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Courchevel…the new “hang-out” for family ski vacations

We opened our Scott Dunn Explorers club at Portetta in the 2013/2014 season as more and more of our guests were requesting Courchevel 1650 as the new “hang-out” for family ski vacations. Portetta is a beautiful hotel with 38 rooms and 6 loft suites, making it perfect for family stays. In the middle of April, Charlotte from our Ski & Mediterranean team was lucky enough to visit the hotel and see our wonderful new children’s club for herself.

Often the first request our guests have is for ski in/ski out properties and Portetta is the epitome of this; it is right at the base of the nursery slopes and the famous ‘Indiens’ run, which means you can ski right to the back door. Another huge selling point for the hotel is the ‘Fire and Ice Terrace’. This was burnt down in an accident back in late 2011 but is now back up and running and it couldn’t be better. There was an obscene amount of snow last season and on our skiing day we were lucky enough to have a blue bird powder day. So the après-ski was just perfect on that terrace and plenty of people were enjoying a mulled wine or one of Portetta’s ice shots, whilst the children sledged down the slopes.

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The ‘Rouge piste’ ice shot

I had the chance to visit the children’s club and thought it was fantastic. I had only ever seen photos and they have done an amazing job, there was every toy imaginable for all ages. There were a few children being dropped off by their parents at the time who were reluctant at first, but as soon as they saw the toys out, and the friendly faced nannies, they ran from their parents to sit down and play.

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One corner of the Scott Dunn Explorers club

Later that evening we all sat down for an aperitif, in the lobby, at which point we saw families being welcomed by the owner making it feel even more unique. The evening menu was vast and had a huge array of dishes – both local cuisine and fine dining. If you were on a half-board basis you would have more than enough to choose from staying for a week and there are always daily specials as well.

The next morning I had the chance to wander around the rooms. There are so many great family options; the most economical option is to stay in a family room, which is big enough for 2 adults and 2 children. If families require more space then I would recommend staying in one of the lofts, the only issue being that they get booked up very quickly! Of course if there are more of you, or you would like a bit more independence, then you could stay in one of their lodges which are about a 5 minute drive from the hotel. They are also ski in/ski out and can be booked on a B&B basis or an ‘all-inclusive’ basis which includes a chef and all of your beverages. These lodges have been painstakingly renovated to an extremely high level and the service is just impeccable. The chefs aim to please with their culinary delights and the manager of the lodges is an asset to the operation.

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The view from a piste facing room

Overall I was impressed with the whole of Portetta, it is perfect for families and couples alike who want a high level of service without any pretention.

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