Accommodation Info

The 3 Vallees best accommodation location is Meribel Centre
High-alpine resort villages of the 3 Valleys include Val Thorens
Traditional villages in the 3 Vallees include St Martin de Belleville
Les Menuires village has five separate sectors catering to all tastes & budgets
The 3 Vallees Courchevel' has a range of upper & lower mountain villages
Courchevel 1850 is Les Trois Vallees most expensive & exclusive village
Moriond village at Courchevel is the next down the road from 1850
Traditional Le Praz is Courchevel's most authentic village
La Tania is an affordable & convenient ski-in, ski-out option in Courchevel
Meribel Centre may be shaded in mid winter but is the best location to explore the entire 3 Vallees.
Mottaret is the highest village at Meribel
From the centre of Mottaret, lifts extend to Courchevel & toward St Martin & Les Menuires
Val Thorens village is at 2300m elevation - the highest in Europe
Val Thorens is a well designed 3 Vallees village & fully ski-in ski-out
Val Thorens village
Les Menuires best accommodation is in the Les Bruyeres sector
The over-the-top high rises of the La Croisette sector in Les Menuires village is a sight to behold!
Les Menuires has wonderful accommodation in the upper mountain Grand Reberty sector
Brides les Bains is an affordable alternative to the main 3 Vallees resort villages
Stay in Meribel at the 3 Vallees ski resort

Accommodation Info

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Where to Stay in Les 3 Vallèes

The question of where to stay in the 3 Vallees is a vexed one. It depends so much on budget, ski ability, expectations & personal preferences. If wishing to explore the entire resort, we recommend staying in the middle valley near Meribel. Some would argue it doesn’t get enough sun & has a few too many ‘drunken Englishmen’ after hours (with no offence intended to drunken Englishmen!), but for simple efficiency alone, it is the best place from which to see the whole shebang. Something in Meribel Centre would suffice. If cashed up, staying at Courchevel 1850 is one of skiing’s most lux experiences. And if you have never stayed in a high alpine purpose-built resort village, Val Thorens is a cunningly designed sight to behold. For a traditional village experience with lift access & a return ski trail, each valley is well served. Courchevel Le Praz, Meribel Village & St Martin de Belleville are all wonderful remnants of French alpine living. Middle of the road resort villages that run a fine line between crass development, affordability & ski-in ski-out convenience include Courchevel’s La Tania & Les Menuires.

A simple rule of any ski resort is that the higher in elevation something is, the higher the cost will be. Whilst a generalisation, the rule holds true in most ski resorts across the globe & the 3 Vallees is no exception. However, a rewarding ski experience in this region need not be dependent on spending big of accommodation. The connectivity of all the resort villages by ski lift, piste trail & free ski bus is such that any lodging location within the 3 Valleys will provide a great experience.

Search & book all 3 Vallees ski accommodation here.

Courchevel Villages & Accommodation

Wonderful Courchevel is made up of a series of 5 villages which are all interconnected via lifts, slopes & roads. The names of the villages tend to correspond with their elevation in metres & whilst they’ve now been renamed, old habits are hard to break, and most people still refer to them by the elevation name. Further down the road, several villages & towns provide more affordable accommodations but with the disadvantage of no direct ski lift access.

Courchevel accommodation includes lots of chalets, loads of apartments & about 40 hotels that range from utterly exorbitant in price down to affordable 2-star hotels. Much of the lodging is just ski-in, some of it is ski-in & ski-out. Exploring the distant 3 Vallees resorts of Val Thorens et al can be challenging from Courchevel, simply due to the tyranny of distance. But if you are up for a long-distance ski challenge, this is the place to do it!

Search & book all Courchevel ski accommodation here.

Courchevel (1850)

Top of the pops is Courchevel 1850 - now simply referred to as Courchevel (or The Courchevel!). This is the hub of the ski area, providing direct ski lift connections to the best bits of the ski terrain plus over to Meribel, and is also the home of the rich & famous – as if that matters! At around 1850m elevation, Courchevel has an amazing concentration of true 5-star hotels as well as a couple of accommodations that are rated as palaces! Other lodging options include numerous luxurious chalets. Much of the lodging is ski-in ski-out, but it does spread quite a distance up the hill toward the altiport, away from the main village centre.

Courchevel is also the nucleus of other activities including an abundance of upscale shops, fine dining restaurants, and chic bars where the nightlife continues into the wee hours. This village is rather modern with a mix of architectural styles & well-developed facilities. Pricing for lodgings, even at a 2-star establishment, can be exorbitant when compared to the lower villages.

Moriond

Moriond (1650m) is perhaps better known by its previous name of Courchevel 1650. Whilst not as centrally located to the ski slopes as 1850, it has reasonable lift access to the beginner slopes up to Signal & beyond. The 1850 village & lifts are only 3.5m away by ski bus. The village is more traditional than 1850, with a wider range of basic services & despite its few convivial bars, is quiet by comparison. Given its elevation & access to the slopes, accommodation can still in the upper price range of the market.

Courchevel Village

Known previously as Courchevel 1550, Courchevel Village, has a couple of lifts that feed up to 1850. Accommodation is generally inexpensive. Despite the location at 1550m elevation, from a ski access point of view it can be one of the least convenient places to stay at Courchevel, simply because everything funnels through the busy upper village.

Courchevel La Tania

La Tania (1400m) is a pedestrianised ski-in ski-out village at a higher elevation than adjacent Le Praz. Whilst traditionally a separate lift company, the La Tania lifts & pistes are an integral part of the 3 Valleys, providing a central point between Meribel & Courchevel. The village has a range of well-priced apartments & chalets in quiet surrounds but is visually dated. The village’s eateries & shops are significantly more affordable than higher up the mountain. The pleasurable convenience of the of the ski-in ski-out design cannot be underestimated.

Courchevel Le Praz

Courchevel Le Praz (1300m) feels like a traditional French mountain village should. Filled with charming chalets amongst the narrow lanes, it is shaded for long periods during winter but does provide the most ‘authentic’ accommodation experience at Courchevel. Also referred to as Courchevel 1300, Le Praz has modern lift access up to the main Courchevel 1850 village as well as connections to sensational ski terrain on the Col de La Loze. Multiple ski trails converge on the village, several of which (Jockeys, Muyrettes) are superb on a poor visibility snow day. Le Praz’s relatively low altitude (for France) can cause snow quality issues on its pistes, but snow-making & low traffic through the day keeps them up to scratch.

Accommodation Beyond the Ski Lifts & in the Valley

Away from the ski lifts the villages of Saint Bon, Bozel & the larger Brides les Bains provide alternative lodgings. St Bon is at 1100m elevation, only 2 km down the road from the ski lifts at Le Praz & has a ski trail returning to it from Courchevel 1850. In the valley Bozel is a large town with numerous apartments & chalets for rent plus a full range of shops & services. A regular bus shuttle gets to the ski lifts at Le Praz in 15min. Brides les Bains has the widest range of hotels plus a gondola lift link to Meribel & hence Courchevel via the Col de la Loze; making for a versatile, affordable base from which to explore the entire ski region (see more information below in the Meribel section).

Meribel Accommodation

The Méribel ski resort has multiple villages connected by lifts & pistes. Like its neighbour Courchevel or the nearby La Plagne & Les Arcs, the village names are similar & prone to cause confusion about where one is staying. From top to bottom the five main villages are Meribel Mottaret, Meribel Centre, Meribel Village, Les Allues & Brides les Bains – easy!

Meribel has loads of luxurious chalets & apartments that are both self-catering or fully catered, including many with in-house babysitting and other services. There are also various Meribel hotels, although these are not as prolific as the chalets.

Search & book all Meribel ski accommodation here.

Meribel Mottaret

At the top of the resort, Meribel Mottaret is a purpose-built ski village at an altitude of 1750m. Ski-in ski-out accommodation is the norm as is an associated high price tag for a night’s lodging. It receives the most sun of any of the Meribel villages, excepting the higher parts Meribel Centre. Mottaret is connected by lift & piste trail to Meribel Centre, plus has its own pulse gondola & funicular to connect the highest (Le Hameau) & lowest parts of the village. The regular Line D free ski bus connects Mottaret to Chaudanne & Meribel Centre from early morning to around 9.30pm.

Meribel Centre

Méribel Centre is the largest of the villages & more charming than Mottaret. Starting at 1450m elevation, it is replete with picture book chalets up to an elevation of 1700m (Altiport). Suffice to say affordability of lodgings goes down as elevation goes up! The absence of high-rise buildings has caused the village to sprawl out somewhat across the hill, so a shuttle bus or short walk may be required to get to the ski lifts or slopes. That said, many of the better establishments are stacked up the mountain along the 'Doron' ski run so are close to, if not actually, ski-in ski-out. The main commercial sector of Meribel Centre is connected to the 'Doron' slope by an escalator next to the Tourist Office. Mèribel's main ski lift hub, Chaudanne, is a short stroll or ski from Meribel Centre. The Line C free ski bus runs regularly connecting the disparate parts of Meribel Centre to each other from early morning until 9.30pm.

Meribel Village

Only slightly lower than Meribel Centre, the original Meribel Village is at 1400m elevation. It is small comparative to all the other villages & perfect for those wanting a peaceful ski holiday experience in a more traditional French village setting. It is connected to the broader resort by free ski bus, a chairlift & piste trail, plus is close to the Le Raffort gondola station. The Line A ski bus connects the village to Meribel Centre & the ski lifts at Chaudanne from early morning until 10.00pm.

Les Allues

The traditional village of Les Allues at 1100m elevation is the lowest connected by piste trail to the Meribel ski resort. Les Allues has a station along the gondola from Brides les Bains (see further below) connecting it to Meribel Centre. The gondola station & new 'Villages' ski trail allow for amazing off-piste descents from the high alpine ridge beyond the Roc de Fer, then tree-skiing & an easy return on the trail. As with Meribel Village, the Line A free ski bus connects the village to Meribel Centre & the ski lifts at Chaudanne.

Brides les Bains

Away from the Meribel resort villages & way down in the valley at 600m elevation is Brides les Bains. Located just off the road to Courchevel, it has a wide range of hotels & self-contained apartments plus a ski lift link up to Meribel via Les Allures making for a versatile, affordable base from which to explore the entire region. It can feel a tad downtrodden compared to the upper villages, but if travelling on a budget, who cares. There are a few fancier hotels in town, plus its well-known spa complex & several surprisingly good bars & eateries. Note that Brides-les-Bains has no return ski trail, so a gondola lift download is required at the end of the day. The journey up to Meribel Centre in the gondola takes 25min.

Search & book all Brides-les-Bains accommodation here.

Val Thorens Accommodation

If you have taken the effort to drive all the way to Val Thorens, why wouldn’t you stay in the highest alpine resort village in France. Val Thorens sits reasonably prettily in the high alpine at 2300m elevation, but to call it a village is a bit of misnomer. The ‘classically’ French Alps high- rise buildings are reminiscent of Tignes Val Claret juxtaposed against the white peaks, but Val Thoren’s version is better integrated, plus far more livable & user user-friendly. Whilst not everyone’s ‘cup of tea’, one cannot deny it has location, location, location! And to be fair, the more recent additions to the village are classy establishments that would satisfy the most discerning guests. One look at the Hotel Koh-l Nor Val Thorens will confirm it.

Search & book all Val Thorens ski accommodation here.

Orelle

Away from the Vallee des Bellevilles, the other access to Val Thorens by gondola is from tiny Orelle in the Maurienne valley. Numerous apartments & chalets are available throughout the valley near the village, plus further abroad toward Modane & other larger towns. Staying near Orelle avoids all the excesses of the 3 Vallèes, plus is close to a whole lot of other lesser known, but not lesser, ski areas including the Powderhounds gem of La Norma. Exploring the broader 3 Vallees resorts beyond Val Thorens from Orelle can be challenging, simply due to the tyranny of distance & the time required.

Search & book all Orelle ski accommodation here.

Les Menuires Accommodation

Whilst the village at Val Thorens might dominate the upper Vallée des Belleville, further down there are a procession of villages all connected to by ski lifts & pistes. The first impressions of Les Menuires is perhaps one of stark, modernist horror show. At 1850m elevation the worst of the villages five sectors stick out like a proverbial sore thumb in the above tree line environment. On closer inspection though, it has some wonderful elements, not the least of which is its almost totally ski-in ski-out convenience. High-rise ugliness in the La Croisette & Preyerand sectors aside, the village districts of Les Bruyères & Grand Reberty further up the road toward Val Thorens are beautifully designed & integrated with lifts & pistes.

Search & book all Les Menuires ski accommodation here.

St Martin de Belleville Accommodation

Down valley from Les Menuires is the traditional village of Saint Martin de Belleville (& Saint Marcel). Situated below the tree line at an elevation of 1450m, its authentic vibe & brand-new gondola extending up from the centre of town make compelling reasons to stay here. The gondola connects with other lifts to Meribel & into Les Menuires.

Search & book all St Martin ski accommodation here.

Moutiers Accommodation

Way back down in the lowlands, the town of Moûtiers makes a good (& cheap) base to explore the region & make day trips in to the 3 Vallees (particularly if one has their own car). Some handy hotels are located just near the train station for those utilising public transport. Buses make the journey up to each resort from the station. Travel times to the resorts tend to be around 45min+ by bus or 30min+ by car.

Search & book all Moûtiers ski accommodation here.

Whether you stay low in the warm embrace of an authentic village or high amongst purpose-built apartment towers & resort villages is entirely up to you! Know that the skiing distance between them all is quite vast and needs to be a consideration when choosing between locations.

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