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Meribel

The History of Meribel Ski Resort in the 3 Valleys

Posted on: February 10th, 2018 by SkiGB

The History of Meribel, the Ski Resort

One of world’s finest ski resorts, Meribel has adventure and excitement from top to base, this is the history of Meribel and how it became a ski resort. Pristine snow peaks, wooden chalet-style architecture, rustic villages, a friendly atmosphere and dramatic surroundings are but a few of the things you’ll experience. In addition to the beauty of the place, the history of Meribel is very fascinating.

 

Everyone enjoying the beauty and brilliance of the Meribel ski resort owes it to the far-fetched vision of a Scotsman named Colonel Peter Lindsay. During the late 1930s when the globe was on the brink of war, the political and ideological closeness between Austria and Germany made it difficult for skiers to enjoy the white slopes of the Austrian Mountains, where many people revelled in winter sports. This is why the Scotsman Lindsay decided to find a location in France where he could design and develop a new ski resort.

 

Finding the Location, Building the Resort

 

Along with another legendary skier, Frenchman Emile Allais, Peter Lindsay found the village of Les Allues. He thought the village was the perfect location for a ski resort thanks to its altitude, climate, and orientation. Mesmerised by the place, Lindsay immediately founded the company ‘Societe Fonciere de la Vallee des Allues’ in 1938. Soon, he began buying nearby land from local farmers to build his vision. Unlike other resorts nearby such as the Three Valleys that was built using public money, Meribal was built using private funds invested by French and British developers.

 

Before the war broke out, the first lift was constructed above the village of Les Allues, and the construction of hotels and chalets also started in Meribel. The development paused during the second world war, but it wasn’t long afterwards until construction started again. Colonel Lindsay, with the help of popular architects Paul Grillo and Chirstian Durupt, built cottages and chalets that were in complete harmony with the rest of the area.

 

Nestled between Courchevel to the East and Val Thorens in the West, Meribel is one of the most popular and lift-ridden ski resorts in the world. The highest point is the Altiport at approximately 1700 meters, and bringing more people into the resort by bus and gondola are Brides les Bains, Meribel Village and Les Allues –the lower lying resorts. In addition to this, there is a satellite resort at the top of the village called Meribel Mottaret, which is connected to the rest of the neighbouring resorts with the help of the sophisticated Saulire Express. This gondola takes up to 2400 people to the top of the Saulire peak within a few minutes.

 

Little England Upon the Alps

 

Meribel ski resort is at 1,450 meters above sea level, and has become a favourite among the British—it is known as ‘Little England upon the Alps.’(Britons take up more than half of all the visitors.) One of the most interesting aspects of Meribel is that not many high-rise buildings are allowed. This gives it a distinct look of chalet-like architecture that spreads over 10 kilometres along the valley, rather than climbing up the mountain side. And down in the village, it’s very common to see skiers enjoying toffee vodka at the local bars!

 

Meribel ski resort has excellent terrain that makes it perfect for all kinds of skiers enjoying the location. It poses a challenge to expert skiers while the young beginners can try the more safer routes without too many problems.

 

Although the Meribel ski resort was founded more than 70 years ago, it is still one of the most popular places among skiers around. Skiing enthusiasts from all over the world have been flying en-masse to this snowcapped paradise. It may be old, but it has kept up with the changing times.

 

From demanding skiers and sportsmen to beginners and children, the Meribel Ski resort is perfect for all kinds of skiers. With the right dose of enthusiasm and excitement, Meribel is the perfect place for you to glide down its alpine slopes and enjoy this captivating wonderland.

Buying a Property in Meribel

Posted on: February 10th, 2018 by SkiGB

What is Involved When Buying a Property in a French Ski Resort like Meribel?

 

So you want to buy a piece of the peaks and live the ‘high’ life? These days, everyone seems to be getting the mountain-call — the charm of the snowcapped mountains with luxurious ski resorts atop have left everyone scrambling up the hills in search of a good property to buy. There are reports to suggest that the sales enquiries for ski property are experiencing a surge with the economy finally brightening up — these properties are back in high demand.

Among all the ski areas, France is still the country with the most sought-after locations for skiing — especially Meribel Ski Resort. You may be wondering what it takes to own a property in a place like that; let’s find out!

Snow-Capped Wonder

For some it is a dream come true to own a property on the snowy slopes, for others with spare money it is a fashion. Whatever your case, it’s important you understand the far-reaching implications of investing so much money to buy a property you might not use throughout the year.

One of the first questions you need to ask yourself is whether you really want to buy the property. It’s true — owning a piece of the steep snowcapped mountain sounds romantic, but is it the right decision?

There are 2 reasons why someone would buy a ski property: as a permanent residence or as a holiday-home investment. If you are an avid mountaineer and would like to live near the slopes every day, then buying a top-notch ski resort makes perfect sense. However, if you are looking to invest in a place at a renowned resort like Meribel, then you should consider a number of factors that determine the price.

Can You Get There?

One of the first decisions you need to make when trying to buy a property in a resort like Meribel is travel. Commuting from Paris, London or any other place in the world is a tough ask considering the expenses and time involved. Even if you live nearby, it may not be possible to drive up the icy paths throughout the year.

And don’t forget, travelling to the place is a waste of time when you want to be skiing down the slopes!

Year-Round Holidays

Another factor you should consider is the year-round activities. In case you are only looking to spend the summers and enjoy the snow, then choosing a high altitude site like Meribel makes sense.

Higher altitudes may mean higher prices, but there are numerous advantages as well — you can enjoy the snow for as long as you want, and the views are simply breathtaking!

With a lower altitude resort, the snow quality tends to be lower and the skiing (or snowboarding) period is shorter. However, they are easier to access and you may be able to enjoy other outdoor activities such as cycling and hiking.

However high up in the mountains you want a property, you’ll be able to use it as a tool to earn money. With thousands of tourists heading to these places each year for the snow, biking and walking, renting out your property for a tidy profit is pretty straightforward.

Meribel, a Place For All

Meribel has a lot to offer in terms of snow and summer activities for visitors; in fact, a large bulk of tourists from all over the world head to the Meribel year after year to enjoy its serene beauty.

If you decide to buy a property, you should consider the two ways to own one: Classic Freehold and Leaseback Freehold. With a Classic Freehold, you have the option of renting out your property at will, but with Leaseback Freehold you can do away with the headache of management and upkeep of the property — you no longer own it, but have the luxury to use it.

With a place like Meribel — a well-established ski resort — you and anyone who uses your property will have the luxury of the ski lifts, gliding slopes, shops nearby and the scenic wonder.

Of course buying a property in Meribel isn’t your only option to ski the area, you could visit the resort as an when you want by renting an apartment. There are plenty of great offers to be had over on our Meribel apartments page, so have a look!

Where are the best damn bars in Meribel?

Posted on: February 10th, 2018 by SkiGB

The chalets of Meribel and the enchanting countryside can force you into a kind of relaxed stupor that you never want to shake from. However, don’t let the idyllic surroundings and inviting accommodation keep you from visiting the many bars, restaurants and pubs dotted around the town. Listed here are some of the best places to go at any time of year. Some are more suited to casual afternoon drinkers, others are ideal for the younger crowd wanting to throw some beers back watching live music.

Most of the bars around Meribel are British-run. What this says about people from the little Island I don’t care to guess, but you are guaranteed a warm welcome and ice-cold beer.

La Folie Douce

If you’re coming straight in off the slopes, La Folie Douce is the place to head. This place invariably attracts a younger crowd, pounding music emanating from the DJ, a raucous atmosphere if you go at the right time, and an incredible mountainside view.

Rond Point

As Douce begins to die down at around 5pm, seasoned Meribel party-people will head over to the ‘Ronny‘, or Rond Point, as it says above the door. Happy Hour is from 4 – 5pm, although it is generally fairly priced so there’s no real need to rush from Douce. However, be sure to leave La Folie Douce before it closes at 5pm, lest you be caught in the swell that surges to the ‘Ronny’. Rond Point offers live music from 5pm, usually until around 7pm, and it is normally worth seeing. Both of these places offer an excellent lunch menu. Although the food is, in my opinion, nicer at La Folie, it is certainly more expensive, and not necessarily worth it if you are looking for a tasty, filling lunch which can easily be found at the ‘Ronny’.

Barometer

If you are more inclined to wander out for some fresh mountain air and a few looseners before dinner (or if you are still with us from Rond Point), then Barometer in the middle of town is absolutely perfect. It has a cosy, welcoming country-pub ambiance,  and it is certainly several notches quieter than La Folie Douce. It has a great array of beers and wines, and on occasion it will have some music playing, although it is in general much more sedate than the much busier places in town.

Le Poste de Secours

Le Poste de Secours is a very similar haunt; it seems to attract an exclusively older crowd, for which I am sure many of its patrons are very grateful. It has an incredibly relaxed atmosphere early on, progressing into a more lively and loud place as the night wears on and people let their inhibitions go. Both of these places are excellent for a quiet drink before dinner, or for a relaxing beer after a late lunch. It is also perfect for those wanting to avoid the pounding music that seems to permeate from most other places in town.

 

After a long day tearing it up on the slopes, nobody can blame you for wanting to tear it up on the dancefloor. If that is the case, you will not be disappointed by what Meribel has to offer. A whole host of late bars dot the town with live bands, DJs, drinks promotions, happy hours, and the ubiquitous two-for-one cocktail offer.

Jack’s Bar

If pressed to recommend one place to really let your hair down, it would have to be Jack’s Bar. Bands perform throughout the afternoon and evening at varying times, and they quite often have a stand-up comedian. You’ll find plenty of drinks promotions here, and the cocktail hour is nothing short of dangerous. Getting there at the right time, ordering one of their big jugs of cold beer and listening to some, surprisingly excellent, live music is sheer bliss. Particularly if you’re nursing aching feet from a day on the snow.

 

Regardless of your taste, Meribel’s night life has a lot to offer. Be sure to check out these places the next time you are in town and I guarantee you will not be disappointed. Depending on where you go, you may not want to arrange an early pick-up the next day!

Where is the best place to stay in Meribel

Posted on: February 10th, 2018 by SkiGB

If you are planning a trip to the Trois Vallees, and in particularly Meribel, well done for choosing one of the best ski resorts in the world. Meribel is one of those resorts that exceeds all expectations and the sheer volume of visitors who return here time and time again pays testament to its wide reaching appeal. Those struggling with finding their perfect accommodation need look no further as we have compiled this guide aimed at helping you find the best place to stay in Meribel to suit your needs.

As you would expect from a world class ski resort the accommodation options in Meribel are both plentiful and superb. This can have a downside however as you may feel as if you have too much choice to be able to make an informed decision, especially if this is your first trip here. There are hotels, residences, apartments and chalets on offer in Meribel and as they are all within easy reach of the ski lifts and apres ski activities on offer here which area you choose is very much dependent on what you want from your accommodation.

The resort is divided into 4 main geographical areas;  Mottaret is ideal for those serious skiers looking for cheaper apartment to rest their head. Lower Meribel Centre is the place to go for both party goers intent on making the most of the nightlife and also beginners as it gives the best access to the easier slopes. Meribel Village offers good value accommodation and that quintessential village atmosphere and Upper Meribel centre will appeal to beginners, sybarites and those devotees who want to be as close as possible to The Rond-Point, rated as one of the worlds best Alpine bars.

It is generally accepted that the best apartments for families or large groups in Meribel can be found on the Eastern Slopes. These are within easy walking distance to the main resort centre but quiet enough at night to ensure everyone gets a good nights rest after a day packed with snow based activities. These apartments offer a real home from home atmosphere and offer every convenience you could wish for those times when you just want to kick back and relax.

For ardent skiers who want everything on their doorstep Mottaret ticks all the boxes.  Situated at the top of the valley it offers visitors access to the best slopes in the Alps.  Those who choose to stay in Mottaret compromise on choice of evening entertainment to concentrate on their skiing. There are several and restaurants here but their obviously isn’t the choice on offer in the village centre. That said, the serious skier stays in Mottaret to satisfy their constant lust for an adrenalin buzz and want to relax at night as opposed to partying the night away.

Meribel Town extends up the side of the valley and the higher you get the more elegant and altogether more French it becomes.  This is the ultimate in irony as Upper Meribel Centre is also home to the Rond-Point, the number one meeting point for British visitors to the area. The accommodation of choice here are self catering apartments which give you the luxury of coming and going as you please and within easy crawling distance of ‘The Ronnie’ once your night has come to an end.

Restaurant Review of L’Ekrin in Meribel

Posted on: February 10th, 2018 by SkiGB

It’s certainly a big year for the Trois Vallées resort of Meribel. Not only have they been chosen as the first French ski resort to host the prestigious Alpine Ski World Cup Finals, or are set for a major revamp over the next couple of years, there is yet another event which has discerning gastronomes salivating and hitting the Internet like no there’s no tomorrow.

prepare yourself for a buffet breakfast of such quality and choice that it beggars belief

The reason behind this; Meribel’s esteemed restaurant The Ekrin, or L’Ekrin, has been awarded a new Michelin star for 2015. The in house restaurant of the luxurious La Keila hotel has become one of the premier eating establishments in Meribel, immaterial of whether you are a guest or not. Laurent Azoulay, L’Ekrin’s executive chef, has in recent times taken this restaurant to a whole new level and his reward is this esteemed star. You don’t need us to tell you what a Michelin star does for a restaurant’s reputation, yet the general consensus amongst regular patrons of L’Ekrin is that its not before time!

 

What L’Ekrin has managed to achieved where many of others have failed, is to combine comfort with fine dining. Think chic and elegant chalet and you get an idea of the vibe here. This is not one of those establishments where you are scared to move should you disturb anything. Instead, you get to relax on deep, sumptuous sofas to enjoy pre or post dining drinks in front of a roaring fire. It classes itself as a restaurant and bar, thus reducing the elitism and snobbery often associated with Michelin starred establishments, and also making it a hugely enjoyable place to visit.

If you are settled in those sofas and choose to eat there; no problem. This relaxed and easy going atmosphere is very much at odds with the calibre of the fare on offer but is as refreshing as the air in the views out of the expansive windows. Another tick in a box is that L’Ekrin doesn’t just open in the evenings, you can enjoy breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner and any other hunger sating meal you might fancy after a hard day on the slopes.

The sheer choice of delights on offer here, combined with skills of the chefs and the presentation are something few of get to experience on a day to day basis. If you are guest here prepare yourself for a buffet breakfast of such quality and choice that it beggars belief. As this is carried on throughout the day and into the evening dining it is little wonder this restaurant is fully booked months in advance, and is Meribel’s hottest seat.

If the terms A la Carte and snacking seem at odds with each other then this is the place where they blend together seamlessly. Those not ready for a full, gourmet meal can give their taste buds a real treat with a snack menu that puts many restaurants to shame. You will find everything here from Foie Gras and smoked salmon to a club sandwich like no other.

Anyone who wants to add that extra special something to their stay in Meribel is advised to book a table at L’Ekrin. Once you experience the ambience, food, service and exemplary wine list you too will instantly see why it has received it’s new Michelin star, and how well deserved it is.

 

 

Chalet of the Month: Chopine, Meribel

Posted on: January 10th, 2018 by SkiGB

Chalet Chopine is the archetype of a luxurious alpine retreat. Situated in Meribel, in the heart of the Three Valleys Ski area, this chalet is breathtaking in its elegance. Having recently undergone extensive interior refurbishment works, Chalet Chopine now offers its guests a truly superior experience.

The chalet has five double or twin bedrooms, each complete with a brand new en suite bathroom. All bedrooms are beautifully furnished, and it is clear from the choice of colours, woods and fabrics that comfort has been given top priority.

 

Many chalet’s share Chopine’s commitment to luxury and taste, yet few can boast such a comfort-centered design. There is more than enough room for 10 guests in the open plan living and dining area, which somehow manages to be at once sprawling and cozy. Fur throws, warm woods and delicate lighting make the living area the perfect place to unwind after a long day on the mountains. Of course, as you would expect from a perfect alpine retreat, the living area boasts a crackling fire to warm your toes after a day in the blistering cold of the ski season.

 

 

The downstairs spa area includes a sauna, shower, hammam and a large bubbling Jacuzzi. As if this wasn’t opulent enough, the entire spa area is covered by a sound system, which can be controlled from the comfort of the Jacuzzi by a waterproof floating remote. There is no better place to seek refuge from the harsh alpine winter than in the almost decadent comfort of the Chopine spa.

The Chopine booking price includes gourmet dinners prepared nightly by a resident chef, a selection of hand-picked wines, an open spirit bar, and champagne on a daily basis. After indulging in a fantastic evening meal, guests can walk a few steps and recline on a sofa for an evening in front of the fire; or, if you would rather, in front of the wall-mounted, HD TV that flanks the fireplace. If the TV near to the fireplace is not to everyone’s taste, then some guests can while away a snowy evening in the separate cinema room.

 

It is perhaps the services that come with the chalet that set Chopine apart from other chalets that share such excellent standards of location and facilities. The winter booking price affords you tea and coffee in bed, breakfast and afternoon tea, daily newspapers to your order, a resort chauffeur, and a daily champagne reception.

It is also possible for guests to pre-arrange a number of services that may not be provided when booking less superlative chalets, including: resort transfers by taxi or helicopter (weather depending), in-chalet equipment fitting, a personal laundry service, in-chalet massage and beauty therapy, and, for those days when you need some well-deserved time to yourself, in-chalet childcare.

Chopine is an outstanding chalet. It shares a convenient location with its neighbours, and the breathtaking views that come with it. Where it surpasses its neighbours is in the perfect melding of class and homeliness; of luxury and comfort. This is our chalet of the month, but it is the embodiment of many guest’s holiday of a lifetime.

Chalet of the Month: Impala Lodge

Posted on: December 10th, 2017 by SkiGB

A past guest of Impala Lodge will be unsurprised to see it featured as ‘Chalet of the Month’. This private retreat, nestled snuggly on the edge of Meribel in the small hamlet of Gittaz, is the very definition of tranquillity. It is fairly easy to convey the character or essence of this chalet in few words: quiet, gentle seclusion with a dedication to comfort.

Chalet Impala Lodge offers views of the valley that are nothing short of breathtaking; even relative to other chalets in comparable locations, this lodge will genuinely captivate you. The dining room’s expansive windows look out onto the rolling folds of the valley, while the deck offers an almost overwhelming vantage point from which to take in the majestic landscape. During the summer, the deck of Impala Lodge is absolutely unparalleled as a place to unwind with a few drinks, while winter brings a potentially more dramatic view but temperatures less amenable to outdoor drinking.

Seven nights’ accommodation includes a champagne reception

All four floors of this stunning building have been recently refurbished and refitted to the highest standards of luxury and style. The size of this lodge makes it ideal for families or large groups of friends wanting to holiday together, but without living on top of each other! The seven spacious bedrooms all have en-suite shower rooms, two of which are equipped with baths. Families and couples can therefore relax into their alpine retreat without worrying about encroaching on each other’s privacy. At Impala Lodge, being in the next room can feel like you are a million miles away.

All of the chalet’s have been elegantly designed; the entire layout somehow strikes a perfect balance between spacious and cozy. This is truer of the living room than of anywhere else. Simply walking into this room for the first time forces most guests to stop and admire the beauty of their home for the next week or so. The fireplace dominates, as one would rightly expect from an alpine idyll, and it is surrounded by couches that compel you to recline. The lofty ceilings make sure that you never feel stuffy, but the warm décor, light wood tones, and crackling fire on a cold evening will ensure that you never want to leave.

Of course, as with all chalets in this area, it is the services that truly make it what it is. In this regard, Chalet Impala Lodge is a cut above. Seven nights’ accommodation includes a champagne reception, a daily breakfast and afternoon tea service, followed by an amazing four course evening meal prepared in your kitchen by talented chefs. As if this wasn’t enough to help you embrace a decadent week of indulgence, the chalet comes fully stocked with carefully selected wines, beers and soft drinks. A daily housekeeping service will take any day-to-day chores out of your hands, leaving you free to enjoy the slopes, the town, or your incredibly beautiful holiday retreat. If you do wish to venture out (nobody could blame you for having a day indoors at Impala Lodge) the chalet includes an in-resort chauffeur service, which runs until 10pm.

Meribel Snow Report – The last snow focus

Posted on: February 12th, 2016 by SkiGB

Welcome to our last episode for this week leading up to half term week in Meribel.
We hope you have enjoyed our focus for the run up to the busiest week of the season in Meribel.
If you missed yesterday’s or in fact the whole weeks worth of our reports you can find them HERE.

 

Friday 12th February 2016

 

The forecast for today suggested that the morning would be the best time for visibility as more snow is expected in the afternoon. However even before first lifts the snow was already falling and the cloud had come in. Visibility wasn’t great.

If you have never been to Meribel before then we have some good news for you, there are lots of trees. Although very beautiful and make the whole area stunning, to a skier this means something completely different.
Skiing in or near trees breaks up the cloud and makes the visibility much better, a handy thing to remember in a white out or fog!

 

We skied all over the valley today, up high to down low and although the cloud was thicker at the top there wasn’t a huge difference.

The snow is actually very good, the resort does a good job of looking after the pistes. With the new fresh stuff falling, next week should be very nice!
Keep an eye out on the weather forecast and get out there early when the blue sky’s back.

 

The 3 Valleys have a great App, it includes a piste map and live stats on which lifts are open. We highly recommend you download to your smartphone.

 

I have had a great week reporting back to you all about the snow conditions as well as my drinking schedule (although I don’t think my boss had that in mind) for the week. I’m not leaving Meribel as my ‘normal’ job of customer services for the SkiGB.com network (which includes MeribelGB.com) is based here. If you see me in my SkiGB.com jacket say Hi!

 

I would love to hear what you thought in our comments below, I will reply as quick as possible. We will be doing this again in the future and include holidaymakers blogs too! If you are interested in writing the odd blog about your days skiing email info@skigb.com with the Subject: Snow Reporter Blogs. I have been told you will get a nice gift! 🙂

 

Before I go, we did finish the day in the Folie Douce and I can confirm alcohol was consumed!

 

 

Day 4 of our Meribel focus

Posted on: February 10th, 2016 by SkiGB

Welcome to day 4 of this week’s run up to half term Meribel focus. I’m sorry we are posting this a little later today, there is a very reason and i would just like to say it wasn’t my fault! More on that later on.

 

Wednesday 10th February 2016

 

Some days when you are on the snow it reminds you why you put up with the bad ski days, today was one of those. Where we saw rain yesterday today was completely different. With the recent snow fall over night the snow conditions have gone from a soggy sloppy mess to bright white fluffy powder.
If you can imagine white candy floss spread over a beautiful landscape, today was a GOOD day!

 

Most of the day though the cloud hung around which at times made the light flat, but every so often the Sun came out and lit up the mountain to give you a perfect view.
Through-out the day it snowed steadily, not too much to stop you seeing but enough to make a difference under the ski.

It was best to keep low and near the trees as higher up it got a little foggy.

Queue were low today and once again the slopes were not too busy so looking after the snow for next week.
The forecast for tomorrow looks like a day you would miss your best friends wedding for, after all no friends on a powder day!

Now back to the reason this post is a little late. I was very happily skiing alone with some friends and they DRAGGED me kicking and screaming to Ront Point (bar on piste) and forced a brownish cold liquid down my throat several times over! I highly recommend you don’t do this as it makes your eye sight blurry and you become wobbly, not fun!

Day 3 of our Meribel Focus!

Posted on: February 9th, 2016 by SkiGB

Welcome to day 3 of our lead up to half term in Meribel, the centre of the 3 Valleys.

 

Tuesday 9th February 2016

 

Before we start the report of Meribel for today we have had a few mentions on Facebook and Twitter that we seem to end up in bars regularly. I think it is important to provide a good cross section of information about Meribel, whether it is the snow condition, news about queues, weather or beer. Tough job this isn’t it!

Today’s report is dominated by wind, no nothing to do with the beans I had for breakfast and the beer last night. This is the type of wind that closes lifts, a lot of lifts!

The Meribel resort information screens pretty much just say ‘Stay in your Valley as you might not make it back’. I am assuming they mean make it back to the Meribel valley rather than never coming back ever again??

There really wasn’t any point of this sign really as they had closed all the lifts that reached the top of all the peaks anyway.

We have come to the conclusion that there must be a black hole in Meribel which transports people to another dimension or somewhere. Upon arrival at the ski lifts in Meribel centre this morning there were only three lifts working, each of these lifts had queues longer than half a dozen football pitches, it wasn’t the best site in the world!
But the funny thing was though once you get up the hill all those people just simply disappeared, the pistes were once again (like yesterday) just mine. Maybe there is a run I don’t know about which everyone wanted to ski? We think that is unlikely because that just doesn’t make sense so it just must be a black hole!

Time for some good news i think, the snow in the morning even half way up the hill was pretty good, I really enjoyed skiing it. If you are heading out next week you will too!

These focus reports are not going to sugar coat the conditions, if you are of a weak disposition you might want to read the rest of this behind your sofa!

After midday the conditions turned from ‘not great’ to ‘worse than not great’. The snow started to get slushy, yes slushy! However I actually like skiing in slush, it’s just wet powder isn’t it?
It wasn’t all bad, at least it wasn’t raining!

Around 13:00 it started to rain. Damn!
With more lifts closing and bars getting fuller by the minute we decided to call it a day and go home for a nice cup of tea.

Right after a couple of pints! 🙂

 

 

Meribel Snow Focus day 2

Posted on: February 8th, 2016 by SkiGB

It’s day 2 of our Meribel and the 3 Valleys build up to half term focus.

 

Monday 8th February 2016

 

The weather forecast looked like it would be one of those days where in the evening beforehand you mutter the words ‘no more beer for me it’s a powder day tomorrow’!

So up nice an early to make first tracks in the ‘powder’ raring to go. You’re probably thinking I’m going to write something like ‘what powder?’ or ‘i really should have had that extra beer last night as today’s snow is pants’!

 

But NO! Not only was powder present it was there with much of its friends. Don’t get me wrong it wasn’t deep enough to flow over your head and can’t breath. But there was best part of a foot of light fluffy heaven so all was good.

But do you know what the best bit was? It seems like people in resort this week don’t want to mess it up as I had first tracks for a couple of hours! And yes I did have a big grin! 🙂

Right so on to the weather and snow conditions, quite the mixed bag today and like a good horror film it doesn’t have a happy ending!

But before that, lets start with the weather in Meribel first thing. As mentioned above we were expecting a nice sunny day but it was quite cloudy, i always think if you are going to give us a cloudy day with flat light you might as well snow too!

Still hit the slopes feeling fresh and by 10:30 the Sun made an appearance, it pushed away all the clouds and showed Meribel in all its snowy glory!

We skied to Courchevel yesterday (see yesterday’s post) so we thought we would go the other way to report back on how Val Thorens was doing.
Big crowds hanging around the resort of Val Thorens as if they were waiting for someone to shout ‘GO!’ before they were allowed to venture further. I didn’t wait for the green light and skipped around the resort testing their powder and creating pretty lines.

Around 13:00 the wind started to show its hand and the flags at the 360 bar (I wasn’t drinking honestly!) were as solid as if they were placed in the North Pole. We decided to get back to the Meribel valley.

If you remember one thing about these little posts it should be this: in the 3 valleys when the wind comes lift start to close down, get in your valley!

It was quite lucky too as wouldn’t you believe it the lifts started to close.

All day the pistes were empty, at times we had them to ourselves. It was if this was the first or last week of the season, where were all the skiers??

We skied on down the Mottaret around 14:00 for a bite to eat, and WOW!
I have lived in the 3 valleys for over 5 years and I have never seen so many people queuing for the three main lifts in Mottaret.

Imagine all the skiers from Courchevel AND all the skiers from Val Thorens all in one place trying to get home and you would be spot on! That is exactly what was happening!

There were some very worried looking faces in the queues. However on the up side the taxi drivers face had big grins!

By about 15:00 it was hard to get out of Meribel, we decided to call it a day. After all the lifts might be closed, but the bar is aways open…

What’s new in Meribel and what’s planned?

Posted on: February 15th, 2015 by SkiGB

You may or may not, depending on how much of a skiing fan you are, know about the big changes that are afoot in the Trois Vallées. This huge area which includes the very best of the European ski resorts including Meribel, Courchevel and Val Thorens is the largest in the world but the last thing the powers that be want to do is rest on their laurels; they want to keep their place at the top of the tree, or mountain.

Meribel has brought even more fame to the area by being the first French ski resort ever to be chosen to host the Alpine World Cup Finals in 2015. This prestigious event which is what every professional skier aims to take part in during their long and gruelling season has put Meribel well and truly in the spotlight across the globe. Millions of viewers are expected to tune into Eurosport to see the often death defying exploits by virtuosos of the piste.

“Over €60m are being invested in the area between now and 2022”

One of the best known skiing areas of Meribel is Mottaret and it is here the biggest changes are being made. Over €60m are being invested in the area between now and 2022 and when completed its fair to say that the Trois Vallées will be leaving the rest of the world trailing even further behind.

So what are these big changes?

The first one is the creation of a new area dedicated to beginners which is directly adjacent to the resort itself. Over the next 2 years the Mont de Challe area right next to Meribel will be completely transformed with a brand new chairlift, a green piste for beginners, floodlighting and a sled zone.

Both the Table Verte and Arolles chairlifts will be disappearing from the landscape forever and be replaced by the very latest Combes chairlift which serves the entire area. This new lift will have a station mid way to allow beginners to disembark at the top of their new green run. The toboggan run is bound to be hugely successful as those who want their thrills in another way will be able to hurtle around the track without the edge of danger which is always present for the serious skier.

Night time skiing is coming to Meribel thanks to the planned floodlights, so Après-ski, for some anyway, in the resort may actually be skiing! The last change to Mont de Challe will be the creation of an entire new beginners zone that will be equipped with both a draglift and magic carpet lift.

“Night time skiing is coming to Meribel”

There are more major improvements planned for the Mottaret ski area which haven’t been revealed yet. Hervé Lenoire is the director of S3V, the premier ski lift company, and he has spoken about the €60m investment being made with understandable enthusiasm. Some of the planned changes we do know about is the modernisation and renovation of the Chalets Gondola which will take place in 2016/17. The replacement of the double Roc de Tougne draglifts with a new and much faster chairlift will also be taking place in time for the 2016/17 season.

Alpine Skiing World Cup Finals in Meribel 2015

Posted on: February 1st, 2015 by SkiGB

Whether your idea of fun is hurtling down the mountain side at break neck speeds or not there are few sporting events quite as thrilling as watching the experts at work. TV coverage is all very well to but to experience the buzz that cuts through the frozen air like a hot knife through butter you need to be there in person.  If you planning on getting off the couch and onto the piste the Alpine Ski World Cup finals at Meribel are just around the corner.

Between the 18th and 22nd of March 2015 the elite members of the skiing world will take to Meribel’s competitive Roc de Fer slope to thrill viewers across the globe with their daring exploits. This will be the first time this prestigious event has ever been held in Meribel and this premier French resort has gone all out to make it a week to remember.  It is the biggest event to take place on these pristine slopes since the 1992 Winter Olympics at Albertville. It is also the first time a French resort has been given the honour of hosting the World Cup Finals, making Meribel THE place to become March.

The World Cup Finals is the culmination of the highly competitive ski season and is the one everyone wants to win.  The top 25 skiers who have excelled in each of the 4 disciplines will be taking part in one final competition hoping to lift the highly coveted crystal globes. Competitors from 20 countries will be taking part in the downhill, slalom, giant slalom and Super-G and after one of the most exciting seasons is recent times competition has never been so fierce, or the field so open.

Considered to the blue ribbon event, the downhill will start near the summit of Roc de Fer with the other disciplines starting from progressively lower points.  Every competitor will cross the finish line at la Chaudanne, slap bang in the centre of the resort and those lucky enough to secure a prime spot will experience both the elation and the disappointment as each competitor checks their times on completion.  This is also the best view point to catch the best of the action for the team and slalom events where there will be both giant screens and grandstands.

If you want to see the best of the downhill and the Super-G then you want to head for the Cherferie tunnel which is the point where the piste on the Roc de Fer crosses over the Gelinotte piste. This viewpoint allows you to get close to the action and see part of the course. Meribel have also said there will be giant TV screens at this point, commentary via loud speakers and a bar to give you Aprèsski  par excellence.

The programme kicks off on Wednesday the 18th March with both the men and the women’s downhill.  The next day is dedicated to the Super-G for both sexes and the team events take place on Friday 20th. The weekend is taken up with the men’s giant slalom on the Saturday and the last day, Sunday 22nd, sees the men’s slalom and women’s giant slalom bring the event to a close.

If you want to combine your winter break with the World Cup Finals then the good news is that although there are an extra 70,000 visitors expected (the resort has predicted) the competition will have little impact on recreational skiing.  The Roc de Fer actually only accounts for a very small amount of the actually ski area on offer at Meribel and thanks to its enviable position at the heart of Les Trois Vallées there is still more than enough space to partake in your favourite sport.

Key Stats

  • 85 Million potential viewers
  • 10 live TV broadcast on Eurosport international, ORF, ZDF, RAI Sport, NTV Plus, RTV Slovénie, SRF, SVT 1, RSI, Eurosport Asie
  • 9 World Cups in one week
  • 25 of the best men and ladies athletes from each discipline
  • 70 000 spectators expected throughout the week
  • 400 volunteers
  • 300 media accreditations

The Full Programme

  • Wednesday 18th : Descent Ladies & Men
  • Thursday 19th : Super-G Ladies & Men
  • Friday 20th : Team event
  • Saturday 21st : Slalom Ladies / Giant Slalom Men
  • Sunday 22nd : Slalom Men / Giant Slalom Ladies

The Slope

  • Name of the course : “Roc de Fer” downhill
  • Orientation : the top part faces East ; middle part East-North/East ; final part East
  • Starting gate : « Sous le Petit Col », altitude 2150m
  • Finish line : Plateau de la Chaudanne, altitude 1432m
  • Vertical drop : 718m
  • Length : 2355m
  • Slope : maximum inclination 58% ; minimum inclination 7% ; average slope 30%
  • Access : the lower part of the course is accessible using 2 chairlifts: Plan de l’Homme (capacity : 2400 pers/hr) and Roc de Fer (1500 pers/hr) and the start of the downhill by the Olympic Express (1500 pers/hr). Above the Super G start, a 50 m tunnel allows tourists and spectators a safe circulation
  • Start area: « Sous le Petit Col », 200m North and below the top station of the Olympic Express chairlift
  • Finish area: Chaudanne plateau. Around the racers’ finish area, separate easily accessible positions have been prepared for the press, radio and TV commentators as well as for the public

 

 

Ski Season 2014 – 2015 Resort opening Dates

Posted on: August 16th, 2014 by SkiGB

The summer is coming to an end which means only one thing, it’s time to think about this years ski season!

The ski resorts of the 3 Valleys have released their opening and closing dates for this season, here they are:

 

Val Thorens: 22nd November 2014 to 10th May 2015

Les Menuires: 6th December 2014 to 24th April 2015

Mottaret: 6th December 2014 to 24th April 2015

Meribel: 6th December 2014 to 24th April 2015

La Tania: 13th December 2014 to 24th April 2015

Courchevel 1850: 6th December 2014 to 24th April 2015

Courchevel 1650: 6th December 2014 to 24th April 2015

Courchevel 1550: 6th December 2014 to 24th April 2015

Courchevel 1300: 6th December 2014 to 24th April 2015

 

There you have it, if you would like to see what apartments are available to stay in head over to Apartments for Rent page!

 

Meribel Ski Resort Lift Opening Times – 2014 – 2015

Posted on: August 16th, 2014 by SkiGB

What better way to start off a new website than to announce the opening dates for the coming season in Meribel.

At the start of season the lifts open at 9am until around 4:30pm, as the season continues they open the ski lifts longer.

 

Meribel Ski Lifts will open on 6th December 2014 and will close on the 24th April 2015

 

The summer is coming to an end so time to start thinking about booking your ski holiday!

Cheap Eurostar Train Tickets to France

Posted on: July 29th, 2014 by SkiGB

We know we are all in the swing of summer and not really thinking too much about this coming winter ski season (unless you are like us when we are counting the days!).

We have have been quiet over the last couple of months working on new things for this season but when something important happens we have to break our silence.

Every year Eurostar release early-bird cheap tickets for the coming winter ski season, these are often a lot cheaper and get bought up VERY quickly! The time is upon us once again so get prepared and get up early to buy your cheap Eurostar tickets, here are the details you need:

 

Date of Ticket Release: 31st July 2014

What do you need to do?:

  1. These tickets go very quickly, we mean within hours possibly minutes for school holidays so have the dates you want ready.
  2. Also have a couple of reserve dates ready in case your first choice has already gone.
  3. Get up early and be on the Eurostar website at the right time and keep refreshing your browser when you are close to the release time. Doing this you will see the BUY button quickly.
  4. Make sure you have enough money in your bank account (maybe have a spare card just in case).

You don’t have a lot of time (going by the previous few years) so if you need confirmation from friends/family to see if they are going, you should have this sorted in advance!!

Now that you have the travel sorted don’t forget to look at our early bird prices for accommodation for Courchevel Apartments, Meribel Apartments and Val Thorens Apartments.

Our new website and service is coming very soon so follow us on Twitter, Facebook or this blog and we will keep you informed.

Here is the all important link to the Eurostar Ticket website and good luck! :

The 3 Valleys in the Summer

Posted on: May 11th, 2014 by SkiGB

Just because most of the snow has left us for a while (the glacier will still have some snow on it but sadly not enough to ski on) the 3 valleys is still a wonderful place to visit. In fact in July the sun is out and it’s a beautiful place to be.

Many of the SkiGB.com staff visit Val Thorens and Meribel over the summer to get a tan (oh yes that’s possible!!), relax and take in the stunning views.

If this is something you would like to experience yourself here is a run down of the each of the resorts opening dates:

 

Val Thorens, Les Menuires and Courchevel

All three of these resorts will be opening their lifts from 6th July until 29th August 2014.

 

Meribel

Meribel will be opening their lifts from 29th June until 29th August 2014.

 

Details on links about lift passes can be found here on our Val Thorens Lift Pass page.

Michael Schumacher in Ski Accident in Meribel 

Posted on: December 29th, 2013 by SkiGB

Seven times Formula 1 champion Michael Schumacher was involved in a skiing accident in Meribel this Sunday 29th December around 11am. He was skiing with his 14 year old son off piste and hit his head on a rock. Fortunately he was wearing a helmet otherwise the injuries would have been worse.
They were skiing in the La Dent de Burgin ski area.
He was airlifted to the local hospital in Moutiers but was discharged fairly quickly afterwards.
This is the latest incident this week with the recent avalanches and highlights the importance of wearing a helmet when skiing or snowboarding.

 

* Update 30th December 2013
Since the initial accident and check up at Moutiers hospital Michael has been moved to Grenoble Hospital, which is the main hospital on the area. They have now induced Michael into a coma they have concerns with his brain and is in ‘critical condition’.
Are thought are with him and his family. We will update this post as and when we have more news.
* Update 30th December 2013 11am

Latest news from the doctors in Grenoble Hospital where Michael Schumacher is being treated. They are saying it is too early to say what condition Michael is in until the swelling around his brain has gone down. This is normal practice for brain trauma. They also said that he is still in critical condition and is fighting for his life. Michael is extremely fit for a man in his 20s let alone 40s. We should not under estimate the job the helmet did, without it Michael would not be with us now.
We are not expecting to hear too much now for a day or so until the swelling has gone down. The good news is Michael is in the right place, Grenoble Hospital look after skiers who hurt themselves every day and know what they are doing.

 

* Update 31st December 2013

Last night the Doctors ran a new scan which showed an improved situation, therefore they offered a new operation to the family which was completed last night. Another scan was taken this morning (31st) which showed a slight improvement. The operation last night reduced the pressure on the brain which allowed them to run another scan without putting Michael in danger. This scan showed that the injury has not got worse but a slight improvement, “The situation is better controlled since yesterday” says the Doctor.

 

It is never good to speculate what happened and we do not want to do so here, Michael is a very good skier and to split his helmet he would have needed to be travelling quite fast. There is a lot of rocks about as the snowfall hasn’t provided the deepest of bases in places. It would be very easy to catch a rock and propel you into the air therefore increasing speed.
Whatever happened I’m sure we will learn more in the coming days. It has now been 48 hours since the accident which is normally the most important and he has a slight improvement, we now need him to keep improving.

NEWS on the recent Avalanches in Europe…