The latest addition to the VIP Ski portfolio is Bear Lodge, situated in the heart of France’s iconic Les Arcs 1950. Voted ‘Best New Ski Hotel 2022’ at the World Ski Awards, this 30-room hotel also includes several in-built suites for added exclusivity. Georgie Bentley-Buckle packed her mountain gear for a snowy escape to see what all the fuss is about.
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Review: Bear Lodge, Les Arcs
Situated on the Baptiste Giabiconi blue piste, and opposite the Marmottes and Bois de L’Ours chairlifts, is Bear Lodge from VIP Ski. One of the latest additions to the iconic French ski resort, this slope-side property comes with its very own concierge-managed ski room and rental shop with an in-house ski hire service.
Bear Lodge’s 30 bedrooms across the second and third floors of the property showcase views of the neighbouring slopes with skiers darting by. Affectionately named after mythical bears from around the world (notably Grizzly and Yogi), this also includes 12 private, in-built luxury chalets. Across two floors and with six en suite bedrooms, we sprawled our salopettes across Penthouse Misha: the largest of the suites, located on the seventh floor. Here we had all the hotel’s facilities readily available, while privacy remained paramount.
Framing views of Mont Blanc, Penthouse Misha can comfortably welcome into its den 12–14 guests across a choice of double, twin and family rooms. Centred around a stylish open-plan living space, this includes a kitchen where the team prepared beautiful meals, presented on the grand dining table where we settled each morning and on the occasional evening.
Each December, Les Arcs becomes a cinematic centre point with the arrival of its annual Film Festival. Magnifying the Alpine Cinema industry while the first snow of the season settles on the slopes, discover leading films from across Switzerland, Austria, Italy and France alongside special events, concerts, and DJ sets to drop in and out of.
Back at Bear Lodge, stretch your limbs after a day on the slopes with some lengths in the generously sized swimming pool, soothe yourself in the steam-saturated spa, or reset from après at the on-site gym. While Bear Lodge has much on offer both inside and out, younger ones can also be occupied at the piste-side kid’s space.
Le Chalet de Luigi
In a beautiful Savoyard chalet in Arc 1950 is Le Chalet de Luigi. Warm up on the sunny, south-facing terrace with French mountain specials or Italian favourites (notably fresh pasta made on-site daily). With direct access to the heart of the charming village and powder white slopes, this popular chalet restaurant also becomes a buzzy bar and nightclub with special ‘after ski DJ parties’. chaletdeluigi.com
Le Bob Café
Whether you’re a fair-weather skier or mountain adventurer, at an altitude of 2,700 metres, Le Bob Café is a meeting place for all. Choose from organic, fairtrade tramezzini sandwiches, baker’s turnovers, warming pies and slices of homemade wood-fired bread. Suitably sustainable, Le Bob Café also gives back, and is a partner of the association ‘Une Bouteille à la Mer’ (a bottle in the sea), whose mission is to raise environmental awareness. maisonfalcoz.com
La Table Des Lys
For a refined but relaxed restaurant setting in the heart of the village, try La Table Des Lys. On a mission to educate diners on what made French food ‘so famous’, La Table Des Lys is the token gourmet restaurant known for its traditional French favourites. With a menu that reflects ‘proper French cooking’, expect dishes that veer away from the usual Savoyard specialities. For me, this meant tucking into the signature French ‘steak frites’, washed down with glasses of fine French wine. arc1950.com
THE FINAL WORD
From the films to the fondue and fine French wine, there is so much more to Les Arcs than its sparkling white slopes. Hibernate in a winter wonderland while staying at VIP Ski’s Bear Lodge, all whilst having the charming village and its annual festive film festival at your fingertips.
BOOK IT: VIP Ski’s Bear Lodge hotel is the heart and soul of their piste-side resort in the centre of Arc 1950. A double room starts from £1,219 per person for seven nights and includes a transfer from Geneva Airport. vip-chalets.com
Featured image: An aerial shot of Bear Lodge.