What’s New in La Tania & The 3 Valleys 2021 – The Definitive Guide (Part 3 of 3)

 

Part 1: La Tania / Courchevel
Part 2: Méribel / Mottaret

Part 3: Val Thorens / Orelle / Les Menuire / St Martin

Val Thorens 27 Oct 2020 – the snow cannon reservoir from Les Deux Lacs Webcam
There are plans to replace Les Deux Lacs chair with a 10 seater gondola next year

Val Thorens

The only significant changes we could spot on the 2021 Piste Map around Val Thorens and Orelle was the naming of the new 1800m double zip line on the map. La BEE will be open every day from 10:00 until 16:15 for €35 a go (the Tyrolienne wire at a height of 3000m between Orelle & Val Thorens costs €55).

La BEE now names on the 2021 Piste Map

Val Thorens will have its first Outdoor Ice Rink in the resort for Winter 2021.

Le Patinoire Val Thorens situated on Place du Péclet near the top of the resort promises over 400m² of natural ice open all season from 15:00 to 21:00 subject to weather conditions (longer opening in School Holidays).

There’s a small chalet serving hot chocolate & pancakes to keep you warm and prices start at €8 for adults plus skate rental with season passes available for €80.

The famous Ice Racing Circuit is to become 100% electric for Winter 2021. There’ll be four Andros Electric Vehicles available for instructed ice driving lessons plus corporate events. It really is a great experience – we had a go a few years back on the race prepared Renault 5 and Mitsubishi rally car…

In addition there’s the ice karting track with a proper racing school providing lessons between 10:00 and 12:30 every Saturday on their 270cc karts fitted with studded tyres. It costs €50 for a 20 minute race with your mates.

As always Val Thorens is embracing new technology and can now use drones with thermal imaging to assist in search and rescue operations. The DJI kit has been available for a while now at a fraction of previous airborne thermal searches and is also fitted with a powerful zoom camera. DJI also produce leading handheld gimbal video cameras & phone camera mounts as well as a GoPro killer Action Cam. We often use them on our Video Snow Reports.

The drone can also help monitor snow conditions across the ski area and is equipped with a speaker system in order to provide information remotely to skiers in event of an emergency situation.

The Mountain Restaurant Le Caribou located next to the Asters / Genepi pistes has had some Finnish type chalets called Kota constructed on their large terrace creating cosy private dining areas.

After a successful first winter, the Igloo Village will be back with the stylish Ice Bar hosting fondue evenings plus there’s two comfortable ice bedrooms too for overnight stays!

L’Académie des Neiges is now part of a new four star hotel. The Hotel Marielle is named after ski champion Marielle Goitschel a legendary international skier and one of the resort’s pioneers.

The Snow Academy building has been completely renovated and extended and the hotel will boast two sunny terraces, a Nuxe wellness area and gourmet food.

Orelle

The new 2 stage gondola lift from the Orelle base station to the Cime Caron summit is on track for next Winter opening in December 2021.

The line of the second stage of the gondola

The 2 new gondolas will have 10 seater cabins and a capacity of 2,500 skier per hour – massively improving the access to Val Thorens for Orelle based clients. Improvements to the base station and car park area are also being made.

Orelle base station – the new gondola will run from a new building at the existing location
Photo courtesy of Ski Fan

The mid-station at Plan Bouchet will have a change of cabin (indoors) to continue up to Cime Caron Summit.

Plan Bouchet – The new gondola construction, restaurant plus Rosael & Peyron Chairlifts
Photo courtesy of Ski Fan
Work on the Cime Caron Summit
Photo courtesy of Ski Fan

Orelle is promoting a 20% off a day pass in Les 3 Vallées every Saturday
by starting in Orelle! The resort is easily accessed by motorway from nearby towns such as Chambéry, Grenoble & Annecy (even Italy!) and offers free parking too. Previously in La Tania / Courchevel there were discounts for Saturday 3 Valleys Passes making it cheaper to buy a 3V than a Courchevel Pass – we expect this to continue, may be online only though.

There are 150 new ski lockers installed at the base station for Winter 2021 with rental starting from €5 a day.

The new Snake Gliss run is a new dedicated sledge run with sledges tied together and a guide navigating them down the mountain plus there’s new jumps, waves and a tunnel on the fun slope from the Peyron lift and the Croix d’Antides piste.

Les Menuire / St Martin

We’re still waiting for the 2021 piste map but have had confirmation that the new La Masse bottom to top gondola Pointe de la Masse is on track for December 2021 opening.

We also understand that the La Masse 1 gondola will stay in place with Masse 2 being removed along with the old Rocher Noir & Lac Noir chairlifts.

The new Pointe de la Masse base station
Photo courtesy of Ski Fan

There were rumours of the removal or replacement of the old Tortollet & Rocher Noir chairs this season but both will be operating this Winter.

Base Station Work
Photo courtesy of Ski Fan
Work on the top station
Photo courtesy of Ski Fan

And more new stuff…
Les Menuire is heavily promoting its sustainability, ecology and environmental awareness as well as Yoga events and other Wellness types of initiatives. The Tourist Office is having a renovation using green and sustainable building products as the old 1963 Belledonne Apartment Block it’s situated in is gradually improved.

Les Menuires are also looking at vegetable fuel oil to power their piste bashers which are now all equipped with a new SNOWsat system that measures the depth of the snow on the pistes, so snow production can be altered accordingly and thus optimise the consumption of water resources.

Solar Panels are being installed at the start and departure point of some of the ski lifts, they’re prioritising recycling and encouraging healthy eating too! Sunday to Sunday travel is being promoted to lessen the impact of the traditional Saturday transfer day in another sensible initiative.

Roc Seven – Perched at the summit near the Roc 1 gondola is the newest creation of the owners of the Farenheit Seven hotels in Courchevel and Val Thorens. It is a high altitude sophisticated Italian restaurant in a fun setting with a snack chalet dedicated to waffles and paninis. The terrace with a view of the summits, has a beer and cocktail bar that comes to life after 14:00 when the DJ kicks off.

ROC Seven

Chalet Lodge Pure Valley is a new top-of-the-range accommodation at
the foot of the Bettex piste in the Preyerand neighbourhood with five 122 to 222 m2 duplex apartments which can accommodate from 8 to 16 people.

Peuf Daddy’s ‘Panier’ Raclette (Raclette in a Basket) is situated in a former Reberty chalet since last winter, this high altitude restaurant, with its sun terrace, combines Savoyard specialities and bistro-style dishes made from fresh, local produce.

This Winter for just 50€ more on your lift pass, you can enjoy lots of extra activities with a PREMIUM pass! As well as exploring The 3 Valleys ski area with your 6 or 7 day pass, you can also speed down Val Thorens’ Cosmojet and les Menuires’ Speed Mountain toboggan runs, and afterwards recharge your batteries at your Belleville resort’s sports centre.

Meanwhile down in St Martin de Belleville 3-Michelin star duo René and Maxime Meilleur who have restaurant La Bouitte have been awarded the
Bib Gourmand in the 2020 Michelin Guide for their 2nd restaurant.

The Bib Gourmand chooses restaurants where good quality cuisine goes hand in hand with good value for money. Ideally located in the Caseblanche sector of St Martin de Belleville, it’s a wonderful
complement to La Bouitte where you can enjoy deliberately simple, tasty, delicious and above all good food.

Elsewhere around St Martin there seems to be more and more accommodation going up – nearly all at the top end and some fabulous looking places.

The former 3-star Alp’Hotel has been revamped to become the 4-star Hotel Lodji
Hotel Lodji
Chalet Québec
Chalet Les Mémoires de Marcel – a refurbished village house in Saint Marcel

Covid Secure for Winter 2021
Ski Resorts in France during Winter 2021 will be following the procedures in this poster produced by France Montagnes – The French Ski Resorts Association.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is covidposter2.jpeg
Click on the image for the full size poster

Many thanks to Ski Fan for the photographs used – check his photo site and video site for lots more images across the 3 Valleys.

Part 1: La Tania / Courchevel

Part 2: Méribel / Mottaret

Part 3: Val Thorens / Orelle / Les Menuire / St Martin