Les Arcs - village
Les Arcs has three distinct styles. Bourg-Saint-Maurice is a real-life year-round mountain town with a long history, including a delightful Baroque church. Arcs 1600,1800 and 2000 were all built in the 1960s and 1970s following the principles of avant-garde architecture, with clear inspiration from the great architect, Le Corbusier.
The new kid on the block, Arc 1950, uses more traditional Savoyard building techniques but with a North American twang, thanks to Canadian developers Intrawest, the company behind Whistler.
Much of the accommodation in Les Arcs is in apartments in those distinctive modernist apartment blocks. At Arc 1950, there is a Radisson Blu hotel but it is more of an apartment hotel in style. In addition, much of the accommodation labelled as chalets are actually apartments run on a chalet basis.
There are also some traditional chalets, particularly in hamlets including Villaroger and Peisey-Vallandry. The hotels are typically midmarket properties; the Hotel du Golf in Arc 1800 has undergone a complete refurbishment. There are Club Med hotels in the heart of Arc 2000 and an impressive landmark property in Peisey-Vallandry.
Ski/snowboard equipment hire
Les Arcs offers a number of icy adventures for non-skiers. The Grotte de Glace (ice cave) at ther top of the Transarc gondoila is well worth a visit. If that whets your appetite, try glacier walking on the Glacier Geay.
Jacques Fillietroz, aka “Les Arcs’ Buffalo Bill”, runs ski-joëring in the forest – that’s being pulled along on your skis by a horse (50€). Call (00 33 6 16 18 49 51). If dogs are your thing, try Arctik Aventures’ (00 33 6 16 03 24 01) sunset husky rides (45€). Finish off a day with a snowshoe walk to a Mongolian yurt on the slopes where you’ll tuck into a traditional Savoyard dinner.
Les Arcs is designated as a Famille Plus resort, which means it has to adhere to seven family-friendly principles. In Arc 1600, the child care centre is in the Hotel La Cachette and is suitable for children from 4 months up to 12 with three separate groups for babies and toddlers.
In Arc 1800, there is the popular Pomme de Pins centre for 1 to 6 year olds. In Arc 1950, Le Cariboo’s in Les Clarines caters for children from 6 months to 13 years old. In Arc 2000, children aged from 18 months to 6 years are looked after in the Lanchettes Residence. You should reserve before arriving and bring your child’s medical records for evidence of vaccinations.