Le Courcheneige, in Courchevel 1850
We pondered over booking this hotel after stumbling across it in 2016 during a quick lunch pit-stop. Come 2019, we went for it.
Courchevel itself is a pretty spectacular resort when it comes to world class skiing resorts. It has everything, brilliant slopes from easy greens to challenging blacks, a vast array of piste area across the 3 Valleys of Courchevel, Meribel and Val Thorens, along with the glamour of the money fuelled classy vibe it provides.
But not in our opinion, pricey as some people make out. You can do courchevel cheaper if you want to. Airbnb it and self cater, or choose a lower star hotel instead of your £12k a week jobs which is pretty damn ridiculous. The Courcheneige however is a fantastic little find, value for money wise.
The hotel is on the main slope on the way down to the lift stations. You can drive to it, and you can get a bubble lift to just above the hotel with a 100m ski down.
As a family we go Skiing every year. Like most of you reading this review, you probably do (or will) too, so for that reason I'll try offer a comparison amongst the review.
Firstly, whilst this poses as a 3* Hotel, we're generally a family that chooses 4-5* and the only reason we booked was that we visited the hotel personally the season before for a pit stop drink, and noticed how lovely the restaurant/bar area looked. It's a bit of 'Gaucho' mixed with authentic English 'man cave' style which really is smart.
It really should be more like 4* at least so think of it like that, and take comfort in knowing its only NOT 4* because they can't get a swimming pool so it would seem.
The position is perfect. It's right on the Bellcote 'Jardin Alpin' slope so it's exactly ski in/ski out. Plus, the roadway up the resort gets you to the hotel, and underground car park so don't worry that its 'up the slope' and possibly not accessible because it is.
The Hotel also have a free inclusive shuttle service with its own 8 seater transit vans. The driver is great, and really helpful. There's set times to collect/pick up at the main village at 1850 but as we were a family party of 8 he dropped us off exactly where we wanted to go and collected us later too. Really helpful.
We went half term week and was expecting bedlam. It was absolutely fine even when the hotel was fully booked, we could get around in the lift, stairs, boot room, restaurant and bar areas just fine and never struggled to get a seating area for our party of 8. In fact teh whole resort was strangely NOT packed as we expected. It was great!
The hotel staff are truly amazing. Everyone is helpful and attentive.
Fantastic bar/restaurant staff and also the boot room staff need a mention too.... although we opted not to book ski hire with Atalier (the inhouse rental store) we didn't receive any less service than other guests. They were amazingly friendly and helpful. They take your skis/boots in each night into a secure area whether you've hired or have your own. You ask for them in the morning by room number and they bring you the boots. All skis are placed outside the door automatically ready and waiting. It runs like clockwork.
The rooms are the only thing that could bring slight disappointment at a push. The family room north facing was slightly smaller than we'd hoped with a top bunk bed quite 'cosy' on head room. It was borderline fine for our 6yr old but we got on with it and turned it into a bit of 'fun' for her. (She couldnt sit up right and had to crawl in). Be warned to ask for a larger headroom bunk-bed room if you have older children just in case. Other rooms we see were fine.
Whilst the room was smaller than we hoped for £5.5k a week, I have to compare this to other resorts and hotels sensibly and fairly......
I paid similar at Morzine in Champs le Fleuris which was also a lovely hotel right next to the main lift Ski in/out. We got a MASSIVE room there, with separate 2nd bedroom and enough room to host a break dance comp, with double shower/his-hers sink and a bath.
Again in Morzine, i've stayed at a 3* and paid £3k where the room was tiny, and literally nothing but a chest of drawers and 1 coat hook. We lived out of our cases which was horrible. I stayed in a hotel in Mayerhoffen which barely had room to put your case in, stunk of smoke and had those silly Austrian beds - so this was again, a luxury in true comparison.
In Hotel Courcheneige, it's in between. You have a large enough room (not huge, not tiny) but most important enough storage space to actually unpack. It's clean and tidy. Huge wardrobe space, lots of shelving and drawers too. Separate toilet to the bathroom. Bathroom has bath and overhead shower. It's not state of the art but it's good enough considering all the positives.
My conclusion about the rooms were, they work fine, and we don't spend any time in there except for sleeping. The hotel itself was perfect, literally perfect and the positioning was what we pay the money for. you can upgrade to a larger room/suite, but for me given the time we actually spend there and preempted the rooms being a bit small, I chose to save money on something not so important. If we go back and compare to Champs Fleuris in Morzine for the same money, I'd choose Courcheneige every time just for the hotel service/decor inside, and resort/location on the slope. (although, if you're visiting Morzine then there's only one real choice for us and that is, Champs Fleuris)
You're getting 4* hotel for 3* money, in one of the best resorts in the world notoriously known for being expensive - so it's not bad at all.
The note about the rooms was purely to confirm anyone else's fears that I had whilst at the same time proving those fears to be unimportant. I came away happy, and felt a 10/10 experience was had.
Would I book again? Yes absolutely. In fact we've booked for 2020 already and gone for a mezzanine room this time.
For bookings, contact Michael @ the Courcheneige Hotel.
Tip: Pop over to Meribel for an afternoon Apres Ski visit to La Folie Douche. It's 100% better than the Val D'Isere horrendous experience we had (as you can see from Amber's table dancing!) with a much better music atmosphere for all ages. Can't wait to go back.