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How affordable is Courchevel 1650 for a family on a budget?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hi, after having done a lot of research we have booked a self-catering apartment in Courchevel 1650 for our family of 5 in February half term. We will be driving from the southeast of England via the tunnel with an overnight stop in an Airbnb both ways. The apartment booking is fully refundable. I am wondering how affordable Courchevel is, and in particular Courchevel 1650, with regards to ski hire and eating out? I have heard it's an expensive resort, but I have also heard that there are affordable places to eat, etc. We are planning to cook most dinners in the apartment but we want to go out for dinner a couple of evenings and eat a couple of lunches in the mountain restaurants. We have previously done similar trips to Belle Plagne in France and La Tzoumaz in Switzerland and found both resorts reasonably affordable. If Courchevel is a lot more expensive, we might change the ski resort as we have a limited budget for this trip.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
I've gone SC in 1650 and stayed in 1850 more times than I can remember.

Lots of budget options that won't break the bank. France is expensive though!
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Thanks for your reply, good to hear there are lots of budget options even in this more upmarket resort. You think France is expensive in comparison to what country/countries? I have only skied in France, Switzerland, Sweden and Norway so don't know what the price level is like in other ski resorts.
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France is not expensive in comparison with those countries - in comparison to Norway French booze is an absolute bargain! 1650 is not the most expensive and exclusive part of Courchevel, and the skiing is excellent - it's a good choice. Just be careful if you fancy stopping on the mountain for a coffee, or lunch - DO check the prices before ordering anything, or even sitting down! Some ordinary looking places up in 1850 have extraordinary prices to make you weep - especially with kids. If you're driving it's worth taking a few bits and pieces (e.g. dishwasher tablets, some spices and flavourings, favourite breakfast cereals for the kids, lots of mini-chocolate bars so they can't persuade you they're dying of hunger at 1030). But you probably know all that already!
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@Motherofthree, unfortunately here comes the France v Austria debate, but hey ho.

I last went to France about 10 years ago (and haven’t returned after trying 3 resorts over 7 trips, due to the value, apres and lift queues) and remember paying €5.5 for a beer in the cheapest bar in Les Arcs 1800 and thinking what value, it was €7/€8 plus up the mountain. A bottle of coke was more!

10 years later a beer has just crept up to c€5 in some places in Saalbach, Austria (one of the more popular where I have mostly been skiing since, been to 3 other Austrian and Whistler twice) but plenty in the lower €4 up the mountain.

Food, plat du jour (quarter chicken leg, frites, sauce, up the mountain on a slope side restaurant near Les Arcs 2000, €15.

A half chicken with frites in Saalbach, paid c €10 in March this year.

I do wish you could move the French cuisine to Austria though, food quite heavy in Austria. The foie gras starter in a Chamoix restaurant in my first year skiing about 14 years ago was amazing, was €19.50 back then, but did come with small glass of sweet wine! dread to think how much now.

Even if France is your desired country, can’t think that budget and Courchevel sit in the same sentence.
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Courchevel varies - I'd say 1650 is no more expensive than many other resorts. Ski pass prices in France and Austria are comparable and the marginal additional food cost for a family just eating out a few times won't be hugely significant. Families with three small kids won't be going out drinking in the evenings. You don't need to spend a lot in a French supermarket, even in resort, to buy yourself plenty of wine and beer.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@Motherofthree, as with most places, there are always value options and more expensive options. It's been a number of years since I've done 1650 (and the 3v in general) but didn't recall it being too bad overall. There are places like Le Lodge in La Tania which may make better value stops for lunch. If you can ski down to the various resort levels you may find better value. Again, Les Menuires is more family focused and so may be cheaper. I would say the 3v is on a par with La Plagne provided you avoid the 1850 expensive hangouts. On the whole, I'd say the 3v would be on a par with Surrey pub prices.

Most of this is pre-covid and so things may have changed a bit. However, I'm sure someone on the 3v resort thread can give some pointers on where to go or avoid nearer the time.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
pam w wrote:
Just be careful if you fancy stopping on the mountain for a coffee, or lunch - DO check the prices before ordering anything, or even sitting down! Some ordinary looking places up in 1850 have extraordinary prices to make you weep...

That is the key advice. There are a few places which are clearly aiming for the rich clientele, if you haven't checked the prices first it can be a painful shock.
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When my OH and I had a last minute catered chalet holiday in 1650, many years ago, the the other guests kindly invited us to join them for dinner in a restaurant on the chalet staff's day off but fortunately the name of the restaurant rang a bell and I knew it was very expensive. We opted to stay in the chalet - by the fabulous log fire, playing chess. With a selection of cheese and cold meats bought in the street market, a fresh baguette and a bottle of excellent red wine. The local shops and market will provide all you need to make yourselves really good, and simple, meals for little more than they would cost you if you were shopping in Tesco.
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pam w wrote:
Just be careful if you fancy stopping on the mountain for a coffee, or lunch - DO check the prices before ordering anything, or even sitting down! Some ordinary looking places up in 1850 have extraordinary prices to make you weep - especially with kids.

That certainly rings a bell.

We were there years ago, when my Kids were still quite small and the French Franc was still in use. After picking my lot up from ski school, my Father offered to take us all for a hot chocolate. IIRC it was in that hotel (Courchneige?) that runs alongside the piste, above 1850. It was lovely, sitting out in the sunshine drinking our beverages. When the bill came, it was for something like £60. We checked prices after that.
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pam w wrote:
France is not expensive in comparison with those countries - in comparison to Norway French booze is an absolute bargain! 1650 is not the most expensive and exclusive part of Courchevel, and the skiing is excellent - it's a good choice. Just be careful if you fancy stopping on the mountain for a coffee, or lunch - DO check the prices before ordering anything, or even sitting down! Some ordinary looking places up in 1850 have extraordinary prices to make you weep - especially with kids. If you're driving it's worth taking a few bits and pieces (e.g. dishwasher tablets, some spices and flavourings, favourite breakfast cereals for the kids, lots of mini-chocolate bars so they can't persuade you they're dying of hunger at 1030). But you probably know all that already!


Yes, alcohol is definitely cheaper in France than in Scandinavia, but we don't actually drink much and our two oldest children are teenagers, so they eat a lot. Thanks for the tip about checking prices before sitting down in 1850. Yes, we always bring dishwasher tablets and basic groceries from England when driving to the Alps.


Last edited by snowHeads are a friendly bunch. on Mon 26-09-22 19:53; edited 1 time in total
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
ribblevalleyblue wrote:
@Motherofthree, unfortunately here comes the France v Austria debate, but hey ho.

I last went to France about 10 years ago (and haven’t returned after trying 3 resorts over 7 trips, due to the value, apres and lift queues) and remember paying €5.5 for a beer in the cheapest bar in Les Arcs 1800 and thinking what value, it was €7/€8 plus up the mountain. A bottle of coke was more!

10 years later a beer has just crept up to c€5 in some places in Saalbach, Austria (one of the more popular where I have mostly been skiing since, been to 3 other Austrian and Whistler twice) but plenty in the lower €4 up the mountain.

Food, plat du jour (quarter chicken leg, frites, sauce, up the mountain on a slope side restaurant near Les Arcs 2000, €15.

A half chicken with frites in Saalbach, paid c €10 in March this year.

I do wish you could move the French cuisine to Austria though, food quite heavy in Austria. The foie gras starter in a Chamoix restaurant in my first year skiing about 14 years ago was amazing, was €19.50 back then, but did come with small glass of sweet wine! dread to think how much now.

Even if France is your desired country, can’t think that budget and Courchevel sit in the same sentence.


I agree, French food is delicious! Saalbach/Austria sounds like good value, hoping to go to Austria for Christmas 2023...
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pam w wrote:
Courchevel varies - I'd say 1650 is no more expensive than many other resorts. Ski pass prices in France and Austria are comparable and the marginal additional food cost for a family just eating out a few times won't be hugely significant. Families with three small kids won't be going out drinking in the evenings. You don't need to spend a lot in a French supermarket, even in resort, to buy yourself plenty of wine and beer.


Thanks for your reply, that's reassuring to hear. I'm not worried about the cost of supermarket food, as we are planning to stock up in a larger supermarket before getting to the resort, it's the eating out prices I'm a bit worried about.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
sno trax wrote:
@Motherofthree, as with most places, there are always value options and more expensive options. It's been a number of years since I've done 1650 (and the 3v in general) but didn't recall it being too bad overall. There are places like Le Lodge in La Tania which may make better value stops for lunch. If you can ski down to the various resort levels you may find better value. Again, Les Menuires is more family focused and so may be cheaper. I would say the 3v is on a par with La Plagne provided you avoid the 1850 expensive hangouts. On the whole, I'd say the 3v would be on a par with Surrey pub prices.

Most of this is pre-covid and so things may have changed a bit. However, I'm sure someone on the 3v resort thread can give some pointers on where to go or avoid nearer the time.


Yes, that's true. We were initially considering Les Menuires, but decided against it when I saw how ugly the resort looks (silly, I know) and that we could rent an apartment in Courchevel 1650 for the same price as one in Les Menuires. We also like the look of the many green and blue slopes in Courchevel and I have a feeling that 1650 will be less crowded in half term than Les Menuires. We will try to avoid the expensive 1850 hangouts and stick to the other villages in Courchevel, thanks for your advice.


Last edited by You know it makes sense. on Fri 23-09-22 21:49; edited 1 time in total
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
pam w wrote:
When my OH and I had a last minute catered chalet holiday in 1650, many years ago, the the other guests kindly invited us to join them for dinner in a restaurant on the chalet staff's day off but fortunately the name of the restaurant rang a bell and I knew it was very expensive. We opted to stay in the chalet - by the fabulous log fire, playing chess. With a selection of cheese and cold meats bought in the street market, a fresh baguette and a bottle of excellent red wine. The local shops and market will provide all you need to make yourselves really good, and simple, meals for little more than they would cost you if you were shopping in Tesco.


I would much prefer a cosy night in with French cheese, cold meats and wine instead of an expensive night out too! French food is just so tasty.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Old Fartbag wrote:
pam w wrote:
Just be careful if you fancy stopping on the mountain for a coffee, or lunch - DO check the prices before ordering anything, or even sitting down! Some ordinary looking places up in 1850 have extraordinary prices to make you weep - especially with kids.

That certainly rings a bell.

We were there years ago, when my Kids were still quite small and the French Franc was still in use. After picking my lot up from ski school, my Father offered to take us all for a hot chocolate. IIRC it was in that hotel (Courchneige?) that runs alongside the piste, above 1850. It was lovely, sitting out in the sunshine drinking our beverages. When the bill came, it was for something like £60. We checked prices after that.


Wow, what a shock that must have been. We will definitely check the prices before sitting down anywhere!
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
I stayed in 1650 in March of this year and found the food and drinks to be reasonably priced. However, I also went to Flaine 2 weeks later and found the quality of food in the mountain restaurants to actually be better than that in Courchevel. 1650 is a modest town IMO and has expensive eateries aswell as affordable ones. The carrefour is a bit out of the way at the end of the 1650 town up the hill. I remember there being a really nice pizzeria and a local crepes shop also on the way up towards the carrefour both offering good quality food at a good price. Enjoy 1650 - it was my first ski trip and I really enjoyed it. I also stayed in the Ecrin Blanc which was an experience - and in all honesty, I wouldn’t return. Good move getting a SC apartment.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Motherofthree,
Will you be skiing the whole of the 3 Valleys, or sticking only to Courchevel valley?

If you are venturing further afield there are some good, very reasonably priced restaurants in the other valleys - such as L'Alpage, near Les Menuires; and Chalet Chinal Donat, above Orelle (which is the furthest point from where you are staying - but do-able for a day trip). There are also a number of indoor picnic rooms throughout the 3Vs (that we use a lot). I'm happy to give you more info about them if you need it. A few of them now have microwaves (which we use for heating our pasta lunches) and some have coffee machines, with decent coffee for €1 Very Happy .
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@Motherofthree, hi you can get a few ideas of where to eat on a budget from here http://www.latania.co.uk/resort/vfm.html but it would help if you gave an example of your budget and/or type of food you're expecting. IMV, there are less good value places than there used to be and what's left tend to be pizza/panini based which hardly counts as French food. But it depends what your budget is. You can certainly get a good meal for €30-40/head but if your budget is c.€20 then that's pizza and snack hut territory. As others have said, I doubt it's more expensive than the other places you've been although Belle Plagne is probably a little cheaper. If you're happy with baguettes/paninis then the bakery in the centre of C1650 (Au Pain d'Antan) is excellent and does meal deals and the supermarket in the centre (not the one up the hill) does rotisserie chickens.

The key thing is though, you must book. Whether it's lunchtime or evening, you will not get a party of 5 into anywhere popular without booking in February. And if it's a place with a good Plat du Jour, you probably need to be in by 12.30 or they will have run out of it. You don't say exactly which week you're going but you should also be aware that the Ski World Championships are on in Meribel/Courchevel from 6-19 February 2023. This won't affect recreational skiing much but it will undoubtedly increase demand for the good value restaurants so if your trip coincides with race days you may actually need to book now! This is particularly relevant to all the La Tania recommendations, for instance, as the Men's Downhill is right above it so the usual suspects of the Bouc Blanc, Pub le Ski Lodge, the Bistro and even La Taiga will be rammed.

Regarding ski hire, again you should book early, probably now. A quick check of the key players, Skiset, Skimium, Intersport, Sport 2000 and Ski Republic suggests Ski Republic are the cheapest followed by Sport 2000. The Sport 2000 shops are all good. Ski Republic in C1650 is actually the Precision Ski shop. I'd normally be a little hesitant to recommend Ski Republic but Precision Ski should be fine. I think I'd check the location of your apartment and choose the closest shop out of Precision Ski or the Sport 2000 ones (there are three). https://www.precisionski-rent.com/ https://ski-hire-sport2000.co.uk/

You can always PM me if you want more specific information on the area.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
The 3 valleys can be eye wateringly expensive but it certainly doesn't have to be.

Coffee the Le Tremplin below The croisette in 1850 - 12 euros.

Coffee in the cafe/bar 20 yards from le tremplin below the croisette in 1850 5 euros (or so if I recall).

Lot's of the nice restaurants and bars (alti bar in 1850, bel Air in 1650) have a reasonably priced snack bar situated next to them so you get the views/location without the impact on the wallet.

Courcheneige used to be a favourite as they did a skiers lunch for around 25 euros (2 great courses) and a small Stella was 3 euros, but they've change hands in recent years, but as with the others above there is a snack bar about 20 metres further down.

Plenty of good value stuff in 1650 when you move away from the slopeside dining. Again as mentioned above the lodge in la Tania is good food and we'll priced (just don't order the chevre Chaud, those that know, will know why wink )
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agree re la Tania
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What is the area like for packed-lunch facilities? I asked because we never even thought of doing this until my penurious brother-in-law came out with us one time. What we found was that if you put some effort into your packed lunch it could actually turn out much easier when it's busy. The pic-nique room provided in the summit station where we skied was really good - warm, with tables and chairs and excellent views. And altogether much easier than the Weekend lunchtime scrum in the restaurant above. And when the weather turned bright and sunny, there were lovely pic-nique areas outside that again, made for a very easy lunch. There's also the upside that if you find yourself somewhere remote, or someone is really exhausted and needs a feed, you have lunch with you.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Motherofthree wrote:
Old Fartbag wrote:
pam w wrote:
Just be careful if you fancy stopping on the mountain for a coffee, or lunch - DO check the prices before ordering anything, or even sitting down! Some ordinary looking places up in 1850 have extraordinary prices to make you weep - especially with kids.

That certainly rings a bell.

We were there years ago, when my Kids were still quite small and the French Franc was still in use. After picking my lot up from ski school, my Father offered to take us all for a hot chocolate. IIRC it was in that hotel (Courchneige?) that runs alongside the piste, above 1850. It was lovely, sitting out in the sunshine drinking our beverages. When the bill came, it was for something like £60. We checked prices after that.


Wow, what a shock that must have been. We will definitely check the prices before sitting down anywhere!


If you're ordering Hot chocolate, always say 'no' if they ask you if you want Chantilly.... it'll add at least €2 or €3 to what was otherwise a reasonabley priced drink... and all for a bit of squirty cream that doesn't even taste nice.
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As with any resorts, there are expensive and not so expensive parts. I second the advice of booking and looking at the price list before seating. My nephew hurt his back landing from a jump in one of the fun parks in Courcheval a number of years ago, we waited at the nearest restaurant for an update from his dad and should have known that a round of soft drinks for 8 people would hit nearly 100 euros - they had furs on the chairs and a champagne bar so we should have guessed!
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Quote “Coffee the Le Tremplin below The croisette in 1850 - 12 euros.

Coffee in the cafe/bar 20 yards from le tremplin below the croisette in 1850 5 euros (or so if I recall). “

€5 is value in France , I rest my case your honour
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Quote:

€5 is value in France , I rest my case your honour

I pay 3€ in Les Arcs
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Moorzee10 wrote:
I stayed in 1650 in March of this year and found the food and drinks to be reasonably priced. However, I also went to Flaine 2 weeks later and found the quality of food in the mountain restaurants to actually be better than that in Courchevel. 1650 is a modest town IMO and has expensive eateries aswell as affordable ones. The carrefour is a bit out of the way at the end of the 1650 town up the hill. I remember there being a really nice pizzeria and a local crepes shop also on the way up towards the carrefour both offering good quality food at a good price. Enjoy 1650 - it was my first ski trip and I really enjoyed it. I also stayed in the Ecrin Blanc which was an experience - and in all honesty, I wouldn’t return. Good move getting a SC apartment.


That's good to hear that you found the food and drinks to be reasonably priced in 1650 in March. I looked at the Ecrin Blanc hotel, it looks lovely, but costs about €17,000 for the five of us for the half term week!


Last edited by And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports. on Fri 23-09-22 21:51; edited 1 time in total
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Bergmeister wrote:
Motherofthree,
Will you be skiing the whole of the 3 Valleys, or sticking only to Courchevel valley?

If you are venturing further afield there are some good, very reasonably priced restaurants in the other valleys - such as L'Alpage, near Les Menuires; and Chalet Chinal Donat, above Orelle (which is the furthest point from where you are staying - but do-able for a day trip). There are also a number of indoor picnic rooms throughout the 3Vs (that we use a lot). I'm happy to give you more info about them if you need it. A few of them now have microwaves (which we use for heating our pasta lunches) and some have coffee machines, with decent coffee for €1 Very Happy .


We haven't decided yet if we will only ski in Courchevel or if we will venture further afield. 1650 is a bit of a way away from the rest of the 3V, I get the impression. Sounds good that there are picnic rooms throughout the 3Vs, hope there are some in Courchevel too!
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Raceplate wrote:
@Motherofthree, hi you can get a few ideas of where to eat on a budget from here http://www.latania.co.uk/resort/vfm.html but it would help if you gave an example of your budget and/or type of food you're expecting. IMV, there are less good value places than there used to be and what's left tend to be pizza/panini based which hardly counts as French food. But it depends what your budget is. You can certainly get a good meal for €30-40/head but if your budget is c.€20 then that's pizza and snack hut territory. As others have said, I doubt it's more expensive than the other places you've been although Belle Plagne is probably a little cheaper. If you're happy with baguettes/paninis then the bakery in the centre of C1650 (Au Pain d'Antan) is excellent and does meal deals and the supermarket in the centre (not the one up the hill) does rotisserie chickens.

The key thing is though, you must book. Whether it's lunchtime or evening, you will not get a party of 5 into anywhere popular without booking in February. And if it's a place with a good Plat du Jour, you probably need to be in by 12.30 or they will have run out of it. You don't say exactly which week you're going but you should also be aware that the Ski World Championships are on in Meribel/Courchevel from 6-19 February 2023. This won't affect recreational skiing much but it will undoubtedly increase demand for the good value restaurants so if your trip coincides with race days you may actually need to book now! This is particularly relevant to all the La Tania recommendations, for instance, as the Men's Downhill is right above it so the usual suspects of the Bouc Blanc, Pub le Ski Lodge, the Bistro and even La Taiga will be rammed.

Regarding ski hire, again you should book early, probably now. A quick check of the key players, Skiset, Skimium, Intersport, Sport 2000 and Ski Republic suggests Ski Republic are the cheapest followed by Sport 2000. The Sport 2000 shops are all good. Ski Republic in C1650 is actually the Precision Ski shop. I'd normally be a little hesitant to recommend Ski Republic but Precision Ski should be fine. I think I'd check the location of your apartment and choose the closest shop out of Precision Ski or the Sport 2000 ones (there are three). https://www.precisionski-rent.com/ https://ski-hire-sport2000.co.uk/

You can always PM me if you want more specific information on the area.


Thanks for your detailed reply. Our budget for a main course in the evening is about €30 per person and for lunch about €20 per person. We found places within this budget even in Verbier (which is also regarded as an expensive resort, although we found it surprisingly affordable), where we skied last winter. Baguettes and paninis are fine for lunch, but in the evening we would like hot food like raclette, fondue, tartiflette and burger/pizza.

We will be in Courchevel 11-19th February, if everything goes according to plan. Thanks for the info about the Ski World Championships, I had no idea!

I could happily book restaurants now, but some of the ones that look good appear to be closed. Perhaps they are only open when the ski resort is open.

Thanks for the ski hire recommendations too, I will have a look at these places.


Last edited by You know it makes sense. on Fri 23-09-22 21:52; edited 1 time in total
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@motherofthree We paid circa £1400 PP for HB for the week with flights and transfers through crystal. Whilst the hotel was pleasant enough, it was barely worth that never mind the price you were quoted.

It was quite evidently a new hotel with multiple teething problems.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
LaForet wrote:
What is the area like for packed-lunch facilities? I asked because we never even thought of doing this until my penurious brother-in-law came out with us one time. What we found was that if you put some effort into your packed lunch it could actually turn out much easier when it's busy. The pic-nique room provided in the summit station where we skied was really good - warm, with tables and chairs and excellent views. And altogether much easier than the Weekend lunchtime scrum in the restaurant above. And when the weather turned bright and sunny, there were lovely pic-nique areas outside that again, made for a very easy lunch. There's also the upside that if you find yourself somewhere remote, or someone is really exhausted and needs a feed, you have lunch with you.


Hello again, thanks for your reply! We are a big fan of packed lunches for the reasons you mentioned, or skiing back to the apartment for lunch if possible.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Extremophile wrote:
Motherofthree wrote:
Old Fartbag wrote:
pam w wrote:
Just be careful if you fancy stopping on the mountain for a coffee, or lunch - DO check the prices before ordering anything, or even sitting down! Some ordinary looking places up in 1850 have extraordinary prices to make you weep - especially with kids.

That certainly rings a bell.

We were there years ago, when my Kids were still quite small and the French Franc was still in use. After picking my lot up from ski school, my Father offered to take us all for a hot chocolate. IIRC it was in that hotel (Courchneige?) that runs alongside the piste, above 1850. It was lovely, sitting out in the sunshine drinking our beverages. When the bill came, it was for something like £60. We checked prices after that.


Wow, what a shock that must have been. We will definitely check the prices before sitting down anywhere!


If you're ordering Hot chocolate, always say 'no' if they ask you if you want Chantilly.... it'll add at least €2 or €3 to what was otherwise a reasonabley priced drink... and all for a bit of squirty cream that doesn't even taste nice.


Thanks for the heads up! Although I must say Chantilly sounds quite yummy.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Moorzee10 wrote:
@motherofthree We paid circa £1400 PP for HB for the week with flights and transfers through crystal. Whilst the hotel was pleasant enough, it was barely worth that never mind the price you were quoted.

It was quite evidently a new hotel with multiple teething problems.


Wow, that sounds like a bargain! I have heard that the difference in accommodation prices in Courchevel is huge in high season vs low season. We can only go during the school holidays, as our children are in school.


Last edited by Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see? on Fri 23-09-22 21:45; edited 2 times in total
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Snowmadmum wrote:
As with any resorts, there are expensive and not so expensive parts. I second the advice of booking and looking at the price list before seating. My nephew hurt his back landing from a jump in one of the fun parks in Courcheval a number of years ago, we waited at the nearest restaurant for an update from his dad and should have known that a round of soft drinks for 8 people would hit nearly 100 euros - they had furs on the chairs and a champagne bar so we should have guessed!


That's a lot of money for just drinks. Must say I'm not 100 % convinced Courchevel is for us, after having read all the replies. We quite like having hot chocolate/soft drinks/coffee on the mountain and to always worry about the cost could take away some of the joy of being in the Alps...
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
If you prefer mostly green, blue, maybe easier reds, then you've made a good choice with Courchevel 1650. It will almost certainly be less crowded than Meribel valley and Les Menuires, as they're both on the main routes around the 3 Valleys. Not that it would be quiet at Feb half term.

Whether a full area pass is worth the extra for 5 of you depends on how adventurous your skiing is and whether you enjoy touring around. Did you have a full area pass for Paradiski or just La Plagne?. Reasonably confident intermediate skiers can comfortably ski over to Les Menuires, further if you enjoy getting a wiggle on.

Sign up to various ski rental suppliers for discount offers, though these might be scarce, again because of half term high demand. Skimium (Decathlon partner) worth a look. They offer discounts for group bookings (4 or more sets, 5% off; 10 or more 10% off). Might be able to find other snowHeads there that week to join with your booking for that extra 5% off? They also discount another 5% if you have a Decathlon card. Their base in 1650 (Francis Blanc Sport) is very central and conveniently located for the main gondola.

I'd recommend La Table de Marie for unpretentious, relatively good value eating out. Also the bakery / patisserie just uphill from the centre, right hand side, does good sandwiches etc. In 2019 we were getting a baguette or sandwich plus a drink to take away for 10 euros. Stocking up with food at Moutiers is cheapest but doubt you'll have much spare room in your vehicle.

Avoid the overpriced mountain restaurants in and above Courchevel 1850. There's one more reasonable place I know of that does good lunchtime burgers. On the left, just after passing under the bridge near the main lift hub in 1850. There are one or two more reasonable and good value lunch restaurants over in Les Menuires and en route to Val Thorens.

Hope that helps. snowHead
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Motherofthree wrote:
Our budget for a main course in the evening is about €30 per person and for lunch about €20 per person. We found places within this budget even in Verbier (which is also regarded as an expensive resort, although we found it surprisingly affordable), where we skied last winter. Baguettes and paninis are fine for lunch, but in the evening we would like hot food like raclette, fondue, tartiflette and burger/pizza.


If that is your budget for main course only, you will have no problem whatsoever in finding nice places to eat for both lunch and dinner. Don't be put off the 3Vs by the scaremongers who wandered into a Russian oligarch oriented establishment. It does happen but it's not the overall picture. When I said you can get a good meal for €30-40, I meant including a beer/house wine and a coffee. In some places that would cover a beer, a pichet, a coffee and a freebie digestif as well as an excellent plat du jour. You can find Magret de Canard or a Filet de Bouef as a main course for €26-28 in plenty of places. At lunch. plat du jours are typically €15 as are burgers, pizza, spag bol etc. so your budget is more than realistic. The menu skieur in the bakery used to be €9.90 for a drink, baguette or panini and a cake from the patisserie. I suspect that will be more like €11-12 this season but it's still well within your budget.

Regarding drinks, I tend to deliberately drink allonge (long black coffee) because the average price is around €2.60. You do tend to get stiffed a bit on cafe au lait, hot chocolate etc. in comparison but in most places those drinks would be €4. It's still less than a Starbucks. By law, all restaurants have to have a price list outside so it's not difficult to make sure you don't wander into an overpriced place.

You're right that most restaurants are probably closed right now because it's between seasons so just make sure to make the bookings in early December.

C1650 is probably the best of the Courchevel villages (other than my own La Tania, obviously Laughing ) so I think you'll regret it if you change your mind and decide not to go.
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@Motherofthree, if you stop a couple of times a day for mountain restaurant drinks, that will certainly inflate the overall spending money cost significantly. Drinks from supermarkets in the separate towns and villages of the 3 valleys would save a fair bit. A packed lunch would save even more.
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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
I paid 20 euros for a beer in 1850 over a decade ago. Still love the resort though.
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I don’t want to sound mean but if you’re on a very tight budget then you might want to look at other resorts … granted, 1650 is not necessarily the most expensive village in the 3Vs but you’re still paying a premium for being there. For me a family ski holiday is a treat and something to enjoy without worrying about how much it would cost to have a mid-morning coffee etc. There are myriads of other resorts that don’t carry the “air of exclusivity” that (disappointingly) some of the big French areas do. Austria and Italy are more reasonably priced in general. Or have you thought about staying in a “peripheral” village that would still give you access to lots of skiing? Montriond for the PdS is an example.
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I'd agree with many of the comments above. I'd say you want to go to a resort where people are already doing self-catering to keep the costs down, not a resort that offers the 3V on the semi-cheap. Somewhere like Vars would be ideal, lots of ordinary French people visit on a budget, lots of self-catering apartments available to choose from, and lots of services available for those who are self-catering to make good use of. Also, my understanding is that two of the main lift problem areas in Vars are being upgraded this year, you'll get a great ski area with a great lift system and be able to keep the costs down. Vars can't be described as a 'looker', but Risoul over the hill is attractive enough for a week in the mountains and, again, is set up for those self-catering.

When I visited Courchevel 1650 in 2008 (I think), I enjoyed my stay. However, it is of course at one extremity of a large ski area and you find yourself always travelling to visit different parts of the ski area. For skiing, I'd prefer to have good access to a medium size ski area than peripheral access to a large sized ski area. Just my opinion, of course.
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