The history of the Yak & Yeti Family Group is closely linked to the Gorini family and the story of Val Thorens.
After a trip to Chamonix, Marc Gorini, a ski patroller and first aid worker who would later become a qualified national ski instructor, met Jean Béranger et Christine Goitschel. Together, they found out about the Val Thorens / Val Chavière project.
With nothing tying them down, they devoted themselves to bringing this new ski resort into being.
Sandrine and Marc Gorini, originally from Lyon, arrived at the time of the pioneers building Val Thorens in 1972.
They took part in founding the nationally accredited french ski school, with Sandrine as secretary and Marc as an instructor.
From the start, they fell under the exceptional site of Val Thorens and it was the beginning of an incredible love story with the valley.
Despite worries and doubts about the financial viability of this new resort, in October 1973, they successfully raised the funds to acquire a small creperie restaurant which was to become a meeting spot for a few intrepid adventurers at the time. The creperie - the Saint Pères - still exists.
Then, in 1979, they set up one of the first hotels in Val Thorens, the Hotel 3 Vallées, a Mountain Boutique Hotel still managed by the group to this day.
Their son, Cédric Gorini, one of the first "Val Thorens natives", was born in 1973, and would join them in 1998 after 2 years in Vail, Colorado. A ski instructor too, he shared his parents passion for hospitality and the mountains. The small, 28 room hotel at the heart of the resort went from 2 to 3 stars and then, recently, from 3 to 4 stars.
In 2005, Cédric was joined by his brother Arnaud who shared his passion for the peaks of the 3 Valleys. Arnaud trained at the Paul Bocuse hotel school in Lyon. The brothers' journey started around a project: in 2006, they acquired a high altitude chalet, the Chalet de la Marine. Their aim was simple: to provide quality cuisine in a place one least expect it, at 2,500 m altitude, at the heart of the ski area, at the mercy of the elements, and far from Val Thorens.
The Chalet de la Marine was one of the first high altitude restaurants to be awarded a fourchette in the Michelin guide in 2013.
In these service jobs, linked to tourism, success never lies with a single person; success is about teamwork. We have been lucky enough to work with people who signed up for the long haul, sharing their skills and enthusiasm for the exceptional site that is Val Thorens. This was the case of Bruno Gabet, Marc Gorini's partner at the Val Thorens Immobilier estate agency for 30 years and currently the President of the Tourist Office. This was also the case for Stéfanie Gorini, Cédric's wife who, for over 15 years, has managed 320 apartments on weekly rentals for winter holidays at the same estate agency.
Now, the family is growing with the construction of the 5-star hotel PASHMINA, the Refuge*****, made in Val Thorens. The project is borne of the passion, the experience and the skill of the entire team. It also involves a partnership with a friend and a renowned chef, Romuald Fassenet, recipient of the Meilleur Ouvrier de France award; but also chefs Josselin Jeanblanc and Olivier Caillere, Elise Simon, Philippe Bappel and a team of over 100 employees.
The history of the Yak & Yeti Group is the story of a family and of shared passions. A passion for the mountains, for hospitality and, quite simply, for sharing!
These are the most important ingredients for the success of a high-end family hotel rooted in the traditions of Val Thorens.
Welcome to the Hotel Pashmina ***** which is scheduled to open in December 2015. It is the beginning of a new chapter in the story of a group of adventurers, the story of Val Thorens, the story of the mountains and the skiers.