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Courchevel: A Ski Resort You Just Can’t Miss
Courchevel Rapid Fire Facts:
- Courchevel is actually five ski resorts in one.
- The name of each resort ends with the appropriate height in meters.
- However, the biggest—Courchevel 1850—is in reality only 1747 meters.
- Courchevel 1550 was the original Courchevel.
- The area is the largest internally linked ski resort in the world.
- One town in Courchevel does not have a corresponding height attached to it—La Tania.
- Courchevel 1850 was not originally a town. It was built from the ground up as a ski resort.
- The Courchevel airport is only 525 meters long with an 18.5% gradient.
The five names of Courchevel reflecting the altitude with the preceding number are Courchevel 1850, Courchevel 1650, Courchevel 1550, Courchevel Le Praz 1300 and La Tania.
The area of Savoy (Courchevel) fell to the Roman Empire around 1030 and later became known as the “Gatekeeper to the Alps.”
In the 1930s, the French Commission of Tourism wanted a “super ski resort.” They wanted the largest ski resort of any the world over. With the connection of lifts and valleys, today the dream is a reality.
Courchevel is part of the Savoy department of France. It is part of Les Trois Vallees or The Three Valleys. Because of its super-chicness, it receives millions of tourist per year. Though planned previously for the moneyed and privileged of society, today the moneyless too can stake a claim on any one of the 600 km of ski slopes, with an additional 150 km of ski runs in Courchevel proper. Moreover, there are nearly 120 km of cross-country ski tracks and over 180 ski lifts—and one ski pass to ride them all! The classes merge into one as the slope and trails swallow skiers into jovial oblivion.
Though it may not matter how many banknotes you carry in your pocketbook, it does make sense to select a ski slope or course suitable to your level. Courchevel offers all sorts of slopes, trails and piste for newbies to advanced skiers alike.
Since many of the slopes are north facing, and the ski resorts hire just as many winter workers as summer laborers, it’s no wonder that the snow is groomed and always reliably fast. You can take morning ski instruction classes from one of three ski schools, shake a leg at snowboarding in the afternoon and then fine-dine throughout the evening. You’ll easily have time for all of it—as the lifts should be called express lifts—because they carry thousands of skiers uphill every hour of every day. Plus, with nearly 500 snow cannons and a couple-dozen piste bashers, you’ll never run out of paths.
Because Courchevel is known for its high-class swank habitués, the hotels have been built to suit. With an abundance of 90 resorts in all of Courchevel (1850 to La Tania), there’s everything from four-star top-notch hotels to two-star itsy-bitsy rooms. Though, here, the star system is used to reflect the level of facilities—including proximity to trails—and not just the level of interior comforts. One hotel might be starred higher than another, for example, but the other may, as matter of fact, have more luxury.
Examples of Courchevel Resort Hotels:
Four-Star Courchevel Resort Hotels:
- ALPES HOTEL DU PRALONG
- HOTEL ANNAPURNA
- HOTEL CHEVAL BLANC
- HOTEL LE MELEZIN
- LES GRANDES ALPES
Three-Star Courchevel Resort Hotels:
- HOTEL TELEMARK
- HOTEL LES PEUPLIERS