About staying in Meribel
With a fantastic choice of chalet, hotel and apartment accommodation in Méribel, it can be hard to know where to start looking for your perfect holiday. Holiday accommodation in the Méribel valley is not restricted to the main town of Méribel, but is also found in the higher resort of Méribel-Mottaret, in the small, authentic villages below the main resort, and also in the spa town of Brides-les-Bains at the foot of the valley.
The aim of this guide is to provide you with information on the various holiday centres and villages in the Méribel Valley so that you can find the right location for your particular ski holiday. For those willing to look further afield, Moûtiers (a 20 minute drive away) or la Tania (located between Méribel and Courchevel) also offer ski and summer holiday accommodation. Méribel’s various areas and villages are linked by an efficient and free bus service, Meribus.
Some people refer to the main town of Méribel as Méribel-centre. And although Méribel is a village, it should not be confused with Méribel Village itself - even we get confused. Note also that some tour operators will advertise accommodation in Méribel, meaning the Méribel valley rather than in Méribel itself. Although the Méribel valley is usually called just that, it is more correctly known as Les Allues valley.
Meribel Centre - Large village with a buzzing atmosphere
Méribel itself is the biggest and best-known holiday centre in the valley, stretching from 1450m in the town centre to 1700m at the Altiport. It has the biggest selection of bars, restaurants and shops, plus the widest selection of accommodation, including many of the picture-postcard chalets for which the resort is famous. Hotels accommodation ranges from 5-star luxury to simple family-run affairs, and apartments range from budget to fully-catered, chalet-style penthouses.
The town centre is ideal if you want to stay at the heart of the action, close to the slopes, ski schools, bars and nightclubs. Close by, at the entrance to the resort, the original village of Mussillon offers authentic, old chalets as well as swanky new ones. Also close to the town centre is La Chaudanne, the main lift and piste hub and ski school meeting point. Ten minutes’ walk above the centre of town is Morel, based around a traditional hamlet, with both traditional and new chalets. Just above Morel is Altitude 1600, with its own chairlift, bars, shops and restaurants. Chic La Renarde and Les Chalets are home to some of the most sought-after chalets, ideally situated on the main piste in quiet wooded areas.
Higher still are Le Plateau and Le Rond Point, offering large apartment residences and hotels conveniently close to slopes, shops and restaurants. At the top of the resort is super-chic Le Belvédère, an area boasting luxury chalets and hotels. Higher still, and separate from the rest of the resort is the Altiport. This is a quiet and charming wooded area with self-catered apartments and one hotel. The Altiport has its own restaurant and shops and is located by the nursery slopes.
Meribel-Mottaret - Chalet style village with a traditional alpine feel
Méribel-Mottaret (1700 – 1800m) is a separate, purpose-built resort dating from the 1970's. It shares Méribel’s chalet-style architecture but most of its accommodation is in the form of large apartment residences and hotels. The village is mostly car-free and much of the accommodation is ski-in ski-out. It has a good selection of bars and restaurants, though perhaps not quite such a lively après-ski scene as Méribel. Mottaret, like Méribel, has an excellent lift system, but is even better placed for quick access to the high skiing at the head of the valley and in Val Thorens.
Meribel Village - Small ski resort with a tranquil and traditional atmopshere
Méribel-Village (1400m) was transformed from a sleepy village to a charming small ski resort when it gained a chairlift in the 1990's. Although only five minutes by car or bus from Méribel, it has its own centre with shops, bars and restaurants. The chalets and apartments are generally of a very high standard and it is a popular destination for those who prefer a tranquil, village atmosphere. The single high-speed chairlift links to the Altiport ski area above Méribel, from where an easy blue run returns to the village.
Les Allues - A charming Alpine village populated year round with locals
Les Allues (1100m) is a larger village with year-round life. It has charming new and old chalets, and some apartments and hotel accommodation, plus a couple of bars and several restaurants. It is linked to the ski area by the Olympe gondola lift and the free Meribus service. It is possible to ski back to Les Allues via a blue ski run, though this usually closes before the end of the ski season due to its lower altitude. If you want to experience a slice of true Savoyard life, this is the place to stay.
There are several hamlets in the valley which offer traditional chalets and an authentic village atmosphere. Of these, only Le Raffort is linked by lift to the ski area. Nantgerel and Chandon are linked to Méribel by the Meribus service. If you are staying in any of the other villages, such as Le Plantin or Villaret, you will need a vehicle to get around.
Brides-les-Bains - Spa town with cheaper accommodation options
Brides-les-Bains (600m) is a spa town linked with Méribel by the Olympe gondola lift. Hotel and apartment accommodation is relatively inexpensive, making it popular with those on a budget. The Olympe lift takes around 25 minutes to reach Méribel centre and stops running at the end of the skiing day – if you want to enjoy Méribel’s après-ski, you will need to take a taxi back down the valley. It is not possible to ski back to Brides, except off-piste during exceptionally snowy periods. In March, the ‘curistes’ (spa-visitors) return to Brides, resulting in an eclectic mix of clientele, fit skiers rubbing shoulders with the arthritic and overweight.