Let’s open this blog with a bit of ski history… The world-famous ski resort of Les Arcs came about as a result of a collaboration in the early 60s between developer Roger Godino and Robert Blanc. The latter was a local ski instructor and high mountain guide, who worked with established engineers, architects, and town planners to create the resort’s distinctive style.
A fundamental aim of the project was to create a functional and aesthetic construction in keeping with tourist developments of the time. This involved using local materials, but not copying the style of traditional Savoyard mountain chalets.
So what you get in Les Arcs (with the exception of Arc 1950, built about 15 years ago) is big, 60s and 70s-style structures which are now as much a part of French alpine architectural ‘tradition’ as old-fashioned chocolate box chalets.
Thus it came as no surprise to me when I visited the resort’s latest development to find that the Odalys Residence Edenarc in Arc 1800 follows this same contemporary style. It’s not to everyone’s tastes, but personally I like it.
Exteriors of timber, stone and glass are very much in the Les Arcs’ tradition. Whilst the interiors are – thankfully – a million miles away from the seas of varnished pine of earlier constructions. My room had simple, clean lines, light matt grey walls and stylish contemporary furnishings.
With the evening sun streaming into the room and across the outside decking I was able to look out onto the pistes of Arc 1800 and across to the adjacent Mille8 development (a really well designed beginners/kids ski area). I could also see Le Lodge, the resort’s new mountain restaurant, and the club house of the 27-hole golf course that’s as easily accessible in summer as are the pistes in winter.
Oh, and I should mention the jewel in the crown in terms of views. The Mont Blanc massif and the Tarentaise Valley always present in the background and providing a view you’d never tire of.
The Edenarc 1800 development consists of two five-star residences, Les Monarques and Les Souverains, and a four-star ‘apart-hotel’, along with spa and pool facilities. The development’s sales specialist Jérôme Roche, a former member of the French ski team, emphasised to me how important it had been in the design and construction to focus on Les Arcs’s history and tradition as a pioneering ski area and reflect that in Edenarc 1800.
As we sat in the sunshine enjoying lunch outside Le Lodge I couldn’t have agreed with him more. Sure, not everyone appreciates the contemporary style of modern French ski resorts, but as someone who was introduced to the Alps through places like Avoriaz and Les Arcs its very much a part of my own skiing history. And I think Edenarc 1800 has done an admirable job of capturing this in a very 21st century way.
Take a look yourself next time you ski down to Arc 1800 and see what you think; or maybe even book a holiday there… Prices and availability can be found on the Odalys website.