There are some European destinations where skiing reigns supreme and two of them are Courchevel in France and Verbier in Switzerland.
If you decide to visit either destination (or both) for skiing this winter, we have put together some information on each area you may find valuable during your stay!
Courchevel is best known as the ski resort town in which to see and be seen, attracting an exclusive crowd of socialites and royalty. With one of the highest concentrations of Michelin-starred restaurants, Courchevel is not only a favorite destination for seasoned skiers but a magnet for food connoisseurs with a taste for haute cuisine. There is a great selection of après ski bars offering everything from dancing in ski boots to enjoying a glass of wine or cocktails in a cozy bar by an open fire. And there is no place quite like Courchevel for those who feel shopping is therapy. Streets are lined with quaint designer boutiques and shops in a catwalk display of Lacroix, Armani, Louis Vuitton and others. Consider a trip down the mountain to Courchevel Moriand to ride aquamotion waves, and the new adrenaline-charged toboggan track. Beneath Courchevel’s glamorous surface is a diverse resort town offering a range of activities catering to a varied range of interests. This is why so many people love Courchevel; it really is a place where you can have it all!
There are many restaurants in Courchevel to suit many different tastes. Here are five of the most popular for fine dining:
This Michelin-starred restaurant, in Le Strato Hotel, has a menu inspired by Mediterranean flavors with a hint of mountain cuisine. Chefs only use the freshest ingredients: truffles, sea urchins, giant crab from Alaska, and such. The menu includes dishes like leg of spring lamb roasted with potato gratin; lobster from Brittany cooked in chestnut leaves, and classic vegetables with black truffles. The onsite master patissier turns to French classics such as the Mont-Blanc.
This fine restaurant in the Manali Lounge, serves delicious cuisine in a refined, upscale ambiance. With a contemporary and chic interior, this is the place to come for a romantic evening or a special occasion. Expect rich French and international cuisine with modern touches and nods to local produce. After dinner, a DJ and professional dancers liven up the evening.
Le 1947, in the Cheval Blanc Palace Hotel, has an incredible three Michelin stars. Located at the foot of the slopes, this restaurant offers a unique dining experience. The interior has been carefully decorated, opening the kitchen to the dining room so you can see the masters at work. Specialties include modern tartiflette with black truffle and reblochon snow; gnocchi with féra fish from the lake; black truffle and buttermilk; scallop vapor with celeriac and caviar, and chocolate fondant over a meringue mikado, seaweed biscuit and yuzu sherbet.
Le Chabichou, a Michelin-starred establishment, draws on modern techniques and sublimates the grandest ingredients. The chef revisits all-time classics with a certain unique flair. Chef Stephane Buron challenges himself and offers you a choice of an experience menu of five, seven or nine dishes. This menu changes according to the chef’s desires and inspirations for a surprise discovery. The mantra at Le Chabichou is, “simplicity is an art of perfection.”
This Michelin-starred eatery was named after the climber who gave the K2 mountain its name in 1865. The interior is refined and chic. Chef Pieter Riedijk moves mountains of flavors and techniques and draws on Courchevel’s magical ambiance to create a stunning feast for the palate. The brilliant creativity of pastry chef Sébastien Vauxion, concludes a memorable gastronomic experience.
Chalet Tahoe is an exquisite contemporary residence claiming the coveted title of the most exquisite luxury vacation villa in Courchevel. Pushing the bounds of alpine luxury living, this opulent chalet is just 98 feet from the world-renowned slopes of Bellecote. A leisurely promenade takes you to the magic of some of the world's most enchanting resort villages, replete with delectable gastronomic experiences and high-end boutiques. Replete with unmatched in-home wellness facilities, Chalet Tahoe immerses guests in unadulterated bodily bliss. A large indoor swimming pool with hot tub, steam room, massage treatment room, spa lounge, and gym offers utter rejuvenation of the mind, body, and soul. Eight elaborate bedrooms can accommodate up to 16 guests for an amazing family ski vacation.
Courchevel Experiences and Activities
Courchevel is definitely the place to be if adventure is on your itinerary. These four activities are sure to get your heart racing:
What could be a more unique experience than taking a dog sledding ride through the infinitely magical forest of Courchevel? Discover the incredible Plateau de Prameruel seated all toasty and comfortably in a sled driven by a professional musher. Particularly beautiful at sunset, the mountains and forests that surround you will feel otherworldly behind a pack of enthusiastic dogs. This is truly an unforgettable experience.
Courchevel is home to a toboggan track that opened in 2018. The track is definitely for adventurous travelers since its three kilometers is a fast descent reaching a gradient of up to 25% in areas. There are also designated luge evenings where the bravest riders can take on the track in the dark through a course illuminated with colored lights. The adrenalin rush is a guarantee.
For an unbeatable rush and to experience the mountains of Courchevel the way most people have never experienced them, skydiving out of a small plane would be the ultimate thrill and conversation starter! Air Mauss Parachutisme takes guests out on a skydive above the beautiful mountains of Courchevel. After an introductory lesson, you are taken up in a plane and free fall attached to a tandem instructor. It is said the rush of skydiving is addictive and many want to do it again.
Travelers who would like to see the area in a whole new way besides on the slopes might consider a snowmobile outing. Seated comfortably on a state-of-the-art snowmobile, enjoy a 23-kilometer ride at night on the snowy summits of Courchevel, a special moment between riders and the mountain. During the hour ride, you are immersed in a wonderful world under the starry skies of Courchevel.
With more than 250 miles of ski runs, luxury chalets, Michelin-starred eateries and ultra high-end fashion outlets attracting premier clientele, if Verbier is not already on your luxury go-to place, it should head up the list. This part of the planet is so visually stunning, it looks like it came out of someone’s storybook imagination. Snuggled among the majestic Swiss Alps, Verbier is one of the most affluent ski resort areas in the world. Its blazing white powder and decadent aprés ski experiences are unrivaled. There are so many activities in Verbier that you likely won’t have time to do them all during your stay, but you can certainly try – or extend your stay, which is a great idea.
There are many restaurants in Verbier to suit many different tastes. Here are five of the most popular for fine dining:
This wonderful mountain eatery in the heart of nature with an unrivaled panoramic view, provides diners with traditional Swiss fare with a modern twist. When discriminating travelers want to leave their luxury ski chalets in Verbier for dinner on the town, La Marlenaz is a favorite choice. Local products are carefully chosen for such dishes as medallions of venison in a pepper sauce; and Autumnal plate dried venison, ham, wild boar, foie gras and chanterelles mushrooms or pheasant terrine with lingonberry jam and pickled chanterelles mushrooms.
Le Rouge Restaurant
Le Rouge Restaurant & Club is nestled at the foot of the ski slope of the same name, with direct links to the main ski area. It is the ideal venue for an apres ski dinner. Dishes are created from the fresh, bountiful produce of the region. The dinner menu contains options such as roasted sea bass fillet, Iberico pork presa and delicious Thai sautéed noodles! There is also a selection of organic and vegetarian dishes. For a starter, check out the perfect organic poached egg with cauliflower mousseline, black truffle, pecans, and oyster mushrooms crisps. Le Rouge also has an impressive wine list and a comprehensive selection of cocktails.
Restaurant La Grange
Gourmands gravitate to La Grange for its eclectic mix of local and French dishes. The ambiance is upscale, yet relaxed and the cuisine is delectable. Consider starters like the wild sea bass tartare with chili, red onion, lime and fresh coriander or the terrine of duck foie gras and onion confits. Entrees are just as mouth-watering with choices like Emmental veal filet mignons with chanterelles or pork ribs grilled to perfection. If you have room for dessert, the white and dark chocolate mousse with bitter orange coulis is a popular choice as is the palette of in-house created sorbets.
La Table D’Adrien
This smart, stylish chalet overlooking Verbier serves tasty, inventive Italian cuisine in an elegant hotel. Chef Sebastiano Lombardi, from Puglia, pays particular attention to the quality of ingredients, which he crafts into superlative dishes. A treat for the eyes and the palate, each dish reveals consummate precision, exemplary creativity and incredible flavors. Insightful wine-food pairings, dutiful service and a breathtaking view add the final touches to this snug mountain chalet.
La Cordée is a chic alpine lounge bar with champagne, afternoon teas and cocktails. This stylish lounge bar, in a luxury hotel, is just a short walk from the Place Centrale, in the heart of Verbier. The bar features comfortable sofas, cozy log fires and a stylish interior creating a sophisticated, yet welcoming atmosphere. As well as a full range of traditional beverages such as beers, wines and spirits, the restaurant also has a selection of craft cocktails and delicious afternoon teas.
Within 100 yards of the famed Le Rouge ski slopes, Chalet Marmotte offers coveted access to adrenaline-pumping recreation. This palatial estate straddles a wooded slope delivering outstanding mountain panoramas exceeding the iconic landscapes from The Sound of Music. Astounding natural beauty meets unmatched luxury in one of Verbier's most stunning chalets. Marmotte spares no expense. With more than 16,000 square feet of prime living space, you may enlist the assistance of a sleek home elevator to get to nine fabulous en suites to accommodate up to 18 guests. This retreat features luxurious amenities, including an indoor swimming pool, 3D cinema, bar, and a bowling alley. Each area has been meticulously designed and crafted, creating an unmatched luxurious refuge. Fantastic exteriors include an expansive patio, multiple terraces, ample lounging, and a therapeutic hot tub.
Verbier Activities and Experiences
Verbier has so much to offer besides skiing. There is something for every level of adventurer:
To visit this most impressive glacier, take an extensive hike from the Brunet hut over the Col des Avouillons to the Pannossière hut. The crossing over the Corbassière Glacier is marked but requires good hiking boots. Stop off at Cabane Pannossiére to admire the panoramic view and the Grand Combin. To learn a little about the history of the region, visit the Musée des Glaciers in Lourtier, in Jean-Pierre Perraudin’s old home. The latter, a keen observer, was the first to formulate the theory of the glaciers, sculptors of the valleys.
At a height of 820 feet, Mauvoisin arch dam is an impressive structure. The dam and its power plants were built between 1959 and 1964. The dam facility, with a maximum water level of about 6,480 feet above sea level, has a usable storage capacity of 193 million square meters of water. It is the 11th highest dam in the world and the sixth highest arch dam. Visits to the dam are available during weekdays.
Paragliding and Hang Gliding
Adventure seekers can look forward to an unforgettable experience tandem paragliding on the wind with an unforgettable view over Verbier. Breathtaking views and adrenaline rushes are guaranteed! Or experience the thrilling sensation of soaring like a bird with a parapente flight over Verbier. You don’t require any experience or level of fitness to paraglide or ‘parapont’, just sit back and enjoy the ride! Flights are taken with pilots who have been in the flying industry for more than 25 years.
Get up close and personal with the majesty of the elements by ice climbing. Seize the cold weather with this thrilling activity mounting the frozen falls of Val de Bagnes. Under the guidance of the world's foremost climbers, develop a set of skills that will surprise you and your companions. Experience the exhilaration of conquering some of the world's most risky surfaces in the most enchanting natural areas. Whether you’re new to the sport or a seasoned adrenaline-seeker, Verbier is a fantastic destination to delve into this exciting activity.
With ski season just around the corner, you will want to make plans to visit one or more of the most elite winter destinations on earth. Get your skis in condition and leave your vacation planning for Courchevel and/or Verbier up to LVH. Your luxury ski vacation will include the most elite accommodations complete with full services and support and we will also take your vacation dreams to heart to create a custom itinerary for you that is brimming with things you would love to see and do. We invite you to reach out to an LVH client relations associate who will begin planning your magical ski getaway so you can make tracks in all that glorious, fresh powder!