Photo: Courchevel 1850 © Top Snow Travel
Courchevel is one of France’s most famous ski resorts. This world-class destination attracts people from all over the world every winter. Nestled in the world’s largest linked ski areas, the Three Valleys, it has 600km of pistes on offer.
Courchevel is regarded as a ski resort that delivers a luxury experience. Its fabulous skiing, high-end restaurants, and extravagant five-star accommodation provide the highest standards to its guests.
In this ultimate guide to Courchevel, we will go into all the details, so you know what to expect from this beautiful village in the French Alps.
View of Courchevel from the other side of the valley in La Plagne
Originally, Courchevel consisted of a group of small hamlets and sheep farms. But, in the early 1940s, the French Commission of Tourism decided that they wanted to build a ‘super ski resort.’ In the early 1960s, they started to expand the area by building the Courchevel Altiport. They also linked the ski area to Val Thorens and Méribel in 1973. Courchevel became popular with Parisiennes, who wanted to stay in luxury hotels and chalets. These luxury properties attracted rich and famous guests to Courchevel and still does to this day.
Courchevel is home to the world’s best luxury chalets. Its wide pistes have gentle gradients and are well-groomed. These are just some of the reasons, Courchevel is perfect for luxury family ski holidays.
Courchevel’s five villages each offer a different atmosphere to their guests. So which one you choose will make a difference to your experience.
Known locally as Courchevel, 1850 is the highest village in the area. This village is known for providing luxury skiing experience during the winter. It has a plethora of five-star hotels and a massive ski area. This is where the Altiport is located, which is perfect for helicopter transfers to and from the airport. It also gives you the option to easily visit other resorts by helicopter, such as Val D’Isere, Megeve, and Chamonix. This is something we can organise for you, as part of our luxury ski safari trips.
Courchevel 1850, is home to an abundance of designer shops filled with high-end luxury brands, which are perfect for browsing during an afternoon off the mountain.
Courchevel Le Praz
Le Praz offers a more peaceful experience than Courchevel 1850. It is a genuine French alpine village boasting traditional wooden chalets and a “chocolate box” mountain atmosphere. Le Praz is at 1300m, making it very accessible and easy to get around. But it is still high enough to provide you with plenty of snow.
For a more authentic and rustic French alpine experience, away from the influences of tourism, Le Praz is the village for you.
Courchevel Moriond offers quite a relaxed atmosphere. It is very popular with British chalet companies; therefore, you will see lots of British seasonaires around the village. This means that the nightlife is pretty lively, and there are lots of bars and restaurants to enjoy. Courchevel Moriond also has a lot of shops, which is ideal, as most of the accommodation is self-catered.
You don’t have to be rich and famous to enjoy Courchevel. Courchevel Village is as 1550m and is popular with families. This is thanks to its budget-friendly accommodation and peaceful atmosphere. Its huge swimming complex, boasts six pools, making it ideal for family ski holidays.
The accommodation options in Courchevel Village range from traditional chalets, large modern hotels and self-catered apartments.
Courchevel La Tania
La Tania is the newest resort in the Three Valleys and is nestled between Meribel and Courchevel. This car-free ski resort is popular with families thanks to its amenities, choice of child care options and small size.
When La Tania was built, they ensured to make it more attractive than the usual purpose-built French ski resort. Its buildings resemble traditional chalets, surrounded by beautiful forests. The high-speed gondola gives you easy access to the rest of the Three Valleys, while its gentle green and blue pistes are perfect for families and beginners.
Courchevel Altiport is right next to the slopes. Admire the private jets and helicopters taking off and landing
LUXURY ACCOMMODATION IN COURCHEVEL
Courchevel’s luxury accommodation is exceptional. Accommodation providers tick all the boxes for their guests, and anything is possible. Here are some of our favourite properties in Courchevel:
Chalets In Courchevel Village
Chalet Makalu is stunning and cosy. This large chalet can accommodate up to 10 people in luxury. It offers uninterrupted alpine views and it is just 200m from the pistes. You can enjoy a high-end service, including private transport to the slopes. But, your hosts can also tailor the service to your needs, to create at the perfect ski trip for your group.
For a peaceful and cosy atmosphere, Chalet Or Blanc is ideal for your family ski holiday. Built from reclaimed wood from local barns, the decor blends traditional and contemporary design. Situated at the foot of slopes and a stone’s throw from the shops, you could not be in a better location in the village. Chalet Or Blanc accommodates eight adults and two children in comfort with exceptional service. You can also enjoy your private Jacuzzi to soothe aching muscles at the end of a day on the mountain.
Chalet “S” has an individual style but retains design cues from traditional French mountain chalets. Comfortably accommodating eight adults and two children, the beautiful bedrooms in Chalet “S” all have stunning ensuite bathrooms. The views from the chalet are awe-inspiring, primarily as your location is just fifty meters from the pistes. The chalet is the perfect way to unwind after a day skiing, as you can relax in your private hot tub, or in front of a large roaring fire.
Chalet “M” is a unique chalet offering the ultimate in comfort and cosiness. Lounge in front of the fire in the large living area, with unspoiled mountain views. The prestige service you get while staying in this beautiful chalet makes life as easy as possible. Take advantage of the private transfer to the slopes, after a full continental breakfast.
This large chalet accommodates ten people in ultimate luxury while giving you easy access to the slopes and village.
The stunning wooden Chalets Or Blanc, Chalet “S”, Chalet “M” in Courchevel Village (1550)
FIVE STAR HOTELS
Courchevel’s reputation for having the best five-star hotels in the French Alps is fully deserved. Here are some of the hotels we cannot recommend enough:
Le K2 Palace is located in Courchevel 1850. Its alpine views provide the perfect start to your day. This stunning hotel is made from wood and stone, with Himalayan inspired design. Staying at Le K2 Palace allows you to enjoy attentive extravagance and genuine refinement. You also have access to a beautiful and huge spa with a wide range of treatments.
The hotel offers unique experiences in Le K’Baret. This room is the venue for the hotel’s entertainment schedule. The space transforms into a cinema room, night club and a performance hall. You can even rent it for private events.
If you want to sample Michelin star gastronomy, the hotel’s restaurant offers À la carte and set menus, in an exceptional setting.
Built in the style resembling a mountain hamlet, Le K2 Altitude comprises of a collection of luxury chalets. The hotel is designed to provide its guests with the ultimate in relaxation and comfort.
The Goji Universe is the hotel’s exquisite spa. It is the perfect place to receive beauty treatments and to rejuvenate tired muscles. Combine this experience with the hotel’s luxury accommodation and customer service; you have the ultimate getaway in the French Alps.
Le K2 Altitude’s Michelin star restaurant has à la carte and set menus offering gastronomic delights.
La Sivoliere is a large ski in ski out chalet, with 35 rooms, family suites and apartments. Its gorgeous decor creates a modern alpine style. The building has its own restaurant, Le 1850, that serves exquisite food made from local produce. The chef meets with all the guests to provide a customised dining experience.
After exploring the Three Valleys, you can relax in the Temple of Beauty Spa. Along with a range of beauty treatments, you can benefit from the sauna, hammam or a rejuvenating massage.
Le Hotel Barriere Les Neiges is an elegant and contemporary luxury hotel with easy access to the pistes. Guests can enjoy its spa, pool and private cinema at any time of the day. Its rooms have stunning views of the mountains, as the hotel is located in the heart of Courchevel.
Sample Argentinian flavours or traditional brasserie dishes in the hotel’s restaurants. But, the hotel’s unique selling point, is the ski room. Here you can ensure that you get the perfect ski equipment for you. It stocks high-end brands and provides unmatched service to guests. Therefore, you can be sure that you will be looking your best and your equipment is in the best hands.
The hotel’s spa includes six treatment booths. You can expect to relax and rejuvenate in the hammam, sauna, cold bath, swimming pool, aquatic course and outdoor bubble bath. You can also benefit from the spa’s range of treatments in a serene setting.
Hotel Annapurna is a luxury hotel perfect for families, thanks to its kid’s club. The hotel’s animator makes sure kids of all ages are entertained throughout their stay. Meanwhile, adults can take full advantage of the wellness area and spa. The hotel’s luxury rooms and suites are tastefully decorated and extremely comfortable, with mountain views.
Cosy evenings in the hotel’s bar and restaurant allow you to dine in style and work your way through the extensive wine list.
The 5***** Hotel Annapurna is Courchevel ‘s highest hotel providing stunning views and ultimate luxury
When staying in Courchevel, you have an excellent choice of value luxury apartments. Here are some examples you should check out:
Le Manali is a new apartment building on the snow front of Courchevel Moriond (1650). It offers a range of luxury self-catered apartments. These beautiful suites give you lots of flexibility and convenience, with five-star service. The restaurant and spa are the perfect places to relax in the evenings too.
Yellowstone Lodge is a new development in Courchevel La Tania. The development comprises of 4 high-end chalets, all with four en-suite bedrooms, underground parking, cellar, ski locker & balconies. The contemporary design uses traditional materials, seamlessly blending the old with the new.
Yellowstone’s proximity to the slopes (ski-in ski-out) and high street makes it very convenient for family holidays.
Mammoth Lodge’s mountain views are just one of of the benefits of staying in this lovely self-catered property. But, you will truly love its location, as it is only 50m from the village centre (via escalators) and 100m from the slopes and lifts in Courchevel Moriond (1650). The building’s accommodation options range from a one-bedroom apartment to its eight-bedroom penthouse. All options have an elegant and intimate atmosphere with welcoming spaces.
The ski-in ski-out luxurious apartments at Manali Lodge in Courchevel Moriond are incredible
Chalet Pearl combines an excellent location, stunning views and exceptional service. This huge chalet is located just above Courchevel and is only 50m from the piste. It has recently undergone a $1,000,000 renovation, so its 14 guests can have the best of everything during their stay. The chalet offers the ultimate in luxury with its large master bedroom suite with its own Jacuzzi. The living area is on the top floor and has a spacious lounge, dining area, bar and terraces.
Chalet Le Petit Château is unusual in the fact that it is a luxury ski in ski out chalet. Everything about this chalet oozes opulence and exquisite luxury. Its seven bedrooms sleep 14 people in exceptional comfort. Your private chef prepares gastronomic delights, while your butler ensures you are not wanting for anything.
Designed by a world-class designer, the Chalet Le Petit Palais provides your group with the perfect alpine escape. Fourteen people can enjoy this chalet in extreme comfort while taking full advantage of its unique amenities. You have full use of your own private wellness centre and luxury swimming pool. It even boasts its own nightclub!
Chalet Pearl in Courchevel 1850 is a perfect example of what to expect staying in a luxurious 5 star chalet
Courchevel is one of the best ski resorts to experience outstanding cuisine. It has the most Michelin starred restaurants in the world, so you will not be short of options for great food. The hotels mentioned above all have formidable restaurants. But here are a few other options you may enjoy:
Pierre Gagnaire Pour Les Airelles
Les Airelles is one of the highly-celebrated 5-star ‘palace’ status hotels; its two-Michelin-star restaurant is among the best in the world. Eating Pierre Gagnaire’s restaurant is a wonderful experience, thanks to the meticulous preparation of the menus. You can enjoy food that uses rare ingredients and innovative combinations. This chic restaurant is refined elegance at its very best.
Bistrot du Praz
Bistrot du Praz is located at Courchevel’s lowest village, Le Praz. It has earned a reputation as a laid back place to enjoy hot and cold foie gras specialities. It is also regarded as one of the best bistro-style restaurants in the Alps.
Le Chabichou attracts foodies from all over the world with its two-Michelin star rating. Chef Michel Rochedy’s tasting menu of regional dishes is extremely popular with diners. The hotel itself is distinctive, with its design and its five-star service on the edge of the pistes offers a unique experience. For something more casual, but still excellent, you. Can check out the hotel’s other restaurant, Bistro Le Chabotté.
2** Michelin star restaurant Le Chabichou in Courchevel 1850
ON THE MOUNTAIN
The Courchevel ski area makes up a quarter of the Three Valleys ski area, which is the largest linked ski area in the world. Locally, skiers enjoy 150km of pistes, but beginners don’t need to buy a lift pass, as there are a few lifts that are free of charge. These lifts service some nursery slopes and easy green runs.
There are nearly 250 blue and red runs to choose from in the Three Valleys area. It is well worth buying a full area lift pass so that you can experience the whole area during your stay.
Advanced skiers and snowboarders have plenty to explore in the Three Valleys too. Firm favourites are the “ugly sisters” couloirs, and the range of steep mogul fields on offer. If Heli-skiing is something you want to try, there are heli trips over the Italian border, as it is illegal in France.
But there is a considerable amount of off-piste skiing available in the Three Valleys. Book a guide or instructor so they can take you to the best places for the snow conditions.
From off-piste open bowls to perfectly groomed runs and tree skiing, you will love Courchevel ski area
Le Cap Horn
Located at the Altiport at 1850, Le Cap Horn is a trendy place to eat with live music in the afternoons. This restaurant is a popular aprés spot serving a range of seafood, salads, pasta dishes, omelettes, grilled meats and roasted chicken. A big bonus of Le Cap Horn is that it is accessible by road; therefore, it is suitable for both skiers and non-skiers.
La Soucoupe located at the top of the Chenus piste, and is famous for food cooked on its open fire. It can get very busy, especially in peak weeks; therefore it would be best if you book in advance. Its extensive wine list very popular with visitors to Courchevel. There is also a self-service restaurant on the ground floor.
Cave Des Creux
The Cave Des Creux sits at an altitude of 2,112m. Originally an Alpine cheese ripening cellar and sheepfold, the restaurant is now run by local former ski instructors. Here you can enjoy a refined brasserie menu with regional specialities, in a homely atmosphere. You can also expect excellent Asian fusion recipes. The Cave Des Creux’s authentic décor blends mountain and industrial styles. Here you can enjoy fantastic panoramic views of the 3 Valleys and Mont Blanc from its terrace while staying warm next to the outdoor fire.
Courchevel ski area is perfectly catered for beginners and intermediates with huge choice of blue and red runs
There will be times when you want a day off the mountain, either to rest, due to bad weather or if you want to experience something else. Here are some great options for when you are not skiing or snowboarding:
Courchevel Aventure is an agency that provides you with a wide range of activities and experiences. Activities during winter include ice diving, snowmobile tours, dog sledding and sky diving. But, you are not restricted to one activity. Courchevel Aventure can customise a package of activities and experiences for your group.
This state of the art swimming complex is perfect for kids and adults alike. It gives you the opportunity to rest those mountain legs in one of the two pools. You can also take advantage of the indoor-outdoor pool, jacuzzi, salt pool, hammams and saunas. Aquasmotion also offers massage & beauty treatments. There is also a climbing wall and a mini-wave pool to test your surf skills.
If you haven’t already seen Courchevel from a helicopter, you can take a heli sightseeing tour. Taking off from Courchevel’s Altiport, you take in views of Mont Blanc and the Alps from the sky.
There is a super fun sledge run between Courchevel 1850 and 1550. This track winds through the woods down to 1550. It’s free to use; you just need to rent a sledge for approximately €5.
There is also a sledge run from Courchevel 1650, which is longer and faster. It features fast bends and tunnels. Therefore, helmets must be worn.
Aquamotion in Courchevel is the best aquatic centre in the French Alps with so many features & facilities
Why Book your Ski Holiday to Courchevel
The exclusive ski resort of Courchevel has everything the discerning skier or snowboarder could want. You can enjoy luxury accommodation, world-class ski slopes and lift system exquisite dining, and a huge range of activities. Visiting Courchevel is an experience you will always remember.