An escape to Ibiza

Before proposing a new destination or venue to our clients, we always go out and explore it first-hand. We call this practice a “recce trip”, where we visit a potential destination, eat in the best restaurants and test out some activities. Not the worst job in the world, is it? Our latest recce trip was an escape to Ibiza, a top destinations for our summer events.

We stayed in a newly discovered, lovely hotel at the heart of the island: the Rural Hotel Can Lluc. A real gem that we can’t wait for our clients to discover!

As the hotel’s website describes, Can Lluc stands in a highly prized area of ecological value and natural beauty, surrounded by pine forests and beautiful landscapes providing guests with peace and tranquillity.

The main house and outlying buildings, which are over 300 years old, have been restored while keeping the original features, from the stone walls and wooden roofs to the antique furniture.

The 20 rooms provide guests with the authentic feel of rural Ibiza, with beautiful views of the gardens and the surrounding countryside. For breakfast, guests can enjoy a full buffet made of natural and homemade food. What better way to start the day on this island that offers everyone so much choice?

While staying at the hotel, we even received a recommendation for a hidden beach where visitors need a password to access. These are the little things we love to discover during a recce trip! We can’t wait to take our clients for an escape to Ibiza to discover the hidden gems of the island.

The Starlight Room

How would you feel about spending the night in a mountain cabin with 360 degree views of the Dolomites? This breathtaking experience is what the Starlight Room in Cortina offers its guests.

We are always looking for spectacular experiences for our clients, so it is no wonder we came across this magical venue. On the Cortina Starlight Room website you can find all the information on how the cabin was conceived and how it works.

The Starlight Room was born from an idea by Raniero Campigotto, who created the first wooden room with glass walls in 2016. The goal was to allow guests to sleep under the stars immersed in breathtaking nature. The project had great success and the design was developed to offer an even more comfortable and exciting experience.

The Starlight Room follows sustainable principles, as it is made using larch and fir wood crafted by local artisans and features solar panels to generate power. The room rotates around itself to offer ever-changing views of the breathtaking surroundings. The interiors show the traditional style of mountain cabins, made with natural wood and fabrics from Cortina. 

The room features two areas. On one side, a table furnished with a bench to enjoy a romantic dinner while watching the sunset. On the other side, a queen-size bed for the night. The glass walls offer unmatchable views over the Dolomites. The room has a small bathroom and is equipped with a heating system to guarantee maximum comfort in winter times.

The Starlight Room is located in a quiet, secluded area. The Rifugio Col Gallina staff drive guests to the room by snowmobile in winter and off-road vehicle in summer.

If you would like to try this incredible venue during your event, look no further. We have connections to local suppliers in all our destinations and we are always thrilled to include spectacular experiences in our clients’ event agenda!

Environmental tips

Climate change is becoming one of the world’s major issues and talking points. The development of ski resorts creates significant pressure on the mountains and their eco-system, and it is an undisputable fact that the glaciers are retreating. We found some useful environmental tips in this article on seechamonix.com to help preserve the mountains for future generations.

  • Be aware of your environmental impact as skiers and boarders. Educate yourself about your environmental impact on the mountains, and what you can do to minimize it.
  • Leave no trace – do not litter the slopes. When the snow melts at the end of the season, litter left behind will remain. Bin it or take it home with you. Did you know it takes up to two years for an orange peel skin to be absorbed by the earth? While a cigarette butt takes up to five years. If you find litter on the slopes, be responsible, do the right thing – pick it up.
  • Do your bit to reduce global warming on holiday and at home. In hotels, re-use your towels each day, and where possible recycle your household waste. Many French ski resorts now have excellent recycling facilities for plastics, cans and paper, glass and other waste. Additionally, if you’re not in your chalet or hotel room, switch off electrical appliances. A TV can use more energy when left on standby than it does during the time is being watched.
  • Encourage tour operators to adopt green policies. Find out if your tour operator offers train travel as an alternative to flying; if they use paper from sustainable forests for their brochures; if they use low-wattage light bulbs in their chalets and bio-degradable detergents.
  • Investigate whether your chosen resort uses environmentally friendly practices. Many resorts now use bio-diesel fuel in piste-bashers, solar panels for heating, hydro-electricity/wind energy for power and a host of other initiatives. Some resorts use the International Standards Organisation (ISO) 14001 as a mark of their environmental credentials.
  • Reduce CO2 emissions. By flying fewer miles or switching from air to rail, you can help reduce the volume of greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change. Whenever possible, use your bike instead of your car.
  • Respect the natural habitat of mountain animals and plants. If you ski through trees, you can damage them by knocking off branches and killing young shoots under the snow. Take care. Many areas are out of bounds to protect the natural habitat of animals and plants – not just safety reasons.

As mountain lovers, let’s all make an effort to follow these simple, impactful environmental tips and make the Alps a better place for those who will visit them in the future.

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”.

Upcoming events in Chamonix

After two years of pandemic, it is a huge relief to see events come back to life. And if we talk about events, there is no better place in the French Alps than Chamonix-Mont-Blanc. As a year-round resort, Chamonix offers all sorts of events, from sport competitions to film festivals and concerts. Here’s an overview of upcoming events in Chamonix for summer 2022.

14 to 19 June 2022. Second edition of the Chamonix Film Festival. Film projections, meetings & talks with some of the mountaineering world’s most prominent personalities. Five days devoted to mountain lovers and enthusiasts!

23 to 26 June 2022. Mont Blanc marathon. A trail running event comprised of 8 different races to suit every participant’s expectations and level of practice. The event includes the “flagship” 42km race, 23km, 10km, the “Duo under the stars” (duo race at nightfall), Vertical Kilometer, as well as races for children.

30 June to 3 July 2022. Arc’teryx Alpine Academy. The outdoor community will be gathering in Chamonix, at the heart of the Alps, to celebrate the biggest educational outdoor event in the world. Programme: clinics and workshops led by mountain guides and athletes, free Alpine village, DJ, film screenings…

8 to 10 July 2022. Climbing World Cup. Programme: Difficulty World Cup (Men and Women) and Speed World Cup (Men and Women).

3 to 22 July 2022. Baroque Festival. A series of exceptional concerts held in towns and villages of the Mont Blanc region as a tribute to Johann-Sebastian Bach.

24 to 30 July 2022. Cosmojazz Festival. Concerts at altitude take place during the day on sites chosen for their majestic scenery. From 5 to 9 pm., it’s time for concerts in Chamonix center! The Couttet Park becomes the focal point of the festival, hosting a large covered stage.

22 to 28 August 2022. Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc. An extraordinary adventure at the heart of the Mont Blanc Massif! The UTMB is a trail running event for runners from around the world.

We surely can’t wait to take part in all these exciting, upcoming events in Chamonix and we hope to bring some of our clients along to experience the magic.

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.

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

Life of an event planner – told by an event planner

In July 2019, our event planner Penelope was participating in the Discover Sardinia workshop, exploring the narrow streets of Cagliari and visiting Sardinia’s stunning seaside resorts. Before coming back to Chamonix, she wrote this note about life in event planning.

I would be lying if I said I am not amazed at the life I often get to live through work. But if you think that, just because they are entertainment, events are a fun & games, eating & drinking thing, you should think again.

An event planner is an observer, a mind reader, a control freak, a creative, an improviser, a perfectionist, an entertainer, a host, a storyteller, a romantic. And so no, events are not for everyone and no, you might not love the job at all. In fact, it might just make your head explode.

You need a strong stomach at all the dinners, a strong liver at all the parties.
The stamina to function, smile and run the show after semi sleepless nights.
The zen to constantly see beautiful things and leave them behind before you even get to enjoy them.
The patience to engage in superficial conversation in what is often considered a superficial job, while it’s actually a stressful, complex profession.

Your brain is left dominant, right dominant, constantly racing while you make it all happen, keep it all together, fix the flaws in the background, add sparkly touches, check and re-check that everything is smooth as oil, while you stir your cocktail and pretend you’ve never been more relaxed.

And when the magic you created for others is over and you are left with just a few dying sparkles of laughter and joy, you take off your Fairy Godmother dress and you go back to a grey city office, to start putting it all together again.

…Oh, unless you live in the Alps.