Meribel Travel Guide
Member Reviews (5)
- MeribelMember ofLocal CultureOutdoor EnthusiastsBusiness Travelers+ 5Jan 19, 2013
The best ski resort in France! Of the 3 areas in les trois vallee, meribel is by far my favorite. Charming and unmarred by the sort of ugly new development one sees too much of in courchevel and Val thorens, meribel is a dream to visit. The food on the mountain is incredible, but be prepared to ski out of meribel and into the other two valleys, if you are searching for seriously challenging skiing and are not yet prepared to ski off piste. Off piste adventures in meribel are incredible, but not for the faint of heart, or anyone new to skiing. I adore the grand coeur and the service is beyond sublime, without being pretentious.
- MeribelDec 06, 2012
Meribel ski resort sits between Val Thorens and Courchevel in the Three Valleys ski area (which by the way is worlds biggest). Some of the accommodation offers very easy access to the slopes. And even if you aren't actually staying here, but in one of the neighboring villages, it's a nice place to stop by for a coffee.
- MeribelJul 04, 2012
A few friends and I went skiing in Meribel a few winters ago and absolutely loved it. It's a long way to go for Americans, but as a California girl who grew up skiing at North Star, I can categorically say that the experiences are completely different, from the actual skiing to the atmosphere, so if you happen to be in Europe in the winter do consider a trip to the French Alps!
We used a package holiday with Direct Ski via STA, which most likely ended up cheaper and definitely easier in the long run, as they sort out things like gondola and lift passes, the bus transfer to and from Geneva, and ski rentals. It turned out we were staying nowhere near the actual slopes - probably why it was so affordable - but given the price we were paying, we expected the self-catered accommodation we were allocated to be an absolute hole! Instead, we got the Résidence Cybèle, in Brides les Bains. It was spacious, all wood paneling, with a functioning stove (crucial!) and even a balcony.
Brides les Bains itself is quiet and the biggest thing it has going for it is the gondola up to the Meribel valley. Meribel itself is a nice place to ski, but definitely look into upgrading to a Trois Vallées pass - Courchevel had a great touch of slightly shabby, old-world European glamour. Val Thorens, the newest of the three ski resorts, ended up being our favourite, with some of the highest runs on the Glacier de Peclet and Glacier de Thorens overlooking stunning views.
I think skiing in the Alps is harder than in the Californian Sierra Nevadas - in the Alps you're often above the tree line, and there are speedy French and Italian skiiers kitted out in chic Chanel ski gear whizzing past you all the time - but I'm not the most confident skier so others may have different experiences. Also, there's nothing like being two valleys over from the gondola you need to catch back down 15 minutes from sunset and closing time to light a fire under your ski suit!
This was a budget trip, clearly, so we ate out only once, in the restaurant opposite the apartments. No trip to Savoy is complete without raclette and tarte tatin. Mostly, though, we made our own food. Résidence Cybèle had a baker selling fresh baguettes in the foyer every morning, so we made sandwiches to take with us each day with extras we bought from the local Spar, and brought Milka bars for dessert. I don't think there's anything better than enjoying camembert and baguette at 3000m, goggles pushed back on your head, enjoying the sun with the Alps laid out beneath your skis.
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