Flora and Mike Ski the Three Valleys

For early season snow and bluebird skies most people wouldn’t dream of mentioning Meribel. At 1400 metres, it doesn't have the makings for good early conditions. But on our recent trip here, we were pleasantly surprised.

Flora and I had the pleasure of staying in the beautiful chalet Phoebe in Meribel in early December. The chalet was absolutely fantastic and we had to be dragged (literally in some cases!) out of the front door when it was time to leave. After starting off getting on the wrong plane and blagging my way to Val Thorens, I was eventually met by our rep Haigham, who showed us around two brilliant ski in/ ski out chalets – the Catherine and the Olivier. The lovely terraces overlook the piste, and the warm welcome of coffee and cake was much appreciated after the journey. The chalets are a short walk into the town centre of Val Thorens and its nightlife. They offer a short ski down to the Plein Sud lift, giving us a head start on the fresh powder. Comfortable bedrooms and a sauna will give you a good rest after a day on the slopes.<--break- />

 Chalet Phoebe's Stunning Hot Tub

Next stop was Meribel, where we were met by our hosts Jill and Kit, who were absolutely fantastic. We were greeted by a roaring log fire, a glass of Kir and some more coffee and cake. The rooms were spacious and clean, and the lounge area, with its comfy sofas in front of the open fire makes a fantastic location to swap tales of the day's skiing. Before dinner, a scheduled trip to the outdoor hot tub was organised. We sat back and enjoyed the views over Meribel, before being summoned for a tasty and much needed dinner.

Day two began with a look around the Chalet Hotel Alba in Meribel. This child friendly chalet hotel is almost ski in/ski out, being 20 metres away from the Doron piste and 25 metres from the famous apres ski venue, the Rond Point. From here, you can take the Adret chairlift, or ski down to the resort centre, and take your pick from one of the largest ski areas in the world. The Chalet Hotel Alba boasts lovely, comfortable rooms with a great lounge bar to relax and take in a few drinks before a lovely dinner in the dining room, from which there are great views over the pistes and valleys.

Ski-in Ski-out Chalet Courchevel 1850

The Ski-in Ski-out Crystal 2000 in Courchevel 1850
The Ski-in Ski-out Crystal 2000 in Courchevel 1850
From here, we took on the arduous task of skiing down to Courchevel. After a good afternoon skiing the well groomed slopes of Courchevel 1850, and several detours courtesy of Flora, we arrived at our next stop, the Chalet Hotel Crystal 2000 in Courchevel 1850. A new addition to our list this year, the Crystal 2000 has a superb piste side location, with the Pralong lift being a 200 metre ski away.
We got a chance to see the childrens' Snow Club in action, and they were having a great time in the dedicated nursery on site and on the terrace playing in the snow. Next stop was lunch in 1850, where, like typical tourists, we demolished tartiflettes, burgers and steak tartares and spent the rest of the day exploring Courchevel and Meribel, before a necessary stop at the Rond Point to sample the vin chauds, beers and apres ski band.

Ski Chalets in Alpe d'Huez

Day 3 began with a slightly fuzzy head, and we were off to check out some of the brand new chalets in Alpe D’Huez. A few detours in Grenoble, up the famous Tour De France route into Alpe D’Huez and straight to the brand new Chalet La Breche. This chalet is something special. A ski in ski out chalet in Alpe D’Huez, with a hot tub and state of the art infra-red sauna. The rooms look over the slopes, and the spacious lounge with wood burning fire looked a fantastic base. Next were the Chalets Christian and Phillipe. These two properties are a short walk from the lifts, and were very well received by the group. Our final visit was to the the Chalet Hotel Mariandre, a great child friendly chalet with a huge lounge. The family suites are enormous, and the penthouse suite on the top floor is a definite recommendation!

This was followed by a sortie on to the slopes of Alpe D’Huez, and with the fast lifts, wide pistes, and great snow we were really spoilt. Back to Meribel, and the worst part of the trip was packing our suitcases before heading to dinner one last time. After one last visit to the local watering holes and the (in)famous Dicks Tea Bar, we walked in to a breakfast spread before we left for the transfer to the airport. A massive thank you to Haigham, who, despite nursing man flu, made our trip memorable. Also a massive thank you to Jill and Kit who were absolutely fantastic all week. Having never been to Meribel before, my view on the resort was mixed, but I left with a growing desire to go back sooner rather than later!

A week at Chalet Phoebe starts at £814pp for the remaining  availability this season and is available from £559pp next season. If you'd like more information on any of the chalets or resorts mentioned above then please give us a ring at our London sales office or visit www.interactiveresorts.co.uk.

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