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!

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!

Safety in the mountains

The recent rescue of a 26-year old British man attempting to ascend Mont Blanc is only the latest example of safety issues in the mountains this year.

According to this article on explorersweb, The man was attempting to climb Mont Blanc wearing a tracksuit, hiking poles and a tarp. He was caught in a snowstorm and he had to call for help from the Bionnassay Glacier. Rescuers failed to find him in the storm and told him to find shelter, then lost contact.

He was found the next morning 3,100m up the mountain, still alive. However, with a body temperature of 25˚C, he was five minutes from death. Mountain rescue officials said he had dressed “as if out for a Sunday stroll,” as reported by The Daily Mail. He told police he wanted to climb the mountain as a “birthday present to himself”.

A growing problem

This is unfortunately not the first accident on Mont Blanc this year.

At the beginning of summer, local guides briefly stopped working on the mountain because of heavy rockfall, an issue driven by climate change.

The mayor of Saint-Gervais-les-Bains, a village at the foot of Mont Blanc, announced plans to charge a deposit of €15,000 to reach the peak via the Goûter route. The aim was to cover rescue and funeral costs of the climbing mishaps that increase every year.

However neither warnings, videos, nor financial threats were enough to prevent poorly equipped “pseudo-alpinists” from climbing Mont Blanc. Local authorities ended up closing the busiest refuges in the French Alps until further notice.

It’s likely that climbing Mont Blanc will continue to become more complicated for everyone. This is why it’s so important to put safety first when adventuring in the mountains. Hiring a guide is an excellent way to prevent accidents and make the most of a mountaineering trip. At Ten80, we have a large network of mountain professionals and we always point our clients in the right direction when planning their next adventure in the Alps.

Our stay in Lake Orta

As part of our event planning work, we often check new destinations and properties for future trips. So a few weeks ago, we embarked on a trip to northern Italy and visited on of its least-known lakes: Lake Orta. We expected beautiful landscapes, delicious food and the typical warm, Italian hospitality. But we didn’t expect to find hotel La Darbia: an incredible property which made our stay in Lake Orta absolutely magical.

As read in the description on the hotel’s website, La Darbia is situated above Orta in the middle of a wood and park area with ancient chestnut trees, maples and hornbeams. The residential ensemble blends into the terraced landscape, in constant dialogue with the ever-changing light and mood of Lago d’Orta.

All its 20 apartments open onto the garden with its Nebbiolo vineyard, saltwater pool and solarium. The views wander all the way to Monte Rosa. All units have a private outdoor area: on the ground floor a garden bordered by vines, on the upper floor a panoramic terrace.

One of the most impressive features of La Darbia was its food. For breakfast, just like all other meals, guests can enjoy local products and ingredients coming from surrounding farms. Jams and cakes are directly prepared by the chef. Freshly-baked croissants and bread come every morning from a nearby bakery, while fruits and vegetables are from the property’s gardens.

We loved the authenticity of La Darbia and its attachment to the local territory. There is no doubt this property would make a perfect venue for incentives and corporate events. It has entered our list of top properties in northern Italy and we can’t wait to take our clients for a visit to Lake Orta!

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.

Le Chalet Mont-Blanc

Finding the perfect accommodation for clients is a key part of event planning. Along our almost 20 years of work in the Alps, we have built solid local connections with chalet owners and found some real gems. One of our favourite chalets in Chamonix is without a doubt Le Chalet Mont-Blanc: an impressive, multiple award-winning property. In 2019, The World Ski Awards named Le Chalet Mont-Blanc World’s Best New Ski Chalet.

As this article on chamonix.net points out, Le Chalet is surrounded by stunning mountain scenery, including Mont Blanc. It features an indoor swimming pool, jacuzzi, sauna, gym, massage room, cinema, wine cellar, helipad, 13 bedrooms, plus a studio. All rooms have a south-facing uninterrupted view on the entire mountain chain and get the longest hours of sun in the Chamonix valley.

Le Chalet is an ideal accommodation for guests looking for wellbeing, relaxation and contemplation as well as for those attracted by sporting conquests. It is perfect for corporate groups, large families and friends.

On the outside of the property, guests can explore the beautiful grounds and often spot wild deer or chamois. There’s also a private stream with a waterfall.

Would you like to stay at this stunning property on your next corporate event? Don’t hesitate to get in touch with our Ten80 Team!

Montreux Jazz Festival

Being based in Chamonix – near the border with Italy and Switzerland – gives us and our clients the chance to attend events happening across three countries. After two years of pause some of the biggest music and sport events in the region are finally back. The most legendary is without a doubt the Montreux Jazz Festival.

The Montreux Jazz Festival takes place for two weeks every summer in Switzerland, on the shores of Lake Geneva. Created in 1967 by Claude Nobs, it has become an essential event, generating fantastic stories and legendary performances.

Nearly 250,000 spectators come to the Festival every year, enjoying a breathtaking setting, concerts with renowned acoustics and many free stages. With its ambitious programming choices and musical diversity, the Montreux Jazz Festival offers a privileged experience to musicians and the public.

In its 50 years history, Montreux has hosted iconic performances by artists including Nina SimoneMiles DavisAretha FranklinElla FitzgeraldMarvin GayePrinceLeonard CohenDavid BowieElton John and Stevie Wonder. Deep Purple and Prince even helped to write the legend of the place in their songs, while David Bowie and Freddie Mercury came to live in the region and record albums.

While jazz, soul and blues are at the roots of this event, other styles quickly found their place, anchored by artistic encounters and unique experiments. In recent years, Muse, Radiohead, Kendrick Lamar, Pharrell WilliamsEd Sheeran, Alicia Keys, Adele, Lady Gaga, Tyler The Creator, LizzoRita Ora and many more played in Montreux and honoured the legends who have played here before them.

We feel extremely privileged to be able to access these events and include them in our clients’ corporate trips. For those interested in participating next year, more information about the festival can be found here.

Mont Blanc marathon

This past weekend Chamonix was filled with excitement as everyone cheered hundreds of runners participating in the Mont Blanc marathon. This is one of the most well-known trail running events in the valley and it features multiple, very impressive races.

90 km

The first, definitely craziest one is the Mont-Blanc 90 km race, which has become legendary in the Chamonix valley. It is 92km long with 6330 meters of vertical drop and it has been recognized as one of the most technical trail races in France. The route uses only hiking trails but these can sometimes be very narrow.

42 km

The flagship race of the weekend is however the 42 km. This race brings together the best of the discipline who are engaged in a breathtaking battle in a dream setting. The race starts with some fast and rolling tracks, then it continues on the steep slopes of the Aiguillette des Posettes before ending at the heart of Chamonix.

23 km

Created in 1979, the Cross du Mont-Blanc race has celebrated its 43rd edition in 2022. This friendly race, whose route has remained almost unchanged since its creation, takes runners on the tracks of the pioneers of the discipline. All while admiring an absolutely breathtaking panorama.

10 km
The Mont-Blanc 10 km allows running with family or friends. This trail, despite its little elevation gain, features short but intense climbs and technical descents.

Vertical km

And finally the vertical kilometer, which takes place in the form of a time trial. The end of the route features a via ferrata with steps, cables, pedals and handrails. Sticks are forbidden because of the technical nature of the race, which is not advised to people suffering from vertigo.

More detailed information on the Mont Blanc marathon, which takes place every summer in Chamonix, can be found on montblancmarathon.fr.

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.

Reopening of Maison des Artistes

Maison des Artistes is one of the funkiest, most fascinating venues in the Chamonix valley. Home to concerts, art exhibitions, dance nights and events, the venue had unfortunately closed its doors back in 2019. Three years later, a reopening of Maison des Artistes has finally been announced for June 2022!

As an article on Chamonix.net explains, the venue is reopening its doors with a renewed project that encourages the practice of all arts, creation and training. It also aims to work hand in hand with the cultural and associative actors in the territory.

Works for the reopening of Maison des Artistes are carried out in 2 phases.

  • The first phase, already finished, entailed a general renovation of the building and the recording studio.
  • The second phase will begin in September 2022 and will include sealing work on the terrace and the construction of a second recording studio.

Maison des Artistes is managed by a “semi-public company”, led by Juliette Martinez alongside an artistic coordinator for the cultural programming, a sound engineer and a cultural administrator.

The venue will offer a broadcasting scene with music appointments, stand up shows, an artists’ residence and two recording studios, training and master classes, and a bar with a small restaurant open to all.

So, who’s ready for some singing and dancing at Maison des Artistes this summer?

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”.