Courchevel 1850: The Three Valleys Series
Known as one of the top ski resorts in the world (and for good reason), Courchevel 1850 is favoured by the rich and famous with a wide selection of accommodation, restaurants, bars, ski school and of course, access to the fantastic three valleys ski area. In this, the first of our series on the three valleys, we dive into the world of Courchevel 1850 to find the best places to stay, eat, drink and of course ski!
Courchevel 1850 is the highest of the Courchevel villages and following the name changes for the 2012-13 season is now simply known as – Courchevel. Located a short gondola ride (Grangettes gondola) above Courchevel 1550 (now Courchevel Village) and round the mountain from Courchevel 1650 (now Courchevel Moriond) the village is spread out across a plateau with accommodation scattered thoughout the trees’s. Access to the slopes is easy, with a large number of lifts heading out directly from the centre of the village allowing access over to Meribel and La Tania as well as the Courchevel ski area.
Being a major ski resort, getting to Courchevel isn’t an issue. Both group and private transfers are available, try Snowbound Transfers who provide transfers from all the local airports including Geneva and Champery. During the winter months direct trains runs from London St Pancras to Bourg-Saint Maurice (near to Courchevel) offering a great way to get out to the mountains in a much more environmentally friendly way – check out the best way deals with Snow Carbon. If you fancy something really different, and
The Ski Area: Courchevel and Beyond
There are a number of nursery slopes making Courchevel 1850 a great resort for beginners and ensuring that although it can be busy during the peak season (school holidays etc) the multiple areas provide great resources to learn. For intermediates there are a good selection of blue and red runs, with some of our favourites up by Verdons including Saulire and Petit Lac. For the more adventurous skiers, there are a number of couloirs and some excellent off piste, particularly off Dou des Lanches down to La Tania, which provide ample challenge however are not for the inexperienced and should only be skied when the conditions permit.
The Courchevel lift pass also provides access to Courchevel 1650, with some great runs. Access to 1650 is either via the free navette bus that runs between resorts or alternatively it’s a nice ski over from 1850. The skiing in 1650 is great, with cruisy blue and red runs back into the village and some good, albeit expensive mountain restaurants.
However, if you are staying in Courchevel 1850 then you should really explore the full three valleys area. The connections over to Meribel , La Tania and further afield Val Thorens are great and offer a wide selection of skiing and boarding for all abilities and a change from the terrain in Courchevel. Check out the up and coming three valleys guide articles for details on the terrain in the other valleys!
Accommodation in Courchevel 1850
Courchevel 1850 has a reputation as being expensive for both accommodation and après (inc restaurants, bars etc) and this reputation is mostly justified. There is a good selection of accommodation with a range of apartments, chalets and hotels however Courchevel 1850 really stands out for its selection of luxury options.
If you’re looking for idea’s, try Hotel Kilimanjaro Courchevel, located on the slopes of Courchevel 1850 right by the Pralong chair lift and with the Michelin starred restaurant ‘La Table du Kilimanjaro’ and the hotel spa, it’s an excellent choice. Head over to the accommodation page on Mountago Courchevel to find details of hundred of options in resort.
If you are on a budget, then 1850 is not the resort for you. Courchevel 1650 and 1550 both offer arguably better value alternatives to those available in 1850 – check out the up the Mountago guides to them coming soon!
Apres in Courchevel 1850
Apres in Courchevel 1850 is something that is done well. The resort has a wide selection of bars with something for all tastes and wallets. At the end of a long day on the slopes we like to head to Kudeta which has a great atmosphere and reasonable prices. Later into the evening there are a number of great bars including Bar L'Equipe and Le Bowling as well as two nightclubs in the town centre – Les Caves de Courchevel and La Grange.
Restaurants in Courchevel 1850
In keeping with its top end clientele, Courchevel 1850 has some world class restaurants (with world class prices) however also has a number of more reasonable establishments. If you are looking for somewhere a little special then why not try La Via Ferrata which serves up excellent Italian dishes However for somewhere more sensibly priced, we enjoy heading down to Courchevel 1650 and to Le Petit Savoyard.
Ski Schools in Courchevel
Courchevel 1850 has an excellent selection of ski schools both English and French. For lessons in English we would thoroughly recommend New Generation ski school who offer both group and private lessons and Sweet Snowsports who have a superb reputation in the resort.
As a world class resort, Courchevel 1850 has a number of activities off the piste. There are a number of excellent spa’s available for some pampering after a hard day on the mountain, a cinema and an excellent albeit expensive selection of shops as well as the usual ice rink etc. Overall Courchevel 1850 is a great resort with great skiing but you will need a budget on the large size of things to fund your trip.
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