Off Piste Skiing with the Meribel guides. When you arrive pick up a copy of Meribel Unplugged or check their web site.It has all the best tips for skiing and restaurants and nightlife in it. The Rastro Bar on a Tuesday in Mottaret..It really rocks...
" From: www.ski-europe.com "
For keen slope-bashers who dislike tacky purpose-built resorts, Méribel is difficult to beat. It is slap in the middle of the Three Valleys - the biggest inter-linked winter sports area in the world. With 200 lifts and 600 km of slopes, and endless off-slope possibilities, it is difficult to be bored in a fortnight here. Fans of Courchevel and Val-Thorens sniff at Méribel's local slopes, but since Mont Vallon and the top of the valley were opened up some years ago, Méribel can stand comparison on most counts.
Méribel is built entirely in tasteful chalet-style, with wood siding everywhere. And the center is very pleasant with raised walkways by the shops above the one-way road. The village has grown rapidly in recent years and now spreads widely over the mountainside. It is very popular with British visitors, many of whom own chalets here. And English can be more commonly heard than French on the slopes and in the bars. It remains decidedly upscale and it's not cheap. But regular visitors love it and wouldn't be seen anywhere else.
+ In the center of the biggest linked slope network in the world - ideal for intermediates who love covering the miles, but plenty for experts, too
+ Modern, constantly improved lift system means little waiting and rapid access to all slopes
+ Good slope grooming and snowmaking
+ Village purpose-built in pleasing chalet-style architecture
– Main village spread out, straggling along a long, winding road, with much of the accommodation well away from the slopes
– Méribel-Mottaret satellite is rather lifeless
– Not the place to go for any sensation of being a traveler in France
– Not the best snow in the Three Valleys, and trails can get crowded
"Meribel 2004 season"
Skiing & Riding
Meribel is a really great resort. We managed to do the whole season last year and managed to learn snowboarding and skiing from absolute beginner to very good skier and reasonable snowboarder. You really need a 3 Valley pass unless you are a beginner for just one week's holiday. There are two snowboard parks here plus others in Courchevel, Les Menuires and Val Thorens.Meribel is THE place to stay but the best area for skiing must be Courchevel. But anyway you can reach any of the other resorts in about 30 minutes so from Meribel you have such a wide choice every day.
Many people complain about crowds here but that is only New Year and French School Holidays "2nd week of Feb for one month".
Unless you have children you would be crazy to come at this time. It's true. Thousands of kids and crowded lifts and pistes. But all the rest of the season it's a dream.From the first weekend after new year till 7th Feb it is empty on the slopes and often the best snow of the season.(and the lowest prices) In April it is the same.often fabulous snow ,hot sun and the slopes are empty.Last minute deals are always available at about half price.It’s the biggest ski area in the world with nearly 400 miles of fabulous long pistes, and almost no queues anywhere. I met one American who said the 3 valleys were the equivalent of 20 of their average resorts all rolled in to one.
A Guide to Meribel
It can be expensive here so be careful.
A group of Meribel season workers have created a free guide to Meribel and its really great. Have a look at their web site for loads of inside information on cheap accommodation, restaurants, bars and apres-ski and everything you can think of in Meribel. Even season work too. (meribel-unplugged.co.uk). This web site is essential reading for anyone on any kind of a budget. We never paid more than about £10 for a meal with wine all season. (But we did hear some real horror stories from some tourists so be careful).In town near Jacks bar is the best sandwich bar in Meribel,Gourmadine. A giant Hot Pannini for €5 big enough for two.Also does the most fantastic takeaway roasted chicken.
On the Mountain:
If you have got kids "NEVER" let them be seduced in to ordering a "LARGE" coke. You might end up with a giant litre glass at about £11.00 or more.We have seen it happen!!! Beer is expensive too (£2-£2-50 for small 25cl )!! Red wine is the cheapest option everywhere.It is posible to get good value meals on the mountain but you can also get ripped off too.When you get to Meribel go straight to a bar and pick up that season workers guide.Then you will find out all the best value places.
Apres Ski & Nightlife.
The apres-ski is not as good as Austria, but still great for France. There are two exceptional places here in the afternoons. The Rond Point in Meribel which has fantastic live bands every afternoon and LDV which is in Meribel Village, a small satellite of Meribel. Both get packed so it's best to get in before the bands start at 5pm.The drinks are also 25% cheaper between 4-5 so get them in before.If you are in a group try a bottle of Toffee vodka.Expensive but dynamite!! Nightlife in Meribel centres around the Pub and Taverne for live music. Plus there are many other bars with normal Pub atmosphere.Dick's Tea Bar is the Brit's favourite disco where all the chalet girls go.
Up in Mottaret there is just one disco The Privilege which can be very good especially on Tuesdays. Le Rastro bar in Mottaret has a famous Tuesday night rock party with everybody dancing on the tables and they all head off to the disco at throwing out time.
All in all I would say that it is a wonderful resort suitable for all levels.
On the slopes above Meribel-Mottaret