I’m just back from my last ski of the winter in Tignes, where in true Tignes fashion the season is not allowed to end without a massive party – and it’s free too.
Francofolies has until now been a summer music festival held in La Rochelle, but this year it’s been introduced to the resort’s famous ‘Live in Tignes’ end-of-season shindig (although to be fair the ski season in Tignes actually runs into early May).
There are events on and off the slopes; I saw French rock band Izia ‘sur les pistes’, as well as also being able to hear their music whilst sliding around on some very enjoyable spring snow. In addition to attending two evening gigs at Tignes le Lac, the highlight of which was Caravan Palace who had the crowd dancing around so much it’s a wonder they didn’t bring a massive avalanche down upon the place.
So, after a day of sunny spring skiing and a night of free gigs it was a pleasure to be able collapse onto my super-comfy bed in the resort’s newest upmarket accommodation, Hotel Le Taos.
Not the most Savoyard of names you may think, and indeed it isn’t. The Taos has been inspired by the Pueblo Indian culture of New Mexico – it doesn’t sound as if it should work in the heart of the French Alps, but it does.
My double room (with extra single bed) featured a warm, earthy mix of matt browns and ochres along with brighter ethnic patterned chairs and sofa, and simple cowhide, timber and fabric décor. Whilst the balcony looked out across the resort’s spectacular high mountains and pistes; indeed, you can ski in/ski out on the Lavachet piste.
As a nod to the culture from which Le Taos’ architects gained their inspiration, the seven floors of the hotel are all below the reception area, which gives the impression you’re burrowing into the Earth when you make your way to your room. You’re not, of course; the steep slopes beneath Le Taos mean that the hotel is effectively built into the hillside, and all the floors are above ground and enjoy fine views.
All the usual extras were present in my room including the essential fluffy bathrobes and complimentary slippers, which would have been useful for visits to the wellness centre (small pool, hamam, sauna and massage treatments), had I remembered my swimming gear…doh!
The Taos also has a friendly, airy restaurant, the Mesa Verde where we enjoyed a fine meal on our first night.
So, spring snow, warm sunshine, funky sounds, sumptuous accommodation and fine dining – not a bad way to end the ski season.
Alf stayed at the Hotel Le Taos – Tignes-le-Lac. Prices are from 185€ per night for two, including breakfast. 3 courses at Mesa Verde: €49 per person.
A 6 day apartment suite (4 people) starts at: €1 528 (peak season: €3 257 ). 7 dinners cost €287 per adult and €126 per child at the restaurant Mesa Verde.
Alf also visited the Restaurant L’Escale Blanche in Tignes +33 4 79 07 32 41. The price of a pizza starts at around 12€.
Francofolies Festival in Tignes will continue for 3 more years. The festival images come courtesy of andyparant.com