Val Thorens in Savoie is the highest ski resort in Europe and it’s also the world’s best, according to the latest World Ski Awards.
The resort that is already open for the winter season thanks to large snowfalls in recent days was named ahead of Kitsbühel in Austria which was last year’s winner.
Zermatt and Gstaad in Switzerland, Aspen and Vail in the Rockies and Courchevel in the French Alps were the runners up.
The title went to Val Thorens after an online vote involving some 1.6 million ski fanatics from 85 different countries.
“Val Thorens: It’s a new world resort that combines the best of skiing with the best of atmospheres,” reads the World Ski Awards website.
“With its ever-present pioneering spirit, breath-taking natural environment, remarkable amount of sunshine and exceptional snow conditions, it is both unique and cosmopolitan, boasting a lively, sociable and welcoming atmosphere.
“Here, you can progress exactly the way you want to, at your own pace, dipping in and out of experiences and atmospheres with you family or friends, for an unforgettable holiday!”
In a statement the managers of the resort said the origin of their success, which also saw them named best ski resort in 2013 and 2014, lay in a questionnaire given out to holidaymakers six years ago.
They said the responses led them to carry out many initiatives and “reinvent hospitality” in the resort.
The resort manager Gregory Guzzo said the reward recognized the long-term plan and “unmatched and constant investment” – some €839 million for “innovation” between 2010 and 2020.
This year the resort is to launch a “SKiFlux” system which will alert skiers in real time to how busy each piste is.
Val Thorens opened for the season on Saturday.