The après-ski scene is vibrant in Les Deux Alpes, with bars and restaurants dotted around town and the ski area. After ski fun might end with a tispy ski back to town as the sun sets, or but I decided to test out some other options. Here are three that I enjoyed.
For thrill-seekers: launch into the air on a giant donut
There’s always that one Duracell bunny in every group who doesn’t want to stop when the lifts close. Send them to the Event2Fly airbag slide next to the Lutins drag lift. Once seated on an inflatable donut, they will slide down the steep, narrow ramp which turns up at the end to launch them into the air and onto an airbag below. They’ll either be entertained for hours or ready for something tamer after their first run.
For me, the air time was the relaxing part: sliding down the ramp without any brakes or steering prompted a scream from the moment I slid from the top until I hit the airbag. The screams turned into giggles of relief when, after I had landed, the wave of air underneath me ferried me to the edge of the airbag serenely. One of the most surprising aspects of the airbag landing was how soft it was, with no physical impact (maybe because I was so busy screaming).
For luxury lovers: get pampered by the pistes
Hotel Côte Brune already caters for the après-ski crowd, with a large terrace to accommodate the throngs of skiers arriving at the end of the day. Its location bordering the ski area and town make it easy for non-skiers to enjoy too. Spa lovers can scurry away from the sunny deck and head down to the basement spa for some pamper time and return before their friends notice.
I opted for a relaxing back and leg massage,and a warm cup of tea was waiting for me in the relaxation area afterwards. I stayed on to enjoy the warm and hot hammams along with the sauna and Jacuzzi. Most of the facilities are divided by walls, providing a welcome level of privacy for prudish people like me who shun parading around almost naked in a communal area. I left the spa feeling relaxed and calm, and with modesty intact.
For foodies: sample the next big thing in Les Deux Alpes
Despite being hidden in a tastefully renovated basement of an old hotel, the restaurant at Chamois Lodge is already the resort’s worst kept secret as the latest place to be. The renovation is the newest project by chef Fabien Poirot — the man who earnt the first Michelin star for Les Deux Alpes at Chalet Mounier — and his wife, Aurélie.
The laid back vibe of the spacious restaurant is partly due a lounge area, where you can enjoy a pre- or post-dinner drink by the fire place (those who prefer a crowd might prefer the busy bar upstairs). Fabien mixes traditional local produce such as diot sausages with innovative flavours to create mouthwatering dishes. I can recommend the eggs poached in truffle cream and the home-made lemon ice cream (served with all sorts of flavoursome garnishes). After the meal, there’s the obligatory home-made génépi liqueur on offer to ‘help digestion’.
Upstairs, the old hotel quarters have been transformed into modern and ambient rooms, allowing diners staying at the hotel to schlep their full bellies the very short distance between bar, restaurant and bed. I had a longer walk back to my hotel, but after all that food and génépi, my waistline (and ski pants) thanked me.