REVIEW - HOTEL & SPA AVENUE LODGE
Updated: Nov 29, 2019
5 star luxury hotel, in Val d'Isère, French Alps - Where luxury meets elegance and authenticity.
Until last April, we had never stayed in a hotel for winter sports, preferring to rent an apartment or a small family chalet each time. So we were curious to experiment ...
What we think : so great!
The Avenue Lodge Hotel is subtle combination of tradition and modernity, with a warm and welcoming atmosphere. This is a 5-star establishment with restaurant, swimming pool and spa, where hospitality really matters.
That-s why we're thrilled to take you on a journey with us to discover this real gem, particularly well located in the heart of Val d'Isère, a Mountain village in the Vanoise National Park, in the French Alps.
Disclaimer: : For this trip, we were invited by the Val d'Isère Tourism Board (invitation - press trip) and the Avenue Lodge Hotel (additional invitation). In accordance with the blog's editorial policy and code of ethics, this reviewreflects our own experience and opinion. Our freedom of expression is complete.
LUXURY HOTEL LOCATED IN VAL D'ISÈRE (PARC NATIONAL DE LA VANOISE)
Avenue Lodge is a luxury hotel located in Val d'Isère, an authentic mountain village and internationally renowned ski resort.
Built in the heart of the old village, just a few steps from the snow front, we believe that the hotel is ideally located on Avenue Olympique: it is located close to the Tourism Board, shops and all other facilities. (As food lovers, we quickly noticed the shop of Patrick Chevallot, pastry chef and meilleur ouvrier de France... We tasted the blueberry meringues: they are amazing!)
To us, this location will be particularly suitable for people for whom mobility criteria are important. Please note it only takes just over 5 minutes to reach the slopes.
BEYOND THE WALLS, HISTORY AND EMOTION
Already owners of the neighbouring establishments, Kern (2 stars) and Savoyarde (3 stars), Michel Bouvier and Isabelle Marie decided, a little more than ten years ago, to complete their offer on Val d'Isère, by creating a 5 star hotel.
The result of the collaboration with interior architect and designer Jean-Philippe Nuel (*), is the creation of Avenue Lodge in 2009.
Wishing to give it a real contemporary dimension, breaking the rules of luxury hotel design of that time, the architect was inspired by the spirit of the 1950s ski resorts and gave a modern twist to the timeless elements of mountain decoration - stone, wood, fur - . He did not want "to fall into the mountain pastiche", says Isabelle Marie.
While Louise Bouvier, the new director, quickly recalls the stress her parents experienced in the period before the hotel opened, she also remembers in particular the opening night a decade ago - when she was only fifteen years old. She remembers the awe of the guests, the music, the atmosphere... "Ten years ago, design in the mountains was innovative!" she told me, with no hidden pride in her voice.
Since then, the decoration has taken a few steps away from Jean-Philippe Nuel's initial concept, as the owners have over time taken over their hotel. In particular, Louise Bouvier, with her Master's degree from the prestigious Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne in her pocket, gave the impulse.
Thus, the use of tavaillon in the Spa area, the installation of a hardwood floor, the replacement of the bar's forged iron top by a wooden top, sheepskins, decorative pieces from the local company Arpin (Seez) bring, in our opinion, a new soul to the Avenue Lodge.
While talking with Isabelle Marie and Louise Bouvier, I feel a beautiful and true complicity between mother and daughter, but also the same passion for their hotel, the same affection for their collaborators and the same pleasure to receive guests. This will be evident throughout our stay.
(*) Jean-Philippe Nuel's Parisian studio more recently signed the complete renovation of the famous Molitor swimming pool (Paris) and the historic thalassotherapy centre Les Cures Marines in Trouville (Deauville), on behalf of the Accor group (Sofitel MGallery).
The hotel has 54 rooms, including two suites, a duplex suite and two junior suites.
During our stay, we personally enjoyed a very comfortable room (#109), located at the rear of the building.
In its own composition, our living space for a few nights opens onto a reception hall with dressing room and toilets. A double sliding door provides access to the privacy of the room, which has an ensuite bathroom and shower.
In the room, the same common thread as everywhere else in the hotel: felted tones, refined wood, red accents - here brought by the bedside tables. This overall harmony is particularly soothing and allows you to feel at ease.
In addition, excellent quality household linen and bedding make you want to recharge your batteries. The same is true in the bathroom, where the large central bath invites you to take your time, especially since a flat-screen TV is hung on the wall facing it....
Finally, the window of our room overlooks a quiet street, perpendicular to Olympic Avenue (it is more than likely that the rooms located at the front are less quiet but some of them have a balcony, which is not insignificant either).
RESTAURANT & BAR
Le Bistrot of the Avenue Lodge Hotel
This is where the delicious and generous breakfast buffet is served.
In the evening, it is a top-of-the-range bistro run by chef Franck Brillet, which offers fresh, tasty and healthy cuisine inspired by the land and sea. Vegetarian dishes are also available and handled with the same care to satisfy the most demanding palates. We tested the Supreme of poultry, Cream of morel mushroom, fresh pasta and Quinoa with small vegetables (Vegetarian). A real treat!
We have also successfully tested room service.
During our stay, the service was provided by Jean-Baptiste and Edouard, in a very professional and friendly manner.
The Lounge Bar
It is impossible not to notice the splendid and bright bar, in the lounge below the lobby, perfect for a lunch or an evening cocktail!
Like nestled in a refined wooden and stone box, the Spa by Esthederm offers an additional journey, far from the outside world...
As in the rest of the establishment, in a perfect harmony of colours, shapes and materials, the atmosphere is cosy and warm as ever. However, here, the scenography goes further: away from daylight, under carefully studied lighting, the visitor tends to let himself be drawn into an imaginary or dreamlike universe.
On the ceiling, the huge deer antler chandeliers inevitably catch attention. If they undoubtedly evoke the mountains and European forests, they also easily take the dreamy traveller across the Atlantic - I can easily imagine myself in the Rockies...
In reality, these magnificent objects are a nod from the owners and the architect to the world of American lodges.
The Spa area of the Avenue Lodge Hotel includes, in a particularly refined setting, a swimming pool, sauna, hammam, jacuzzi and beauty salon. (Note for families: A TV/video space is available outside the salon
Having had the opportunity to enjoy a facial massage and a manicure, I can only recommend that you be pampered by the institute's beauticians: their fairy fingers and Esthederm products are incredibly effective (If Esthederm brand could develop an organic range as efficient as their current treatments, we would then reach perfection).
PROSHOP (CORNER KILLY)
Having a rental and maintenance service for winter sports equipment, whatever the level and sport of skiing, is a real comfort. Note that the Corner Killy also sells some clothing and accessories for winter sports (Limited quantity and choice.).
GENERAL ATMOSPHERE OF THE HOTEL
Built in stone, wood and lauze, on the model of the hotel-chalet, The Lodge Avenue blends into its surroundings.
Inside, the bespoke furniture, natural stone, furs and precious fabrics match the metal and sober lines of the coffee-coloured walls.
In the spacious lobby, thick sheepskins with long, abundant hair warm up the chocolate leather sofas, while bright red cushions energize everything. Fans of contemporary design will immediately notice the Ardea armchairs from Zanotta or the Dezza models from Poltrona Frau, which recall the 1950s.
We loved this lobby, which alone seems to concentrate all the hotel's codes, harmoniously declined everywhere else. We find in it this apparent simplicity of form, elegance and authenticity of materials.
The whole, perfectly coherent, creates an exclusive bubble of well-being, a cocoon, which invites you to relax and let go. The Setting is of course top-of-the-range, but without ostentation. Here, it is all about enjoying life in an unpretentious way.
If there is one element to which Michel and I pay huge attention, it is this one.
Of course, everyone has their own definition of ultimate luxury in this field; however, the feeling that the hotel owner and his team have taken pleasure in welcoming you, as a human being and not as a number or a bank account, is of the utmost importance to us. It is also a very basic question of respect.
In all sincerity, the Avenue Lodge Hotel is not only a very beautiful hotel. Above all, it is a place where hospitality is not an empty word: each client is approached with kindness and the reaction to a possible concern is, having observed it, fast and effective.
We feel the staff chosen for their professional skills and the management caring for them, acting as true leaders.
WHO DO WE MEET AT THE HOTEL?
English and French are the main customers. Some of them are obviously regular guests, which demonstrates, if necessary, that hospitality is indeed a fundamental value conveyed within the hotel.
For us, Hotel & Spa Avenue Lodge is particularly suitable for adults (couples or groups of friends).
Dress code observed: Casual chic
OTHER SERVICES OFFERED BY THE HOTEL
We were pleased with the valet parking service, which was particularly convenient after very long driving hours.
OUR TIP: BEST TIME TO GO THERE
The months of March and April, including spring school holidays, are to be favored: snowfall is still very high, days are brighter, temperatures are more pleasant and there are fewer people.
Michel and I would like to thank Mrs Isabelle Marie and Louise Bouvier, owners of the Avenue Lodge Hotel in Val d'Isère, for their invitation and warm welcome.
We would also like to remind our dear readers that, while respecting the editorial line of this blog, the emotions, feelings and opinions expressed in this article are part of our own and total freedom of expression.