Can you name all the ski resorts that give access to the Three Valleys in France?
Val Thorens, Meribel and Couchevel will quickly spring to mind, but there are several other resorts worth considering – not least because they are excellent value for money.
And there’s probably none more so than the town of Brides les Bains, a small resort that sits at the centre of the Three Valleys, just below Meribel.
How to get there
The town is easy to travel to from the UK – as well as flying you can also arrive via the snow train direct from London St Pancras. It’s also a good destination to choose if you want to drive from the UK (especially as you don’t have too much mountain to drive up).
What’s Bride les Bains like?
Brides le Bains has a friendly traditionally French atmosphere. The architecture is relatively traditional and there’s a fantastic mountain backdrop surrounding the town. As it’s a functioning town year round, rather than a seasonal tourist resort, there is an authenticity to the place, with artisan bakers and shops selling regional cheeses and meats. Plus there are handful of good restaurants and bars for choose from.
The town has a reputation for being little sleepy, which is true to an extent, but there are night clubs open after the bar shut. There’s also the option of a casino. With Brides les Bains being the only town in the Tarentaise to have its own Casino.
Le Grand Spa des Alps
One of the star attractions of Brides le Bains is its spa. This is a haven in the summer for people that want to lose a bit of weight or relax and unwind. In the winter it’s a haven for people with aching legs after a day on the slopes. Or people who are just looking for a bit of pampering.
Apres ski in Brides les Bains
In terms of apres ski, Brides les Bains is limited.
It has 4 to 6 bars to choose from in the resort. However, what it does have is great access to Meribel which has a great apres ski scene. At the end of the day you’ve got the dilemma of whether you jump on the gondola and head back into town to sample all that Brides les Bains has to offer. Or you can hang around Meribel, sample the scene there and then hop back on the gondola at a later date.
Which isn’t a bad position to be in.
Best bars in Brides les Bains
Here are a couple of your better options if you do choose to take the gondola back to town.
The bar at the Savoy is a perfect if you’re looking for a quiet drink. The type of place where you put your feet up and unwind after a hard day on the slopes.
Another great option is to go to the bar at Club Hotel Verseau. It’s livelier than the Savoy and has an excellent reputation for being very friendly.
If you’re looking for anything more than that you’re better off sticking to Meribel which will more than meet your needs.
Food and drink prices in Brides les Bains
Cup of coffee – 4 Euros
Glass of coke – 2 Euros
Bottle of wine – 20 Euros
Mulled wine – 4 Euros
Burger and fries – 9 Euros
Pizza – 15 Euros
Sandwich – 5 Euros
Raclette – 25 Euros
Where to stay in Brides les Bains
What Brides les Bains has been excelling at since 1992 is offering a great cheap alternative for accessing the mighty Three Valleys ski area. Here are some of the best accommodation options:
Self Catering – Cybele Apartments
Having been recently refurbished the Cybele Apartments are a great value self catering option. The apartments are not far from the village centre, plus there is a free ski bus to take you to the Olympe gondola. There are three different apartment types, sleeping from 2 to 4 people right up to eight. There is a bar and restaurant on site plus a swimming pool and a sauna (1 sauna session per apartment is included in the price).
Half Board – Hotel Amelie
If you’re looking for a half board option the Hotel Amelie is well priced. It is right in the centre of the Brides les Bains and the bar has a nice outside area popular for après ski due to its happy hour from 4-6pm. The Amelie has an inviting lounge and bar area with a pool table and the 3 course evening are excellent and what you would expect when eating in France. The rooms are also a good size and comfy.
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