Courchevel, especially Courchevel 1850, stands out as the epitome of chic elegance in the world of French ski resorts. Located at the pinnacle of this Alpine haven, Courchevel 1850 combines high-altitude prestige with an irresistible charm that has made it a favored destination for celebrities and royalty. Upon arrival, guests are enveloped in a picturesque snow globe adorned with rustic-chic chalets, charming fondue bars, and a shopping experience that rivals the world’s finest, featuring iconic brands such as Prada, Gucci, Moncler, Fusalp, and Dior, showcasing their most exquisite winter collections.
What truly sets Courchevel 1850 apart is not just its lofty altitude but also its association with some of the world’s most renowned hotel brands, making it a magnet for discerning travelers seeking opulent experiences. Names like Aman, Cheval Blanc, Six Senses, Les Airelles, Barrière Group, and Ultima’s luxury private rental chalets in nearby Courchevel 1650 all contribute to its allure. Courchevel 1850 caters not only to avid skiers but also to those who desire a luxurious winter atmosphere without the need to hit the slopes.
For skiing enthusiasts, Courchevel 1850 is a paradise waiting to be explored. As part of the expansive Le Trois Vallée ski area, it boasts an impressive 150 kilometers of ski runs, seamlessly connected to neighboring Meribel and Val Thornes, creating a vast playground of 600 kilometers of mountain runs. This extensive network of ski lifts and pistes comprises the largest ski area globally, ensuring that even the most passionate skiers are spoiled for choice.
As winter approaches, Courchevel 1850 comes to life, with most luxury hotels opening their doors around the 9th of December. Thanks to its high-altitude location, the snow arrives early, covering the slopes in pristine powder, making them perfect for skiing from early December through April. This extended ski season ranks among the world’s longest, offering ample opportunities for snow enthusiasts to revel in their favorite winter pastime.
What To Do
Winter Sports Wonderland:
Courchevel 1850 is synonymous with world-class skiing. As part of Le Trois Vallée, it boasts an impressive 150 kilometers of ski runs. What’s more, it seamlessly connects to neighboring Meribel and Val Thornes, forming a sprawling network of 600 kilometers of mountain runs, the largest in the world. Whether you’re an experienced skier seeking thrilling descents or a beginner eager to learn, Courchevel’s diverse range of runs caters to all skill levels. The resort offers everything from magic carpet beginner areas (free to use) to challenging double black runs at high altitudes, ensuring an unforgettable experience for every skier.
While skiing takes center stage, Courchevel also welcomes snowboarders who can carve their way through the slopes. For those who prefer different forms of snow-filled adventure, snowshoeing and tobogganing provide exhilarating alternatives. Moon biking, where you zip around the snow on a motorbike, and sledging are also popular activities that promise a unique thrill.
Ski Lessons for All:
For those new to skiing or looking to refine their skills, Courchevel offers excellent ski lessons. ESF Courchevel 1850, founded in 1937, is an iconic ski school with a 500-strong team of instructors. They cater to children, teenagers, and adults, offering both group and private lessons. Their red-suited instructors can be spotted all over the town and slopes, creating a welcoming atmosphere. Thanks to their efficient teaching methods, beginners can progress from never having skied before to confidently navigating green slopes, even after just a few hours of instruction. Many families opt for private tutors during their stay, not only ensuring a memorable vacation but also equipping themselves with a lifelong skill.
Diverse Adventures Beyond Skiing:
Courchevel goes beyond skiing with a wealth of activities, boasting 50 listed on the official tourism website alone. For those seeking a break from the slopes, options abound. You can head to the Olympic ice rink or Aquamotion, an indoor swimming pool and wellness hub. Alternatively, enjoy a horseback ride through the pristine landscapes, indulge in indoor rock climbing and bowling, or embark on thrilling experiences like scenic plane rides, helicopter tours, hot air ballooning, paragliding, skydiving, and even snow scootering.
Where To Stay
Cheval Blanc Courchevel: Old-World Alpine Luxury
Cheval Blanc Courchevel epitomizes old-world Alpine luxury. From roaring fireplaces to cozy rooms with faux fur throws and cashmere blankets, it exudes warmth and elegance. Guests can enjoy mountain views and indulge in a stunning spa experience. The hotel proudly hosts Courchevel’s only three-Michelin starred restaurant, Le 1947. Other dining experiences include a ‘Cigar Yurt,’ cozy igloos, La Terrasse de Cheval Blanc, and the sumptuous Le Grill Alpin, overseen by Chef Yannick Alléno. This hotel is popular among jet-setters, creating an ambiance of sophistication and refinement.
Les Airelles Courchevel: Maximalist Glamour
Les Airelles Courchevel is a grandiose display of Savoyard glamour. The chalet’s exterior resembles something from a fairy tale, with gingerbread-like details, whimsical turrets covered in icing sugar snow, and twinkling lights. An attentive staff, dressed in their signature white baker-boy style uniforms, adds to the enchantment.
Nestled amidst snow-covered pine trees on the Jardin Alpine green piste, this sought-after escape boasts 48 rooms, including 50 suites and a palatial 500 sq m private apartment. Each space is adorned with opulent Savoyard furnishings.
What truly sets this hotel apart is its dining program, featuring four restaurants offering traditional fondue, glamorous Italian cuisine, and the iconic Led Tables Airelles buffet. For the 2023/2024 season, a collaboration with social media sensation and pastry chef Cedric Grolet promises delightful creations.
The hotel also offers a spa and an underground swimming pool, providing an all-encompassing luxurious experience.
Aman Le Mélézin: Quiet Luxury
Aman Le Mélézin epitomizes serenity and luxury. This boutique hotel, boasting 31 rooms, is perched along the Bellecôte piste, allowing for a quick ski down or a toboggan ride to the village. Embracing a unique Jap-Alpine style, it blends Japanese design touches with Alpine warmth, featuring rustic wood paneling and a palette of soft caramel and cream hues. Many rooms offer terraces with hot tubs, providing breathtaking views of snow-capped peaks, pistes, and pine forests.
Guests can indulge in the Subterranean spa, equipped with a swimming pool, jacuzzis, sauna, and steam rooms. The hotel also boasts a cozy bar and Aman’s signature restaurant, Nama. For the 2023/2024 season, a special collaboration with renowned pastry chef Cedric Grolet promises delectable treats.
Aman Le Mélézin offers a unique experience for guests this season. They can enjoy a snowmobile-drawn sledge or a horse-drawn carriage ride to Les Prés de la Croix. Here, a traditional Savoyard dinner, featuring cheese fondue or hotpot, awaits beside a roaring log fire in a picturesque mountain chalet. A private chef curates a bespoke five-course menu, while children can partake in activities on the chalet’s mezzanine, including sledging and tobogganing. Until April 7, the hotel presents the Ski or Spa Escape, a five-night exclusive package featuring daily breakfast, lunch or dinner, along with either a ski-lift pass for Les Trois Vallées or spa benefits, including daily yoga sessions, holistic massages, and Iyashi Dôme treatments. Prices start from €2,500 per night in December.
Six Senses Residences: Elite Comfort and Privacy
For travelers seeking the convenience of a five-star hotel brand combined with the privacy of a chalet, Six Senses Residences is the ideal choice in Courchevel 1850. Conveniently located in the heart of the village, it is surrounded by ski shops, restaurants, and even a local deli offering gourmet delights like lobster, truffles, and caviar.
The accommodation comprises 28 Alpine chic apartments with up to five bedrooms. Guests can also enjoy the world-renowned Six Senses Spa and savor Japanese cuisine at Sumosan, offering a delectable alternative to traditional fondue and raclette.
Hotel Carlina Courchevel: A Charming Ski-In Ski-Out Alpine Retreat
Nestled in the heart of Courchevel 1850, the Hotel Carlina offers a truly enchanting Alpine experience. This charming hotel not only provides a cozy and authentic atmosphere but also boasts a unique ski-in, ski-out location right on the slopes.
The traditional chalet-style architecture of Hotel Carlina seamlessly blends into the stunning Alpine surroundings, offering guests picturesque views of the snow-covered landscape from their windows and balconies.
For those with a passion for fine dining, Hotel Carlina’s restaurant is a culinary haven. It serves up savory dishes crafted from locally sourced ingredients and traditional recipes, providing a delightful taste of the region’s rich gastronomic heritage.
After an exhilarating day on the slopes, guests can unwind in the hotel’s spa and wellness center, complete with a swimming pool, sauna, and jacuzzi. This relaxation oasis is the perfect way to soothe tired muscles and rejuvenate the body, making your stay even more enjoyable.
Where To Eat
Nama at Aman Le Melezin: A Taste of Japan in the French Alps
For an extraordinary dining experience that combines the charm of the French Alps with the flavors of Japan, Nama at Aman Le Melezin is a must-visit. Indulge in exquisite dishes like black cod, sushi, and fresh spinach and truffle salads while surrounded by the snowy slopes of Courchevel.
Le Chalet De Pierre: Alpine Elegance at Its Finest
Le Chalet De Pierre offers an authentic Alpine dining experience that’s both luxurious and charming. Here, the jet-set crowd comes to enjoy lavish lunches featuring wine and fondue, all while taking in the breathtaking views of the pistes and majestic mountains.
Les Airelles Courchevel: A Gastronomic Journey
Les Airelles Courchevel is a culinary haven with a variety of restaurants to suit every taste. Whether you crave elegant Italian cuisine, rustic-luxe Savoyard dishes, or an indulgent buffet, Les Airelles ensures that your culinary desires are met.
Fouquet’s at Hôtel Barrière Les Neiges: Parisian Glamour on the Slopes
For a touch of Parisian sophistication amidst the Alpine beauty, Fouquet’s at Hôtel Barrière Les Neiges is the place to be. Enjoy a unique dining experience against the backdrop of stunning mountain scenery.
If you’re looking to infuse your dining experience with a lively atmosphere, Courchevel 1850 has options for that too.
- Bagatelle: High in the Slopes
Bagatelle, located high in the slopes, offers a vibrant setting for those who want to combine great food with a lively ambiance.
- Le Planté de Bâton: 80s Vibes
Le Planté de Bâton sets the mood with its 80s remixes, providing a casual and lively atmosphere for diners.
- Le Folie Douce: The Alps’ Ultimate Party
For the ultimate mountain party experience, ski over to Meribel and visit Le Folie Douce, known as the most famous party in the Alps. Here, food and entertainment go hand in hand.
Slope-Side Cafes and Bars: Quick Bites with a View
For a quick and casual bite, you’ll find plenty of cafes and bars lining the slopes. These establishments offer everything from ice-cold beer to savory crepes, sandwiches, and snacks. With comfortable seating overlooking panoramic views, you can savor a delicious meal while taking in the breathtaking scenery.
How To Get To Courchevel 1850
If you’re dreaming of a winter getaway in Courchevel 1850, rest assured that reaching this Alpine paradise is easier than you might think. This European ski resort offers a range of convenient travel options, ensuring a smooth journey from your starting point.
1. International Airports:
The journey begins at international airports in Geneva or Lyon.
2. Private and Shared Transfers:
Upon arrival at Geneva or Lyon, you have the option of taking a two-hour private transfer or a shared transfer service. These reliable transportation choices will whisk you away to Courchevel 1850, allowing you to enjoy the scenic journey as you approach the resort.
3. Courchevel’s Private Airstrip:
For those seeking a touch of luxury and convenience, Courchevel boasts its own private airstrip. Arriving directly at the resort’s doorstep not only saves time but also provides a memorable experience, showcasing the region’s breathtaking landscapes from above.
4. Helicopter Transfers:
If you’re looking for the ultimate in style and speed, consider a helicopter transfer to Courchevel 1850. Soar above the picturesque Alpine terrain and arrive at the resort in style, making your journey as memorable as the destination itself.
Whether you prefer the convenience of a private transfer, the camaraderie of a shared service, the luxury of a private airstrip, or the thrill of a helicopter ride, Courchevel 1850 offers a range of travel options to suit your preferences. Your journey to this winter wonderland is the prelude to an unforgettable Alpine adventure that awaits you in Courchevel 1850.