Le Fitz Roy is a slopeside super-chalet at Europe’s highest ski resort, Val Thorens in the French Alps. It’s a long-standing family favourite that’s been given a modern makeover with slate-grey interiors, a Turkish hammam and a heated pool carved out of the mountain. There’s plenty of old-school charm though, too, in the antique wooden skis mounted on the walls, the stone and oak architecture warmed by flickering fires, and the classical French cuisine in the restaurant. After a long day on the pistes, this is exactly where you want to come back to.
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A bottle of wine and a charcuterie or cheese board on arrival
Noon, check-in from 4pm, but both are flexible, subject to availability.
Double rooms from £250.45 (€296), including tax at 10 per cent. Please note the hotel charges an additional local city tax of €3.30 per person per night on check-out.
Rates include a big ol’ breakfast of fresh fruit, homemade goodies, cheeses, meats and mountain honey.
As of 1 August, all guests are required to present a Covid Certificate or health pass upon check-in. In France, this will be necessary to access restaurants, bars and private venues. Alternatively, a negative PCR test (of less than 48 hours old) or a Covid-19 certificate of recovery will also be accepted.
Le Fitz Roy closes out of ski season, and will open from 23 December 2021 until 18 April 2022.
No disrespect to village views, but the slope-side rooms have a pinch of extra magic out of the window. Request a south-facing Junior Suite, ideally one with a fireplace-toting upstairs living room.
The subterranean pool is sculpted out of the mountainside, and large enough to warm-down with a few lengths after a day on the slopes.
Your muscles will be relieved at the sight of the Turkish bath and Nordic sauna, which are open to all guests from 10am until 8pm daily. For bespoke massages and wrinkle-busting beauty treatments, book in a session at the Carita spa.
Among all those woollies and base layers, don’t forget some summer gear: swim kit, sunnies, and sunscreen.
The common areas are wheelchair friendly, and there are dedicated rooms with adapted bathrooms for wheelchair users, accessible by lift.
Kids from the age of six are welcome. A dozen of the rooms are interconnecting; some can fit an extra bed, and every Privilege room has a fold-out sofa bed. Val Thorens is well equipped with beginner slopes and junior ski schools.
Toddlers and up – if they can walk, they can ski.
If there’s a whole clan of you, make the top floor your own – there’s a Suite, Privilege room and two Confort rooms up there, sleeping up to 12 in total. Smaller families can get that chalet vibe with a duplex Junior Suite, which has two bedrooms.
Alpine apprentices can sign up for ski school, or make new friends at the kids club in the village.
It’s really designed for splash-time, but it’s heated and primed for a paddle.
No need to pack
Games – there are board games and puzzles in the cosy hotel lounge.
If it’s not too cold, go for a table on the sunny south-facing terrace.
For lunch on the terrace, ski gear’s a goer – but you’ll want to smarten up for dinners in the dining room.
Le Fitz Roy restaurant is one of the oldest in town, and it sticks to some traditional principles – white tablecloths for one and, more significantly, a menu inspired by classics of French cuisine. The onion soup is the king of cockle-warmers, the white truffle risotto is divine, and you can plump for a whole kilogram of Aveyron and Segala veal chop, courtesy of chef José Bailly.
Sofas and armchairs are clustered around the centrepiece fireplace; some nights you’ll get mellow live music, but cocktails are always on the agenda. The house specialty is espresso martini, but as far as the bartenders are concerned, your wish is their command.
Breakfast is served from 7.30am until 10am, lunch is from noon till 2.30pm, and dinner is from 7pm till 9pm.
You can order soft drinks, hot drinks and anything from the restaurant menu, any time the kitchen is open.
Le Fitz Roy is perched just above the Rond Point des Pistes in Val Thorens, right at the top of the slopes.
Fly into either Geneva or Lyon airport – they’re both 200km away, and the drive through the mountains will take you around two and a half hours. The hotel can arrange transfers on request.
Moûtiers train station is 50 minutes by car (or just over an hour by bus) from the hotel. For a full-on no-fly holiday from the UK, take the Eurostar to Paris then board the high-speed TGV to Moûtiers (four and a half hours).
Once you’re here, you’ll spend most of your time on skis, but if you want a car for day trips, you can hire at the airport. Valet parking at the hotel costs €21 a day or €104 for the week.
There’s a helipad at the foot of the slopes, if you want to fly straight into Val Thorens by chopper.
Worth getting out of bed for
One look out of the window should be enough to make you spring out of bed and into your ski boots each morning – the slopes are right outside. Val Thorens is at the heart of the Three Valleys (the largest snow-sports area in the world), and within a couple of minutes you can be at ski lifts which will take you up, down and across the mountains. Later, soothe well-worked muscles in the spa or wind down in the swimming pool. Evenings are for board games around the fire, or resting up with a bottle of red in the library. Skiing, duh. Pick up any gear you need from the in-house ski shop, then slide out of the door. The main lifts are a couple of minutes away at Rond Point des Pistes, and the nursery slope is nearby too.
To prep you for the Les Dalles slope, lunch at Le Chalet de la Marine, which has a self-service, burger-serving bistro as well as a more formal restaurant. Pay a visit to Chez Pepe Nicolas for seasonal Savoyard dishes and signature desserts made with vegetables from their own mountain farm. The lively, lovely Les Chalets du Thorens is a choice spot for dinner with friends, especially if you’re missing the sea (expect lobster and sushi on the menu). To celebrate conquering that double-black run, go to La Maison for top end pizza and oodles of fondue.
Folie Douce is the place for cocktails and pitchers in Val Thorens – it’s very popular, so book ahead if you want a seat.
Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this slopeside hotel in the Three Valleys and unpacked their salopettes and ski goggles, a full account of their snow-dusted break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside Le Fitz Roy in Val Thorens…
When you think about après ski, you might imagine cupping your hands around a mug of hot chocolate, stuffing your face with cheese-loaded carbs, or simply resting up your weary, well-worked quads. Le Fitz Roy takes it to the next level – prepare for après ski par excellence. First, maybe, a muscle-soothing session in the sauna, a dip in the Turkish bath and a swim in the pool. Refreshed, you might toast another good day with cocktails on the terrace, or take a bottle of soul-warming wine to the library. Dinner at the revered French restaurant awaits, followed by a nightcap by the crackling fire in the lounge. You’ll sleep soundly in your chalet-styled room, ready to click into your skis again come morning.