My ski vacation at Club Med Tignes, situated roughly 7,000 feet up the French Alps, in the village of Val Claret, began as it had so many times for me back home in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains: a sunny, blue-skied day amid craggy, snow-dusted peaks and plenty of runs down to the ski-resort base.
Except here at the French company’s newest Club Med all-inclusive mountain resort, a “Four Trident” property that opened Dec. 4, 2022, at the base of Tignes Val Claret ski area, I didn’t have the overhead of driving more than two hours to a mountain, or clomping my way from a hotel room loaded down with gear to the base area.
Instead, that morning I descended to the resort’s lowest level toward the heated ski room, opened my ski locker using the same wristband that opened my hotel room, donned my Rossignol gear (included with my stay, of course), walked outdoors to click on my skis and quickly headed to a chairlift toward alpine adventure.
It’s all part of the Club Med ethos that Henri Giscard d'Estaing, president of Club Med, describes as a “zero-friction experience” for customers.
“They need to truly feel free and unleashed from all constraints,” he said. “We believe at Club Med that we are the best answer to having worry-free vacations.”
An All-Inclusive Ski Experience
On my trip, this meant I didn’t have to bother reading maps at a new-to-me resort, because my group’s instructor was there to guide us to several intermediate blue runs, “pistes bleues,” with names like “Grattalu” and “Piste Henri.”
I also didn’t have to think about apres-ski activities, because they were simply awaiting me in the resort’s main bar after a day on the slopes. They included daily workshops on topics such as embroidering; live music performances; an array of yummy snacks; and an abundance of my favorite European cocktail: Aperol spritzes. And all of that took place before dinner and more entertainment, which included acrobats, break dancers, string quartets and late-into-the-night dance parties.
“We organize everything and anticipate everything for our guests,” said Rabeea Ansari, vice president of Southern Europe for Club Med. “We take care of everything, and all you need to worry about is having fun during your holidays.”
Club Med Tignes’ Renovation
Joining a collection of more than 20 all-inclusive mountain resorts throughout some of the most legendary ski areas in Europe, Asia and North America — the company’s first mountain resort debuted in 1956 in Leysin, Switzerland — Club Med Tignes originally opened in 1958. The company closed its doors in 2020 to completely rebuild the resort in a new location with more square footage, including a five-star Exclusive Collection Space.
With a commitment to the company’s 2019 responsible-tourism initiative, “Happy to Care,” the new resort earned a BREEAM Certification for its sustainable construction, responsible operations and positive local impact, featuring low-emitting materials such as paints and coatings; efficient water and heat systems; and 150 solar panels on the south and southwest facades of the building. The property also promotes efficient waste management, with a commitment to minimize food waste, recycle ski gear and eliminate plastic water bottles. (We were regularly reminded to pack a reusable water bottle for our stay, which I appreciated.)
What to Expect at the New Club Med Tignes
Club Med Tignes offers 430 guestrooms, a large indoor swimming pool, a Club Med Spa by Sothys and a yoga studio, for starters, as well as giant picture windows and a south-facing terrace to enjoy stunning slope-side views. There are also two restaurants — the main space, Le Val Claret, features an expansive buffet of world cuisine and local specialties like raclette and fondue; and the reservations-only Le Solstice Gourmet Lounge.
Said to be the most contemporary Club Med in the Alps, the resort’s decor features natural wood and stone inspired by the mountain setting, combined with contemporary design including colorful murals and art pieces by French artist Lucas Beaufort.
But to me, the standout features of Club Med properties are the activities offered to its mountain-loving guests, from skiing fanatics to outdoor adventurers and, especially, families. As a mom of two teen boys who’ve been on skis since they were toddlers, I marveled at the kids’ club facilities and services for guests as young as 4 months old, with ski lessons included for guests as young as 4. (What I would have paid to have someone else manage my kids’ gear and strap on their ski boots, a Herculean task for most parents!)
Club Med for Non-Skiers and Non-Snowboarders
And if you’re not a skier or snowboarder, there are plenty of opportunities for adventures, including guided snowshoeing, fat biking, Nordic skiing, speedriding (winter paragliding) and, unique to Club Med Tignes, ice diving at Tignes le Lac (hard pass on this for me, thanks).
Club Med prides itself on helping every type of guest — from couples to families and solo travelers — make the most of their time on the slopes, whether they want to ski or snowboard, said Thibault Vasseur, vice president of product and services, Europe for Club Med.
“That’s why we are curating experiences to give them memories to bring home,” he said.
Now that I’ve brought home my own memories of a seamless, ski-in/ski-out Club Med mountain resort — along with the addition of two new Club Meds in North America, Club Med Quebec Charlevoix (opened December 2021) and a property at Utah’s Snowbasin Resort (opening in 2025) — I have just one question: When can we expect a Club Med Colorado?