Following my recent post about the affluence in Monaco, I though I’d write a quick article about Courchevel 1850, which is the wintersport equivalent of Monaco.
My wife and I went to Courchevel in 2008, and it was an experience we will never forget. When we arrived at the Geneva airport, it was snowing, and the taxi up to 1850 was absolutely terrifying because of the mass of falling snow. Sitting in a taxi with no snow chains and goingvery high up a narrow steep road was not one of my favorite moments.
Needless to say, we arrived at our hotel, Hotel Des Trois Vallees, an absolutely immaculate hotel which catered to all of our needs and more. I really can’t praise this hotel enough; the staff were perfection itself and the food was to die for! It was a ski-in ski-out hotel situated right in the heart of 1850.
Courchevel 1850 is part of the 3 Vallees, which has unrivaled skiing opportunities for all skill levels. We had a 3 Vallees pass and during the week that we used to its full potential, skiing as far as Val Thorens. Whilst we were there the weather was great: it seemed to snow slightly at night and was sunny every day. I actually skied in my t-shirt one afternoon.
The amount of skiing available can be a bit daunting, but I would suggest that you plan to get to one resort per day and just take your time to enjoy the cafes and restaurants on the mountain. We also took a picnic up one day and just stopped off piste, which was brilliant.
Courchevel 1850 has a reputation for being expensive, and it’s a reputation well earned. Everything is expensive and caters to the richer among us, from the stupidly priced restaurants right down to a bottle of coke.
If you like to do a bit of celebrity spotting whilst you ski then definitely go to Courchevel. We ended up chatting to Lee Dixon (ex Arsenal player) in Le Bar Jump one day, and apparently the Beckhams were in town, but we never saw them.
Courchevel 1850 is a definite ‘must see’ which rivals Monaco for sheer opulence and rich people. If you would like to ski Courchevel 1850 then you can do it on a budget by not actually staying in 1850, and just visiting it, as long as you have a 3 Vallees ski pass. A good place to do this from is Le Praz, a small village further down the mountain that is much cheaper.