All you need to know about ski holidays by train

La Rosiere - village

Not one, but two, both of them purpose-built. La Rosière was founded in 1961 and has since developed (and been redeveloped) in an appealing, mostly-low-rise chalet style. In relative terms it remains fairly compact, with everything conveniently to hand, including an arcade-style shopping centre - and, of course, the ski-school and lifts. Although not a legendary party capital, it’s a pleasantly relaxed place to hang-out after a day’s skiing, and enjoys a solid reputation for the quality of the accommodation on offer. Underpinning a steady move further upmarket is the presence of premium hoteliers like CGH, whose new Lodge Hemera opens this season.

The second ski village, Les Eucherts, takes its name from the original farming village which is still visible near the modern, purpose-built development. As a base it’s a perfectly practical choice, as services have kept pace with the creation of accommodation, and the Eucherts Express high-speed chair-lift fires skiers up the mountain efficiently, with minimal need for queuing. There’s also a safe and accessible ESF ski-school/novice area served by a short draglift (which also serves the bracing nearby Marcassin Black run).

Getting between the two centres is simple; take a shuttle-bus, ride the chair-lift and ski over or do as many people do after the lifts close, and enjoy a leisurely level stroll on a footpath offering impressive views across snow-covered chalets to the Tarentaise valley.
 

Accommodation summary

There are three family-friendly two star hotels, all of which boast fine views and proximity to the slopes but La Rosière is really known for it’s chalet accommodation and quality apartments in residences such as Les Cimes Blanches at the foot of the slopes in Les Eucherts.  A new luxury residence Le Lodge Hemera, will bring prestige accommodation and facilities into the resort centre from 2012/13.

British tour operators Peak Retreats  (0844 576 01 70), Mountain Heaven (0151 625 1921) and Ski Beat (01 24 378 04 05 ) are among many who operate in La Rosière, and there are some great chalet companies, including Burasnow (0845 388 7381), Green Rides (0203 286 2218) When we visited, we stayed at the conveniently located chalet Le Refuge  (00 33 47 900 85 00) with 11 private apartments which enjoy fine views over the Tarentaise Valley.
 

Ski/snowboard equipment hire

There’s a seemingly-bewildering selection of specialist shops where you can hire ski equipment. To help you decide, we’d simply suggest you use an outlet located close to your accommodation. Your tour operator or accommodation provider will no doubt be pleased to advise you (and may well have an arrangement with a supplier to offer a special discounted price). Booking gear in advance will generally save you money.

Names like Skiset, Sport 2000  and Intersport are popular, renting up-to-date equipment and providing pre-booking services in English. Ski Republic offer two-for-one deals and give a 7th day free. The independent Ski Loisirs (00 33 479 06 80 85), located in the heart of La Rosière 1850, is affiliated to Skimium so you can pre-book online.
 

Non-ski activities

You’re spoilt for choice, with options like speed-riding, snow-kiting, paragliding, moonlight sledging, cookery workshops, Nordic walking, snow-shoeing (both day and night), dog-sledding and ice-skating, plus cinema, ten-pin bowling, painting workshops, spa and beauty treatments. We also visited a colourful traditional market in La Rosière 1850, where stallholders offered all kinds of Savoyard artisan produce.

Childcare 

The resort has been awarded the Famille Plus Montagne quality label, guaranteeing a range of services specifically for families, including baby-sitting, baby-changing facilities, push-chair hire and baby kits at your accommodation. French Alps specialist Peak Retreats  (0844 576 01 70) recommends Les Galopins, the resort creche and children’s club run by the ESF.

Tour operators  Crystal  (0871 231 2256) offer rail-inclusive packages and a private nanny service for children between 6 mths and 8 yrs and in many chalets offered by SkiLine La Rosiere Holidays (0208 466 3488) there’s an in-house creche and a ski school pick-up service. Esprit Ski (01483 791 900) also have a childcare service.
 

Espace San Bernardo piste map

Ski area
Village Altitude
1850
m
Ski Altitude
1200 - 2800
m
Pistes
152
km
Green Runs
8
Blue Runs
27
Red Runs
38
Black Runs
18
Total Runs 91
Terrain Park
4
Cabin Lifts
1
Chair Lifts
20
Drag Lifts
13
Total Lifts 38