Our family team Proalps moved from La Plagne to Les Arcs to compare the capabilities of two adjacent ski resorts, united by one ski area – Paradiski. And then suddenly, as they say, the neighbor has more snow and the sun shines brighter.
The road by car took an hour and a half, and we drove into the residence of Les Alpages de Chantel, located in Arc 1800 (Arc 1800), in the small village of Chantel (Le Chantel). The buildings of this residence, which belongs to the Pierre & Vacances Center Parcs Group, a development group of companies, scattered around the slope: some are taller, others are lower, and some are slightly to the left.
A shuttle bus runs between them, which also takes guests to the lower village of Charvet (Le Charvet) – something like a local center with shops, bars and restaurants. Since all the buildings are located near the slopes, there is always the option to go down right on skis.
The Roseland building with our three-room apartments and a spa area from the well-known Deep Nature Spa brand on the first floor fits well between Sharwe and the upper buildings of the residence, so that you can walk down the steep path to the food and the playground, which we did at least twice a day, walking the children.
Of course, the road back with groceries and boys in a sled turned into a serious fitness, but we worked out the croissants eaten in the morning, which are the same as in our residence in La Plana, delivered to breakfast. Although, frankly, after a few glasses of refined mulled wine in one of the lower bars, we still preferred to get to the house on the shuttle – so that we would surely be in the right place at the right time.
In addition to Chantel and Sharwe in the Arch 1800, there are two more modern villages, also completely pedestrian: Villars (Les Villards) and Charmetjoje (Charmettoger). By the way, villages can all be called conditional – rather, it’s a convenient division into zones, each of which has the necessary infrastructure: shops, restaurants, apartments and, of course, highways.
For example, in the Villars zone there is a very convenient and completely free slide for kids with a covered belt lift and ski rental in the neighborhood in a pleasant environment of restaurants and bars, where you can always order a small prize for small athletes – a portion of hot chocolate. It was there that we first put our guys on skis.
In general, the Arch 1800 is considered the most youthful and rave, and there are indeed many students here, but the resort itself seemed convenient to us and for families with children. For younger guests, there are two ski gardens, a free slide and nice fenced playgrounds, for dads full of bars, and mothers can always hang out at Deep Nature Spa (the second spa at the resort is located in the Hotel du Golf) or in local shopping galleries.
Just like La Plagne, Les Arcs is not one resort, but a whole ski resort built in the 1960s – 1970s right on the slope and consisting of several stations that communicate with each other. But, unlike La Plani, there are not so many of them – only four: Ark 1600, Ark 1800, Ark 1950 and Ark 2000 (all the numbers next to the name indicate the height of the resort), and the distances between them are quite decent. So every day to move with the children from the resort to the resort to ride the carousel in one place, and in the other – sit on a pony, without a car would be tiring (except for a trip on a lift between Arc 2000 and Arc 1950
But the main feature of the lowest Arkov (1600 and 1800) is their original architecture with grand and spacious buildings, wonderfully inscribed in the landscape so that skiers going down the track instead of the roof of a multi-storey residence covered with snow see only a continuation of the slope. A group of talented young architects worked on the external appearance of these two stations, among whom was Charlotte Perriane, who later became famous. Thanks to her unique ideas, successfully brought to life, in 2006, the architectural ensembles of Arkov were included in the national list “Cultural Heritage of the Twentieth Century”, and the tourism office now holds free thematic tours on local architecture several times a week (more about this we will write in one of the following posts).