9 January 2019

Hotel Koh-I Nor, Val Thorens

Last January we headed back to Les Trois Vallées for eight days in the largest ski resort (and one of my favourites places) in the world.  We were last there in 2016 and stayed in Val Thorens again, this time at the luxurious Hotel Koh-I Nor.

Emma Louise Layla at Le Diamont Noir, Hotel Koh-I Nor in Val Thorens, Les Trois Vallees - luxury travel blog
wearing Sandro Pearl Embellished Peplum Sweater

Koh-I Nor takes its name from the 105.6 carat diamond currently mounted in the Queen's crown - once the largest diamond in the world - and means 'mountain of light' in Persian.  At 2,364m, it's the highest 5 star hotel in Europe, perched at the top of Val Thorens with stunning panoramic views of the sparkling snowy mountains.  It's a wood, stone and glass lodge-style hotel where rustic meets luxe with 63 chic, cosy rooms with balconies, huge showers (is there anything better than a good hot shower after a day on the slopes?), comfy beds, wood panelled walls, modern chrome furniture and faux fur accessories.  Located on the Plein Sud blue run with ski-in/ ski-out access, the warm, clean boot room is the stuff of dreams (definitely the nicest boot room I've used, and these things matter!) with secure lockers and heated boot dryers.  Upstairs, there's a sunny terrace (not that we could use it during our whiteout week - same for our balcony), and an open fire in the lounge with live piano, perfect for après-ski drinks.

Koh-I Nor five star hotel reception, Val Thorens, Les Trois Vallees - luxury travel blog

Bedroom at Koh-I Nor five star hotel, Val Thorens, Les Trois Vallees - luxury travel blog

Emma Louise Layla swimming at Hotel Koh-I Nor, Val Thorens, Les Trois Vallees - luxury travel blog
wearing Gottex Profile Sport Techno Swimsuit (best swimsuit ever)

Chef Eric Samson oversees three restaurants, and as we booked half board, breakfast and dinner at the very good L'Atelier d'Eric was included in our reservation.  The breakfast buffet was excellent with a decent spread of fresh fruit, juices and smoothies, cereals, eggs, local cheese and meats, breads, pastries, and a la carte options.  Dinner was good too, with a different set menu with five dishes to choose from each day, a huge wine list and a cosy atmosphere.

Interiors at Hotel Koh-I Nor in Val Thorens, Les Trois Vallees - luxury travel blog

Snowy balcony at Koh-I-Nor five star hotel, Val Thorens, Les Trois Vallees - luxury travel blog
our snowed-in balcony

Le Diamant Noir restaurant at Koh-I-Nor five star hotel, Val Thorens, Les Trois Vallees - luxury travel blog

We tried the hotel's fine dining restaurant Le Diamont Noir one night, starting with a glass of champagne, an amuse-bouche and warm bread topped with crispy seeds and served with different butters.  We ordered a bottle of fresh, organic muscadet and opted for the discovery menu with a choice of three dishes per course: I started with variated beetroot served with smoked eel, and Julien went for the marbled duck foie gras cooked in wine and served with a little kumquat jam.

Beetroot starter at Le Diamont Noir, Hotel Koh-I Nor in Val Thorens, Les Trois Vallees - luxury travel blog

Champagne at Koh-I Nor five star hotel, Val Thorens, Les Trois Vallees - luxury travel blog

Dinner at Le Diamont Noir, Hotel Koh-I Nor in Val Thorens, Les Trois Vallees - luxury travel blog

For mains, I had a beautifully-cooked piece of Arctic char served with a lightly spiced, caramelised sauce, bergamot and crunchy carrots, and Julien ordered the baby duck filet, flavoured with coffee and lime (sounds rather odd, but it worked) and Jerusalem artichoke puree.  After palate cleansers, we shared a modern take on the classic Mont Blanc dessert: blueberry compote and a delicious chestnut ice cream topped with crushed meringue, and a nut tart with frangipane cream, almonds and lemon ice cream.  Nothing beats a well-earnt dinner after a full day's skiing, and this one was particularly indulgent.

Duck filet at Le Diamont Noir, Hotel Koh-I Nor in Val Thorens, Les Trois Vallees - luxury travel blog

Discovery tasting menu at Le Diamont Noir restaurant in Koh-I Nor, Val Thorens, Les Trois Vallees - luxury travel blog

Mont blanc dessert at Le Diamont Noir at Koh-I-Nor five star hotel, Val Thorens, Les Trois Vallees - luxury travel blog

The beautiful spa features two heated swimming pools, a sauna, jacuzzi, ice fountain, and an illuminated Himalayan salt wall.  It's the perfect place to relax before getting ready for dinner.  Val Thorens is my favourite resort, and this is my favourite ski hotel I've ever stayed - it won the best ski hotel in France at the 2016 World Snow Awards for good reason - we hope to be back soon.

Hotel 5 étoiles Koh-I Nor, Rue de Gebroulaz, 73440 Saint-Martin-de-Belleville

browse other hotel reviews & travel features

Bedroom at Hotel Koh-I Nor in Val Thorens, Les Trois Vallees - luxury travel blog

Black Diamond collection toiletries at Hotel Koh-I Nor in Val Thorens, Les Trois Vallees - luxury travel blog

Koh-I Nor five star hotel bedroom, Val Thorens, Les Trois Vallees - luxury travel blog

Spa at Hotel Koh-I Nor in Val Thorens, Les Trois Vallees - luxury travel blog
salt crystals in the spa

Whiteout at Hotel Koh-I Nor in Val Thorens, Les Trois Vallees - luxury travel blog
the snowed-in terrace

Swimming pool at Koh-I-Nor five star hotel, Val Thorens, Les Trois Vallees - luxury travel blog
wearing Gottex Profile Sport Techno Swimsuit (best swimsuit ever)

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