Les Menuires or Friendly Menuires as the locals call it!

les menuires ski resort

Sat just below Val Thorens, Les Menuires has direct and easy access to 600km of slopes for a fraction of the price. Purpose-built in 1964 it has been dubbed a less than pretty example of the monstrous French Alpine architecture from the 1960’s. However recent, extensive, refurbishment has it looking more appealing each year.

The resort is never going to win a beauty competition but the main Croisette looks magical lit up at night, the majority of the buildings are now tastefully wood clad and the satellite villages of Reberty and Le Bruyeres are of an attractive chalet style.

The underrated nature of the resort has kept prices low, so you won’t have to break the bank to stay here. Plus the local ski area has some of the best intermediate runs (on and off piste) in the whole Three Valleys. You get a better price without any compromise in the skiing.

The village has a decent range of restaurants with some great food to try out. La Ferme is a favourite of ours up in Reberty – if the wasabi mousse is on the menu then snap it up pronto! Down in La Croisette there’s regular live music at the Skilt and in various bars in town. Plus there are supermarkets, bakeries, and grocers to grab anything you may need when in resort.

Although sometimes overshadowed by its larger neighbours, Les Menuires is an affordable alternative to nearby Val Thorens. The resort offers excellent snow and fantastic skiing for all abilities and at a more affordable price tag.

Why Visit Les Menuires

Les Menuires is known for its huge range of activities and leisure facilities which is why it’s ideal for families who need more than to just ski to entertain the little ones.

With the resort ensuring that the children are well entertained, parents are guaranteed a relaxing holiday here. For a number of years, Les Menuires has been accredited with the title Family Plus Montagne award.

Plus there’s a huge range of beginner areas and slopes perfect for young kids learning to ski in a safe environment. Plus there’s plenty of green and blue runs stretching down from the top of the ski area, meaning you’re not stuck at the bottom of the mountain as a learner.

The concrete buildings, which originally typified the resort, have begun to take place for a different kind of architecture; luxury residences and hotels made of stone and wood. The ugly duckling is having its long-overdue makeover.

Where to Ski?

Les Menuires is set just about on the treeline, with almost all the slopes above it. Piste map and signposting are good, classification reliable.

The skiing takes place on both sides of the Valley: with the 2804m peak of the Pointe de la Masse the most eye-catching sector, to the west of town. A sort of stand alone mountain where you can escape the crowds on long wide pistes and an abundance of off piste routes.

You’ll find more steep stuff here than in most of the Trois valleys but there is plenty of beginner and intermediate runs to enjoy too.

skiing in les menuires

There is lots of off-piste skiing on the south-facing area of La Masse, looking on to Val Thorens. However, after fresh snowfall, this route down to Val Thorens gets tracked out quickly by the locals.

You also have the choice to ski big and take on the trois valleys where to can ski from Courchevel all the way to Val Thorens. You won’t be bored of the choices available here!

Here are our favourite ski runs:

Green Run
Vallons

in the La Masse sector, this is perfect in the morning with a smooth run down. Ideal for getting your ski legs back or learning on.

Blue
Jerusalem

This is arguably the best run in the whole of the three valleys. It used to be red but the course has been altered making it a beautiful cruising run down towards St Martin de Belleville. Huge rollers allow you to gather speed without fear of loosing control. Try it in the mornings when freshly pisted and you’ll be in for a treat.

Red
La Masse area

This offers a variety of easy to challenging reds where all the family can ski together, for all abilities.

Black
Ecureuil

This is a great black run that will challenge many skiers and is always a personal favourite.

skiing

Where to eat?

We know that eating plays a big part of your ski holiday – after a long morning or day of skiing, there is nothing better than sitting down to a well-earned meal, whether that be a traditional French dish or simply a satisfying pizza.

We have put together our top 3 restaurants on the mountain that we think are worth paying a visit.

Le Grand Lac  

+33 4 79 08 25 78

Situated at the bottom of the Granges chair, between Les Menuires and St Martin de Belleville, this restaurant comes highly recommended.

The restaurant boasts a beautiful sun terrace, which boasts exquisite views across the valley.

It has a large but cosy interior with a central log fire and exposed beams, making it an ideal stopping point on those cold snowy days.

The menu includes some beautifully-cooked Savoyard cuisine, salads and brasserie-style dishes.

mountain restaurants

La Ferme de Reberty

+ 33 4 79 00 77 01

Just above Menuires in the satelitte chalet village or Reberty (you can easily get here by bus and can even ski back down if you fancy). If you’re skiing just look out for the huge red cow outside.

There’s a great sun deck and a cosy interior. You may have to book but the food is well worth it. A little gourmet, it’s a step above you’re usual lunch time fare (evening bookings available as well).

Massive burgers, rich tartiflette and a whole host of regional specialities. If you can ski in the afternoon after stopping here, you have one up on us!

La Ferme de Reberty - Menuires

 

Le Panoramic

+33 4 79 22 80 60

Situated at the top of the Masse 2 bubble, this is a self-service restaurant that has a wide selection of dishes to choose from including hearty dishes such as lasagne, spaghetti bolognese, as well as traditional French cuisine.

The main attraction is as the name suggests the panoramic view from the sun terrace; from here you can see all across the Three Valleys.

It does get quite breezy if you are sat outside, but it is worth a visit if simply for the amazing view.

ski food

Where to sleep?

Les Menuires is mainly apartment territory with a few hotels. There’s a fantastic range from budget apartments up to the luxurious and everything in between. You should be able to find something to suit you without any trouble.

Nearly all are ski-in-ski-out which is why this resort is ideal for families and keen skiers. Even if they’re not, they won’t be far from the slopes.

Here are our top 3 great value for money suggestions we can help you book for you and your family.

Le Coeur des Loges 4*

Brand new for winter 16/17 and was an incredible success in its first winter.

Why our guests love this residence;

  • Ski in, Ski out
  • Quality modern accommodation
  • Wellness facilities

 

Le Coeur des Loges
6 Person Kitchen
Bedroom
Jacuzzi and steam room

button ¦ Powder White

 

Les Clarines 4*

Located in the charming Preyerand region of Les Menuires and has great access for skiing, being just 100m away, and the resort centre which is just a short stroll away.

Why our guests love this residence;

  • Ski in, Ski out
  • Quality luxury accommodation
  • Wellness facilities

 

Les Clarines
Living area
Master bedroom
Large swimming pool

button ¦ Powder White

 

Hameau de la Sapinière 4*

The four star Hameau de la Sapinière is ideally located in a quiet and intimate part of Reberty 1850, a few minutes from the village centre via a small pedestrian path and right next to the slopes.

For anyone looking for luxury on a budget, this residence is a truly great option

Why our guests love this residence;

  • Ski in, Ski out
  • Authentic style chalet/apartments
  • A touch of luxury on a budget

 

Hameau de la Sapinière 4*
Large living area
Master bedroom
Master bedroom

button ¦ Powder White

 

Where to learn?

Les Menuires offers the cheapest of the trois Valleys ski schools. The ESF is the biggest ski school in Les Menuires, with branches at La Croisette, Les Bruyeres and (for youngsters) Reberty 2000.

We would also recommend trying Prosneige.

Prosneige are a big part of the ski school scene in Les Menuires and Val Thorens.

With over 40 ski and snowboard instructors, they offer a great level of availability and teach lessons in all different disciplines.

If you are looking for a private or more personal lesson, we speak highly of Ski School Les Menuires. Their friendly and professional nature, as well as years of skiing experience in the 3 Valleys, makes them a great option.

 

Where to party?

With Les Menuires is definitely a case of less is more – although there is not an abundance of bars, those that are there are lively and well worth a visit!

Here are our tried and test top 4 apres ski bars;

The Tilbury  

Relax and unwind after a day on the slopes with some après fun and merriment in The Tilbury.

A popular drinking hole with both visitors and locals, this lively bar is a great place to enjoy a cold beer after a hard days skiing.

It is located in the La Croisette area of Les Menuires amongst all the other shops and bars.

apres ski

Le New Pop

Close to the hotels, this is La Croisette’s late night venue and one of only two discotheques in Les Menuires.

Here you will be able to dance to a mixture of music including cheesy Euro pop songs, until the small hours of the morning.

nightlife

Piano Bar Le Kube

Piano Bar Le Kube is a great little place to head to if you are not looking for in your face après ski.

The bar is cosy, welcoming and the type of place you can enjoy a quiet drink with friends and discuss the day’s events on the mountain.

The lounge is quiet until 10 pm, then the live music starts up and attracts a larger crowd, although it does not tend to get too overcrowded.

This is a really nice bar to have a drink in away from all the hustle and bustle.

apres ski

Non-ski activities

Big Air Bag

Not quite finished on the slopes for the day…still looking for that big adrenaline kick….the big air bag is sure to satisfy that craving!

This is your chance to try that 180, 360 or backflip –  the enormous airbag will cushion your fall, allowing you to try any trick in the book and land it safely.

Open: Daily from 10am-12.30pm and  to 2pm-4.30pm daily (closed Saturdays, except French holidays)

Contact: +33 4 79 00 64 48

Location: Start of the slalom in Menuires

ski airbag

Roc’N Bike

Not had enough thrills and spills on the mountain and want to try something new?

At an altitude of 3000m at the top of the Roc des Marches gondola, surrounded by luscious snowy mountains, you can hurtle down the snowy pistes on a mountain bike!

Roc’n Bike is accessible to all you sporty people and experienced mountain bikers.

Open: Every weekday, depending on snow conditions
Price: €35 per person for 2 runs

Roc’n Bob

This is tobogganing like no other track you may have experienced. Head up the Roc des Marches cable car before descending the 4km long track, featuring banked and tight angled turns.

Starting at such a height you get to experience the spectacular views of the snowy mountains, hilarious moments, adrenaline rushes and plenty of surprises!

This is great fun for not only the children but for big kids too, get a group of friends and race to the bottom, the last one down buys the first round!!!

Open: Daily (except for Saturdays) 2pm-6:45pm

Price: €10 for 1 run, €18 for 2 runs

Contact: +33 4 79 00 62 75

Paragliding

Why not see Les Menuires from a different perspective..enjoy the peace and quiet as you fly over the beautiful snow-capped mountains.

Tandem flights are available with qualified guides – you simply need to sit back, relax and take in the breathtaking views.

This memory will last you forever and is certainly worth every penny!

Contact: +33 6 80 10 79 20

Price: from €85 per person

paragliding

Wine and dine in a Yurt

If you are looking to try something different in an evening aside from the usual resorts, this is the thing for you! Enjoy an evening in a genuine Mongolian Yurt!

The Yurts are kitted out with brightly coloured Mongolian furniture, comfy seats and the warmth of the wood burning stove…all you need to do is relax!

You will be served traditional alpine cuisine, for example, soup with smoked ham, Mont d’Or fondue, tartiflette and scrumptious pudding.

Reservation is required and the price includes return transport to the Yurts.

Contact: +33 6 11 38 37 96

Open: 5/12/2015-22/4/2016 daily, 3.30 pm-11 pm

yurt hut

I hope you found this information helpful. Planning a family ski holiday? Take a look at our top tips for skiing with children.

If you would like any further assistance on the resort and accommodation, please call on +44 (0) 20 8877 8887



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