamond

    Airelles to me seems like the type of place you go to eat, eat, and eat some more, and leave only airlifted by helicopter hahah. amazing review as always, Im #TeamCourchevel resort wise, but this Airelles decor and style seems 100000x better than the other one.

    1. Justin Guest

      Any comparison to the Megeve ski area? Was thinking of planning ski trip there to stay at the Four Seasons but I need to consider Val d’Isere after reading your review.

  2. Daniel Guest

    @Ben Can you do a ranking of hotels you’ve been to? By region, type, etc.?

    You are starting to get some great luxury hotels under your belt and I’d love a bucket list

  3. GSDGSD Guest

    Thank you for the review - I was looking forward to this one! The price differences between Europe and the US when it comes to skiing are insane... especially when you factor in families. I know they have a kids club etc, did you see other people there with children?

    We did one of the Clubmed resorts this year in the Alps and honestly that experience with children was completely unrivaled. I think the equivalent...

    Thank you for the review - I was looking forward to this one! The price differences between Europe and the US when it comes to skiing are insane... especially when you factor in families. I know they have a kids club etc, did you see other people there with children?

    We did one of the Clubmed resorts this year in the Alps and honestly that experience with children was completely unrivaled. I think the equivalent in the US would have been 2x the cost. If this resort has onsite childcare as part of the kids club it may actually be worth the splurge.

  4. Carrie Gold

    Thank you for the marvellous review but particularly thank you for taking the time to comment on the comparison between the two alpine resorts which was the question on my lips. Love that you pre-empted the question in such a perceptive and thoughtful review.

  5. ArnoldB Guest

    May I ask what you did with your child in the meantime, did you leave him with your parents? I am curious because I will probably be in the same situation within the next 2-3 years and always wondered at what age it is "okay" to have a vacation without your child (for us I suppose breastfeeding could/would also play a role)? I did not read about this yet, but the thought of not being...

    May I ask what you did with your child in the meantime, did you leave him with your parents? I am curious because I will probably be in the same situation within the next 2-3 years and always wondered at what age it is "okay" to have a vacation without your child (for us I suppose breastfeeding could/would also play a role)? I did not read about this yet, but the thought of not being able to do any longhaul travel for 2-3 or more years is horrifying to me, but then again I also don't want to give my future child abandonment issues at an early age, if that is a thing.

    1. Nick Guest

      What age is “okay?” Ask 100 people and you’ll get 100 answers!

    2. reddargon Diamond

      I'm not sure I have a good answer on the abandonment question, we've only left our daughter for weekends away so far. But why would you have to give up long haul flying altogether for 2-3 years? You could always take your kid with you. Granted, we are expats living in Europe so we don't feel the urge to travel long haul for vacation, but we've taken our 2.5 year old daughter back to the US three times without an issue.

  6. Tracy Guest

    This is soo like a cruise: it's just a never-ending supply of food!

  7. Hugh Jeff the 2nd Guest

    Lovely review Ben. But was there avocado toast?

    1. JS Guest

      Haha - you beat me to it. No trip report is complete without a boring pic of mundane avocado toast which is so 2010's!

    2. Colin Guest

      Why do you keep talking about it if it’s so boring? Ben didn’t even mention it but you still want to talk about it. It seems you are the one that’s so 2010s!

  8. Santastico Diamond

    Rate was pretty decent for what you get and when compared to US ski destinations. Now I assume that rate is for end of season since that will probably be way more in the peak of ski season.

  9. NFSF Diamond

    Airelles is an incredible group of hotels. Sometimes I wonder if they actually make money :-P

  10. PJJTraveler New Member

    What an absolutely beautiful and charming resort. This is what I think a ski lodge in the alps would look and feel like. With the skiing, activities and all the wonderful food (for just a little more), I would probably never leave the resort!! Ski after breakfast and after lunch then fully enjoy the ambiance, luxury and warmth of the resort.

  11. Julia Guest

    Lovely hotel, definitely worth what you pay, but...you'll eat foie gras but not pork?

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Julia -- Nope, I don't eat foie gras, but Ford does.

  12. T- Guest

    This is by far my favorite hotel review. Who could ask for much more in a ski hotel? I look forward to taking out a loan and spending a long while there. Lol

  13. Mike Guest

    The Airelles properties are worth every penny, full stop.

  14. Clem Diamond

    Awesome review! Although with most of your French hotel reviews, I am starting to sense a theme of gross under indulging in top notch French pastries and desserts, which is such a shame :P.

  15. Anthony Guest

    I’m wondering if you paid $1600 Euro /night? I’m guessing by the wording—no. I truly enjoy your site but when you go to better end hotels I don’t think your reviewing from a retail point of view. And that’s quite important to me and I suspect others. Because if the RC in Grand Cayman was $300/night I’d be doing cartwheels of praise

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Anthony -- Sorry if the wording wasn't clear. Yes, we paid exactly the rate I listed, we didn't get any sort of discount. While I can understand how some hotels I review might not seem like they offer value for money, I genuinely believe Airelles does, at least in comparison to other comparable luxury hotels.

  16. BC Guest

    awesome review. Note that the shells are made by Fusalp, one of my favorite overpriced European ski (and apres-ski) brands. It was started by the family that initially launched Lacoste and you can see the similar design elements.

    Hotel looks great. Did they off an all-inclusive in Courchevel as well?

    While the value is certainly there, one of the main attractions of skiing on that side of the pond are the incredible on-piste...

    awesome review. Note that the shells are made by Fusalp, one of my favorite overpriced European ski (and apres-ski) brands. It was started by the family that initially launched Lacoste and you can see the similar design elements.

    Hotel looks great. Did they off an all-inclusive in Courchevel as well?

    While the value is certainly there, one of the main attractions of skiing on that side of the pond are the incredible on-piste restaurants for lunch which takes a bit away from the all inclusive attractiveness, even if it makes financial sense.

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ BC -- Fascinating, thanks for those insights! Airelles Courchevel offered a half board rate when we stayed, so you could choose whether you wanted to have lunch or dinner as part of that. That was probably a blessing, as it was easier not to overeat.

  17. Jerry Diamond

    That looks fabulous. This appeals to me more than Courchevel.

  18. Anthony Diamond

    Philosophical question - is three nights at this resort worth 500,000 Capital One or Amex points, or 333,333 Capital One points? I know Lucky that you basically only ever transfer points to mileage programs, but I can see someone that is more points rich than cash rich splurge for points for this kind of experience.

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Anthony -- That's a great question. Assuming someone generates a lot of points and could redeem them at a non-horrible rate, then I absolutely think it could be worth the splurge. That's especially true when you consider how much is included with the rate, which you wouldn't get at many other hotels one might redeem at.

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

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Mike Guest

The Airelles properties are worth every penny, full stop.

2
Schar Diamond

Airelles to me seems like the type of place you go to eat, eat, and eat some more, and leave only airlifted by helicopter hahah. amazing review as always, Im #TeamCourchevel resort wise, but this Airelles decor and style seems 100000x better than the other one.

1
reddargon Diamond

I'm not sure I have a good answer on the abandonment question, we've only left our daughter for weekends away so far. But why would you have to give up long haul flying altogether for 2-3 years? You could always take your kid with you. Granted, we are expats living in Europe so we don't feel the urge to travel long haul for vacation, but we've taken our 2.5 year old daughter back to the US three times without an issue.

1
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