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One long-established local family, one hotel, one story…

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Legend has it that before the Middle Ages convicts were sent to a very remote place, Val d’Isere (formerly known as Val de Tignes) with wishes for a “good life”. From this came the name of the Bonnevie Family, who are the first family to be written about (in 1367) and are still in existence now.

From this long line of Bonnevies Berthe is born in 1917, in the family home in le Fornet where her three brothers were also born. Life in Val d’Isere is harsh at this time and the men go to work in Spain and then Paris during the winter months. As far as skiing is concerned, it is merely a form of transport.

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In the ‘30s, Berthe meets Ulysse Costerg, at the time a teacher at the school in le Fornet and then at the school in the centre of the village

It is later, in 1959, that Berthe and Ulysse embark upon the construction of a hotel-restaurant in the hamlet of la Daille and la Tovière is born.

The hamlet does not have any lifts, it is a risky move. The small 2-star hotel with 12 rooms welcomes a loyal local clientele and pilots from the Air Force.

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The rising popularity of skiing encourages Berthe and Ulysse to enlarge la Tovière. In 1974 the hotel-restaurant has 24 rooms.

After 29 years of management by Berthe and Ulysse, and then their daughter Lucette and her husband Albert, it is time for Berthe to retire.

Not wanting to be separated from la Tovière she rents the hotel to an English Tour Operator for 20 years. Then, the five children of Berthe and Ulysse decide, with regret, to sell the hotel. They were not counting on the next generation buying it!

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Florence is the grand-daughter of Berthe and Ulysse. She grew up in Val d’Isere. After years of ski racing with the Val d’Isere Club des Sports, she went to study in Lyon and then Paris. Her five years of study led to a position in the luxury industry of Paris. Thriving in her career and in the French capital, Florence does not think about returning to work in Val d’Isere, the land of her ancestors.

Fabrice, originally from the south-west of France, grew up in the West Indies. He entered the Air Force to fulfil his passion for aviation and flew a Mirage 2000 N and then a Mirage 2000 D.

It is in the snow of Val d’Isere that the magic happens between Florence and Fabrice!


We are now in 2009 and the couple make a 360° turn. Florence leaves her job and Fabrice retires from the Air Force. Together they imagine the future of the hotel-restaurant… The return to her roots is, perhaps, not completely by chance for Florence who also has a history of hoteliers on her mother’s side. Her grandfather, Guy Arpin, built one of Val d’Isere’s very first hotels, le Bellevarde, in 1937 with his wife Jeannine Arpin.

Since then, the challenge of transforming la Tovière, an old-fashioned 2-star hotel, into a modern and comfortable 3-star and then 4-star hotel, has been taken up by Florence and Fabrice.

The summer of 2012 sees a complete renovation of la Tovière, which gains its third star as well as some additional rooms to bring the total number to 29.

The story continues today with a new renovation in 2018 and the award of a fourth star.

This wonderful story would not exist without you, dear guests, friends, families; guests old and new, loyal and occasional; you who have grown with la Tovière, who have accompanied us through its transformations, who may have shared just a few moments within its walls or who have discovered its soul. For that we say a huge THANK YOU!