London lifestyle & travels with kids and babies
Having returned from the most fabulous ski holiday, my friend Talida and I embarked on writing a Courchevel je t’aime statement article, including top things to do in Courchevel with kids or without. Geneva to Courchevel transfer takes about 2 hours; best Courchevel restaurants are glorious; best new boutique ski hotel and their stunning family suites bang in there at 1650: Fahrenheit 7 Courchevel.
Our friends spent February half term with their lovely almost 5 years old and raved seriously about. As French speakers and francophiles deep in their hearts, foodies and beginners ski wise, Courchevel proved to be the winning choice. We joined them for Christmas this year and could not agree more – best family ski holidays ever!
So what are the top things to do in Courchevel with kids or without in the winter?
1. For sure God created Courchevel for skiing. We skied, they skied, our 5 years old skied. ESF (Ecole de Ski Francais), located moments from the hotel and at the base of the slope offer both group (6 days at 250 euros) or private sessions for 105 euro / 1.5h – do book in advance for half terms and Christmas. As alternative there’s Oxigene Ski, good ski intructors as well. Kids under 5 ski for free all over in Courchevel. Adults have ski passes packages from 200 – 400 euros per week.
2. Apres skiing. Our friends and us swear by their hotel’s bar – Fahrenheit 7 Courchevel – ZINC, good vibes and every other night a DJ late into the night. We swear by La Folie Douce Meribel Courchevel – we had a blast both December 24th and 27th!
3.Exploring the 4 villages – Courchevel is made up of four different villages, each with its own distinct feel and atmosphere. Le Praz (1300) is a pretty and quiet village with tree-lined slopes and direct access to 1850. Courchevel 1550 has a relaxed atmosphere and good slope access. Courchevel 1650 (where they stayed) has a lively atmosphere and a great selection of shops and bars. Courchevel 1850 hosts of chic boutiques, as well as a huge selection of restaurants and fine dining, including some Michelin stared exquisite ones (Yum!).
4. Indulging the French food. Most restaurants have affordable prices and amazing food – from £28 euros menu offer at two Michelin star to a normal restaurant near the hotel – all yum and child friendly – afterall this is France! Amidst best Courchevel restaurants and our friends highlights:
*LA ROTISSERIE – located at the ground floor of Fahrenheit 7 hotel with splendid view on slopes, a sunny terrace with tables and chaise longue, DJ included! Aperols, mulled wine and champagne go well in here with pokes/ lobster rolls / sea bass ceviche/ linguini with pesto/ risotto with Lobster. For kids they offer lasagne, burgers, fish and chips.
*Le bistronomique Chabotte – they serve traditional Savoyard dishes cleverly reinterpreted like “grandma used to cook”. Our friends had a nice a la carte dinner and opted for Chestnuts velvety black truffles and foie gras / lobster ravioli/ scallops reduction of orange with vanilla flavour and sole meuniere cereal risotto. Their son loved their pata negra and cheese plate as well as pasta Bolognese.
*La table de Marie – located just next door to Fahrenheit 7 – the 5 years old enjoyed “the best pizza ever”; the grown ups loved the snails and traditional onion soup.
*AZIMUT – 1 Michelin star, located in Courchevel 1550, aka La Praz. The adults opted for fois gras escalope / turbot with chow flower mousse and the traditional tartiflette ( lunch and dinner set menus from 55 euros to 95 euros). Lovely attitude to kids and 12 euros delicious menu.
5. Dog sledding. Courchevel Adventure for lots of snow activities – Talida and the boys chose Dog sledding by day in the forest. Courchevel Adventures offer superb things to do in Courchevel with kids or without by day and by night. Just ask them the moon and they are ready to offer youJ – is precisely their motto.
6. Aquamotion – a state of the art well-being centre with indoor and outdoor pools, surf area and diving pool with many places for toddlers and lots for adults ( spa, climbing wall, massage), a nice restaurant and playing area for kids. Our friends have been twice in a week.
7. Shopping. Between Courchevel 1650 and 1850, you got a whole range of chic boutiques!
8. Sledging. You can rent a sledge from Fahrenheit 7 Courchevel ski boutiques for 4 euros for half a day or you can try the newly open 3km sledge slope with tunnels and adventure included – Mountain Heaven!
9. INDIAN Camp Park only ten min by cable car from the hotel – where children can ski and do lots of activities related to tribal life – dressing up included. Their almost 5 years old loved it and they ended up buying an Indian costume and a tipi when they got back in London.
We flew Heathrow to Geneve in less than 1h30 (buy tickets well in advance to get reasonable pricing); our friends flew Paris to Geneva ~ 1h.
Then we had a private Geneva to Courchevel transfer (they chose Alpinbus, one of the most affordable return trips at €380-€450 for Courchevel 1650, transfer taking about 2h; Latvian drivers) . We tested Alp Transfer one way – great customer service, French driver helpful, sweet and very knowledgeable; water and presents for kids and even a wifi spot in the car! Train or bus are the other alternatives – 4h30 min each way.
We stayed in Courchevel 1650 and chose Fahrenheit 7 Courchevel located near the cable car Ariondaz and great slopes options for families, kids, beginners and ski addicts equally. The hotel is newly opened (October 2017) and has no kids club or kids activities but it is fabulous and family friendly. The rooms are cosy and spacious, there are 2 restaurants plus a bar and a very nice and warm ski room – guess what! – with velvet sofas, a TV and all you need to gear up. Right by the Reception, you can find a ski shop where you can rent your gear as well. Fahrenheit 7 Courchevel restaurants are great and right by the base of the slopes – tasty and well sized portions, kids menu included. The suites have been fully renovated for 2018 – quaint, comfy and retro chic meeting mountain style! Perfection!
Last but not least, do not shy away from Courchevel based on perceptions – Courchevel is not just a playground for rich and famous but it is also great place for ski for ski addicts, families and beginners at relatively reasonable prices. And with such glorious things to do in Courchevel, one should put Courchevel with kids or without on the bucketlist!
For more inspiration on winter fun, head to our Best ski resorts in Europe with kids or without. For a dedicated article on best restaurants in Courchevel 1650, head here; for inspiration mid-April head for Val Thorens in here; for more French resorts that we love for advanced skiing and cool apres skiing, check our Chamonix with baby post and Tignes with kids. All Covid restrictions in France have been lifted on March 14th 2022 other than wearing masks on public transport and in certain public places such as clinics and hospitals. Therefore, if you meet the travel entry requirements there are no further restrictions on your holiday, hurray and fingers crossed it stays this way!