The glamorous options of Courchevel
Courchevel is one of the largest and highest-altitude ski resorts on the French side of the Alps. The entire area is part of the Savoie region, just outside the Vanoise National Park, and since 1946, when the first ski lifts were built, has become one of the most renamed ski resorts in the world. Courchevel is divided into 4 villages, each with its own characteristics, from the most charming to those most suitable for families, from the super exclusive to the most affordable. Courchevel is the youngest and most sporty, but at the same time also very chic and a gathering place for celebrities and not from all over the world.
Starting the climb
Saint Bon Tarentaise
Firstly you meet Saint Bon Tarentaise, at 1100 meters above sea level, here was founded the first hotel that inaugurated the fortune of this French holiday destination. Going up you go to Le Praz, or Courchevel 1300, in fact all the localities bear the same name with the addition of the altitude. It is a typical mountain village, with a pleasant old town, crossed by winding streets, but it is above all a renowned ski area thanks to the presence of Olympic trampolines. Further up you will find Courchevel 1550, ideal for families seeking comfort, and tranquility with slopes suitable for children. Going up again you get to Courchevel 1650, also called Moriond, with simple and relaxing slopes. Finally you arrive in the highest area of the country and the most glamourous, Courchevel 1850, a real jewel of luxurious tourist facilities, even more splendid thanks to the magnificent panorama that can be enjoyed from these altitudes on the nearby mountains.
Where to stay
Hotel La Sivoliere is situated in the heart of the forest at only a ten minute walk from the city center of Courchevel 1850. La Sivoliere is a 5 star hotel, connected with a snow-white environment, combining alpine tradition and contemporary design. The hotel displays the true Savoy style of wood and stone nestled among snowy pines in the heart of Courchevel 1850. Superb panoramic views take in the resort nestling below and the surrounding mountains.
The hotel has 35 rooms and 20 of them have been totally renovated this year: it is mix British comfort, shimmering and colourful velvet, wood and stone. The bathrooms are also redone and each new suite has a steam shower. All the rooms have an incredible and warm light with a view of the village, the slopes or the forest. Le 1850 Be Organic is the gourmet restaurant of La Sivoliere, run by the chef native of Carpentras, Bilal Amrani. Intimate and cozy, the restaurant welcomes guests into a homey atmosphere to enjoy the unique cuisine of Chef Bilal Amrani, while the dancing flames from the fire place and the logs artfully decorate the walls.
After a long day’s skiing, relax yourself in the wellness area or taking a swim in the pool area. The relaxation area includes a balneotherapy and counter-current swimming pool, steam room, sauna, massage room and a fitness room equipped with cardio-training machines. The Mini Sivo Club is a wonderful service for kids and children, offering a personalised welcome, children’s currency, a special supper table and fantastic play area.
In the winter season, Courchevel is an integral part of one of the largest ski areas in the Alps, namely Les Trois Vallées, which includes 600 kilometers of slopes and 200 ski lifts. In 1971, Le Trois Vallées, namely Val Thorens, Méribel and Courchevel, were finally linked together to form the largest ski area in the world, mainly with slopes at altitudes above 2.000 meters, where snow is always guaranteed. Considering only the Courchevel valley, the kilometers of slopes are 150, while for cross-country skiing there are 132 kilometers of tracks, of which 66 are just in Courchevel.
Several Winter Options
For the beginners there are areas called Zen, with 27 green slopes and 44 blue slopes, while professionals or more adventurous skiers can enjoy the 38 red and 10 black slopes of the ski area. Other themed equipment that make learning a pleasant experience are: the Stop zone to refine the braking ability, the avalanche field, where you train to look for the people left under an avalanche, the Indian track, and the fairy track of the Carabosse fairy for the little ones, also in the area there is a family park under the Verdons cableway. The variety of routes make this place one of the best mountain destinations in the world, many visitors come specifically to ski in Courchevel, but in reality this is also an excellent point of passage as the lifts connect quickly to the other three locations of the three Valleys, such as Meribel or Val Thorens.
Vanoise National Park
Whatever the location chosen, depending on your taste, a long holiday or a short weekend in Courchevel, will give something unexpected, as it offers not only ski slopes, but especially in spring or summer you can immerse yourself in a natural landscape that it has no equal in the Vanoise National Park. It is a protected area twined with the Italian Gran Paradiso, which offers endless hiking and mountaineering possibilities, with 107 peaks exceeding 3.000 meters of altitude.
How to reach
To reach Courchevel you can use the Courchevel Airport, which has entered fully into the world’s weird and most dangerous airports. It is a small airport nestled in the Alps, with a very short track, only 525 meters and with an important inclination. To take off or land without problems you have to be real experts, but approaching the village with small airplanes or private helicopters is really a unique experience where you can admire the beautiful setting of the Alps. And you, would you landing here? Watch this video