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Some contend that the name Méribel comes from the Latin ‘Mira Bella’ meaning beautiful view. Whether this is true or not, Méribel offers something truly special to the keen skier aside from what are undoubtedly some very pleasing vistas. Purpose built for skiers under the direction of Christian Durupt from the late ‘30s onwards, Méribel village is aesthetically pleasing in itself and the views over the rest of the Alpine landscape are stunning. Another advantage of the functional nature of the Village’s design is that all of the best places to stay in Méribel are ‘ski-in, ski-out’.
Skiing in Méribel
The central resort of the world’s largest skiing area, Méribel is very much the heart of the Three Valleys allowing easy access to all other areas. The skiing in Méribel is excellent and caters to skiers of all abilities.
For the uninitiated, the areas around the Altiport allow a gentle introduction to the sport. Contrasting your challenging days with the eminently relaxing, marvellously comfortable Hotel Altiport might make a lot of sense, giving you almost instant access to the gentler pistes.
Méribel excels for the skier looking to put uncountable miles beneath his skis. The outstanding links to the rest of the Three Valleys, united by the super-efficient lift system, allows anyone looking to leave the wax on their skis bare by the end of the week to fulfil this dream. The Three Valleys has 660km of unadulterated pistes with Méribel itself accounting for about a quarter.
The seasoned pros will also find much to entertain them. Warming up with the steep, heavily mogulled run from the Combe de Vallon right down to Mottaret, they can progress to the excellent off-piste prospects throughout the Three Valleys or even challenge themselves with the Women’s Downhill 1992 Winter Olympics course.
Off the piste, Méribel offers much to the non-skier. Look out for the periodical toboggan run set up down the beginner slope at La Truite from Mottaret for an adrenaline-fuelled evening. Or, if a more level sporting pursuit is what you’re looking for then the Olympic Sports centre has first-rate facilities including a swimming pool and Ice-skating.
Méribel’s shopping is not to be missed. The Méribel market, offering local produce, sits comfortably beside the designer boutiques and high fashion stores.
If retail-therapy doesn’t cure your worries then Méribel’s spas certainly will. See below for the Hotel Guru’s best places to stay in Méribel for spas.
If you’re concerned about missing all the action on the piste then you can take some solace in the knowledge that many of Méribel’s top restaurants can be reached from the Gondolas with no need to strap on skis. Once you’ve gone up that high, why not go the whole hog, and take a flight on a ski mounted plane from the Altiport over the vast Three Valley’s ski area.
Eating out in Méribel
Overall the quality of Méribel’s gastronomy is very good, and if you know the best places to go you can find some really exceptional food.
On the mountain, the modest Lodge du Village serves home comforts and is very reasonably priced. In contrast to this, the food at L’Allodis is high-class and the views even better.
Back in the resort, the restaurant at Le Grand Coeur offers the most sophisticated dining experience in town, though you will pay for it. Chéz Kiki is the place for carnivores to replenish after a punishing day on the hill.
Méribel comes alive from 4pm onwards. The après-ski is varied to a point, though the majority is slightly defined by the density of British tour-operators. Into this bracket we can place Le Pub, Jack’s Bar, Le Taverne, Barometer, and Rond-Point. These bars are all in the centre of the Village (apart from Le Rond-Point which has to be reached on skis), offer live music, happy hours, themed nights and get more rowdy as the night proceeds and more toffee vodka, or the dangerously potent Mutzig Old Lager, disappears.
What Not To Miss
- Whether you're visiting in winter or in summer, the beautiful Lac de Tueda is a lovely spot to check out. Set in stunning scenery, you can hike around the mountains before coming back to relax by the lakeside (provided it's warm enough!)
- If you're looking for an elegant way to party, be sure to spend a night or two at Le Poste. Or, if headline DJs and bottles of Belvedere are your scene then make sure you check out Dick’s Tea Bar.
- If you fancy seeing the entire area then take a tourist flight from Meribel's airfield. Fly over the three valleys or go exploring further and head over Les Arcs, offering splendid views of Mont Blanc. Starting at €90 per person, it's also surprisingly affordable.
Whether you’re wobbling back to your hotel after a night on the tiles or prefer to be curled up with a good book imagining the perfect S-trails you’re going to make tomorrow, the Hotel Guru knows the best places to stay in Méribel. ‘Ski-in, ski-out’ comes as standard for the hotels below as does easy access to Méribel’s nightlife.
- The tradition and authentic feel of L’Oree du Bois will take those fortunate enough to be staying here back into the original spirit of Méribel: no unnecessary pampering, just dignified charm. The piste side location will quickly get you and the tots into the swing of things.
- The Chalet Hôtel de L’Adray-Télébar is a much-loved, cosy, comfortable chalet on the piste. There are just 24 rooms, traditional interiors with exposed stone walls and beams, and a wonderful relaxed board-game-y atmosphere.
- If you fancy staying a little outside the centre of Meribel itself, then the unfussy La Croix Jean Claude is an excellent choice. Offering simply decorated yet homely bedrooms and with good access to the ski lifts, this unassuming spot is a great choice for families.
Hotel Le Kaïla is the undisputed king of luxury in Méribel. With rooms so pampering you won’t want to leave, you might question whether there’s any need for a spa. But don’t worry, the next level of horizontal is only a floor away.
Bang in the middle of the piste the super stylish Hotel L’Helios delivers a chic and calming experience. The restaurant is pretty lavish as well.
Hotel Yeti is in a superb position at the Rond-Point. Perfect then to stop off early for some spa treatment before returning to the piste.
Hotel Allodis offers smart, traditional rooms with plenty of wood panelling and private balconies. Their Clarins spa is simply superb, the ideal spot in which to relax after a day on the slopes. Plus, there's a swimming pool, sauna, steam room and excellent restaurant - what more could you ask for?
Perhaps not one for the avid partier, Hotel L’Adray-Telebar, has been a part of the Méribel scene for decades and offers excellent quality as well as some marvellous views.
- Boasting one of the resort's most respected restaurants, Hotel Le Grand Coeur is an all-round winner with luxurious rooms, and amazing service besides the gastronomic delights.
- The Altiport Hotel is a ski-in ski-out hotel right between the slopes and Méribel’s golf course. There are 41 chalet style rooms, but with an aviation theme, along with gourmet cuisine, a luxurious spa and a pool for the warmer months.
For An Apartment
- If you think you'd be best served by a self-catering option then browse through the wide variety available online with our partner, booking.com.
- It's hard to say when's best to visit Meribel as it's a fantastic location year-round! If you're looking to go skiing then January's a good bet, as it's before the French school holidays start (in mid-February), and there'll be virtually no lift queues. Make sure to wrap up warm though!
- March brings with it warmer weather and longer days of sunshine, but the snow quality may deteriorate around this time. The same can be said for April, though at this time you can take advantage of end-of-season deals.
- May and June is an excellent time for hiking and exploring the surrounding area on foot or two wheels. That said, July and August, whilst being the busiest time of summer, is when the weather is at its best.
- Chambery Airport is the nearest option for those looking to fly to Meribel, around an hour and a quarter away by car. Served by direct flights from most London airports, the easiest way to get from the airport to the centre of town is by a privately-run transfer minibus (be sure to book ahead!).
- You could also fly into either Lyon or Grenoble, though these are further away - around two hours by car.
- For car hire prices, we recommend you visit our online partner Holiday Autos
Still Not Sure?
- Have a peek at our list below of the best places to stay in Méribel.
- Why not check out The Hotel Guru’s other skiing destinations: Zermatt, Val d’Isere, Verbier and St Anton.
- Alternatively, check out all our other recommendations in the Three Valleys.
- Or, contact one of our friendly gurus for advice.
Best Hotels in Méribel
La Croix Jean Claude 16 rooms from $160Méribel
Historic alpine ski lodge in the heart of Meribel les Allues. Sixteen simply decorated, yet homely, bedrooms and a restaurant serving delicious dishes from locally sourced ingredients. A great location in the centre of the village with good access to ski lifts and hiking routes.Skiing - World renowned ski locationGreat walks - Many good walking routesViews - Great views from hotel
L'Orée du Bois 30 rooms from $256Méribel
Owned and run by the same family for the last few generations, L'Orée du bois is a traditional hotel in a great location next to the Rond Point des pistes. Comfortable rooms and great food.Skiing - Stone's throw from the piste at the Rond pointActive HolidayViews - Great views from hotel
Hotel le Grand Coeur & Spa 40 rooms from $331Méribel
The epitome of old-fashioned comfort, glamour and service in the middle of the village. Gourmet delights and spa relaxation in this winter paradise.SkiingActive HolidayViews - Great views from hotelSpaRecommended by - Relais & Chateaux
Altiport Hotel 41 rooms from $331Méribel
Ski-in ski-out, contemporary, newly refurbished hotel right on the slopes and next to the golf course. Quirky-contemporary in style with aviation themed interiors. Gourmet cuisine, luxury spa, and even an outdoor swimming pool for the summer months.Active HolidaySkiingFamiliesSwimming Pool - Lovely Outdoor Pool
Chalet Hôtel de L’Adray-Télébar 24 rooms from $341Méribel
Delightful and much loved, a cosy, comfortable chalet on the piste. Traditional interiors with stone walls and beams. A wonderfully relaxed chalet with board games aplenty.FamiliesSkiingActive HolidayViews - Great views from hotel
Le Yéti 28 rooms from $411Méribel
Ideally located, truly "ski in, ski out" hotel at the Rond Point des Pistes. Pine clad bedrooms with outstanding views, plus pampering spa and gourmet restaurantSkiing - Ski in, ski out location at the Rond-Point des Pistes.Active HolidaySwimming Pool - Outdoor Pool with stunning viewsSpa
Hotel L’Helios 18 rooms from $440Méribel
Classic, new boutique hotel in prime position on the piste in the heart of the resort. Sumptuous rooms with log fires, cinema, luxury spa, and chic terrace. Revitalisation and relaxation in a super stylish chalet.Active HolidaySkiingSwimming Pool - Lovely Indoor PoolSpa
Hotel Allodis 42 rooms from $681Méribel
Family run, traditional hotel right on the slopes. Lovely bright wood panelled rooms with private balconies. Fantastic clarins spa, plus swimming pool, sauna & steam room and excellent restaurant with terrace overlooking the three valleys. A really lovely chalet.Skiing - Bang on the slopes!Spa - Clarins spa des neigesSwimming Pool - indoor Pool
Le Kaïla 38 rooms from $720Méribel
Family friendly luxury hotel in the heart of Meribel. Super cool bedrooms with fur throws, complimentary iPads and en suites with jacuzzis and steam rooms. Dedicated kids zone with DJ workshops and more.Families - Great facilities for children of all ages including DJ workshops, magic and cookery classes.Active HolidaySkiingSwimming Pool - Indoor Pool