Nira Montana

Aosta, Italy Book from

Super-stylish hotel in La Thuile, a popular high resort in Northern Italy; great skiing in winter and activity holidays in summer
This might look like an unassuming, traditional wooden chalet from the outside, but you step inside to an oasis of cool: designer interiors with industrial-chic lighting, oversized leather sofas, quirky coffee-table books and signature resin stags' heads adorning the walls. It is one of 3 sister boutique hotels located in smart places, including St Moritz and Edinburgh, all of which are called Nira, which means ‘pure’ in Sanskrit.

A perfect antidote to Alpine chintz, Montana's 55 rooms are chic and spacious, with tree-trunk bedside tables, Cole & Son Woods wallpaper, glass paneling and contemporary Italian rocking chairs. Downstairs, waiters glide in the elegant Stars restaurant, and there's a sophisticated spa and heated indoor pool. Yet whilst it's an obvious choice for urbanites and couples, it's surprisingly good for style-conscious young families, too, who love the easy vibe, plus there's a playroom and pizzeria. La Thuile itself is a pretty Alpine resort, lively in the winter but never as crowded as other, bigger resorts. The slopes are never busy so queues for lifts are rare, and the hotel is 10 mins on foot from the centre of town, so it’s very quiet: just you and the mountains. A great base for snowsports in winter and climbing, walking and pony-treks in the warmer months.

Highs

  • Skiing either side of the French and Italian borders, in the silent presence of Mont Blanc and Rutor glacier. There are 160km of slopes in the resort, a range of nursery, intermediate and advanced runs
  • Staff are delightful, highly professional and genuinely charming; service is impeccable
  • Inventive food, such as seared prawns with yellow peaches, almonds and radicchio
  • Laid-back music creates a perfectly chilled ambiance. It is compiled by renowned DJ Malik, who changes the playlist every day
  • Swedish Haestens beds. Just dreamy

Lows

  • A hell of a drive over the Petit St Bernard Pass (closed in winter) to get here! Or go via the Montblanc tunnel. Book a transfer and let someone else worry about it
  • No baths in any of the rooms, but there are several Jacuzzis and a sauna down in the spa
  • The colour scheme is quite monochrome and a little gloomy - taupes, beiges, chocolates and creams
  • Slightly frustrating internet access, which requires you to re-log in each time you want to access it

Best time to go

The ski season, from December to April, avoiding busy peak weeks such as New Year and February half term if possible. July and August in the summer, when the weather is best, but avoiding the big August 15th Italian holiday period.

Our top tips

Feeling flash? There are super-fancy Titanium and oak skis for guest hire (made specially for the hotel), or just purchase a pair outright for €3,000!

In summer, walk up the Colle San Carlo. The hotel’s shuttle bus will take you some of the way, then it's a 2.5-hour walk further, with breathtaking views down the valley.

Great for...

Family
Foodie
Great Outdoors
Honeymoon
Spa
  • = Recommended
  • = Best in region
  • = World favourite
  • Boutique Hotel
  • 55
  • Restaurant and bar open daily
  • All ages welcome
  • Closed: 17 Apr 2017 - 15 Jun 2017
  • Indoor Pool
  • Spa
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
Room:

Rooms

All 54 rooms feature variations on exactly the same décor - wood-themed wallpaper on a feature wall, snowflake-patterned cushions on the bed and white resin stags' heads. Thoughtful extras include mountain-themed coffee table books, His and Hers slippers, spa flip-flops, and plentiful Comfort Zone toiletries.

The Swedish Haestens beds are heavenly, consisting of a giant divan with a thin mattress on top, stuffed with horse hair (which makes your body breathe rather than sweat). Getting into bed has never felt so good.

We stayed in a Grand Deluxe on the first floor, which had a balcony (not all do) and heaps of space. This was the second smallest category: rooms start at Deluxe and work their way through Grand Deluxe to Lofts, which have a mezzanine for an extra guest, and Junior Suites and Suites (both of which have living areas with sofabeds so are good family options). Note, all bathrooms are shower only.

Features include:

  • Bathrobes
  • Central heating
  • Coffee maker
  • Coffee tea making
  • Flip-flops
  • Hairdryer
  • Ipod dock
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Phone
  • Safe box
  • Satellite tv
  • Slippers
  • WiFi

Eating

The Stars restaurant is elegant and immaculately styled, decked out in chrome seats with dazzling white table linen and glittering glassware. Its fare is equally fancy, created by talented local chef Paolo Bertholier - mostly Italian dishes using products from the Aosta Valley with regional twists. We dined on seared prawns with yellow peaches, almonds and radicchio followed by a simple but sublimely executed bowl of spaghetti with pesto sauce and anchovies, then a frothily-light ricotta cheese mousse with Piedmontese hazelnuts.

For something more casual, there's a pizzeria in one corner serving less-expensive dishes such as wood-fired pizza, pasta, soups and comfort food. Perfect for eating with children.

Breakfast is a lavish, work-of-art buffet featuring endless choices of cereals, cheeses, fruit, yogurts and pastries. We counted 6 different honeys alone.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Children meals
  • Coffee maker
  • Coffee tea making
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Restaurant
  • Restaurants nearby
  • Room service
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • Skiing and snowboarding in the winter. La Thuile is a popular high resort, with 160km of nursery, intermediate and advanced runs. The hotel shuttles guests to the nearby slopes (5-7 mins)
  • For something more unusual, enquire about husky sledding, heli-skiing or bobsleigh
  • Climbing, hiking, rafting, horse riding and mountain biking are popular in the summer months
  • Back at the hotel, bliss out in the spa. There are 4 private treatment rooms and a Rasoul (detox mud treatment experience in a sauna), ‘Scottish’ shower (bucketful of ice cold water with a pull cord) and a Vitarium. There's also a private spa downstairs, rentable by the hour
  • Or just relax in the heated indoor pool with its Jacuzzi sections in winter, and out on the pretty sun terrace in the summer

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Climbing
  • Hiking
  • Horse-riding
  • Kayaking
  • Mountain biking
  • Nightlife
  • Plantlife / flora
  • Rafting
  • Skiing
  • Swimming
  • Well being
  • Wine tasting

Kids

Nira Montana is very welcoming to families and children are presented with a teddy bear on arrival and biscuits on departure. La Thuile is very family friendly with several nursery slopes and a great ski school. Pleasingly, up to two children sharing their parents' room stay for free on a B&B basis, and cots are free too.

Best for:

All ages

Family friendly accommodation:

The Junior Suites and Suites are best for families, both all on one level and open-plan, with a kingsize bed and a double sofabed in the living room, plus space for a baby cot. The Lofts are triple rooms, with the 3rd bed up on a mezzanine level (not suitable for children under 10). Grand Deluxes can fit a baby cot

Babysitting:

On request

Baby equipment:

  • Baby cots
  • Baby bedding
  • Night lights
  • Baby baths
  • Bottle warming

Remember  baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking

Children's meals:

A children’s menu in the restaurant (offered at an earlier sitting if parents prefer), plus a pizzeria section. Food is available all day

Kids Activities on site:

  • A kids' zone, fully loaded with toys, games and DVDs
  • Heated indoor pool

Kids Activities nearby:

  • Skiing
  • Snowboarding
  • Husky sledding
  • Mountain biking
  • Horse riding
  • Parco Avventura (zip-lining and treetop walks)

Families Should Know:

Children only allowed in the spa area until 5pm

Distances:

  • Airport: 2 hours (Geneva)
  • Hospital: 5 mins' drive
  • Shops: 5 mins' walk
Kid Friendly:

Our guests' ratings...

10/
Rooms
10/
Food
10/
Service
8/
Value
10/
Overall

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Rates for Nira Montana