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.

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.

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!

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.

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”.

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.