If you want to stay in the thick of it, to be an easy stroll from both the slopes (the nearest ski-lift is just 250m from the front door) and Les Arcs’ array of apres ski bars, then Chalet Panda covers these bases and adds the kind of delightful touches you hope for but don’t always get. Think friendly chalet hosts who will welcome you back every afternoon with a warming cup of tea, served with a slice of heavenly homemade cake. It’s hard to think of a better way to top off a day on the slopes.
Guests can also enjoy a swim in the large pool in the neighbouring Altitude residence or, if that seems too much like hard work, indulge in a sauna at Chalet Panda’s own private sauna before dinner.
You’ll find a menu filled with dishes so delicious, you’ll return a dress size larger – despite all the exercise you are doing. The cuisine is accompanied by a wine list that is compact but well chosen.
After dinner, it’s time to soak up the buzzing atmosphere of the resort at night. There’s plenty to do from pub quizzes every Sunday at Red Rock Cafe & Restaurant to swapping ski boots for dancing shoes at Whistler bar (which promises the best night you will never remember), before somehow staggering back to your bedroom.
Speaking of the rooms, each one is furnished with natural wood to create a cosy, rustic atmosphere and boasts a private balcony (to make the most of those magnificent mountain views). And with twin beds, they are well suited to single skiers as well as couples and friends. What’s more, every morning your chalet hosts arrive to crisp up the sheets, fluff up the towels and replenish the shampoos.
All told, this is a place that guarantees a good time – I defy even the most tightly wound city worker not to feel the tension slip away after a spell in Les Arcs.
Sure after a costly Christmas, money is no doubt tight but Ski Total offer plenty of budget friendly packages. And at the end of the day, you can either look back on the start of 2018 and say “I spent it skiing in a stunning French resort” or you can whack on the heating at home, hunker down and watch Celebrity Big Brother.
Ski you there?