Best ski resorts in Europe

We always strive to take our clients to incredible ski resorts all over Europe – and, recently, we discovered we might have selected just the best ones.

In an article on the Evening Standard we found a list of the 8 best ski resorts in Europe. To our delight, they have all been part of our event destination portfolio for a long time!

Here’s a shortened version of the list, in case you’d like to take a peek.

Val d’Isère, France

Best for: High-altitude style.

Party place: Cocorico at Rond Point — riotous ski-in après at the bottom of the piste.

Val d’Isère gives you everything you want in a resort, including snow-sure slopes for all levels and lots of breathtaking off-piste. There’s the buzzing social scene, with lots of live music and (expensive) champagne flowing at La Folie Douce.

Zermatt, Switzerland

Best for: Mountain magic.

Party place: Hennu Stall on the Furi-Zermatt slope — order the metre-long “ski” of shots.

It’s hard to take your eyes off the Matterhorn here, one of Switzerland’s most gorgeous images. For a classy alternative to après ski, try the boat-shaped Snowboat Bar beside the River Vispa in the centre of town, where gorgeous sushi is served with a huge selection of cocktails.

Les Arcs, France

Best for: Families, powder hounds… just about everyone.

Party place: Red Hot Saloon in Arc 1800 — live music and late-night partying.

What Les Arcs lacks in glamour it more than makes up for in incredibly varied terrain — think fun slopes, steep blacks, air-thinning peaks and sheltered woodland runs. Extend your lift pass to include La Plagne and take advantage of the new high-speed chairlift to Champagny-en-Vanoise.

Courchevel, France

Best for: Glitzy celeb-spotters.

Party place: Funky Fox in Courchevel 1650 — the place to see and be seen.

Don’t let Courchevel’s bling blind you to the superlative skiing in this starry corner of the Trois Vallées. This winter, expert skiers can tackle a new black run, Eclipse, which plunges into Le Praz at a drop of 970m and a 30 per cent gradient. Not for the faint hearted.

Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy

Best for: Old-school glamour.

Party place: Janbo in the town centre — for late-night good times.

The classy queen of the Dolomites rivals anything in the Alps for its jaw-droppingly beautiful granite mountains. And now those pink-tinged peaks will be easier to reach with the new gondola linking Tofane with Cinque Torri’s fabulous Super 8 circuit — and, ultimately, the Sella Ronda circuit.

Verbier, Switzerland

Best for: Off-piste heaven.

Party place: Hotel Farinet in the town centre — look out for flame throwers and bar dancing.

Verbier offers an exhilarating taste of the high life — its off-piste is among the best in the world. The new high-speed Médran gondola between Verbier and Les Ruinettes will make life so much easier. This winter’s new Mont 4 Zipline, the highest in Europe, starts at 3,300m and whooshes you at 100km/h until your head spins.

Kitzbühel, Austria

Best for: Medieval beauty and World Cup racing.

Party place: The Londoner — an English party pub, not for the faint-hearted.

Every January, crowds descend on Kitzbühel to watch the World Cup’s most thrilling downhill race on the Hahnenkamm course. But there’s so much more, including an enchanting medieval centre and 233km of varied slopes. Mileage-hungry skiers can test the new circuit between SkiWelt and KitzSki, the longest in the world.

Morzine-Avoriaz, France

Best for: Village atmosphere.

Party place: Hotel Le Tremplin at the foot of Pléney — the annual closing party is not to be missed.

These neighbours in the Portes du Soleil make a perfect couple. You’ve got pretty Morzine with its traditional Savoyard chalets and can also hop on the cable car to futuristic Avoriaz and its high-altitude slopes.

A luxury chalet ski deal

It’s been two years since Covid turned the events and travel world inside out. No more company outings, incentive trips, or corporate travel allowed. What a nightmare!

We have been extremely grateful for events resuming slowly over the past year or so, and we have just had one of our busiest summers. Now, it’s time to offer a little incentive on ski trips!

We are proposing an amazing, luxury ski deal to our clients for this upcoming spring. It will be hosted in Chalet Wapiti, a modern and bright mountain luxury retreat.

Here are some details of our deal, based on 16 guests.

 Included at £1350pp (based on 16 pax):

  • Sun 12- Wed 15 March 2023
  • 3 nights at Chalet Wapiti, Chamonix
  • Exclusive use of the chalet
  • Return airport transfers from Geneva
  • Fully catered inc. open bar
  • 3-day ski passes
  • Ski or snowboard equipment hire
  • 2 dedicated ski instructors throughout
  • Ten80 Event hosting service

More about Chalet Wapiti:

  • 10 ensuite bedrooms
  • Spa and sauna facilities
  • Walking distance to town
  • Private chef
  • Chalet host
  • Ski boot heaters
  • In resort transport

Are you interested to know more? Contact us via email: info@ten80events.com or by calling: +33 (0) 672 659 2212 

We hope to see you there!

Verbier

Winter’s back again and we are super busy planning our events for the ski season. After two years of closed borders and restrictions, we are excited to embark on overseas trips again. This winter, we will finally be back in one of our favourite Swiss ski resorts: Verbier.

One of the advantages of living in Chamonix is proximity to the Italian and Swiss border. We often take our clients over to Courmayeur, the Italian and sunny side of Mont Blanc. Pizza, coffee and après are quite amazing there! However, for a more glamorous touch and a very cheesy experience, we are also just a stone throw’s away from the Swiss resort of Verbier.

Here’s how the resort is described on seeverbier.com:

“Verbier has developed into a glamorous winter playground for anyone who wants to splash the cash. It’s an expensive resort but with its superb skiing, international clientele, high-quality accommodation and phenomenal bars and restaurants, it’s most certainly worth it.

Situated in the canton of the Valais, Verbier is bordered by France to the west and Italy to the south. It’s about a two-hour drive from Geneva airport, or you can take a train from the airport to Le Chable and then hop onto the gondola to the centre of resort.

Verbier suits both the keen skier, with its amazing and easily accessible off-piste, and the more leisurely skier who enjoys cruising the blues before relaxing on a sun lounger for the afternoon. It’s also the perfect spot for the après-ski enthusiast, with a world-famous selection of lively bars and clubs.”

We can’t wait to have our clients discover this exciting resort. Verbier’s unmatched skiing, elegant vibe and party scene are always a guarantee for a successful event. Not to mention the top-quality cheese!

Mountains on Stage

There is a mountain film festival we look forward to every year: Mountains on Stage. If you are a lover of the mountains like us, you won’t want to miss this year’s edition.

Mountains on Stage is a film festival aiming to bring the mountains into cities with a selection of the world’s best mountain-related films. These include sports such as skiing, mountaineering, climbing or paragliding.

As explained on the festival’s website, Mountains on Stage was born in 2013, when founders Cyril and Manon met Yves Exbrayat – organiser of “Les Rencontres du Cinéma de Montagne de Grenoble” festival. The event gathered more than 3000 spectators each night during 5 nights.

Cyril and Manon decided to develop their own mountain film festival in Paris, using the same concept of Grenoble’s festival. The projection of mountain films would be followed by the intervention of their protagonists on stage. A true moment of sharing and exchanging. 

The festival was born in March 2013 and has since then grown year after year, in France as well as in Europe.

We will be watching the 2022 edition in Chamonix, where our offices are based, but films will be broadcasted all over Europe starting December 7th. If you are a mountain nerd like us, you might want to go check the nearest projection to you!

The future of skiing

With temperatures continuing to rise due to climate change, the future of skiing is undeniably in danger. Ski seasons are starting later and getting shorter each year. As an event agency based in the Alps, we are particularly sensitive to this issue. That’s why we are always interested in ski resorts’ plans for re-designing the future of the mountains.

Skiing up higher

An interesting article on France 24 explores three different models implemented by ski resorts in France. The first one is Valloire (Savoie), whose manager Jean-Marie Martin has chosen to close ten lower-altitude slopes and open four new ones higher up.

This 8-million investment will allow to get 30 to 40 more years of alpine skiing out of the resort. In the long term, though, the plan is to diversify away from the “ski only” model, creating a year-round resort.

Artificial snow

With average snowfalls dropping significantly, it is logical to think about increasing snow production. However, this process takes energy and requires vast quantities of water to be stored, so that it’s ready for cold enough temperatures to start production. This often means creating artificial lakes.

This solution hasn’t been taken well by the community in La Clusaz (Upper Savoie). Creating an artificial lake in a forest would entail felling trees and threatening biodiversity. Even though local authorities insist that the lake could also serve local farmers and be a source of drinking water, two thirds would be reserved for snowmaking. 

Diversification

Contrary to La Clusaz, the Métabief resort in the France’s Jura region has anticipated the resort’s last ski season in the early 2030s. Olivier Erard, the resort manager, is working to ensure economic alternatives are in place. These could be year-round attractions such as mountain biking, hiking and paragliding.

We think these plans to implement changes are very good news: the future of skiing as an activity might be uncertain, however, mountain tourism is continuously evolving and is definitely very far from ending.

Iceland – the Land of Fire and Ice

One of our all time favorite destinations for corporate events is Iceland – the Land of Fire and Ice.

We have discovered this magical land on a corporate trip in 2018 and we’ve since been dreaming of running another event there. This week, it finally happened: we are back in Iceland with our clients!

But why is Iceland such a popular destination for corporate travel?

As this article on cooltraveliceland points out, Iceland has first of all a breathtaking, extremely varied landscape. Glaciers, volcanic landscapes, waterfalls, and black sand beaches, to name just a few.

However, the country also offers a rich culture, a world-class food and drink scene, and some of the most amazing natural hot springs in the world. Quite a few ways to relax and unwind after a busy day in the conference room!

Corporate trips in Iceland can be planned at any time of the year, as the country has something different to experience in every season. From puffin watching in the summer, to discovering ice caves and watching the Northern Lights in the winter. The best news? Its bustling capital city, Reykjavik, has a wide choice of hotels and conference venues to suit every budget.

As our local connections in this destination increase, we will continue to propose Iceland to our clients for future trips. We do hope to see you there on your next corporate event!

Sustainable ski resorts

With shorter winters, decreasing snowfalls and warmer temperatures, the effects of climate change in the mountains are becoming increasingly visible. It is likely that only high-altitude locations will be able to offer skiing as the seasons go on, or that skiing will be entirely replaced by other sport activities.

While the effects of global warming are unlikely to disappear, can ski resorts implement sustainable measures to delay such effects? In this article by National Geographic we have found a list of extremely sustainable ski resorts.

Zermatt, Switzerland. This car-free resort is easily accessed by train and has impeccable eco credentials: a photovoltaics (solar) system powers its gondola lift station; electric buses take skiers from A to B; snow groomers run on eco-speed diesel; and environmental experts oversee construction work. 

Flims Laax Falera, Switzerland. This resort is taking the fast run towards self-sufficiency and 100% renewable energy. Its electricity already comes from CO2-neutral sources and all new lift facilities are equipped with photovoltaics. There are e-vehicle and e-bike charging points, recycling stations, drinking water fountains and protected zones for animals and plants. Even the ski wax is biodegradable. 

Saas Fee, Switzerland. This is the world’s first carbon-neutral municipality. The car-free resort runs on hydropower and has nailed it transport-wise, with an e-car sharing service and emission-free ski buses. 

Wolf Creek, Colorado. Deep, steep and snow-sure, Wolf Creek is a shining model of sustainability. The resort is carbon-free, conservation-minded and runs on 100% renewable energy. Its snowcats even use biodegradable grapeseed oil.

Kaprun, Austria. Cue high-elevation recultivation projects, lifts running on 100% ecologically generated energy and free ski buses. 

Pejo, Italy. This green-minded resort in Stelvio National Park, in Trentino, is plastic-free and has hydroelectric plants providing renewable energy. Plans are in place to introduce hybrid snowcats.

Avoriaz, France. The greenest of France’s Portes du Soleil ski resorts, Avoriaz has launched projects to revegetate slopes, protect natural snow and keep snow-groomer emissions to a minimum.

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