Brides Les Bains - Introduction
Brides les Bains proactively markets itself as ‘The low cost ski resort of Les 3 Vallées’, with catchlines such as ‘ski more for less’. Why so?
Well, if you base yourself in Brides you ski exactly the same slopes as someone staying in Courchevel, or Méribel, while paying less for your accommodation by up to 50%.
The downside is – and it’s up to you whether this bothers you – a long transfer (of almost half an hour) each day by gondola to Méribel.
When you do get to Méribel, the wait is worth it. You have before you 600km of pistes in the vast Three Valleys area. It’s an immense playground to ski in, encompassing Val Thorens, Les Menuires, Saint Martin de Belleville, Méribel-Mottaret, Courchevel, La Tania and Orelle, as well as Brides-les-Bains.
There’s another major upside to staying in Brides-les-Bains too.
At the end of a day’s skiing, all your aching legs really want is a spa. And this is what Brides-les-Bains does best.
Brides-les-Bains is a thermal spa town, and has the largest spa in the Tarentaise region (some 2100m² in which to relax). This is not just a place for better value skiing. It’s a place for skiing plus spa, or just spa. It’s more than feasible to plan for a spa day (or even two) in the middle of the ski week.
You’ll get a very different experience here – staying on the outskirts of the Three Valleys rather than at its heart. It’s more like a real village, you’re at low level (600m) rather than high up in the mountains, and along with the chance to go skiing, you’ll be spoilt for choice with spas.
If staying outside of the heart of the Three Valleys means being able to ski the Three Valleys, then do it, we say.
A budget option on the outskirts of the often pricey Three Valleys
Amazing spa facilities which are as much of a draw as the skiing (and mean visiting in summer is a good idea too)
None of the ski tourism overkill of many other Three Valleys resorts – this is just a working village
Significantly lengthy journey each morning (albeit by gondola) before your skis get to touch snow
Not as much après-ski vibe as resorts deeper in the heart of the Three Valleys