Overview of Meribel, France
Written by Jack Lee
Méribel ski resort and the village is the heart of the Les Trois Vallées, Europe’s largest interconnected ski resort. Because Méribel is located the very center of between Courchevel to the east, Les Menuires and Val Thorens to the south west, it’s an ideal ski resort to stay at to ski all three valleys. Besides, Méribel is a very classic ski village, with beautiful alpine chalets, gorgeous valley scenery surrounded by the French Alp peaks, and a very friendly atmosphere- lots of local boutiques, bars and pubs for après ski and plenty to do after the ski lifts stop.
Méribel is considered France’s most well-designed ski resort, from its central location to the tasteful and traditional chalet architecture throughout the villages - so authentic compared to some French Alps towns – including neighboring Les Menuires. There’s plenty of ski slopes in Méribel, most of which is above 1800 meters, so high elevation for good snow. Some great long trails Méribel flank both sides of Méribel valley, including the World Cup and Olympic slalom courses, where Méribel hosted the 1992 Winter Olympics. Méribel also hosted the Olympic ice hockey and you can visit the Olympic Park, which now holds a bowling alley and a pool.
Known for its sensation views, you can see Mont Blanc from the upper ski slopes of Méribel. From Méribel you can ride one gondola, stay on at midstation, and be at the summit of Courchevel or head in the other direction toward Les Menuires, and soon be skiing St Martin de Belleville and Val Thorens. Around the ski slopes, you will find wonderful, highly scenic mountain chalets and huts serving ski in lunches in a cozy alpine atmosphere or outside on a scenic sun terrace.
Après ski at Méribel, the place to be is La Folie Douce, reached by the Saulire gondola, at 2 pm a cabaret kicks off an afternoon party, they say its “soft après ski” meaning it's not too wild so you can bring the kids (interesting choice bringing up future drinkers). The real wild après ski dancing and drinking also goes off the hook at Rond Point where live bands play outside on the deck and the crowd goes bananas- including banana suits and crowd surfing in ski boots.
A very well-located 3-star hotel to stay at in Méribel is Hotel L'Orée Du Bois, nothing fancy (and the owners sure fancy cats), but the chalet hotel is completely slope-side with beautiful balconies overlooking the slopes, a ski room, two restaurants and a plentiful breakfast included in your room rate, next to the après ski party at Rond Point, and on the free bus down to the village.
Fantastic skiing, especially when you consider the connecting resorts of Courchevel, etc. Also, great Frech ambience and food.