The Hotel Pashmina is extremely well positioned in one of the highest ski resorts in Europe, Val Thorens. One makes one’s way through the town of Val Thorens and up the last small road to what has to be among the highest hotels in Europe, which of course makes for some of the most fantastic views. The hotel was built just in time for the 2015/16 winter season, so it is state of the art and purpose built for those who love the mountains. Every room has been designed with stunning views of the surrounding mountain, no rooms looking out onto just rock faces and bins here! A modern designed hotel with an energetic nod to classic alpine wood, textiles, materials and architecture in general, the Pashmina has a ultra hip atmosphere whilst retaining the coziness of traditional mountain dwellings. The devil is in the detail and he is hiding everywhere here, from various ski paraphernalia from times gone by to designer accessories. I was welcomed in to this high altitude home and shown through a labyrinth of corridors and lifts to my extra-extra-large prestige suite, it took a couple of days until I could finally get to my room without a detour!
With two double en-suite bedrooms, a large central lounge joining the two rooms and Turkish bath I was in Alpine heaven, there was enough space here that If I had my cat Mac with me, I could have swung him around by the tail; though I think he would have had something to say about that. With views to the South and East and a private balcony one had perfect vistas of the surrounding Savoie mountains. Once again, the interior was modern meets traditional in a spacious but ultimately very cosy suite come apartment; this was a space that I would be very happy to come back to and kick back after a very hard dreary day’s work on the mountain! The Turkish bath was a delight too, having direct access to one’s own little steam room so that any aching muscles can be dealt with on immediate return from the slopes could only have been the brainchild of a genius, once again the devil lurks in the details.
Once settled in, it was time for a quickie in the lounge bar. This is the heart and the soul of the hotel, with a multitude of snug sofa set ups and double sided fireplace one is spoilt for choice when it comes to finding that perfect place to unwind. With a selection of the usual cocktails and a various house cocktails to fulfil a few of your five a day this is the place to relax. The lounge also opens out onto a very well appointed veranda with fire pit, and surprisingly comfortable antique single chair lifts, which I am sure I remember riding up the mountain on with blanket over my knees when I was a kid… Wow, am I really that old?!? After a few cheeky ones in the lounge, it was time to wander across to the ‘Le Base Camp’ for dinner. We were shown to our table in the mock wooden Cable car, which made for a fun dinner venue. We feasted on such delights as Crispy egg with red wine Gravy and vegetable stew, Sole Meuniere with Potatoes and Spinach. I was in my element when it came to the cheese course, the buffet of various cheeses was so exciting that I probably managed to eat my daily count in calories in just cheese alone. However, there was still space for dessert; and dessert there was indeed. This was a veritable smorgasbord of delights, with sweets of the like that I had never seen or eaten before… until now! Once again my plate was full of all sorts of treats, and it is safe to say that I retired to bed with a very happy and rather full stomach.
The following day it was time to ski Val Thorens. The Pashmina has an in-house Ski rental shop linked with one of the bigger rental stores in town, so if they do not have what you want in house, they can probably source it from the main store. With a slick setup and a great selection of skis and snowboards, you will be good to go before you know it. It is just a few steps to the door and you are outside and standing on the piste with the whole of Val Thorens lying out ahead of you. This is fun at your fingertips. To get back you have to make a cheeky last run down the red piste called ‘Croissant’ and hang right, but don’t miss the entrance! After a long day on the pistes of Val Thorens one can recoup in the Spa by L’Occitane; funnily enough one of Europe’s highest spas. With 100% natural treatments and traditional massage techniques there is something to help everyone relax. The spa area has a selection of saunas, steam room, swimming pool and Jacuzzi; but it is the Jacuzzi and traditional Finnish wooden hot tub on the veranda which deliver a unique experience. There is nothing like sitting under the stars in hot water, whilst steam gently wafts around your head, and your hair starts to freeze in the fresh mountain air!
The Pashmina Hotel in Val Thorens is my kind of hotel, a carefully and creatively balanced mix of new and old architecture and interior design. From the moment of entering the front door I felt at home, if only home was in the Alps! The position of the hotel is great, taking full advantage of the views and pistes. My favourite places to hang out in the hotel was either in the lounge or sipping a Hot Chocolate on the veranda whilst taking in the healthy brisk Alpine air. Treat yourself to something special and book yourself into the Pashmina and go live the ‘High-Life’ . . . literally.
Place du Slalom
73440 Val Thorens