The mountain experience has been reimagined – and damn does it look good. Piers Ritchie, enterprising alpine aficionado and close friend of HedgeBrunch recently launched the Arctic Lodge and Co in Val d’Isere, France and after a recent visit, we are hooked. It’s a new concept and new approach to skiing in luxury which is aiming itself at a far more considered approach to the chalet and wider mountain experience than we’ve ever seen.
The group is taking a private members club mind-set with multiple locations in and near L’espace Killy. Currently they have: Artic Lodge, Townhouse, Refuge and Spa, plus a handful of Arctic Cafes, and there’s more planned season on season. The idea is holistic service across the spectrum and across your holiday, where membership gives you the benefits that a well connected concierge-style relationship can bring year on year. “Its about maximising your time in the mountains, enjoying the best of everything: lodge, service, travel, guides, and constant support” say Ritchie. “Whether its a car at the airport to collect you whenever you want, a discounted helicopter, or your favourite skis already waiting for you at the lodge when you arrive, we have it all covered to simply make it better, easier and more fun!”
They are clearly doing things with conscious and active mind-set too. As well being focused of developing a community amongst their members through-out the year (not just for the mountain weeks) with significant benefits they have turned the traditional chalet catering on its head. Arrive from the airport and you’re greeted not only by a welcoming glass of bio-dynamic wine but by the vintner who works with the group to tell you more about it. Returning from a day on the slopes there’s a cold beer and a slice of cake waiting for you- but the beer is gluten free and the cake is nutrioitously and deliciously guilt free, actually good for you. Clean eating has arrived in the alps.
Now we like a fondue as much as the next person, but cheese 7 days in a row is too much for anyone. Yet most trips are based on this excess. More champagne, more cheese, more bread… ski, eat, drink, eat, drink, repeat. How many times have you got the the 4th day of you trip and craved something healthy? The Lodge and its siblings are bringing conscious consumption to the mountainside, and by all appearances its really working.
On the earliest sunny days of the season the Artic Cafe in central Val D’isere is packed with locals, tourists and seasonnaires alike – all feasting on avocado toast, cold press juice and a myriad a delicious but “clean” mountain fuels. No guilt here and you can ski all day without flagging too – begging the question: why’s no-one done this before?
The accommodations are not without obvious consideration either. After being delivered to the door by Tom, the team driver (on call throughout your stay) you’re welcomed into a warm cocoon that’s tough to leave. There’s no surface not clad in rustic wood or draped in sheepskin and an outsized roaring fire welcomes you morning, noon and night for the full hygge effect. Quite heavenly. A balcony hot tub with a view of the Le Face and the World Cup Downhill polishes it off – the only final touch is the staff. Experienced (often rare even in the most luxurious of chalets) friendly and always there on hand they were a great addition to the week.
We’re returning to Arctic Lodge and Townhouse (their two primary residential offerings) at the end of January for a mini HedgeBrunch Ski week. After a January detox this seems like to best plans to ease ourselves into 2017 fun! We recommend you check them out.
For more information and to book head to arcticlodgevaldisere.com
If you’re interested in joining HedgeBrunch Ski events please email us as firstname.lastname@example.org!