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Hotels of Les Arcs

A hotel in Les Arcs is an establishment that provides lodging paid on a short-term basis. Facilities provided may range from a basic bed and storage for clothing, to luxury features like en-suite bathrooms. Larger in Les Arcs hotels may provide additional guest facilities such as a swimming pool, business centre, childcare, conference facilities and social function services. Hotel rooms in Les Arcs are usually numbered (or named in some smaller hotels and B&Bs) to allow guests to identify their room. Some Les Arcs hotels offer meals as part of a room and board arrangement. Hotel operations vary in size, function, and cost. Most Les Arcs hotels and major hospitality companies that operate hotels in Les Arcs have set widely accepted industry standards to classify hotel types. General categories include the following:

Upscale luxury hotels in Les Arcs
An upscale full service hotel facility in Les Arcs that offers luxury amenities, full service accommodations, on-site full service restaurant(s), and the highest level of personalized and professional service. Luxury Les Arcs hotels are normally classified with at least a Four Diamond or Five Diamond status or a Four or Five Star rating depending on classification standards.

Full service hotels in Les Arcs
Full service Les Arcs hotels often contain upscale full-service facilities with a large volume of full service accommodations, on-site full service restaurant(s), and a variety of on-site amenities such as swimming pools, a health club, children's activities, ballrooms, on-site conference facilities, etc.

Historic inns and boutique hotels in Les Arcs
Boutique hotels of Les Arcs are smaller independent non-branded hotels that often contain upscale facilities of varying size in unique or intimate settings with full service accommodations. Les Arcs boutique hotels are generally 100 rooms or less. Some historic inns and boutique hotels in Les Arcs may be classified as luxury hotels.

Focused or select service hotels in Les Arcs
Small to medium-sized hotel establishments that offer a limited amount of on-site amenities that only cater and market to a specific demographic of Les Arcs travelers, such as the single business traveler. Most Les Arcs focused or select service hotels may still offer full service accommodations but may lack leisure amenities such as an on-site restaurant or a swimming pool.

Economy and limited service hotels in Les Arcs
Small to medium-sized Les Arcs hotel establishments that offer a very limited amount of on-site amenities and often only offer basic accommodations with little to no services, these facilities normally only cater and market to a specific demographic of travelers, such as the budget-minded Les Arcs traveler seeking a "no frills" accommodation. Limited service Les Arcs hotels often lack an on-site restaurant but in return may offer a limited complimentary food and beverage amenity such as on-site continental breakfast service.

Guest houses and B&Bs in Les Arcs
A bed and breakfast in Les Arcs is a small lodging establishment that offers overnight accommodation and inclusive breakfast. Usually, Les Arcs bed and breakfasts are private homes or family homes offering accommodations. The typical Les Arcs B&B has between 4 and 11 rooms, with 6 being the average. Generally, guests are accommodated in private bedrooms with private bathrooms, or in a suite of rooms including an en suite bathroom. Some homes have private bedrooms with a bathroom which is shared with other guests. Breakfast is served in the bedroom, a dining room, or the host's kitchen. Often the owners of guest house themselves prepare the breakfast and clean the rooms.

Hostels in Les Arcs
Les Arcs hostels provide budget-oriented, sociable accommodation where guests can rent a bed, usually a bunk bed, in a dormitory and share a bathroom, lounge, and sometimes a kitchen. Rooms can be mixed or single-sex, although private rooms may also be available. Hostels are often cheaper for both the operator and occupants; many Les Arcs hostels have long-term residents whom they employ as desk agents or housekeeping staff in exchange for experience or discounted accommodation.

Apartment hotels, extended stay hotels in Les Arcs
Extended stay hotels are small to medium-sized Les Arcs hotels that offer longer term full service accommodations compared to a traditional hotel. Extended stay hotels may offer non-traditional pricing methods such as a weekly rate that cater towards travelers in need of short-term accommodations for an extended period of time. Similar to limited and select service hotels, on-site amenities are normally limited and most extended stay hotels in Les Arcs lack an on-site restaurant.

Timeshare and destination clubs in Les Arcs
Les Arcs timeshare and destination clubs are a form of property ownership also referred to as a vacation ownership involving the purchase and ownership of an individual unit of accommodation for seasonal usage during a specified period of time. Timeshare resorts in Les Arcs often offer amenities similar that of a Full service hotel with on-site restaurant(s), swimming pools, recreation grounds, and other leisure-oriented amenities. Destination clubs of Les Arcs on the other hand may offer more exclusive private accommodations such as private houses in a neighborhood-style setting.

Motels in Les Arcs
A Les Arcs motel is a small-sized low-rise lodging establishment similar to that of a limited service hotel, but with direct access to individual rooms from the car park. Common during the 1950s and 1960s, motels were often located adjacent to a major road, where they were built on inexpensive land at the edge of towns or along stretches of highways. They are still useful in less populated areas of Les Arcs for driving travelers, but the more populated an area becomes the more hotels fill the need. Many of Les Arcs motels which remain in operation have joined national franchise chains, rebranding themselves as hotels, inns or lodges.

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Travelling and vacation in Les Arcs

Les Arcs 1950 2000.jpg
Location Les Arcs & La Plagne, France
Nearest city Bourg-Saint-Maurice
Coordinates  / 45.57167; 6.80778
Top elevation 3,250 m (10,660 ft) (3 above 3,000 m (9,800 ft))
Base elevation 1,250 m (4,100 ft)
Skiable area 425 km (264 mi) of runs
Runs 237 (easy: 136; intermediate: 66; difficult: 35) + "Nature" runs
Longest run 10 km (6.2 mi) (2,100 m (6,890 ft) vertical drop)
Lift system 171 (1 funicular, 15 cable cars/gondolas, 62 chair lifts, 93 surface lifts)
Terrain parks 9
Snowmaking 470 cannons
Website http://www.lesarcs.com

Les Arcs is a ski resort located in Savoie, France, in the Tarentaise Valley town of Bourg-Saint-Maurice. Initially created by Robert Blanc and Roger Godino, it is a part of the huge Paradiski system which is under ownership by Compagnie des Alpes, a French-listed company owning several other ski resorts as well as theme parks.

Les Arcs: The skiing

The five areas-Bourg-Saint-Maurice, Arc 1600, Arc 1800, Arc 1950, and Arc 2000-are situated at an altitude spanning from 810 to 3226 metres, although skiing is mostly possible above 1200 metres. The ski area consists of 106 runs, 54 lifts, and 200 kilometres of descent. The highest peak in the resort is the Aiguille Rouge (Red Needle) from where is a 7 km long piste with 2026 metres in vertical drop down to the Village Villaroger. Since the opening of the Vanoise Express cable car in December 2003, Les Arcs has become part of the Paradiski group of ski-connected resorts, which also includes the La Plagne area. Paradiski in total has 425 km of pistes.

From the base of the gondola up to the Aiguille Rouge, at 2670 m. To the right is the Aiguille Grive

Les Arcs has the reputation of being one of the original French "mega-resorts". All of them have a convenient, large, and varied network of pistes. Les Arcs has the specificity of a unique "avant-garde" modernist architecture labelled as "heritage of the 20th century". Most of its resorts are built following this modernist architecture, with the exception of latest-Arc 1950-which is built following the traditional architecture in the Alps and also with a more defined village ambiance.

The ski domain provides a mixture of open runs (especially above Arc 2000) and wooded runs (around the outlying villages of Peisey and Villaroger in particular). Its terrain park has a good reputation, with green, red, and black jumps and rails. It is also good for snowboarders, with few drag lifts. The ski lifts have been gradually updated so virtually all critical lifts are modern, fast, and comfortable.

Modelled on the accelerated progress of the Sophringham Method, Les Arcs' ESF ski school teaches ski evolutif; students are taught parallel turns from the beginning, but on very short skis (that get progressively longer through the first week). Les Arcs is regarded as having excellent beginner ski areas in each resort, although absolute beginners have little to progress to; away from the nursery slopes things get trickier. Les Arcs is also regarded by many as the home of snowboarding in Europe. Local instructor Régis Rolland popularized the snowboard in France with the Apocalypse Snow series of films made in the resort in the early 1980s.

The ski area of Arc 2000 and 1950 consists of a broad valley, with these two resorts at the bottom of its broader part. One of the sides of the valley is the ridge with the area's highest point, the Aiguille Rouge. The other side is a ridge to Arc 1600, 1800, and Peisey-Vallandry, which hold a wide range of runs. There are also a lot of relatively safe off-piste possibilities available in addition to those where a skier would require a mountain guide.

In Arc 2000 is the famous speed skiing course used in the 1992 Olympics (speed skiing at the 1992 Winter Olympics). It is 2000 metres long with an additional 700 metres for stopping.

Les Arcs: History

View of Mont Blanc from Aiguille Rouge.jpg
View of Mont Blanc from Arcs 1950
The stone near/above Arcs 1600

Les Arcs: Creation of les Arcs

  • 1968: Arc 1600 resort opening.
  • 1974: Arc 1800 resort opening with the inauguration of the Hotel du Golf.
  • 1979: Arc 2000 resort opening with the Club Med.
  • 2003: Inauguration of the first tourist residences in Arc 1950. The village was completed 2008.

Thanks to a successful collaboration in the early 60s between Roger Godino, developer and constructor in mountain tourism, and Robert Blanc, born in the area and a ski instructor and high mountain guide, Les Arcs took shape with the help of well-known engineers, architects, and town planners sharing the same creative spirit.

Three fundamental rules were followed in order to create a functional and aesthetic construction in keeping with the tourist development of that time:

  • Respect for the area and the natural surroundings
  • The conservation of existing old mountain chalets which were not to be copied for more authenticity
  • The use of local material

Les Arcs is completely integrated into the mountain setting and distinguished by an exterior architecture avoiding buildings overlooking one another and by an interior open-plan concept (open kitchen, large picture windows, and raised balconies) which paved the way for a new style of living.

Les Arcs: 20th century label

In 1999, the Ministry for the Arts and Communications introduced new policies in favour of the architectural and urban heritage of the 20th century: protection, public awareness, and restoration. Living proof of modernity working hand in hand with the mountains and nature, Les Arcs town planning is being studied by the Grenoble School of Architecture.

Les Arcs: Charlotte Perriand

Charlotte Perriand worked with Le Corbusier for ten years. She worked as part of the Les Arcs design team including Roger Godino, Robert Blanc, Gaston Regairaz, Guy Rey-Millet, and Bernard Taillefer. An exhibition will shortly be dedicated to her work at the Beaubourg National Arts and Culture Centre.

Les Arcs: Resort areas

Les Arcs: Arc 1600 (also Arc Pierre Blanche)

At 1600 metres, this is the lowest of the resort areas and is linked directly to the Bourg Saint Maurice TGV train station by the "Arc en Ciel" funicular railway. The journey time is approximately 7 minutes and many trains also call at two intermediate stations, serving the villages of Montrigron and Les Granges. It is connected to the other villages by regular free shuttle buses and ski lifts. Arc 1600 was the first area to be built on and is referred to as "Arc Pierre Blanche". Arc 1600 now has 30 shops, hotels and meeting rooms to offer its guests.

Les Arcs: Arc 1800

An example of modernist apartments at Les Arcs 1800 by Architect Charlotte Perriand

Arc 1800 is the biggest of the resort areas and consists of four "villages" known as "Charvet", "Villards", "Charmettoger", and "Chantel". It has around 100 shops, shuttle services, hotels, meeting rooms, a two-screen cinema and an ice rink. There is a good selection of restaurants catering to most tastes including Casa Mia, voted resort restaurant of the year 2003 in a worldwide competition. The village has previously hosted the snowboarding and dance music snowbombing event.

The village is at a convenient position on the mountain, just above the resort of Arc 1600, and given its altitude comfortably above the snow line for the entire winter. The "TransArc" gondola reaches the top of the Arc 2000 valley quickly (queues notwithstanding), and there is a good selection of ski lifts, such as the six-seater Vagere, to take skiers to the various parts of the mountain.

Arc 1800 occasionally has the benefit of better weather conditions, given the topography of the mountain. When heavy snow falls at Arc 2000, it can be closed down and can also be at the mercy of heavy winds funnelling down to the valley. This is not a problem for Arc 1800, which is also west facing and thus benefits from sunshine in the afternoon. Above Arc 1800 are the apartments of Les Alpages du Chantel. The residence houses 182 apartments in two 3–5 storey chalet-style residences that offer a ski-in, ski-out experience. Also on site is a local shop and a locally themed restaurant, Les Alpages.

This area is linked to the La Plagne resort by the Vanoise Express cable car, departing from the village of Peisey.

Les Arcs: Arc 1950

Arc 1950

Arc 1950 (Le Village) is a recent five-star alpine village development by the Canadian ski resort developer Intrawest, which also developed such resorts as Whistler and Mont Tremblant in Canada. It is situated at ~2000 m, offering almost guaranteed skiing during the winter, and is linked to Arc 2000 by a free pedestrian accessible gondola, Cabriolet. The architecture of Arc 1950 is striking as it clearly moves away from the standard concrete blocks of the mega resorts of the period. Instead it is lavishly fitted out and heavily influenced by the local Alpine history and architecture. 1950 has several commercial, apartment, and hotel buildings of different sizes, colours, and shapes. It has a wide variety of shops and, for a mountain resort, a huge variety of eateries including Italian, Mexican, French, Savoyarde, creperie, and American restaurants. It also has pubs, wine bars, lounges, and a nightclub. In 2012 the village was completed with the opening of a 1,000 m² Deep Nature Spa, offering treatments and many relaxation rooms. The village is completely "ski in–ski out" and the hotels and apartments have by far the highest standard and comfort level in Les Arcs, even compared to the vast majority of the French ski resorts (1950 was voted "the best place to stay in the Alps" by the Ski Club of Great Britain in 2007). Intrawest sold the lodging operation in October 2009 to Pierre & Vacances, which is creating a new "Premium" brand with Arc 1950 taking a lead. In addition Radisson Blu have Arc 1950 as their Premium ski resort.

All apartments are privately owned and are operated by their owners directly or P&V Premium and Radisson. A majority of owners at 1950 are part of the Arc 1950 Owners' Association.

Arcs 1950 and 2000 have virtually the same access to the mountain. Given the altitude this is the most snow-safe part (also in terms of quality of the snow) of Les Arcs and also presents numerous "powder" opportunities after a snowfall.

Les Arcs: Arc 2000

Les Arcs 2000 (in front) and 1950 (4-floor houses behind) from Aiguille Rouge

With a cable to 1950 and free shuttle buses to all of the other villages, Les Arcs' highest station has more than adequate transport links. It has a wide selection of shops, a cinema screen and meeting facilities. Being the highest it often has the best snow, although the nursery slopes above 2000 have a reputation for being crowded, and there are not so many tree-lined pistes for when the weather gets bad. The Varet gondola is a quick way to get up to the higher parts of the resort and there is also a new selection of six-seater chairlifts including Arcabulle, Bois de l'ors, and Marmottes to quickly ship skiers to the different sides of the mountain. Arc 2000 is well known for hosting speed skiing (not for the fainthearted) and other events over the course of the season.

Les Arcs: Other villages

Vallandry and Plan-Peisey
Les Arcs freeride.jpg

At one end of the ski area are the villages of Vallandry, Peisey, and Plan-Peisey, from which the Vanoise Express cable-car departs (to La Plagne, the other half of the Paradiski huge ski domain).

At the other end, across the valley from Sainte-Foy-Tarentaise, are the villages of Le Pre and Villaroger. A continuous run with 2,100-metre (6,900 ft) vertical drop links Aiguille Rouge to Le Pre, and although rather low at 1,200 metres (3,900 ft) Villaroger can be reached for most of the season given artificial snow and that it is north facing. Administratively these villages are not part of the Les Arcs ski domain, but are seamlessly linked. Their ski area is largely wooded, but with some open slopes above. This can provide especially good skiing when fresh snow has fallen or a welcome relief when the weather is windy or bad. Three lifts take skiers back from Villaroger into the 2000 bowl. In high winds, the top lift may be shut, making this side inaccessible except to those on the Villaroger side.

Les Arcs: Tarentaise Valley

Within the Tarentaise Valley can be found the biggest concentration of world-class ski resorts in the world. The most well known neighbour systems are Espace Killy (Val d'Isère and Tignes), Les Trois Vallées (Courchevel, Méribel, Val Thorens), Sainte Foy, and La Rosiere (which connects to the Italian resort of La Thuile). A weekly lift ticket in Les Arcs/Paradiski gives skiers a choice to ski one day in each of the other systems mentioned either for free or for a reduced rate of 15 euros. There were once plans to interlink all systems and resorts to create the-by far-largest ski area in the world. However that vision was ended with the creation of the Vanoise National Park.

Les Arcs: Off-piste opportunities

Heliskiing service located between Arcs 1950 and Arcs 2000

The piste network in Les Arcs is fairly dense, and off-piste opportunities are numerous. With a guide, though, some big adventures are possible. Particularly recommended are off the back of the Aiguille Rouge down to Villaroger, or off the back of the Bellecote glacier (from La Plagne) down to Nancroix valley, just below Peisey, which is linked by free shuttle bus. It is advised that both routes be only attempted with a guide and appropriate avalanche equipment. Off-piste routes from Tignes to the Les Arcs area are also possible. The book Les clés de Paradiski by Didier Givois (in French but with summaries in English) includes very good descriptions of the possibilities.

Pickup for heliskiing by Jet Systems can be arranged between Arc 1950 and Arc 2000. Heliskiing is banned in France, and so the destination will be Italy or Switzerland. The aircraft used is the Eurocopter Ecureuil.

Les Arcs: Mountain biking

Mountain biking is becoming an ever more popular activity in summer with parts of the lift network opening throughout the months of July and August. There are around 10 marked VTT routes detailed on the summer piste map. Several mountain bike holiday companies operate in the area. Arc 1950 has also hosted the Tour de France.

Les Arcs: Media

  • Location of Force Majeure (Swedish: Turist), a 2014 Swedish drama film directed by Ruben Östlund.

Les Arcs: References

  1. 1992 Winter Olympics official report Archived 2008-02-26 at the Wayback Machine.. pp. 96–99.
  2. "Force Majeure (2014) Filming Location". The Swedish Film Database. Retrieved 19 November 2014.
  • Official Les Arcs site (English)
  • Arc 1950 Official Website
  • Arc 1950 Owners Website
  • OpenPisteMap

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