First there was Arc 1600, then there was 1800, then 2000, and most recently Arc 1950 was built. But now there’s another new village. It opened its doors on December 18 – and it’s a totally new addition for the purpose-built resort of Les Arcs.
Les Arcs Panorama is set in a pine forest on the slopes above Arc 1600, and it’s SO big and SO comprehensive that once you are inside this futuristic village you need not go anywhere else – apart from skiing, of course, on the 225km of slopes of the second largest ski domain in France.
In case you’re wondering: yes, this is a brand new Club Med. On the outside, Les Arcs Panorama is sleekly curved and white. Inside it is so vast that if you have an Apple Watch or Fitbit like I do, you will have no problem at all in reaching the minimum 10,000 footsteps per day. In fact, on one day I clocked up just under 20,000 steps inside the building. (sliding on snow not taken into account.) There are 433 rooms ranging from superior to luxury suites. Long corridors, vast open spaces (and, I should add, inadequate lifts) means that, at first, it’s hard to find one’s way around and a map is badly needed.
First up are three restaurants and three bars. The main restaurant offers a traditional buffet experience where everyone can find something to their taste – this includes smaller ready-plated ‘suggested’ portions to prevent waste, discourage gorging and promote good health.
The Bistronomic gourmet lounge – complete with a wine cellar – offers a high-end culinary experience where you can book to go once during your week here.
Then there’s an innovative family restaurant called Bread & Co, which gives children the chance to become chefs for an evening. The little ones can invite their parents for dinner – parents order their meals on iPads while their offspring prepare and serve the food. As well as the kids’ restaurant, the resort has kids’ clubs catering to children from four months to 17 years. There are also ski lessons, apres-ski activities, a kids’ snow garden and heated swimming-pools for children. There’s even a Stage & Music Academy.
For a much-needed escape, particularly if you are holidaying child-free, there are adults-only spaces, with the Zen Lounge (for ages 18-plus) and spa helping you recover after a day on the slopes. In fact, the whole 8th floor is a wellness hub, with 13 treatment rooms and a hairdresser – it’s the biggest Club Med spa in France. There are also two meeting rooms available for corporate events and private parties. At the gym and studio space for 40 you can take yoga, Pilates, Zumba and stretching classes.
Highlight is Le Belvedere, which is a five-star resort-within-a resort-within-a resort. If you stay in this very separate part of Club Med you’ll pay 20,000€ per week for a family suite (which sleeps four) complete with an unusual wood-look carpet, two bathrooms and two loos. You’ll be offered an array of luxurious extras such as a concierge service, all-day-long room service and a private bar serving Champagne every evening. There’s also a private reception/lounge area for those staying in this elite sector, with all drinks included. A panoramic terrace features a hot tub and lovely views over the valley.
The whole place is pretty eco, too, with a Green Globe certificate to its name. Heating is regulated according to how many people are staying in the village, lights go off where you leave a room, and there is grass growing on the roof – for natural energy conservation.
About Club Med
Club Med was founded in 1950 by Gerard Blitz, who was a pioneer of the all-inclusive holiday, offering nearly 70 resorts around the world. Each Club Med resort features local style and comfortable accommodation, sports facilities and activities, children’s programs, gourmet dining, and international staff. Club Med continues to operate in more than 30 countries and maintains its authentic spirit, with a staff of 110 different nationalities. More than 14 new resorts due are to open within the next three years.
All-inclusive prices at Les Arcs Panorama start from £1,430pp (based on April 21 departure) for one week, including flights, staying in a superior room. Booking for Winter 2019/2020 opens tomorrow and Club Med is offering customers 15% off trips booked between January 23 and 26, on any departure dates – with kids under four staying for free. Included is full board, an open bar, kids clubs for four to 17 years old, six-day ski pass, five days’ lessons with ESF, day and night entertainment. Bookings: Club Med.
Also see our feature on the giant funpark in Les Arcs.