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Méribel – The original luxury chalet resort


Many ski resorts across the Alps aspire to the title of the best luxury chalet resort and we all have our own particular favourites (mine obviously being Méribel) but the title of original chalet resort definitely belongs to Méribel.

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I've been based in Méribel for many years (more than I care to admit to) and I love it here. It has the best skiing and being in the centre of the 3 Valleys has the best access to the vast ski area. I also love chalets and have been running catered properties and looking after their guests for many years. It’s a passion of mine and I could scarcely call it a job. Do I have a favourite luxury ski chalet in Meribel? Yes but it depends on the day and what I’m looking for – they’re a bit like my children, I love them all equally but for different reasons.

Many ski resorts across the Alps aspire to the title of the best luxury chalet resort and we all have our own particular favourites (mine obviously being Méribel) but the title of original chalet resort definitely belongs to Méribel.

Méribel owes it existence to the vision of Scot, Peter Lindsay who in the 1930’s when political tension was increasing in Europe and British skiers were looking for an alternative to skiing in Austria, set out to find a suitable site in France to create a new ski village. 

With the help of legendary French skier Emile Allais he found the ideal site above the village of Les Allues: an undeveloped valley with a suitable altitude and perfect orientation. The development stopped during the war and was resumed in 1945. With French architect Christian Durupt, a strict building code was introduced to ensure that all the chalets were built constructed from the local materials of slate, wood and stone, with double-pitched roofs and were in a harmonious architectural style. 

By the middle of the 1950’s Méribel consisted of around 40 chalets, 17 hotels and four ski lifts including the first Burgin Saulire gondola lift. Early chalet owners included a brother of Francois Mitterrand, the Duchess of Bedford and Brigitte Bardot. Today in Méribel there are still a similar number of hotels, 41 lifts (180 in the 3 Valleys) and countless chalets including our own portfolio of luxury ski chalets.

If you’re looking for peace, quiet and privacy then your perfect luxury chalets in Méribel are Chalets Les Brames or Chalet d’Hadrien. Both are beautiful chalets set in peaceful locations with their own private gardens. Les Brames is spacious, airy with great spa and entertainment facilities set in a private, gated enclave just a few minutes drive from the main lifts. Chalet d’Hadrien has an indoor pool, cinema room and great views from the southwest facing garden. The location is peaceful but yet it’s only a couple of minutes walk to the piste and a couple more to the centre of the resort.

If your main criteria is to get on the slopes as easily and as quickly as possible then I would definitely recommend Chalets Trois Ours, Le Grenier or Zybeline. There are very few true ski-in/out chalets in Méribel but Chalet Trois Ours, on the prestigious Route des Chalets, is one of them – the hot tub terrace literally backs onto the Doron piste. 

The magnificent Chalet Le Grenier, a newly built chalet that gives new meaning to the phrase luxury ski chalet with its spacious rooms and spa facilities, is across the road from the Morel chair meaning you can get on the slopes and into the 3 Valleys ski area quickly and with the minimum of fuss. Or opt for the contemporary luxury of Chalet Zybeline, spread over 5 floors with steam room and sauna, this is less than a stone’s throw from the main lifts at the Chaudanne – staying here definitely gets you on the first lift in the morning!

If your dream of mountain heaven is to stay somewhere truly alpine and to feel that you’re a million miles away from normal, everyday life, then I would look at the lovely chalets in either Méribel Village, the original high summer pasture village or the hamlet of Le Raffort. 

Méribel Village is perfect for a restful ski holiday – there is a ski shop, great bakery and a lively bar in the village and it has its own lift, the Golf chair which goes up to the Altiport and links into the 3 Valley lift area. The 3 properties we feature in Village are Chalets Du Vallon and Foinbois and the new apartment chalet Cherferie. All different in terms of style and size but all offering the same authentic alpine village experience.  

For an even quieter location head for one of our beautiful luxury ski chalets in Le Raffort where the views are of uninterrupted slopes and where you will often see chamois and deer descending from the trees above to drink in the stream. There are no shops or bars in the hamlet but Chalets Abreuvoir, Ruisseau & Ecume des Neiges have every facility that you could want including a driver service that can whisk you up to the resort centre in a matter of mere minutes.

And don’t even get me started on the wonderful Mont Tremblant with its outdoor pool and cinema room or the lovely Chalet Carcajou with a hot tub with views of the mountains and the resort centre. In Méribel you are spoilt for choice and whatever your criteria for a luxury chalet, I absolutely guarantee we will have just the right thing for you.