Courchevel - the most glamorous, celebrity filled ski resort in the world
PUBLISHED: 17:02 02 January 2013 | UPDATED: 22:36 20 February 2013
A Wilmslow man who runs a ski school in beautiful Courchevel says it's the most glamorous winter resort in the world WORDS BY SAM BURROWS PHOTOGRAPHY: Toffao @Latania.co.uk
There are numerous reasons why Courchevel can be considered the most glamorous, celebrity filled ski resort in the world: it has the best skiing, the best restaurants and views of Mont Blanc that will literally take your breath away.
Having lived in Courchevel for the past ten years and having skied in many other resorts in the world, I can tell you that nowhere has groomed slopes quite like the perfect corduroy of Courchevel.
If you are a beginner, then there are plenty of wide, open pistes upon which you can perfect your technique - without the worry of too many other people getting in your way!
For intermediates, the resort offers perfect blue runs which criss-cross the valley, meaning you can certainly cover some miles. If you are looking for a decent mornings skiing, follow Folyeres, a tree lined run which leads to the small village of La Tania (the purpose-built competitor village for the 1992 Albertville Olympics). After a hot chocolate stop at the Ski Lodge, ski the blue runs over to Courchevel 1650 and you will usually find some crowd-free, cruisey blues.
For the advanced skier, there is plenty of incredible off-piste terrain as well as the rest of the biggest ski area in the world to explore Les Trois Vallees. However, the first test is the marked off-piste run - The Grand Couloir, which is often deep in powder snow. Once that is conquered, then Courchevels untouched terrain could take you away from the lifts, to places where you might not see another human being for the whole day.
When skiing around the resort you might come across the Altiport. Voted one of the most dangerous airport landings in the world, at only 525 metres long you can ski right above it and watch the daring pilots take off into the valley and pop up out of the other side! This is where much of the celebrity spotting can be done as the rich and famous land in resort either by helicopter or plane. In fact, the runway was famously used for some of the opening scenes of James Bonds, Goldeneye.
If youre looking for somewhere to stay, then my insiders tip would be to stay at Les Peupliers Hotel in the quintessentially French village of Courchevel 1300 otherwise known as Le Praz. This boutique hotel offers fantastic food and service as well as the best Vin Chaud in the whole of Les Trois Vallees.
Courchevel 1850 boasts many Michelin starred restaurants but if you are looking for something extra special The Chabichou Hotel is a beautiful, white hotel sitting at the base of the race piste. It has a double Michelin star restaurant, but as of last winter it opened a sister restaurant called the Chabotte Bistrot which has the hotels chefs cooking your meal at a snippet of the price! Finally, if youre looking to party with the glamorous then head to La Grange, one of Courchevels nightclubs. Alternatively, jump on the frequent bus to Courchevel 1650 for live music and a party with the seasonnaires.
People occasionally question the pricing of Courchevel but to me you cannot put a price on perfection. Hopefully Ill see you out there this winter.
Sam Burrows is Director of SnowLimits Ski School, Courchevel and La Tania (firstname.lastname@example.org). Photography by Toffa