La Thuile shares its slopes with La Rosiere, on the French side of the Col du Petit St Bernard. The road link over the pass is closed during winter, but it is easy to ski between the two. La Thuile has two fast-track lifts, the Les Suches cable-car and the Bosco Express chair that goes up to the mid-station, having ready access to high-speed chairs to Chaz Dura, Gran Testa and Belvedere, the top of the area and the connection to La Rosiere.
La Thuile’s pistes are both underrated and underused. The cruisers, usually more blue than red, on the upper slopes are prized confidence-boosters. There are nursery slopes at the base of the mountain and at Les Suches, which also has a few green pistes, but the glade runs from Les Suches to the resort are red and black, which means novices and timid snow-users have to download at the end of the day. Wannabe powderhounds will discover good opportunities to practice through the trees, while the more confident can sign on for heliskiing on the Ruitor and Miravidi glaciers.
Try Lo Riondet for game and raclette or San Bernardo for fondue. Bar du Lac is an additional place to escape the wind that whips across the pass or, on sunny days, to soak up rays in a mountaintop solarium.
La Thuile does not have a terrain park, but La Rosiere has a 500m park near the Poletta drag lift. Both resorts are great for learning to board, but beginners must opt for one or the other to avoid tackling the long Bellecombe T-bar between them.
There is not much choice for slope offs in this resort. The Planibel Centre has a swimming pool and fitness complex, but the atmosphere is like a municipal bath. The cinema is the best bad-weather option.
For your gastronomic treat, there is the Maison de Lauren, whick is more like an oriental private dining room than a restaurant, having heavy silverware, low lighting and elegant set meals cooked and served by the host. La Bricole is good for game, while the faux rustic Coppa Pan, on the boundary of the forest, serves up tasty pierrade and Argentinian beef. The rest of La Thuile’s restaurants rely on pizza – try Lo Creton or Fordze.
In spite of its name, La Cage aux Folles is thought of as a British pub, with draught Guinness, soft rock and premiership football on TV. La Bricole has a disco-pub, with cocktails and guitar music, plus a tiny rustic offshoot, La Bricolette, which sets the evening off to a good start. The Fantasia disco gets busy after midnight.
For your accommodation, the four-star Hotel Planibe has the least atmosphere and the most luxurious accommodation. Of the quartet of three-stars, the most convenient is the Hotel du Glacier, named for its exceptional views of the Ruitor glacier. Chalet Alpina, is a British favorite.