Ski resorts by train

Les Menuires - village

With more than 26,000 guest beds, today’s Les Menuires is is actually a big place. So when looking for accommodation, it’s worth thinking about which part of the resort you ideally want to be. The chalet suburb of Reberty, for example, gives you a head start if you plan to spend a lot of time around Val Thorens. Each section has its distinct character too, and family favourites Reberty and les Bruyères have enough of their own shops, restaurants and bars to be effectively self-contained.

‘Friendly Menuires’ is the resort’s strapline, and it seems that everyone here got the memo. The town wears its Family Plus accreditation with pride, and all the resort staff and business owners you’ll meet are much more convivial and accommodating than it’s sometimes wise to expect in a busy ski destination. Les Menuires has a reputation for being welcoming for solo travellers, and many seasonal workers fail to move on for years. Fifty-three percent of guests are French, with Brits the biggest foreign market.

Aesthetically too things are looking up, and while Les Menuires’ skyline will always be dominated by the 1960s blocks that established it, much investment has been spent recladding and improving them, while the more chichi chalet neighbourhoods have real traditional charm and offer more aspirational lodgings that still carry favourable Les Menuires price tags. In fact for our money, Reberty and Les Bruyères offer some of the all-round best family accommodation and services anywhere in the Alps.

Accommodation types

While monolithic accommodation blocks offering good-value studios and perfectly serviceable family apartments still dominate (and to any no-frills French self-catering virgins, it’s worth knowing that no trimmings are included, not even loo roll), Les Menuires’ lodging scene has acquired some more distinguished variety in recent years. And whatever its grade, accommodation is far cheaper than in neighbouring Méribel and Val Thorens. Deal of the season? Four cosying up together in a studio here can find digs for as little as €120 each per week, in units which can be booked through the Les Menuires Tourist Office accommodation service. There’s even a 60-pitch motorhome campsite charging €11 a night to park up.

A more upmarket take on the apartment model comes courtesy of Les Clarines by CGH Residences and Spas ( which stirs attractive design and an indoor pool into the mix.

Reberty and Les Bruyères to the south side of the resort have been the focus for newer chalets in traditional styles, and with their on-the-doorstep services for British families have become firm favourites with many guests. Companies such as Ski Amis and Powder N Shine offer well-priced ski-in/ski-out chalets in these areas. A few slightly pricier properties have brought a little extra chic to proceedings too, such as the cute, boutique-ish Chalet Hotel Kaya ( A very sleek new face this season is the gorgeous Chalet 2000, a contemporary take on a traditional stone and wood chalet building containing five luxury apartments with south-facing terraces.

We were thrilled a couple of years back to discover the achingly cool hostel/hotel hybrid Ho36 just west of la Croisette. Offering fine craft beers, yoga sessions and a well-used noticeboard for skiers and snowboarders looking for buddies to ride with, the hipsterish hangout does dorm beds starting at around €25, as well as 21 quirkily decorated rooms and lofts for between 2 and 10 people.  

And we’d warmly recommend a one-night safari to one of the resort’s three secluded mountain refuges to commune with the magnificent setting – with great traditional grub thrown in. Run by the local mountain guide association, the brand-new Refuge du Lac du Lou, overlooking a mountain lake, is top of our wishlist.

Ski/snowboard equipment hire

With around 35 sports rental stores all over the resort including all the big names, you won’t be short of a handy kit supplier. ESF guide and slalom legend Pierre Laslaz has a number of ski rental stores dotted around Les Menuires, including Ski Passion in Reberty (00 33 47 901 05 40), Ski Center in Airelles (00 33 47 909 70 44) and Bruyères Sports in, naturally, Bruyères (00 33 47 900 17 68).

Non-ski activities

Les Menuires’ strong family focus means it offers a wealth of stuff to do off the slopes, plus plenty of ski- and snowboard-free on-Alp options. In La Croisette, the excellent sports centre comprises a huge main pool with floor-to-ceiling mountain views, a 400m2 hammam and spa area and sports spaces offering basketball, a gym, table tennis and a dizzying range of fitness classes, from Zumba to aqua spin to circuit training.

Since 2018, Les Bruyeres has its own swim’n’spa temple too, in the shiny new Espace Aqualudique, where massages are best followed with a spell drinking in panoramic views in the jacuzzi. Ten other establishments, in hotels and apartment blocks, also offer spa treatments around town.

Outdoors, tobogganing fans are well served, with the 4km Roc’n’Bob slope, which you can also tackle on a snow-adapted scooter, and Speed Mountain, a rail-mounted luge ride with 22 banked turns over 450m of vertical drop. Fat biking, on designated trails and circuits, is also available, as are electric snow scooters, which les Menuires is one of only three French resorts to offer. Passenger microlight flights regularly soar over the Belleville valley, and three evenings a week, sunset rides can be booked in a piste basher.

Guests can learn to fly a drone, take a photography course and even have a go at biathlon. Yoga is present and correct, of course, and even has its own annual festival, Yogiski week, this winter taking place from April 4 to 11. Or run through your asanas in the open air with local guide Anita Thevenot, who incorporates exercises into a meditative walk in nature, and can be contacted through the tourism office.


Awarded the Family Plus label, Les Menuires boasts the largest ski kindergarten in France and nurseries welcoming babies from three months up. It’s worth noting, though, that the resort cautions guests that some very young children can experience discomfort at this relatively high altitude – for this reason, of ESF’s two Piou-Piou facilities only the one in La Croisette can take babies under 18 months, as the Les Bruyères base is higher. It’s also important to book well in advance, as places are limited. Nursery nurses are on-hand, or kids can start learning to ski in the Piou-Piou garden. Aged three or over, they can even do their first torchlit descent with ESF, with hot chocolate thrown in.

Elsewhere, several family-oriented tour operators provide care, including Ski Famille and Powder N Shine, and freelance nannies from the local area can be booked through Alpine Childcare.

Ski area
Village Altitude
Ski Altitude
1450m - 2850
Green Runs
Blue Runs
Red Runs
Black Runs
Total Runs 310
Terrain Park
Cabin Lifts
Chair Lifts
Drag Lifts
Total Lifts 176