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Avoriaz gets an upgrade
Monday March 26, 2012 - Email this article to a friend

€200m is being spent on new lifts, accommodation and an Aqua Park. It is a significant investment for the 1960s purpose-built resort in the Portes du Soleil. PlanetSKI reports from Avoriaz.

The statistics and facts speak for themselves and make it one of the largest developments taking place in any resort in The Alps.

The jewel in the crown of the Pierre et Vacances development is the 5* holiday residences, Amara, where there are 100 top-end apartments.

It states luxury at the reception area and there are saunas, swimming pools, hot tubs, a gym, a lounge bar and nursery facilities for the children.

There are a further 195 4* apartments at Les Crozats and 74 at the neighbouring Maeva L'Electra residences.

They are designed by the same architects from the original construction of the resort back in 1966. 

The buildings are stark and still look futuristic and though they are not to everyone's taste many others admire the bold simplicity of the buildings. They may not have chocolate-box appeal but they are certainly practical.

It will take the number of beds in the resort to 18,000.

Much of the new accommodation was supposed to be ready for this winter but building problems meant some of it was not finished as the season got underway.

Old buildingsOld buildings













New buildingsNew buildings












There have also been some attempts to make people smile this winter as they look at the tower blocks under construction.

Covering an eyesoreCovering an eyesore











A new lift will come up from the valley floor near to Morzine and the top station will be constructed underground. 

It will have 12 cabins that each hold 35 skiers and will take up to 2,400 people per hour.

They will have access to some extensive skiing and snowboarding in the Portes du Soleil.

For a video interview about the Avoriaz makeover see the interview below with David Bouche, the resort manager for Pierre et Vacances.


The resort of Avoriaz is run by Pierre et Vacances and for more information about the company, and what it offers, then see here.

On piste in the Portes du SoleilOn piste in the Portes du Soleil












Off piste in the Portes du SoleilOff piste in the Portes du Soleil












Also new in Avoriaz is the Aquariaz that will be the largest water park in the mountains and has been designed by Centre Parks.

It will have slides, a playhouse, paddling pools, whirlpools and climbing walls.

There is also a slidewinder that is a sort of aquatic halfpipe.

Aqua park under constructionAqua park under construction












It is one of the biggest upgrades to a resort going on that we know of here at PlanetSKI.

"I have been working here for 20 years and the new developments are very exciting and will provide people with a host of new facilities and reasons for coming," said Ian McKellar, the Director of the Avoriaz Alpine Ski School.

It is the only British-run snowsports school in the resort.

But the key question in these times of economic downturn is will it be financially viable? 

Many of the properties have already been sold while Pierre et Vacances believes it is a small investment for much larger future rewards.

Time will tell.

Slopes above AvoriazSlopes above Avoriaz












This winter has gone well for the resort with record amounts of snow and for those looking for a last-minute Easter break then Avoriaz is a pretty good choice. 

Next winter, once all the developments have been finished, it should be even better.

Sunset in AvoriazSunset in Avoriaz













Later on PlanetSKI we will have a blog from our content editor, James Cove, as he skis round the resort and takes a look at the Portes du Soleil ski area.

He refers to it in  the PlanetSKI weekly video snow report from last month and was rather impressed.

He was last in the region a couple of winters ago when he skied the whole area in a day. 

See the video below of the Ski Safari round the Portes du Soleil.

Fact box

A week's stay at the four-star Pierre & Vacances Les Crozats Apartments in Avoriaz including flights from Gatwick and airport transfers costs from £379 per person (based on five sharing). A week's stay at the five-star Pierre & Vacances Finest L'Amara Apartments costs from £475 including flights and transfers.

Direct regional departures from eight UK airports are available at a supplement starting from £20.

Prices for a six-day lift pass start at £146 and equipment hire from Skiset starts at £95 for the week.

Special offer - Crystal Ski Plus package: flights, transfers, a week's stay at the L'Amara Apartments, local lift pass and ski & boot hire from £599. Must be booked before 31st November 2012.

Further information on Avoriaz can be found at

More details on Pierre et Vacances are here.

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