The team at Oliver’s Travels are a ski-mad bunch! When winter comes around again, we’re the first to head to the slopes and break out those ski skills we’ve parked over summer. We asked some members of the team where they’d recommend going for the best Alpine adventures, so take a look at our insider guide to three top trending ski resorts and some top tips for hitting the slopes!
Oliver’s Travels ski expert – Emma – Marketing & PR
Méribel is home to an incredible variety of ski runs that will suit every ability, from beginners and advanced skiers. You’ll be near enough to access other ski resorts in the area, such as Val Thorens, St-Martin-de-Belleville and many more.
Head to the Altiport on your first day, it’s a lovely beginner’s run, which has some gentle alpine paths through the forests and will help build up your confidence. And just remember that if you fall over, you can get back up! It’s not a race, just enjoy it and smile!
Then, when you’ve had your fill of the slopes, there are also fantastic restaurants serving up diverse and delicious menus. Favourites include Hôtel Adray Telebar, the Beefbar at Hotel Le Coucou and the restaurant at Le Monchu Méribel. As well as this, Méribel is a charming town with tonnes of character, energy and a friendly atmosphere.
If you’re looking for a totally unique dining experience, then don’t miss Clos Bernard, a hidden gem in the middle of the forest with a fantastic Alpine vibe. A horse and cart will transport non-skiers to the restaurant from the bottom of the Altiport run (just make sure not to miss the last lift from Méribel Village!) Incredible food, a charming atmosphere and the restaurant will even host Christmas and New Year parties.
For those looking for a proper pampering, head to the Tata Harper Spa at Maisons Pariente’s Le Coucou – a fabulous 5-star ski-in ski-out spa. It’s also worth stopping off for a bite to eat at the BeefBar after a soak in the incredible indoor/outdoor swimming pool.
For families, the Méribel Centre (Park Méribel Olympic) has a brilliant indoor pool, complete with flumes and paddling pool that the kids will love. Park Méribel Olympic also has a great bowling alley and ice-skating rink where ice hockey matches are played throughout the winter season.
Stay here: Chalet Island
This three-storey super chalet is a stunning winter home comprising a huge open living space with a high, beamed ceiling, suspended drop-shaped fireplace and plenty of natural light. The large hot tub is the ideal spot to keep warm while sipping champagne with a winter wonderland backdrop.
Favourite ski run: Without a doubt: Creux. Head up the top of the Saulire lift and it’s the run that leads all the way down into Courchevel. You’ll have bags of sunshine and stunning rolling slopes that are perfect after a snowfall.
Must-haves for the slopes: Hand warmers to keep those hands (or toes!) nice and toasty, and SkinCeuticals Ultra Facial UV Defence Sun Cream – SPF 50 is an essential for the face!
Oliver’s Travels ski expert – Lucy – Product Manager
At super-chic Courchevel, you’ll have access to the 3 Valleys ski area, the biggest and the best in Europe! The ski area works for everyone – intermediate skiers can enjoy bolting down cruisy blue and red runs while advanced skiers can head off-piste in search of a challenge. The fantastic nursery runs that lead out straight from the villages are perfect for beginners.
For those needing a day off from the slopes, Aquamotion is where you should head for some indoor excitement. This waterpark comprises heated indoor and outdoor pools, flumes, a surf simulator and indoor rock climbing! There are also stunning and modern spa facilities for those who really want to slow down, or stretch out those muscles pre-ski with Pilates. Elsewhere in the area, you’ll also find a toboggan run, zip wire, paragliding, ice skating and snowshoeing – just to name a few!
All four villages on the slopes are home to incredible restaurants and glitzy bars as well. For your typical Alpine experience, La Table de Marie in Courchevel Moriond is a cute little family-run restaurant with all your traditional Savoyarde dishes including fondue (meat or cheese), tartiflette and also a great selection of pizzas.
Courchevel Moriond has a number of awesome bars, Funky Fox, La Boulotte and Le Bubble which have live music and a party atmosphere. You can also ski right up to La Folie Douce Méribel Courchevel for awesome on-piste après-ski. Those wishing for a little more relaxed setting will enjoy a drink at Le Portetta’s Fire & Ice bar, located right on the slopes.
Where to stay: Le Renard
This beautifully rustic three-bedroom apartment located at the very top of a beautiful ski lodge within Le Portetta Hotel. It would suit a group of ski-mad friends or families, with plush living a sleeping quarters and dramatic views of the Alps through the windows.
Best skiing app: Download Ski Tracks to see how much of the 3 Valleys you’ve covered each day (bragging is encouraged for those who have covered the most kms!)
A must-pack for a skiing holiday: Sun cream – apply generously even when it’s cloudy, no one wants to head back into the office with a goggle tan!
Oliver’s Travels ski expert – Alice – Product Manager
Val d’Isère is just one of the resorts that make up the massive ski area of Espace Killy. It is located just beside the resort of Tignes so you can ski between the two – it’s always fun to pop over to Tignes for crêpes at A La Crêperie Bretonne – then head back over for après-ski!
Val d’Isère has some of the most highly-regarded après-ski of all! Start at Folie Douce where you can enjoy great food and even better drinks, both inside and outside with the added drama of amazing circus performers and dancers!
If you are with your family and still want to experience the electric atmosphere of Folie Douce, try booking a later lunch at Le Fruitière (ask for an outside table if its sunny), that way you will have your own space but still be able to see the dancers and live music. What’s more, there is a bubble lift from the restaurant if you’ve had a few too many rosés!
At the bottom of the slopes, you’ll find Cocoricos, a fab bar with an unparalleled atmosphere that hosts live music and DJs.
Where to stay: Chalet Sol
Just look at that adorable bunk bed arrangement! This gorgeous chalet was made for families to enjoy with soft furnishings and natural wood featuring everywhere and a fully equipped kitchen that invites intimate family time. And, since it’s a ski-in ski-out chalet, your little skiers can find their snow legs alongside mum and dad.
Favourite piste: La Face. This super well-known black run was made famous in the 1992 Winter Olympics, and to say that you’ve done it is quite an achievement!
A must-pack for a skiing holiday: Touchscreen-friendly glove liners! Everything is easier without bulky ski gloves on – when you are checking your ski app on a chairlift, you’ll be pleased you don’t have bare hands!
We have an ever-expanding portfolio of gorgeous ski chalets in some of the world’s choicest resorts. Most include airport/train station transfer (or it can be arranged at an extra charge where not applicable). Have a browse and see which tickles your fancy. If there’s anything we can do to help in the meantime, get in touch with our concierge team.
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