A new Mandarin Oriental hotel

In almost twenty years of event management, we have definitely learned one thing: accommodation is key for the success of an event. We spend a considerable amount of time searching and visiting properties while always being on the lookout for new openings. That’s why we were so excited to hear about the opening of a new Mandarin Oriental hotel in Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy.

As this article on hospitalitynet.org explains, Mandarin Oriental has signed a long term management agreement to rebrand and manage the historic Hotel Cristallo. The property will undergo a substantial renovation, re-opening as a Mandarin Oriental resort just before the Milano-Cortina Winter Olympic games.

Mandarin Oriental Cristallo will be the Group’s first alpine resort and expands Mandarin Oriental’s presence further in Italy. The property sits above the most recognized mountain village in the Dolomites, a short walk away from Cortina d’Ampezzo, known as the ‘Queen of the Dolomites’. Venice Marco Polo Airport is reachable in one and a half hours by car.

Hotel Cristallo was built in 1901 by the Menardi family and was a popular ski destination in the 1930s for the European cultured elite. After the Olympic Games of 1956 the Hotel entered its “golden era”, hosting royals and celebrities, including Peter Sellers, Frank Sinatra, Saul Bellow and Vladimir Nabokov. It has featured as a backdrop for a number of award-winning films, maintaining its historical charm as an early 20th century grand hotel.

On re-opening as Mandarin Oriental Cristallo, the hotel will feature 83 guestrooms including 30 spacious suites with beautiful views of the Dolomites. The property will also feature a range of restaurants and bars, flexible spaces for entertainment and events, as well as an extensive spa and wellness facility, which includes a swimming pool that transverses from inside to outside the building.

Replacement of the Grands Montets lifts

Back in 2018, the Grands Montets ski area in Chamonix was severely affected by a fire which destroyed its two cable car stations. The accident severely impacted access to the area and deprived skiers of lift access to glacier skiing, previously reached via the top Grands Montets station. The Compagnie du Mont Blanc has recently unveiled exciting plans for the replacement of the Grands Montets lifts.

The project has been entrusted to the famous Italian architect Renzo Piano. For those who don’t know him, his notable buildings include The Shard in London, the Georges Pompidou Centre in Paris and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City.

The project is very big and will likely take some years, currently aiming for completion by the 2023/24 season. The current building will be replaced by a more compact cable car station in a better location for public transport users, to include direct access to and from Argentière village and train station.

The aim of this replacement of the Grands Montets lifts is to ultimately offer a “four seasons” access to an exceptional high-mountain location, whether it be for mountain professionals, hikers or sight-seers. The essence of the Grands Montets will be preserved.

As a Chamonix spokesman reported: “The Compagnie du Mont-Blanc is working with determination and passion to imagine and carry out a fully integrated project for the Grands Montets site. This large-scale project must respond to the challenges of ecological transition by collectively imagining mechanism for the next fifty years. It is with this in mind that we work and will keep you informed of the progress of the project”.

Return to in-person events

As an event business we are constantly keeping updated on industry updates, especially after all the changes brought about by the pandemic. A recent article on sociatables.com highlights some key 2022 event industry trends, insisting on the return to in-person events. This is really great news for us, as we organize winter and summer corporate trips for our clients all over the world.

As the article explains, a recent 2022 Global Meetings and Events Forecast highlights a high anticipation of in-person events returning in 2022. 67% of respondents believe levels will return to their pre-pandemic numbers within one to two years. In-person event growth is also supported by the high number of event professionals who have increased their events budget for 2022: 64% of respondents. Due to the anticipation of the return of in-person events, some venues already have limited or no availability for events in 2022. Event venues, event staff, and other vital services will likely be in high demand. Booking the necessary vendors and services may prove more difficult.

We are thrilled to hear these good news and to start planning our live events again. In fact, the 2021/2022 winter season has already been surprisingly busy for us. We are already planning our summer events and winter corporate trips for next year.

We believe in creating unforgettable event experiences whether it’s ski trips, outdoor adventures, city escapes or other corporate event types. Being able to communicate closely with our clients and design the perfect, tailor-made trip is at the heart of our event philosophy. We typically start the planning process 4 to 10 months before the event and spend a lot of time finding the right venue, suppliers and activities on site.

Most of all though, we love seeing our clients have fun and enjoying the moment them, while making sure everything runs super smoothly. After these couple of difficult years, we are 100% ready to go back to in-person events!

New event venue: the Labrador hotel, Chamonix

Although we have been based in the Chamonix valley since 2004, there is always some exciting, new event venue to discover. And one thing is certain: we do love it when a property turns out to be brilliant for our clients! We recently took a corporate group to the Labrador hotel in Chamonix and they absolutely loved it. So much so that they are looking to come back next year already!

The Labrador Hotel is ideally situated on the prestigious Chamonix Golf course, designed by Robert Trent Jones Senior, facing Mont Blanc and located just 300 m from the Flégère cable car. The hotel is located only 250 meters from the Flégère ski lift and only 3 km from the centre of Chamonix and the Aiguille du Midi cable car, giving you access to the prestigious Chamonix ski area and its 163 km of slopes. The property benefits from an exceptional natural environment with a southern exposure facing the Mont-Blanc, at the gates of the Aiguilles Rouges natural reserve. The Labrador hotel welcomes you with a breathtaking view of the Mont Blanc and the Drus for a romantic getaway, a family stay or a professional seminar in the Chamonix valley.

After a strenuous day of skiing or hiking you can enjoy the wellness area from 4 – 9.30pm: Jacuzzi, sauna, steam room and multi-jet shower. Massages and treatments are available on appointment.

At the Labrador hotel you will find a professional team whose purpose is the smooth running of your stay. A warm and smiling welcome in an authentic and comfortable setting will make your stay an unforgettable experience!

Sounds great for your next conference or incentive trip? Contact the Ten80 team and we will arrange an amazing company event for you and your colleagues in this fantastic new event venue.

La Folie Douce – best après ski in the Alps

If you haven’t come across La Folie Douce on one of your trips to the Alps yet, you are missing out on the best après ski in the Alps. La Folie Douce, “the sweet madness”, is probably the most quirky, explosive après-ski bar you will ever see on the slopes.

Founded in the 1980’s in Val d’Isère by Luc Reversade, La Folie Douce (now spread across at least 7 ski resorts across France) was born as a sort of Ibiza on the snow. In the words of its very founder: “I said to myself, if tourists dance when they go on holiday to the seaside in summer, they should be able to dance when they come to the mountains in winter”.

The latest addition to La Folie Douce family is La Folie Douce Chamonix, the first hotel of the chain. Since its opening in 2019, we have taken several corporate groups to the hotel and everyone has fallen in love with it.

A few things you can expect during a typical après ski at Folie: champagne showers, cabaret dancers, live singers, fireworks, glitter, fancy dresses and a wild crowd. It’s not all sparkles and unicorns though: La Folie Douce bars serve amazing food and their hotel in Chamonix features great conference facilities and a relaxing SPA with outdoor pool.

When booking an event with Ten80, you can be sure we’ll include La Folie Douce in your agenda and you’ll have the best après ski of your life.

Read the full story of La Folie Douce here: https://www.ft.com/content/7f3769ca-2483-11e9-b329-c7e6ceb5ffdf

Can we make skiing sustainable?

As environmental issues are on the rise, we’re all aware that skiing as we know it will not be sustainable in the long run (pun intended). We can of course re-think the activities we do in the mountains and find alternative ways to enjoy them. However, as shown by French ski resort Sierre Chevalier, there is a big margin of improvement in terms of sustainable measures that can be implemented. We can only hope this kind of positive innovations will become the norm for ski resorts in the near future.

Full article by The Guardian here: https://www.theguardian.com/travel/2022/feb/17/future-proofed-piste-sustainable-skiing-in-the-french-alps

Chamonix among top 20 ski destinations in the world

We’re delighted, though not overly surprised, to see Chamonix make it to the 2022 Tripadvisor list of top 20 ski destinations in the world. There’s a reason why we chose this incredible, year-round resort in the french Alps as our base for Ten80 Events. Other popular destinations for our winter events made it to the list: Zermatt, Morzine, St. Moritz, Alpe d’Huez. Safe to say we take our clients to the best ski resorts on Earth!

Full list of top ski destinations here: https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/TravelersChoice-Destinations-cSki-g1