Photo: La Rosière – © Neeko Photography
Internationally, La Rosière is one of the Tarentaise Valley’s lesser-known ski resorts in the French Alps. Unfortunately, people often dismiss it for the big names of Tignes, Val d’Isere and La Plagne, which are just a short drive away. However, La Rosière is one of the best-kept secrets of the French Alps that entertains families and groups of skiers every winter. In this ultimate guide to La Rosière, we give you all the details of what to expect and what to do in this beautiful French ski resort.
La Rosière is a rare ski resort, as it allows you to ski in both France and Italy within the Espace San Bernardo ski area on the same lift pass. The variety of ski slopes makes a holiday in La Rosière suitable for families and expert skiers alike. Its quiet slopes and great value self-catered properties make La Rosière an excellent choice over the more well-known resorts in the area. With La Rosière located on the Italian border, you can experience the food and cultures of both France and Italy all in one trip.
La Rosière sits at 1,850m and is south facing, meaning you can ski in the sunlight all day. This, combined with it being the valley’s snowiest ski resort (thanks to its proximity to Mont Blanc), provides a snow-sure and pleasant environment to ski in.
The resort is located near the Petit St Bernard Pass, the high altitude road that links France and Italy (closed in winter). It is also just 23km from Bourg-Saint-Maurice, which connects to Les Arcs and La Plagne.
La Rosière is divided into several linked districts. The most modern district is Les Eucherts and is the most attractive, thanks to its traditional chalet-style architecture. It also has excellent amenities, including an ice rink, the tourist office and a nursery, while providing easy access to the slopes. Les Eucherts sets the benchmark for the planned redevelopment of the rest of the resort.
La Rosière’s dual country linked ski area (Espace San Bernardo) allows you to ski in 2 countries on the one lift pass by connecting La Rosière ski resort in France and La Thuile in Italy.
ON THE MOUNTAIN
The Espace San Bernardo ski area’s size means that there is plenty to keep skiers and snowboarders of all levels entertained. You can choose to buy a full area lift pass that will allow you to ski all the way to the Italian ski resort of La Thuile.
There are two areas of La Rosière; the Front de Neige is a termination point and is home to some of the area’s main ski lifts. The other area is known as Les Eucherts, and there are some excellent beginner zones in each for those working on their first turns. There is also a good range of interlinking blue pistes for fun skiing and progression. These slopes make it easy to get back to the resort at the end of the day too.
Intermediates will enjoy the slightly more challenging pistes heading to Seez that wind through the forests. You will find that most of the ski area is above the tree line, and there are many wide cruisy runs to enjoy above the resort. These pistes take you northwards along a ridge from the Italian border and make up the French side’s main ski area. Head to the Combe des Moulins to get some speed up on the fantastic red runs and powder fields between the pistes on snowy days.
Staying on the French side of the border, there are some lovely blue runs that take you to the Col de la Traversette, which is where you will see La Redoute Ruinée, the ruins of an old fort. From here, you can get to the Petit St Bernard Pass to get incredible views of Mont Blanc.
Over the border in La Thuile, you will find steeper and more challenging terrain. Still, intermediates will be able to ski the whole Espace San Bernardo.
More advanced skiers have a lot to do in the area too. There are two great snowparks, one in La Rosière and another in La Thuile. The area is well-known for its snowkiting. So, if you fancy giving it a go, you can take advantage of its reliable wind and snow conditions above 2,200m. At the Petit St Bernard pass, there is a snowkite introduction zone.
Unfortunately, heli-skiing is illegal in France, but luckily not in Italy. So if you want to explore the area with the help of a helicopter, you don’t have far to go.
La Rosière is a high altitude (1,850m) ski resort with 180 degree south-facing views across the Tarantaise Valley.
You have sun all day long while also having incredible and reliable high-altitude snow conditions.
La Rosière has some lovely accommodation options to choose from. There are some well-priced hotels and self-catered properties that provide ski-in-ski-out access. But, there are some luxury places to stay too, here are some of our favourites.
The Hyatt Centric La Rosière is a luxury hotel located in the desirable Les Eucherts district, which means it is only 100m from the slopes. It has 69 comfortable and well-equipped guest rooms and suites. All the rooms are south-facing and give guests incredible panoramic views of the mountains. The contemporary design of the rooms is cosy and sophisticated, providing a welcoming ambience.
The hotel is home to the Summit Spa, a 420m2 space providing the perfect environment for relaxation and rejuvenation. It features an indoor swimming pool, sauna, and hammam. You can also relax in one of the indoor and outdoor hot tubs or choose from a range of treatments provided by the friendly and expert team.
The contemporary but cosy H40 Bar is open all day and is a superb place to sit with a Belgian beer, craft cocktail or a glass of wine after a day on the slopes. Alternatively, the more classic Surus Bar provides a comfortable and quiet space to relax, especially after a massage in the spa.
Within the hotel, there are two restaurants. The H40 Brasserie Restaurant is where guests can enjoy their mountain-style breakfast buffet. It is also open for lunch and dinner, where the chef serves puts his own twist on classic dishes from the pizza oven and grills.
The La Tavola Trattoria Restaurant is available for special events within an Italian atmosphere. The south-facing terrace is ideal for weddings, seminars and birthday celebrations.
Les Cimes Blanches is a lovely apartment residence, also situated in Les Eucherts right at the foot of the slopes. It features authentic local decor, popular in the Savoie region, giving you a true French alpine experience. The spacious apartments are cosy and well-equipped to ensure you are comfortable and have everything you need. There is also a concierge service on hand to provide advice and book restaurants and activities during your stay.
Guests at Les Cimes Blanche also have the benefit of having access to the Spa Ô des Cimes. This is a wonderful space to spend time in after a day exploring the Espace San Bernardo. The spa has a large heated indoor swimming pool and cardio room for those that haven’t had enough exercise. Guests can recuperate with the help of the spa practitioners. They are on hand to provide a range of treatments, such as scrubs, wraps and massages, designed to either relax or invigorate you.
For a luxury apartment with a slightly more contemporary style, Le Lodge Hemera is an excellent option. The residence is located at the bottom of La Rosière’s slopes. This makes getting on the snow extremely easy, which is very convenient if you need to get your kids to ski school in the morning. The residence’s proximity to the amenities of La Rosière also means that you don’t have far to go to reach the resort’s bars, restaurants and activities.
The spacious but cosy apartments are elegantly decorated, creating a comfortable ambience. Some of the apartments have fantastic views over the mountains from their sunny balconies too.
Guests of Le Lodge Hemer can enjoy free access to the fantastic indoor swimming pool, which has several relaxation loungers surrounding it. For even more relaxation opportunities, there are hot tubs, a sauna and a steam room to unwind in after a day on the mountain. In addition to all this, the Ô des Cimes spas d’altitude is the perfect place to receive a range of treatments
South facing, Hyatt Centric La Rosière boasts an unbeatable location, close to the slopes and with immediate access to the lifts. Sun-drenched mountains, crowd-free pistes, feather-light powder and the perfect location for border-free skiing between France and Italy.
Hotel Alparena & Spa
Located at the foot of the pistes in Les Eurcherts is the fabulous four-star Hotel Alparena & Spa. It provides convenience, as it is super easy to start your day of skiing while being luxurious too. The 58 spacious bedrooms and suites feature a blend of contemporary and traditional alpine decor and overlook the Haute-Tarentaise Valley and Mont Valaisan. Each room has its own individual style, so guests have a unique experience during their stay.
The Alpagio restaurant within the hotel serves a range of gastronomic delights in the afternoons and evenings. Lunch is served on the Solario terrace, accessible on skis and gives you a wonderful dining experience with a panoramic view of the landscape. The terrace is also a popular spot for après drinks.
The Alpagio restaurant serves delicious specialities from both sides of the border in true authentic style throughout the day and evening. While the bar has an extensive collection of wines and champagnes to savour during your stay.
To help you relax during your stay, you have access to the hotel’s fabulous 1000m2 wellness centre. This has a variety of amenities such as a large heated swimming pool, hammams, saunas and a fitness room. There is even a kids paddling pool, enhancing the hotel’s appeal to families.
MGM Résidence Alpen Lodge
The MGM Résidence Alpen Lodge is right next to the Eucherts Express chairlift, giving guests effortless access to the ski area. Guests have a choice of 33 one to five-bedroom apartments that sleep from two to twelve people. The apartments are spacious and well-equipped with large balconies, perfect for enjoying a glass of wine in the sun.
Each apartment’s decor blends traditional and modern design cues to create a welcoming environment. Even though this is a self-catered residence, guests are looked after by its attentive team. There is always somebody on hand to ensure your skiing holiday on La Rosière goes as smoothly as possible. There is even a personalised reception and concierge service.
A great touch guests of the MGM Résidence Alpen Lodge can enjoy is the ski room. Here, you can store your ski equipment in a personal locker with a boot drier. But, before you head to your apartment or to the spa, hot drinks are served in the ski room to warm you up.
The Alpen Lodge residence offers guests unlimited entry to the Wellness Centre. This is a space measuring over 1,000 m², entirely dedicated to relaxation and wellness. Here, you can expect a heated indoor infinity swimming pool, hot tub, sauna, hammam, sensory shower, Nordic bath and a treatment area. There is also a children’s pool, so the little ones can enjoy the spa in safety.
Aside from the children’s pool, the Alpen Lodge has everything to accommodate children during their stay. The residence has several areas dedicated to keeping children entertained, including early learning and board games.
Après at The Alpen Lodge is taken care of in The Lounge Bar. This has a cheerful atmosphere, perfect for chatting about the day’s mountain exploits. The bar serves surprise cocktails and a selection of champagnes. It also often plays host to wine tasting evening and live music in the piano bar, making it an excellent après ski venue.
The CGH Residence & Spas Les Cimes Blanches is made up of 1 to 5 Bedroom apartments located in a pretty little hamlet made up of wooden and stone cottages, built in the Savoy tradition
EATING AND DRINKING IN LA ROSIÈRE
Aside from the fantastic restaurants already mentioned in the hotels, La Rosière has plenty of other places to eat on and off the mountain. Here are some of our favourite place to eat in this fabulous ski resort.
La Traversette is located in La Rosiere, at the foot of the fort chairlift. One of the big attractions of this mountain restaurant is its south-facing terrace. It is a very popular lunch stop off, thanks to its non-stop service bar and restaurant. It is a great place to refuel for your afternoon on the slope with your group. If you want to order a fondue to enjoy on the terrace, make sure you book in advance.
L’Antigel sits on the Tetras piste and is a light, contemporary and spacious restaurant suitable for the whole family. The large menu has a range of local specialities and an excellent wine list. This is another superb place to dine in the sun on a lovely terrace. L’Antigel provides a relaxing dining experience, giving you plenty of time to enjoy the views.
In Resort Restaurants And Bars
Many people who visit La Rosière claim that Le Genépi serves the best food in the resort. This family-owned restaurant has a traditional cozy Savoyard interior. The owners of Le Genépi are passionate about serving excellent food in a pleasant environment. Therefore, they have put together a menu consisting of a wide range of a la carte dishes and set menus. The extensive wine list will impress the most fanatical wine enthusiast too.
L’Ancolie is an authentic French restaurant in Les Eucherts. It is set over several levels and is decorated in the Savoyard style, featuring antique farming artifacts as part of the decor. The chef fires up the barbecue to cook up delicious grilled dishes on the stunning terrace every lunchtime. In the evening, you can sample the many Savoyard specialities in a cosy chalet-style environment.
With Mont Blanc and the Petit-St-Bernard Pass just a stone’s throw away, the Espace San Bernardo benefits from favourable weather streams that guarantee excellent snow cover with one of the highest snow falls in France.
APRÈS AND NIGHTLIFE VENUES
La Rosière is not known for its après and nightlife scene. But there are a few slope-side après venues and lively nightspots to enjoy.
Le Flocon sits at the foot of the slopes in Les Eucherts. Here you can enjoy low-key live music on the terrace that overlooks the breathtaking views of Mont Pourri. The bar is also connected to the bowling alley, which is a great family-friendly après activity.
La Taverne du McKinley
For a more lively après venue, head to La Taverne du McKinley, which is located at the bottom of the slopes in La Rosière Centre. You can expect a cosy interior enhanced by the open fire, which is excellent on a cold day. Alternatively, the large terrace is a great spot to enjoy drinks. The terrace is close to the piste, where kids can enjoy sledging after the lifts close.
Moo bar is in Les Eucherts and gives you the opportunity for some low-key dancing while sipping cocktails until 4am. You can expect themed nights, and sometimes the bar hosts early evening kids’ discos.
Enjoying both French and Italian food and culture, get a hit of adrenalin down the X treme luge, or have a go at Paret, snakegliss, snow-kiting, or paragliding
ACTIVITIES AND EVENTS
When on a family ski holiday, it is a good idea to pick a resort with a range of activities to do. Whether you are looking for something to do on a day off the slopes or want to experience what the area has to offer, La Rosière has a wide choice of things to do. For example, La Rosiere has a cinema, a fitness centre, and a couple of spas. One of these spas offers a Japanese-style onsen bath experience. But there are some other unique experiences to be had, here are some of our favourites.
La Rosiere is home to a fantastic Igloo village. You can take a moonlit snowshoe walk and spend the night in an igloo, after a delicious fondue. This gives you the opportunity to wake up to the sun rising over the Alps, which is an unmissable experience.
The X-Treme Luge is a rollercoaster-like ride that runs on a single rail. You ride down the rail 1000m down the mountainside, as it twists and turns at speeds of up to 45km/h. This is a fun activity for all the family.
Avalanche Rescue Practice
If you plan on doing some off-piste skiing, or heli-skiing, it would be a good idea to practice your avalanche safety. La Rosière has the DVA Park by Evolution 2, which allows you to refine your transceiver skills. If all this is new to you, book a lesson, and an instructor will teach you the latest techniques.
Why Book your Ski Holiday to La Rosière
La Rosière is a fantastic ski resort that deserves to be better known than it is. It is a very family-oriented resort, but there is plenty to do for more advanced skiers and snowboarders. Its location close to the Italian border, and the fact that you can cross it with one ski pass, is a huge advantage. Croissants in the morning and authentic Italian food for lunch is very appealing for many.