Short cuts: end of the run for Ski 2; Cheval Blanc finally opens in Paris

Travel updates

Italy Ski 2, a British tour operator specialising in ski holidays to the Italian village of Champoluc, has announced it is to close after 22 years. The company, headquartered in Winchester but with a year-round base in Champoluc, said that continuing uncertainty around Covid-related travel restrictions, as well the difficulties in employing UK staff in Italy post-Brexit, left “no other option than to close the business for good”. The closure will be a blow to frequent clients but also to the village, where Ski 2 has been a model of good practice, using a network of local suppliers and becoming deeply embedded in the community.

It is the latest UK ski company to fold during the pandemic, joining others including Powder N Shine, Ski Amis and Project Ski. However, some operators are now expressing guarded optimism, reporting strong demand for the coming winter. EasyJet has already been marketing return flights from London to Geneva during February half-term for more than £1,150, luggage not included.

The Italian ski resort of Champoluc © Alamy

Paris The Cheval Blanc, an eagerly awaited new flagship hotel from the luxury goods group LVMH, finally opened this week on the banks of the Seine. The 72-room hotel, which was originally expected to launch in 2018, is part of La Samaritaine, the listed Art Nouveau department store that reopened in June after a 16-year, €750m renovation by LVMH.

Interiors of the hotel were designed by New York architect Peter Marino; the company says every item of furniture has been custom made. There are four restaurants, including a brasserie on the seventh floor with a terrace giving expansive views over the city. Double rooms cost from €1,150 per night.

A room at the Cheval Blanc, Paris
A room at the Cheval Blanc, Paris © Alexandre Tabaste

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