Often overlooked by the Brits in favour of its neighbours Val Thorens, Meribel and Courchevel, Les Menuires offers much more affordable accommodation and is the perfect option for those who want to experience the incredible Three Valleys without breaking the bank.
Located between the pretty alpine town of St Martin de Belleville (1650m) and high altitude resort of Val Thorens (2300m), Les Menuires sits at a snow-sure 1850m and is perfect for accessing the best of the massive Three Valleys ski area. The slopes around Les Menuires offer some superb and varied terrain ranging from fantastic gladed areas around St Martin to long and steep runs from the top of Mont de la Chambre. From there you can also access Meribel (and subsequently Courchevel) and Val Thorens, and experienced riders will want to purchase a full Three Valleys lift pass to allow them to explore the entire area.
Les Menuires’ park, the BK Park, has some good kickers and features for beginner and intermediate freestylers as well as a boardercross course, but more advanced riders should head over to the Val Thorens snowpark or Meribel’s Moon Park.
Les Menuires is one of the many purpose built resorts that were thrown up in the French Alps in the 1960s and 70s, but what it lacks aesthetically, it more than makes up for in functionality and accessibility. Much of the accommodation in Les Menuires is ski in/ski out and is spread between the three main areas of La Croisette, Reberty and Preyerand. La Croisette is the central hub of the resort where many of the bars, restaurants and shops can be found, in addition to many of Les Menuires’ apartments and hotels.
While the resort isn’t renowned for having the liveliest nightlife in the area, it does have enough good bars, restaurants and nightclubs to keep all but the die hard party animal entertained. Bar Le Skilt in La Croisette attracts a mainly British crowd and is a good spot for après, with a happy hour from 5-8pm. For a more mixed crowd and possibly a spot of pool, table football or darts, head to Mousse Bar, also in La Croisette. And if you’ve got the energy you can dance the rest of the night away in Le New Pop nightclub opposite.
If you want to sample the more acclaimed nightlife of Val Thorens you can take the free shuttle bus from La Croisette (that last one leaves at 18.35) and get a taxi back when you’re ready to drop. It’s also possible to enjoy the crazy party atmosphere of the famous mountain top après spot, La Folie Douce in Val Thorens until the speakers are turned off (around 5pm) and then ski directly back to your accommodation in Les Menuires. If you’re lucky you’ll get to cruise home on deserted slopes which have already been groomed for the following day!