Photo: Les Menuires © Gilles Lansard
Les Menuires Ski Resort is a lesser-known part of the massive 3 Valleys in the French Alps. But it is one of the best family ski destinations the region has to offer. It boasts superb on and off-piste skiing and lots of affordable accommodation, interspersed with higher-end places to stay. It is the best option ski resort in the area for anyone on a budget. Les Menuires is also directly linked to Meribel, St Martin and Val Thorens via pistes and ski lifts. In this ultimate guide to Les Menuires, we will give you all the information so you can decide if Les Menuires is for you and help you enjoy it to the fullest when you arrive.
Les Menuires is a purpose-built ski resort divided into three areas – La Croisette, Reberty and Preyerand. You will find most of the self-catered apartment blocks in La Croisette. These buildings are not the most attractive, but newer, more attractive buildings have improved its aesthetics as the village has grown.
The different parts of Les Menuires are all connected by a free bus service that runs every twenty minutes.
Les Menuires is home to one of the largest ski zones dedicated to children. The two-hectare Piou-Piou Village makes this ski resort very attractive to families. Another reason Le Menuires is suitable for families is it is full of more affordable accommodation. Most of this accommodation is ski-in-ski-out too, making it super convenient and easy to get the little ones to ski school in the morning.
The resort sits at 1800m making Les Menuires very snow-sure each winter. Les Menuires lacks the alpine charm of other 3 Valleys resorts such as Meribel and Mottaret, thanks to the high-rise concrete apartment blocks. Les Menuires does, however, provide its visitors with great amenities for skiers, and there is a good selection of restaurants. You will also find the nightlife is great fun with a range of bars and late-night spots.
Les Menuires ski resort offers the cheapest accommodation options in the 3 Valleys and most properties have convenient ski-in ski-out access to the slopes and lifts.
ON THE MOUNTAIN
As Les Menuires is in the 3 Valleys (one of the world’s largest ski areas), you have access to the whole area with the full area lift pass. But, if you have kids or beginners in your group, you can save some money and just buy a local pass. The local area consists of 160 kilometres of groomed runs and some exceptional off-piste. The resort also boasts the excellent BK Park for practising your freestyle and blasting the boardercross course.
Les Menuires is linked with modern, high-speed lifts, reducing the length of the lift queues, and there is a good variety of pistes for beginners and intermediate skiers.
Les Menuires holds the Family Plus label. This is because the resort offers several activities and services for kids. For example, it has two “Piou-Piou” villages, including one suitable for kids from three months old. There are also free lift passes for kids under 5 years old. This gives them access to various fun zones to play in and develop their skills in a safe environment.
Les Menuires is at a slightly lower altitude than neighbouring Val Thorens, and it links with St Martin at 1450m. This gives skiers an entertaining variety of landscapes to explore. The local ski area sits on both sides of the Vallee des Bellevilles. You will find wide mellow pistes that bring you down to the village’s accommodation on the eastern side of the valley. The lower pistes are ideal for beginners, while higher up, there are few intermediate & advanced pistes.
The western side of the valley is fantastic for people that like to ski and snowboard in deep powder. The low altitude tree areas have well-pitched slopes, suitable for advanced riders all the way down from Pointe de la Masse.
The lower part of the St Martin ski area provides some wonderful long but mellow beginner & intermediate tree-lined pistes. But there are some lovely off-piste runs from the top too.
Les Menuires is a family focussed ski resort located in The 3 Valleys – the largest linked ski area in the world
Even though Les Menuires is known for its more affordable accommodation, there are some lovely luxury accommodation options. Here are some of our favourite hotels and self-catered apartments in Les Menuires.
Chalet Hotel Kaya is a four-star hotel located right at the bottom of the ski slopes in Menuires. The hotel’s architecture and design is elegant and stylish, with a warm and welcoming ambience. This is the best hotel in Les Menuires thanks to its amenities, spacious rooms and friendly staff.
The hotel boasts a range of beautiful rooms and suites with a style that matches the rest of the hotel. You can expect contemporary decor with traditional alpine design cues. The mountain views from the balconies and large bay windows are breathtaking.
The bar and restaurant are perfect for spending your evenings and lunchtimes. The restaurant serves traditional Savoyard dishes, but it also has some delicious gourmet cuisine to enjoy.
For a relaxing break, while sipping a drink, the attractive hotel bar is the place to be. Start your après ski or have a peaceful game of cards, chess or backgammon with your friends in cozy surroundings.
Chalet Hotel Kaya is home to one of the best spas in Les Menuires. It features an indoor heated swimming pool surrounded by comfortable reclining chairs, with beautiful views over the mountains. After a dip in the pool, you can relax in the sauna and hammam or keep up your workout regime in the well-equipped gym.
Les Alpages de Reberty sits high above Les Menuires, giving guests unparalleled views of the resort. This gorgeous self-catered residence is made up of four traditional style Savoyard chalets that complement their surroundings. Its convenient location makes Les Alpages de Reberty ski-in-ski-out, providing easy access to the local slopes and the Les 3 Vallées ski area.
The spacious chalet-style apartments have a relaxing atmosphere and are decorated in the local alpine style with wooden panelling.
After a long day on the mountain, the Deep Nature Spa is the perfect place to rejuvenate and sooth aching legs. The spa features a gorgeous indoor heated swimming pool, hammam, sauna, fitness studio and a relaxation room.
To make life even easier, you can hire your equipment from the Skiset shop located within the residence. The shop has an excellent selection of up-to-date ski and snowboard equipment to suit your ability and style.
Le Hameau de la Sapinière is a beautiful four-star residence located on heigh up in Les Menuires in the Reberty 1850 district. Its location provides a peaceful environment while just being a short walk from the slopes and Les Menuires’ centre.
The residence is divided into multiple chalets that blend comfort, privacy and independence from 4 to 11 people. The spacious and comfortable luxury apartments are elegantly decorated, and most of them feature a fireplace in the living room.
The cosy style comes from its traditional wooden architecture making the residence a warm and relaxing place. The onsite ski hire shop adds to the residence’s convenience, and has equipment on hand to ensure you have everything you need for your holiday.
To make your stay as relaxing as possible, the residence also features a wonderful wellness centre. Here you can take advantage of the sauna, hot tub and hammam. You can also benefit from a range of massage treatments to get you ready for the slopes.
4**** Chalet Hotel Kaya is for sure the best hotel to date in Les Menuires with an atmosphere where modern design meets traditional materials such as stone, larch and slate
EATING AND DRINKING IN LES MENUIRES
Les Menuires mainly has self-catered properties; therefore, there are plenty of restaurants. The Reberty part of Les Menuires is a good spot to experience gourmet food, but some excellent restaurants are opening up in other areas too. Here are some of our favourite places to eat in the resort and on the mountain.
La Bouitte is a three Michelin star restaurant located in St Marcell, which is close to St Martin de Belleville. This fabulous restaurant serves traditional alpine food but on a whole new level. The restaurant itself has a cosy farmhouse interior, decorated with old cowbells and other Alpine artefacts. It is advised that you book well in advance to avoid disappointment. La Bouitte is accessible by skiing off-piste or skiing down to St Martin. But either way, the restaurant picks you up and delivers you back to the lift in St Martin after your meal.
L’Antigel is located near to the Les Bruyères gondola midstation. It is an old mountain hut, converted into a fabulous mountain restaurant with a difference, as it features a ski museum and a kids play area. There is a large sunny terrace to eat your lunch on, giving you fabulous alpine views. Recommended dishes include the lamb with gratin potatoes, duck with morels, and the excellent Beaufort tart.
In Resort Restaurants And Bars
Restaurant Le K
Restaurant Le K is a lovely venue for either lunch or evening meals located in Reberty. During the day, it opens up as a brasserie, serving superb lunches to fuel your afternoon on the mountain. But, in the evening, Le K transforms into an excellent restaurant with an ever-changing menu and an excellent selection of fine wines.
La Ferme de Reberty
La Ferme de Reberty is a well-priced restaurant that is convenient for families staying in Reberty. You can expect great steaks, burgers and salads. This is a very family-friendly restaurant open for both lunch and dinner with a large sunny terrace.
Là Haut is located in Preyerand; this restaurant offers an interesting culinary experience, especially if you are a fan of mouth-watering meat dishes. The chef specialises in cooking outstanding beef, pork and lamb, but you can also enjoy Savoyard specialities from the menu.
Les Menuires features many restaurants both in the villages and on the mountain, some with stunning views
Le Caviste des Belleville
If you are looking for a cosy wine bar, Le Caviste des Belleville is a great option. Here you can enjoy a selection of fantastic wines in a welcoming atmosphere. If you feel a little hungry, there is also a tapas menu to pout you on until dinner.
Le Plan B
Le Plan B sits at the bottom of the slopes in Bruyère. It is a lively bar open from 10.30am to 2am. It serves a wide range of cocktails and beers to enjoy on the sunny terrace. You can expect lots of fun theme nights and live music, making Le Plan B one of the most favoured après venues in Les Menuires.
La Folie Douce
La Folie Douce is actually in Val Thorens, but it is located on the piste making it accessible from Les Menuires. This bar/restaurant is part of a small chain that entertains skiers and snowboarder on the piste in several French ski resorts. The interior of the one in Val Thorens is made to look like a dairy farm with rustic decor. But the outside terrace makes it the highest open-air club in Europe. You can expect live musicians and DJs entertaining the crowds on the vast dance-floor. Once you are ready to leave La Folie Douce, you can ski down to Val Thorens and then to Les Menuires on blue runs, or alternatively jump on the local ski bus.
Crazy Bar is a lively bar in the La Croisette area of Les Menuires. You can expect fun times during happy hour, which attracts lots of skiers for après drinks. Crazy Bar gets packed every day of the winter, so get there early to get a good spot.
Le Kube is a piano bar with a cosy lounge, with a laid back atmosphere until 10 pm. But after 10pm it becomes more lively and turns into more of a bar or pub until 2 am. Here, you can shoot some pool while working your way through the extensive cocktail list. Le Kube is an excellent place to experience live music during après and DJs from 10 pm onwards
Roc’n Bob gives you the opportunity to toboggan down a 4km run, this is a superb experience for families to enjoy
NON-SKIING ACTIVITIES AND EVENTS
There is more to a ski resort than sliding around the mountains. Often you want to experience what else is available, want to rest your legs or keep the kids entertained in the afternoons. Les Menuires has lots of things to do when not skiing or snowboarding. Here are some excellent recommendations.
The Roc’n Bike is a superb experience for anyone that loves mountain biking. This is a snow-covered track for mountain bikes measuring 3.9km long. Its twisty turns are perfect for drifting your bike on perfectly groomed snow. This is not only great fun but excellent practice for bike handling.
Roc’n Bob gives you the opportunity to toboggan down a 4km run. This is a superb experience for families to enjoy. The run consists of “the Roc rapids,” a section comprising a series of long bends. This leads into the tight turns of the “Never ending Canyon”, which will test your reactions.
The Roc’n Bob is hilarious and recommended for all visitors to Les Menuires.
Taking a tandem paragliding flight over the French Alps is a unique way to see the landscape. Paragliding is not as scary as you may think; after the initial nervousness you get during take off, it is pretty tranquil. Your qualified pilot will do all the hard work while you sit back and enjoy the view.
Scoot’Evasion is the Les Menuires snowmobiling experience. You can either drive or be a passenger on your very own snowmobile to discover the landscape in a different way. The snowmobile tours take place after the lifts have closed, so you can drive around the deserted pistes and watch the sun go down over the Alps.
There are five snowshoe guiding services available in Les Menuires. Each day they choose an itinerary to suit their groups and the weather conditions. Snowshoeing is a wonderful way of taking in the alpine landscape at a more sedate pace. The snowshoeing routes around Les Menuires consist of walking on marked trails and off the beaten track in untouched powder. Make sure you take your camera to capture the stunning scenery and hopefully some local wildlife.
Why Book your Ski Holiday to Les Menuires
Les Menuires is an excellent choice for a family skiing holiday. There is plenty to do aside from the superb skiing. The mix of the different accommodation levels and restaurants means Les Menuires is great value for money. Still, you have the opportunity to treat yourself when you fancy it to make your holiday more memorable.