Review of Courchevel

17th April 2007 by Matt Valentine 

8th - 15th April 2007
We stayed at Les Avals chalet hotel in Courchevel 1650 with Ski Olympic. The hotel is in need of refurbishing and I question the cleanliness of the towels (smelt funny and we bought our own after day 2). However the hotel had a great location in 1650, and was across the road from the escalator directly to the slopes.

The slopes are fantastic. There was plenty of snow, although we rode the gondola down to 1650 at the end of the day as the snow was getting very slushy and patchy.

We are average intermediate skiers all in our 30s. We had a ski instructor with ESF 1650, Claude, for 2.5 hours of private lesson every day, and he was fantastic, joking around all the time and he taught us a great deal. He took us off-piste for our first time on day 2, taking us across a thin path from the top of the Chanrossa, and walking to the top for around 10 minutes, before skiing down the other side into the Avals valley. Fantastic views and gave us a taste of off-piste.

Within the 6 days of skiing we pretty much covered the whole of the ski area in Courchevel and down to La Tania, bar maybe 10 or 15 runs. Our favourites were: the blue Pyramide and Grande Bosses are easy runs above 1650. The Jean Pachod red was great fun although got quite choppy by the end of day, as so did Park City and Rama, both reds.

Our favourite lunch stop was Bel Air above 1650, although you had to book. It was fairly reasonable and the Bel Air salad is gorgeous. The Casserole at the bottom of the Signal chair lift was a rip off, with three cokes a bottle of water and three mars bars costing 30 Euros. The food menu seemed about 10 Euros more than Bel Air. We ate a couple of days at the bottom of the Gondola in L’Ours Blanc (under the Hotel Golf); this was good food although the service was a little slow.

Getting around the mountain was very easy, well sign posted and all the runs usually had a choice of where to go.

In the evenings we mainly went to the Rocky’s Bar (below Les Avals hotel) and watched the football or cricket, or went to Bubble’s up the road. Rocky’s Bar is non-smoking so that was our preferred choice. We ate out for two nights in Les Cimes Blancs, next to Bubbles. This was very well priced and the Savoyard food was gorgeous, as were the pizzas.

Would we go back? Definitely, and want to next year.

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