Courchevel is regarded as one of the very best ski resorts in the world, boasting great snow, diverse slopes and a luxurious atmosphere. For those same reasons, though, it can also be rather taxing on the wallet.
And yet, with a bit of savvy, research and preparation, there are good-value gems to be found across the four villages that make up the resort. The cheapest type of accommodation is the DIY self-catering option. Carve through the fresh snow during the day, then settle in for a cosy homemade meal at night. You can find plenty of warm and welcoming apartments that give you the chance to ski Courchevel-style.
The four villages are tiered up the mountain at different altitudes, and each â€“ Courchevel 1850, Moriond 1650, Courchevel 1550 and La Praz 1350 â€“ has its own tranche of prices, style, culture, strengths and weaknesses.
Here are three self-catered apartments that you could call home for your dream skiing holiday. They are but a taste of the options available.
Foret Du Praz 405
Located in the uppermost Courchevel 1850 village, this affordable-two bedroom apartment can sleep four to six people. Although 1850 is the priciest of the four, home to lavish hotels and opulent chalets, smaller places like this do exist and will make a wonderful home-from-home for the duration of your ski break. The apartment sits close to the Forum and Croisette, the cultural centres of 1850, and the proximity of the main pistes means that ski-in, ski-out is possible â€“ the best of both worlds.
Guests can enjoy a living room, television and balcony that faces southeast, with lovely fourth-floor views of the valley. One bedroom has another balcony as well as a kingsize bed, while the other is fitted with bunk beds. The bathroom has a separate shower and bath, as well as its own private sauna â€“ there is no better way to unwind after a physical day on the mountain.
This Moriond 1650 flat is close to the bus stop, with ski-in ski-out facilities and a locker available on the ground floor of the building. Moriond is quieter than 1850 yet still boasts great access to the slopes.
The bedroom in this apartment has a set of bunk beds with a pull-out bed also available, and the living room sofa can pull out into a double. The living space contains a flat-screen television and dining table and chairs, as well as oven, dishwasher, ceramic hobs and a fridge. It isnâ€™t as large as Foret Du Praz 405 but itâ€™s just as comfy.
This apartment in 1550 (the third village down) is situated on the fifth floor of the Les Brigues building, which has a private car park. The residence has a ski locker and sits under 100 metres from the nearest slope, offering the utmost in convenience when you go out to ski. Courchevel 1550 doesnâ€™t have the same style or decadence as the two villages higher up, so the furnishings are more functional.
Nonetheless, the two bedrooms can sleep six â€“ a double bed in each, plus two singles in one. One also has an ensuite. Itâ€™s a great space for families or groups of friends away together.
So donâ€™t worry that you might be priced out of Courchevel; there are plenty of affordable options in all four of the villages, giving you access to the resortâ€™s pristine pistes for a fraction of the price of the luxury hotels up in 1850.
Belinda Smythson works for Ski Amis, a specialist ski travel agency and booking service that has been helping avid winter sports enthusiasts craft their perfect holiday for over a quarter of a century. When it comes to recommendations for where to ski, Courchevel, La Plagne and Tignes are some of their top rated resorts.
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