Portetta FAM Trip

My first trip to Portetta started off early with an 8am flight from Heathrow to Lyon. However I was delighted to find that once on board the new British Airways aircraft that I had a whole row of seats to myself, one of quite a few perks I noticed while visiting Portetta in low season. After a very comfortable 90 minute flight we regrouped at the baggage reclaim area and made our way through a very quick and painless passport control. On the other side we were greeted by Sebastian who was holding a Portetta sign at the arrivals area, he took us to our private mini bus and we started our two hour transfer to Portetta.

We arrived in Portetta’s heated driveway ahead of schedule and I was eager to see the hotel for myself. We walked into the warm cosy reception and I instantly felt relaxed, we were greeted by Nicolas and Mehdi the hotel director and assistant manager and were shown to our rooms. My valley facing room was simply gorgeous; it was rustic in style with exposed wooden beams and plush, cosy textiles that created a sense of warmth and comfort. After I unpacked I was keen to see the rest of the hotel.

We walked through the large spacious lounge and into the new bar area and restaurant Cucina Angelina and I could see that the interiors throughout have been designed to the highest standard, with large open fireplaces and elegant furnishings – think alpine-chic with a warm, laid-back vibe! The hotel had everything one could need for the perfect ski break, a top notch ski room and shop where staff will even warm your boots for you to a lavish spa where you can relax and rejuvenate after a long day of skiing. I was very impressed but more importantly after a busy morning I was very hungry, it was time to experience what culinary delights Portetta had to offer.

We made our way outside to the Fire and Ice Bar, Portetta’s outdoor terrace bar which is right at the bottom of the main piste and took a seat. The sun was shining down on us and view was breath-taking. I perused the menu and I was spoilt for choice, the Italian influenced mountain food included pastas, salads, grills, pizza and more and I wanted to try everything! Finally I decided to try an old favourite of mine and an Italian dish carbonara and I was not disappointed.  We decided that despite the fact that we were already full to burst it would be rude not to try a dessert and make the most of this sunny afternoon so I ordered the chocolate torte and felt no ounce of guilt.

After an absolutely perfect lunch there was only one thing to do, take a nap in my peaceful room and prepare for dinner which was only a couple hours of away (maybe I shouldn’t of had dessert!).
We met in the lounge for a quick glass of champagne before we went to visit the lodges which were simply stunning, each one unique and furnished to the highest standard by Laure the lodge manager who joined us for dinner in Blanchot. It was clear to see from spending a short amount of time with Laure just how passionate she is about the lodges and how much she strives to make sure that each guest has a great experience. She is involved in every aspect of their stay from the booking right through to departure to make sure everything runs smoothly.

We enjoyed a delicious three course meal cooked by the wonderful chef Céline before retiring to the hotel for a quick night cap and an early night before a busy day on the slopes.

Today was my first day skiing and to say I was apprehensive would be an understatement. Nevertheless I got into my ski gear and met the rest of the group downstairs in Portetta’s very own ski room. I was greeted by my instructor for the day the lovely Christine from the ESF 1650 ski school who quickly made my nerves disappear. Our first stop was the baby slope which I managed to complete with ease so we then moved up to a slightly steeper slope which I must admit I was a lot more ‘wobbly’ on. After a few successful runs on the learning slope Christine decided I was ready for my first green run and I thought she had gone crazy! So I found myself on my first drag lift which I absolutely loved! The views were incredible and the weather was simply perfect, I could have easily stayed on the lift all day but I think Christine had other ideas.

My first run resulted in a few crash landings but after that I started to get the hang of it and really enjoyed myself; Christine was amazing and kept pushing me to tackle more difficult slopes. So after a long morning on the slopes I was exhausted and ready for my next meal. We decided to try a local French restaurant a short walk away from the hotel which was superb, I had my first tartiflette which is a French dish from the Savoie and Haute Savoie region of France. I spent the rest of the afternoon in the hotel spa relaxing my very tired legs.

Dinner this evening was in Cucina Angelina, Portetta’s brand new restaurant in partnership with top chef Angela Hartnett. The restaurant builds on the relaxed, casual style at Portetta with rustic mountain chic interiors. The food was simply divine and I enjoyed every single bite! It was the perfect end to a fabulous stay at Portetta. Now I’m home and ready to hit the gym after an indulgent few nights.

Danielle McDaid