04 Sep Family Skiing in Courchevel 1850
Courchevel has been battered by negative press over the last few years. As an industry insider and long time resident, I can say that it’s mostly overstated gossip for the sake of salacious articles. There’s no denying, there’s just a few diamond carats of truth to these anecdotes, and yes, it can be far too expensive, even if so called ‘exclusivity’ is the reward. BUT it does not have to be expensive…peel back the Prada facade and there is and will always be one of the best mountains, possibly the best, on the planet for accessible skiing and boarding.
I’m lucky in that I’ve skied a huge number of European resorts – it’s work that someone has to do! From this experience I have learnt that I have been utterly spoilt by living in the winter wonderland that is Courchevel. I am yet to find another resort with such easy access to the skiing; ‘stepping out of bed onto the slopes’.
Now living back in the UK and with a new family of my own, we decided that Courchevel would be where we would do our first family ski trip. And it was incredible – the little ones (4 & 5 years old) took just one morning on the magic carpet before they were off. It’s as if huge number of blue and green runs that all lead back to 1850 were designed perfectly for beginners by the last ice age. With the kids at ski school, we skied off to enjoy youthful flashbacks of hurtling down groomed red runs and even the grand couloir to really dust off the office cobwebs.
Regarding the expense of the resort, well we hugely enjoyed the climbing wall in the forum, the ice rink, the kids fun park at Verdons, the play zone in the Croisette – most of which were completely free. The ski pass, ski school and rental hire were the same cost as other major resorts in France , Austria and Switzerland.
We stayed in a ski in/ski out chalet in Courchevel 1850. The food and drinks were all included. So we bought a few lunches, but by avoiding a few Courchevel destination restaurants we avoided the clichés and really great food at realistic prices.
We saw the odd limousines and a few celebrities, but this only added to holiday. I hope the next articles on the resort focus on what matters – the brilliance of the location and the welcome we received by the often bemused locals would be a good start!
Richard Lumb – Director