Bang in the heart of the largest ski area in the world, it is not difficult to see why Meribel is so well loved by the Brits and worldwide skiers alike. Positioned neatly between upmarket Courchevel and purpose-built Val Thorens. Meribel is the perfect location to ski the Three Valleys. It is not only strikingly beautiful but it is accessible as it comes without the expected price tag. It has ski to the door convenience without compromising on the view. And it has a justifiably renowned nightlife to suit your party needs if you're after a lot of fun on your ski holiday!
First timers to the resort will find plenty to keep them occupied in the Meribel Valley with its 150km of pistes served by super efficient people-movers, including 15 telecabines and seven high-speed six-seater chairs. Meribel is a suitable playground for skiers of all abilities with a good distribution of green, blue, red and black runs. Also, mixed level groups can stick together since the same destination can often be reached by blue or red alternatives. Beginners are well catered for at the altiport ski area while advanced skiers will find some challenging runs and fantastic off-piste at Platieres and Mont Vallon. There are also two snow parks to be enjoyed.
Meribel is home to a host of venues catering for every taste if not for every budget. It's not cheap to indulge but keep your eyes peeled for happy hour offers and you could save yourself a couple of euros. Good deals can be had daily at Le Pub, a long-established Brit favourite with live music and entertainment throughout the week. La Taverne also has a worthwhile happy hour, live music daily and shows all major sporting events on its big screen. When the place isn't rocking for après it's also a good place to catch up on your e-mails - plus, Hotel le Roc is located above the bar and restaurant. The Cactus Cafe offers all of the above plus pool and table football and also serves good Mexican food between 6 and 10pm. If you just want to chill, Scott's, Le Poste and Barometer are all good options, although the latter two are both swankier and pricier. In the centre of town, is the Doron Pub, one of the resort's busier bars.
If you are dancing, head to the resort club, Dicks. Cocktail happy hours are a frequent occurrence so keep an eye out. Dick's draws the crowds till late with live music, guest DJs and theme nights. Another late night alternative is Le Loft. Stylish and laidback, the place attracts a more international clientele.
And there's plenty to keep non-drinkers happy when the lifts close and non-skiers happy when they are open. You can try your hand at ice skating, ice climbing, snowshoeing, snow biking or dog sledding. Or why not get an entirely different perspective on the Alps by flying over the mountain range in a hot air balloon or in a light aircraft. Alternatively, relax at the Club Med Spa where you can make an appointment for a beauty treatment, hydrotherapy or massage, at Meribel Village where a gym, sauna, Turkish bath and solarium are at your disposal, or at l'Hotel Chaudanne which has a well-equipped gym, squash court, sauna, solarium, Jacuzzi and hair and beauty salon.
Meribel is also a favourite for families too. Lift passes are free for the under fives and families of 4 or more are entitled to preferential tariffs. There are plenty of different childcare options, including a well-respected British run Crèche in Meribel Les Allues and an equally well-regarded private nannying service called Les Farfadets which is also a Brit organisation. Be sure to book early to avoid disappointment. For families whose kids are keen to learn to ski, there are great schools to choose from. The bowling alley is aptly catered for kids with special light-weight balls, little shoes and snake buffers. The swimming pool has an area reserved for your water babies, complete with slide and fun and games.