Courchevel Resort is a part of the Trois Vallees (Three Valleys), a Winter sports complex of over 600 kilometers of impeccable tracks, modern infrastructure and nature at its best. From the three valleys, Courchevel is the most exclusive, favored by visitors all around the year, because it also offers summer activities. The other two valleys, Meribel and Bellville make of this place a perfect spot to enjoy the snow in different scenarios and difficulty levels.
Inside Courchevel Valley are four different areas. The most exclusive is Courchevel 1850, while Courchevel 1650, Courchevel 1550 and Le Praz are the more accessible options for the satisfaction of all budgets. Le Praz is also a jewel for its historical value, as a perfect example of a little traditional town with the Ducado de Saboya style. The exclusive resort also has an impressive restaurant concentration with Michelin Stars, luxury spas and entertainment centers can also be found.
The legend of Courchevel started 60 years ago. During the 40’s, the Royal Council of Saboya started to promote the construction of this resort in order to expand the zone’s economy. On 1946, the pro-ject was started with an investigation of the zone’s weather conditions. In May of that year the first lift in Courchevel was opened.
Since then, this place has been developing at a fast rate. On the 60’s an Air-port was opened at an altitude of 2,000 meters, making this place a pioneer in alpine flights.
A Ace to Discover
Courchevel is revealed to the visitor little by little, going up on a curved road along beautiful mountains. The trip itself offers great opportunities to enjoy the view and the cultural atmosphere of this region. The ascent is divided in two main parts. First, at an altitude of 1,100 meters, you find yourself with Sait-Bon, a Saboyan typical town. The first hotel in Courchevel, the “Courchevel: Le Lac bleu” was opened here. This historical place has received tourists from all over the world since 1925.
Further ahead, on the same road, you will find the Ville of Le Praz, at an altitude of 1,300 meters. From here you can see the highest peak of the Sa-boya region, the Grande Casse (3,855 meters), and the Olympic ski jump ramp. Before continuing with the journey, it is worth taking a few moments to enjoy this colorful town with its traditional architecture. Courchevel 1300 is located here on a plain favored by amazing views in every direction.
Just by walking through the little streets and discovering the traditional chalets you will be transported to another time.
Following the trail you will find the family resort of Courchevel 1550. The atmosphere in this place is very calm, with appropriate servi-ces and infrastructure for visitors of all ages. Further ahead you will reach Courchevel 1650, called “The Sun Trap” with its panoramic views and excellent snow conditions.
At the end of the road you will find the crown jewel of the complex, Courchevel 1850, with numerous tracks descending through beautiful trails. At the very heart of this zone is mount Saulire, reaching a height of 2,738 meters and has visitors from all Three Valleys, known as the world’s biggest ski resort.
Respecting the environment is one of the priorities in the heart of the Three Valleys. Thanks to recent and generous investments, Courchevel has become a place with top of the line technology and philosophy in ecologic conscience. The district is ruled in its totality by the national guidelines of sustainable development. The initiative includes different areas of the environment: habitat, water treatment and waste handling, as well as the transport for all tourist activities. In collaboration with other institutions, Courchevel is the first French resort introducing an emission counting and monitoring system within the local district.
The resort has also installed artificial snow machines without additives, just air and water. This way, when the snow melts it becomes liquid, just like natural snow. Recently, 50 new snow machines were installed, located in Combe de la Saurie, using less water and less energy to become more ecologic.
The Valley has its own water purifying plant. Here the residual water of over 65 thousand people is treated. Besides water, this plant can also treat other waste products, like the oil from the restaurants, the waste from all the cheese productions, etcetera.
Also this resort has numerous facilities for the proper disposal of cigarette butts, to make sure that when the snow melts it doesn’t carry this kind of waste in it.
With its numerous luxury hotels, Courchevel is a resort focused on relaxing. In the hotel Les Airelles an ice cave is located and specially designed to offer new and innovating treatments. Most of the hotels have spas open to the public. Some of the most special spas are les Themes du Carlina Spa, the Hotel du Golf in Manali, the New Solarium and the Palace des Neiges.
Courchevel is famous for its nightlife. The best places to enjoy the aprés-ski atmosphere in Courchevel 1850 are the Jump Bar inside the Croisette Center next to the Hotel de la Croisette and the Bar l’Equipe.
The most famous bars in Courchevel 1650 are the Space Bar, Rocky’s, Bubble Bar and the Moriond Lounge. The Banouf , Chamossa and The Bar in Courchevel 1550.
This place is an original Paradise for the chic French culture. Here you will find a great number of exclusive boutiques: Valentino, Hermes, Prada, Dior, Chloe and Gucci, the biggest names in fashion have a store here. Also located in Courchevel is the famous store “Jasmine”, an exclusive flower shop that offers crystal and home articles brands like Lalique and Baccarat. This is the only flower shop in the world offering these exclusive brands.
Culture and Entertainment
Photo Expo Les Sommetes de l’Image
Sixty photos taken by renamed international figures and selected by Erik Sampers.The photos will be exhibited on the open and in different sizes from 4m2 up to 110 m2. This exhibition can be enjoyed by foot or while skiing in any of the 4 levels of the resort from
December 11 2008 until April 22 2009.
The theme of these photographs is to show the most beautiful landscapes around the world with the purpose of showing how fragile the environment can be.
Main Events for 2009
A hockey game between the Team of Courchevel and the University of Oxford on January 8. Every year this event attracts numerous spectators.
On January 19th and 20th The Women’s Alpine Ski Cup takes place. This will be the third year in a row that Courchevel hosts this event.
On the 21st and 22nd The Men’s Alpine Ski Cup will also take place.
From the 22nd to the 25th the Snow Polo World Cup takes turn, this is the most important competition in this sport. This tournament takes place in the Air-port, allowing free access from the tracks or the freeway.
During the first week of February the International Pyrotechnic Art Festival is celebrated. Every year this event receives experts in Pyrotechnics from all over the world for a great competition.
From the 12th to the 15th of March The Cineski Festival is also celebrated. Where cinema lovers have been coming for more than 4 years, and see the upcoming movies along with their favorite celebrities in the industry.
Where to Stay
Les Suites De La Potiniere
Located at the center of the resort, this new hotel has 15 contemporary designed suites and a 500 m2 apartment. It also has a spa with great facilities.
This place is run by the Tournier Family. It has 85 rooms and suites and it’s the most prestigious luxury hotel in the Alps. To celebrate its 50th Aniversary , the hotel has renewed the facilities with new rooms that combine the most modern of commodities with traditional materials and warm colors. A CLARINS spa has also been designed being one of the most popular.
This small hotel has an very cozy interior design with a chalet style, but it has great quality facilities: spa, temperature regulators for skiing boots, Parking and six individual apartments on the 3rd floor with a private elevator.
As the first luxury hotel in Chourchevel 1650, Le Manali has an excellent location for a family trip. It has 34 rooms and suites.
Les 3 Soeurs
This 230 m2 chalet can accommodate up to 10 people. The rent for this private chalet includes all the hotel services: Housekeeper, cleaning, breakfast; other services can be requested, like a chef or a nanny among others.
Sorbiers and Totara
The Kilimanjaro hotel is made of eight different chalets. Sobiers y Totara are two luxury chalets that can also accommodate up to 10 guests. Both have excellent services, like a chef and a butler. It also offers a luxury vehicle to be used by the guests.
This real estate agency settled in Courchevel specializes in the rent and sales of luxury properties with a hotel service. The company’s slogan is to offer custom made suits to the most demanding clients.
Where to Eat
This luxurious restaurant has two Michelin stars and a very warm alpine atmosphere. Chef Michel Rochedy has an innovating and refined kit-chen with traditional dishes but also original.
Le Bateau Ivre
Another restaurant with two Michelin stars. Located on the 6th floor of the Pomme de Pin Hotel, it has a very impressive crystal structure that allows you to enjoy the beautiful alpine views of Courchevel 1850. The saboyan chef Jean-Pierre Jacob has a cuisine inspired on tradition in a very elegant and refined atmosphere.
After its success in Paris, Enrico Bernardo, has created a second restaurant in Courchevel for the lovers of great food where everything revolves around wine.“Il Vino”, the most recent creation from the world’s greatest Sommelier, is the result of an exhausting work to find the perfect balance between god wine and the most exquisite dishes.
How to Get There
The closest airports to Courchevel are Geneva in Switzerland and Lyon St. Exupery in France. There are several ground transportation services from this airports. A good option to get there from Mexico is to fly with Air France to Paris and then continue to Lyon St. Exupery.
The currency in France is the Euro that is divided in 100 cents. There are 500, 200, 100, 50, 20, 10 and 5 Euros bills. There are also 1 and 2 Euros coins and 50, 20, 10, 5, 2, and 1 cent coins.
Mexican Citizens do not require a visa for visiting France. It is required to have a passport with at least 90 days before expiring and it is reco-mmended to purchase health insurance before the trip.
The weather in Couchevel is typical from the French Alps, with an average temperature of 0 degrees during winter, and around 15 degrees on the summer, in altitudes that are below 2,000 feet, and for heights above 2, 000 feet the temperature decreases considerably.
The coldest months are from December to Fe-bruary, while the warmest can be found between June and September, these last months are also where frequent raining can be found.
Servicios Especiales de Leisure
Tel: (55) 9138 3023
Conmutador: (55) 9138 3000
Text: Kundalini Muñoz ± Photo: Courchevel Tourisme.