Courchevel 1850 has a reputation for being one of the most glamorous and chic resorts in Europe, attracting the rich and famous. Prices tend to reflect this! However, it has excellent facilities for everyone, which will keep the whole family occupied after you have finished skiing. Courchevel 1850 provides the most direct access from the gondola lifts to the rest of the Three Valleys.
Facilities include an ice-skating rink, a ten pin bowling alley, an indoor climbing wall, and a floodlit luge track. There are also numerous shops to suit all tastes.
Courchevel Moriond is only a 5 minute bus ride down from Courchevel 1850, and is a quieter and less expensive resort. There are three minimarkets in Moriond which are always well stocked; two are close to our Ariondaz apartment, the third is very close to Le Marquis, and they stock just about everything you could possibly need during your stay, including a wide range of good wines and beers at reasonable prices. There are several boulangeries and pâtisseries, where you can buy mouth wateringly fresh bread, croissants and pastries.
Various other interesting shops will provide you with an almost endless source of ideas for buying presents and souvenirs of your holiday. You will find several bars and restaurants, including traditional French cuisine, as well as other nationalities. Remember to visit the weekly street market where you can buy local produce, such as Savoie meats, cheeses and wines. It is a good idea to pick up some brochures from the Tourist Office at the beginning of your holiday—this is located near the roundabout, at the centre of the resort.
If you travel down from Courchevel Moriond towards Courchevel Village, you will find a water complex called Aquamotion, which was opened in December 2015. This includes a swimming pool, an outdoor pool which also incorporates a 'lazy river' pool, 110 metre flume, jumping pool, and saunas/jacuzzis. There's also a surfing pool (prior reservation required), and an indoor climbing wall.
If you're visiting with children then you'll be heading straight to the 'Espace Aqualudique' which is a huge area with lots of places to explore. There's a colourful children's area with squirty flowers and a fun slide for the littlest swimmers.
'Serious' swimmers have a 25m lane pool. Exercise classes are run in this part of the pool, such as aqua bike & aqua boxing.
For lounging around, there's a main pool which is lovely and warm and at a standard depth throughout, with bubbly bits at one end and shoulder/neck massage showers. The heated exterior pool is separate to this - you enter on the inside then swim through to the outside, where there are several fun areas such as relaxing bubbly lounger spots, power massage showers and a 'lazy river'. This outside area is lovely even when the snow is falling gently around you, just dunk your head every so often to keep it warm!
Inside, there's a large red luge (hold your nose as you come into the main pool!) which anyone over 1.2m tall can use. There's a 'pentagliss' slide which is fast and furious - anyone over 5 can use this slide. There's also a diving pool which has a small jump and a much higher one. Anyone who dares is allowed to jump, children included!
For grown-ups (over 18) there's a separate 'Espace Wellness' with a darkened salt cave with chromotherapy lights and a projector (yes, really!) You can float around and watch the atmospheric films.
There's a main pool which is both interior and exterior, with bubbly bits and water jets. The sauna and steam room are in this area, with a plunge pool to cool down after your heat treatment.
This area is specifically designed for fun! Water jets allow activities such as wakeboarding, wake surf, wake skate and bodyboarding.
As you'd expect, there are all manner of relaxing options on offer in the Balneo & Spa area - facials, massage and waxing - as well as aqua treatments such as 'hydrojet' massage, seaweed wrap, hot and cold water baths and very fine 'rain' treatments. Prices start at €28, or you can choose from day passes which start at €143 and include various options from the treatment menu.
If you're thinking of going more than once, then there are 18 hour passes available.
Also known as Courchevel 1300, Le Praz is the first of the Courchevel resorts you get to as you drive up the mountain road. Being the lowest resort, it lacks snow towards the end of the season, but you can still get a gondola to take you higher up the mountain. However, it is the largest of the villages, and does have its own attractions. These include the ski jumps, which were originally built for the 1992 Albertville Winter Olympics—remarkably, they have been designed for use even in the Summer, and you can often watch the French teams training throughout the year. They regularly play host to a round of the European Championships, when top class jumpers will thrill you with their amazing jumps!
In the Summer, Le Praz comes alive to an array of activities to suit everyone’s taste, including wakeboarding on the lake. The lake is well stocked with trout and salmon, and you can buy a fishing permit. You can try your hand at parascending too. Le Praz has a delightful number of small street restaurants and bars, and some interesting shops and restaurants amongst its narrow streets.