As a general rule, we don’t stay in the same hotel more than once because we like to try new places and experiences. The only time we have broken this rule is sking in Val D’Isere and the Hotel Christiana. So you figure the Hotel Christiana has to be something special for us to keep going back there!
We returned for our third year in a row to the Hotel Christiana a couple of weeks ago for a week of skiing during half-term. In fact we stayed in the same room as previous rooms as well. It’s a family suite with a separate bedroom/bath for the children. Our friends’ rooms are on the same floor and it’s easy for the children to run across the hall to each other’s rooms.
The hotel staff greeted us warmly and remembered our preferences. Pretty amazing considering we are only back for 1 week every year! The bartender makes this grog for me every year because invariably I have a sore throat at some point. The grog is a mix of rum, honey, cinnamon, lemon and hot water with an Earl Gray infusion. Yum!
I also like that the hotel seems to have a regular clientele which return every year. We meet the same families and our children play together. The hotel guests are a mix of European and English with no clear majority of any nationality.
The food is superb. There is an extensive breakfast buffet. We’ve never been around for lunch because we like to try out the restaurants in Val d’Isere. We always take half-board at the hotel because dinner is also excellent. In fact, we sometimes go out for drinks but return to the hotel restaurant for dinner.
The hotel run a play/crafts room near the dining room during school holidays. Our children like to hang out with their friends there while we eat dinner.
The location, likewise, is excellent. It’s a short few minutes to the main ski lifts and to the main street in town. There is a garage under the building should you chose to drive. Across the street is the very popular night spot, Dick’s Tea Bar. We, however, have heard no noise from Dick’s because the hotel closes its metal shutters at night.
Although traditionally decorated with its dark wood, velvet curtains and sofas, I noticed touches towards modern decor such as the Tom Dixon tea lights scattered around. This hotel, however, is comfortable in itself and isn’t trying to reinvent itself as anything. One night we were there, the King and Queen of Norway was having dinner in the restaurant as well. With a fairly staid clientele, changes to the hotel are never going to be radical.
This hotel, however, is not stuffy. My children regularly pad about downstairs in their socks. I’ve noticed some children coming down to the children’s dinner in pyjamas. When I hurt my knee skiing, I limped down to dinner in my complimentary spa slippers.
The spa, by the way, is very good. I’ve eased away the ski aches and pains with an excellent massage. There is also a pool which our children use most evenings and they have made friends with some of the other guests’ children playing in the pool.
Why do we return? The convenient location, nice family rooms, impeccable service and great food are all important. Most important, however, our children think of the Christiana as a ski home away from home. You can’t place a price on warm, fuzzy feelings!