Last week Claire, our European Assistant Product Manager, took a quick trip to Villars in Switzerland to see what’s new for the season ahead and to see why it is such a popular choice for Ski Independence clients.
Upon arrival at Geneva Airport, we headed to the train station, which is just a short walk from arrivals, to catch our Swiss rail transfer to Villars. This is becoming an increasingly popular method of transfer to resort and it’s easy to see why. It must have been one of the most enjoyable and easiest ski transfers I have experienced. Displayed throughout the station, all the timetables give you the correct platform you need to be on and when the next departure is. As it is to be expected, all of the trains run with Swiss efficiently and depart on time.
When catching the train to Villars, there are two options. You can either take the train to Aigle and then catch the bus to resort, or take the train a little further to the town of Bex and then change onto another train which runs directly up to Villars. Either way you will arrive into the centre of the resort and will be minutes away from your accommodation.
As with many Swiss resorts, Villars is a ‘real’ town with residents living there year round and as a result there is a good selection of bars, restaurants and shops. A recent addition to the après ski scene is the Moonboot bar, which had a great atmosphere and is perfect for a few Mojitos. Le Sporting and Murphy’s bar also looked like good options, especially as the latter being right beside the popular Hotel Le Bristol.
In terms of eating out, I would highly recommend the Rotisserie des Alpes, which is right beside the train station in the centre of the resort, where we had excellent Lake Geneva perch fillets. We also spent an evening at the Restaurant du Col du Bretaye, located at the top of the cog railway, in an area called Bretaye. This is an ideal restaurant for non-skiers who want to go up the mountain and meet skiers for lunch. Just remember to ask them for their Alphorn, Kirsch and goat skull to experience a true Swiss tradition (!)
When it was time to hit the slopes, we were accompanied by the Villars Ecole de Ski et Snowboard (ESS). Villars ESS is one of the largest in Switzerland and is made up of over 300 instructors. Their office is located in the same building as the tourist office, opposite the station. If you have lessons booked, you can exchange your vouchers either at the office in resort or at the office in Bretaye – the ski area accessed by the cog railway. There’s an excellent kindergarten in Villars which is located behind the train station. Thanks to the magic carpet in the Jardin des Neiges, the little ones will be tearing up and down the slopes in no time.
Most Ski Independence clients visiting Villars stay in the Hotel Le Bristol, which is one of our most popular hotels in Europe. It is a fantastic hotel, located only 300m from the resort centre. The rooms are spacious and have the choice of either a village of valley view.
Villars is an excellent choice for a either a short break ski holiday, thanks to the easy transfer and flexibility of the Hotel Le Bristol or as a family destination, with a wide choice of self catered apartments available and a superb ski school on hand to take care of the children.
If you’re interested in a ski break to Villars and have any questions about the resort, please do not hesitate to call the reservations team on 0131 243 8097.