Disclaimer: this trip was sponsored by Club Med Belgium.
First of all, thank you TheInsiders for selecting us, and ClubMed for the setup of this wonderful action. I was delighted and pretty happy when I’ve heard that we could go skiing for a couple of days in Valmorel to enjoy the full Club Med experience. I do however feel sorry for my wife who had some pregnancy pains and decided not to come. Pieter was more than willing to join me in this skitrip. And what an experience it has been…
Firstly, arriving on a sunday is so much more relaxed than on a saturday. Almost no traffic on the way over, and luckily for us, the weather was looking very promising. When arrived, we immediately handed over our luggage to some youngsters and got a drink while getting seated in the lobby. We had a bit of a setback as they let us wait for 2 hours straight. But than the Club Med Disneyland experience started… We were escorted to our ‘suite’. (comments in Dutch)
The personal suite service was called “the Lodge’, a hangout lobby in which tranquil music played, drinks were offered and you had people who would do everything to fulfill any of your questions immediately. We weren’t completely used to this concept yet as we went down and queued to get our ski equipment. Apparently, we could have a shorttrack there, After we were handed over amazingly good equipment, we reserved a table in La Laiterie, the restaurant with gastronomic ambitions and three specialities – stone grill, cheese box and cheese fondue.
After a nice meal, we went back to the Lodge and got ourselves a whisky to match it with our new lifestyle. 🙂 Not having to worry about money makes you relax really easy.
The next morning, we went for breakfast and hit the slopes. In the end, that’s why we were here, right? Valmorel is a not so big ski resort. The slopes aren’t really hard and that’s why really nice for families and there is more than enough opportunity for hors-piste skiing. The weather on this trip was brilliant. Sun, sun, sun!
From the moment, we were back in the Club Med resort, we went straight in the Lodge, a five trident area. The atmosphere was so great and relaxing and as it turned out, as from 18u30 you could get champagne. Really good champagne (Jean Pernet) until the closing hereof at midnight. No need to say that of this moment we decided all we would do is what we love most when on holidays – drink, eat, chat, lounge and relax.
The bed was awesome but as Pieter isn’t the most pleasant person in the morning, I decided to let him sleep while i got down for a visit to the swimming pool area. I was the first visitor of the day, which meant I got the place all for myself. I enjoyed an outside jacuzzi in the snow, floated on my back while watching the changing color lightning [gebinten] of the impossant wooden ceiling, I finished, still solo, in the hamman. I was a little surprised that it wasn’t such successful, as I heard someone complain that the hamman tended to be very crowded – up to 40 people in the evening. Well, a tip for you all – go in the morning 🙂
I’m not much of a people’s person who want to hang out in big groups, I want to be left alone or triggered for a nice conversation. I didn’t think that Club Med would be able to offer me this, but the arrangement we got definitely made it possible. I won’t engage as such in the magical world Club Med offers as most people do and love but I certainly came to see some major benefits. The ability to leave your child(ren) in the capable hands of the personel in the different kinder gardens, and to get most out of your holidays yourself really appealed to me. The cosiness and relaxing atmosphere of the restaurant and it’s personal approach towards the guest, made you feel really special. We went down to the buffet restaurant a couple of times but never really entered it. But that one night, we were uncertain of getting a table at La Laiterie, we went down into the buffet restaurants. For the first time, we felt unease and unpleasantly treated. We were friendly welcomed and diverted to a hall, which can best be described as a lunch garden plus but with less behaving people. I tried to queue but someone was pushing me in the back and for me that was it. I went to another queue and got some food there. For the first time, my perfect holiday got a scratch. Also I felt people staring at me while eating and the atmosphere, despite the nice interior, made me think of the school mess. We decided to go back up to La Laiterie, got a place and calmed down again. After the stone grill food – which is really, really great!! – we went back up for a glass of champagne and the relaxing feel of the Lodge.
That got us talking about this Club Med experience. Every night, we checked out briefly the spectacles.
Erm… not really our thing… But the enthusiasm of participants and guests all participating in some kind of mass choreo makes Club Med a Disneyland for adults. And I’m sure a lot of them love it just because of this.
The next morning I already got my routine, got up, showered, went in the lodge for a coffee, orange juice and croissant, I picked up Pieter, went skiing, did some lounging and then took a shower before hitting the champagne and dining in La Laiterie. But that day, we found a card that we were invited in the Lodge for an evening with a singer. For the first time, we had contact with some other insiders. As most of the people we met, were over the moon with the whole experience, one duo wasn’t. I’d like to know that you have all kinds of people but really, how the f*** got this duo selected?! I’m pretty sure that most – if not, all – people who came across these people understand and shared my feeling. Despite this small encouter, we also met some other truly nice people. A happily married couple, and another nice couple through our ‘womming’ (apparently a verb created by the insiders) activities. A common friend had seen independently from us that we had shared almost the same picture (mine vs theirs) 🙂
I love skiing. It makes me happy. The combination of sun on my face, snowy mountains and the tjirping sound of skiing on snow make me forget everything. I literally think of nothing. For me personally, it’s the best possible vacation one can get. But I have to admit, I was perfectly casted for the Lodge Experience. It redefines the ski vacation experience. I wouldn’t have complained when I should have stayed in a standard or luxury room (i saw this one – very nice too!), but it’s all about the expectations you have for a holiday. Just like I want the ‘living as a God in France” experience, some comfort, a lot of good food and off course, meeting some people to talk to, rather than to dance with. If you want some basic luxury, or you want your kids to have the time of their life, or you want to indulge yourself with some spa treatments, Club Med Valmorel certainly has propositions you should consider. Apparently you can also have your own chalet with private butler. All this happiness comes with a price and you choose how you spend your money. I would love to go back with my family. But only when I can afford the Lodge experience.
As this is the story of what we’ve experienced in only four days (but still much more happened), we are also supposed to review the resort, Well, I have some direct points of improvement, I’d like to mention to the people of Club Med;
- Please, fix your internet. It was unacceptably slow. I’ve heard that people need to pay 80 EUR for this. Well, that’s definitely not worth it! I also tend to believe at internet access is a basic right and necessity nowadays. With cell phone data quicker than the provided wifi, and also the limited network reception in a lot (if not, most) areas at the resort, this is something that should get a solution quickly.
- The other thing is a small advice – When having oysters downstair once a week, and champagne part as the daily routine, why not combining those for the Lodge guests? It can’t be hard to bring some oysters up. Everyone in lobby loves oysters… 🙂
Voila, for the rest – Thanks again for this wonderful trip. It couldn’t come at a better moment. And yes, Pieter does agree. For me, he was great company. Almost always 😉