Meribel - village
Méribel is a purpose-built ski resort. However, it has a chalet feel to it, and is not dominated by high-rise buildings.
The main choice when booking is whether to stay in Méribel or Méribel-Mottaret (the part of the resort slightly higher up). Méribel-Mottaret is less pretty, though it has great access to the slopes. Méribel has a party feel and après ski that lives up to the resort’s energetic reputation.
Méribel is 12 miles up the mountain road from Moûtiers, and is a very good option for arriving by train, then bus transfer. Transfer time is approximately one hour.
There are three 4-star hotels – the Grand Coeur in Méribel (33 47 908 60 03), the Mont Vallon in Méribel-Mottaret (00 33 47 900 44 00) and a brand new one: L’Helios, Hôtel and Wellness. There are a handful of 2-star and ten 3-star hotels.
There are many apartments and chalets, catered and self-catering. If you are looking for luxury, companies with high-end chalets include Active Experience, Sovereign Ski (00 35 38 660 274 98) and Alpine Infusion (01844 344955).
Ski/snowboard equipment hire
If you book through a big tour operator such as Alpine Infusion, you’ll get help with ski hire. For independent travellers, there are 34 ski hire shops, in every area of the resort. Skiset in Méribel-Mottaret and Méribel Centre is a good bet. Some hire shops will come to your chalet to do ski fittings on pre-booked equipment.
Paragliding is advertised at the top of Saulire. One company that provides flights is Tandem Top (04 79 00 45 67). For a slightly calmer activity, ESF offers snow-shoeing.
Weary from a day of extreme skiing? British Chartered Physiotherapy Clinics is a mobile massage service that operates in Méribel and Méribel-Mottaret. They will visit your chalet to do massages.
ESF Les Saturnins (00 33 4 79 08 60 31) in the Olympic Centre is for children aged 18 months to 3 years. Children play snow games in class. ESF ‘Piou-Piou’ Kindergartens are for children aged 3 to 5. Children are introduced to skiing in playgrounds with ski lifts and inflatable characters. Book well ahead.