© Sylvain Aymoz
Where to stay in Meribel
Discover the top Meribel places to stay
You've made up your mind – you want to come to Meribel on your next holiday. As you research your trip, you'll discover that there’s more than one town in the area and that they all offer a great selection of chalets, apartments and hotels. Accommodation is one of the biggest expenses when booking a holiday, so you want to make sure that you’ve chosen the right location. Worry not, we’re here to help.
With a global reputation for world-class skiing, Méribel is one of the most popular ski resorts in the world. Its location, right at the heart of the largest ski area on Earth, the Three Valleys, is largely responsible for its success.
There are several towns and villages that come under the umbrella of the brand ‘Méribel’, linked by an efficient and free bus service. Holiday accommodation in the Méribel Valley is not restricted to the main town of Méribel but is also found in the higher resort of Méribel-Mottaret, in the small, authentic villages below the main resort, and in the spa town of Brides-les-Bains at the foot of the valley. For those willing to look further afield, Moûtiers (a 20-minute drive away) or la Tania (located between Méribel and Courchevel) also offer ski and summer holiday accommodation.
Five things to consider before deciding where to stay in Meribel
When it comes to booking accommodation in Meribel, there is certainly no shortage of choice. Whether you are looking for luxury hotels, chalets for large groups or apartments that are as close to the lifts as possible, you’ll find it all here. This guide to the different sections that make up this superb area should help point you in the right direction so that you are situated as close to whatever action you're looking for. But, first things first.
Where should you stay in the Méribel Valley?
It depends on the type of holiday you'd like to have. It’s always a good idea to know exactly what you’re looking for: chalet or apartment, party or tranquillity, sporty or relaxed – a holiday in Meribel can offer all of these things. With an impressive assortment of accommodation hot spots, from the lively town of Méribel to the spa village of Brides-les-Bains, the Méribel Valley is full of surprises.
These are some of the things you may want to consider in advance before you pick the place you want to stay in:
- Distance to the pistes: Being able to ski to your door is everyone’s dream – there’s no better feeling than putting your skis on right outside your front door. Meribel and its surrounding area offer a good selection of ski-in and ski-out apartments, chalets and hotels. However, bear in mind that these very sought-after spots are usually more expensive than the places further away from the pistes so, if you want to save some money, you can always rely on the excellent network of free shuttle buses that run along the whole length of the valley and will take you to the foot of the slopes in no time.
- Quiet or bustling: Is après-ski as important (or more important) than the skiing itself? In that case, you’d want to stay as close to the bars and clubs in resort as possible. However, if you’d rather stay in after a day on the slopes and prefer to avoid the hustle and bustle of the centre, one of the charming villages surrounding Meribel is probably a better choice – and, if you find yourself itching to party, you can always hop on a bus to the centre of Meribel.
- Amenities: Ask yourself what you’ll need around you when holidaying in Meribel. For example, if you’re self-catering, you probably want to be as close to the supermarkets and restaurants as possible, while those staying in catered chalets and hotels may not need to. Having shops, ski and/or bike hire places and cafés around you can be very handy but also quite noisy… you decide exactly what you need!
- Things to do: As with amenities, not everyone will need the same services nearby. For example, families will want to be near the ski schools meeting points to avoid trudging across resort in ski boots carrying yours and your children's skis. Having the local swimming pool and sports centre close by is also a great idea for those coming with little ones, it’ll keep them entertained after a day on the slopes. Or perhaps you need a spa for a good back rub or to soak your sore muscles in a hot tub after a few hours snowboarding.
- Budget: Last but not least, location is key when it comes to saving money. Generally, the closer you get to the slopes and to the resort centre, the steeper the prices will be, while the villages further away from the lifts will usually offer cheaper deals. You may have to sacrifice convenience for budget but worry not, you’ll never be further than 35 minutes from the world-renowned Meribel pistes thanks to the aforementioned shuttle buses.
Our local team’s top tip: When booking accommodation, take a good look at the photos. You’re going to be spending some time in this space so you may as well feel comfortable in it. It’s not just about whether you prefer a cosy rustic interior or a light and airy open plan space, but also whether the layout and décor fit your needs. Are the rooms big enough? How about the bathrooms? Is there a super-modern, steep staircase your toddler won’t be able to climb? What floor is the apartment on? Is it accessible by a lift? All of this matters when choosing your accommodation and not every town in Meribel will be able to provide all sorts of styles.
Meribel Centre: Large village with a buzzing atmosphere
Méribel itself is the biggest and best-known holiday resort in the valley, stretching from 1,450m in the town centre to 1,700m at the Altiport. Some people refer to the main town of Méribel as Méribel Centre. And, although Méribel is a village, it should not be confused with Méribel Village itself – even we get confused!
Méribel Centre has the biggest selection of bars, restaurants and shops, plus the widest selection of accommodation, including many of the picture-postcard chalets the resort is famous for. Hotels accommodation ranges from five-star luxury to simple family-run affairs, and apartments range from budget to fully-catered, chalet-style penthouses.
Who should stay in Méribel Centre?
The town centre is ideal if you want to stay at the heart of the action, close to the slopes, ski schools, bars and nightclubs. There are several hot spots in and around Méribel Centre, each offering something different.
At the entrance to the resort, the original village of Mussillon offers authentic, vintage chalets as well as swanky new ones. Also close to the town centre is La Chaudanne, the main lift and piste hub and ski school meeting point, while a 10-minute walk above the centre of town is Morel, based around a traditional hamlet with both traditional and new chalets. Just above Morel is Altitude 1600, with its own chairlift, bars, shops and restaurants.
Higher still are Le Plateau and Le Rond Point, offering large apartment residences and hotels conveniently close to slopes, shops and restaurants. At the top of the resort is super-chic Le Belvédère, an area boasting luxury chalets and hotels. Higher still, and separate from the rest of the resort is the Altiport. This is a quiet and charming wooded area with self-catered apartments and one hotel. The Altiport has its own restaurant and shops and is located by the nursery slopes.
Note that some tour operators will advertise accommodation in Méribel, meaning the Méribel Valley rather than in Méribel itself (nerdy side note: although the Méribel Valley is usually called just that, it is more correctly known as Les Allues Valley).
Meribel Mottaret: Chalet-style village with a traditional Alpine feel
Méribel Mottaret (1,700m-1,800m) is a separate, purpose-built resort dating from the 1970s. It shares Méribel’s chalet-style architecture but most of its accommodation is in the form of large apartment residences and hotels.
Who should stay in Méribel Mottaret?
Anyone, really. The village is mostly car-free and much of the accommodation is ski-in/ski-out. It has a good selection of bars and restaurants, though perhaps not quite such a lively après-ski scene as Méribel. Mottaret, like Méribel, has an excellent lift system but is even better placed for quick access to the high skiing at the head of the valley and in Val Thorens.
Meribel Village: Small ski resort with a tranquil atmosphere
Méribel Village (1400m) was transformed from a sleepy village to a charming small ski resort when it gained a chairlift in the 1990s. Although only five minutes by car or bus from Méribel, it has its own centre with shops, bars and restaurants.
Who should stay in Méribel Village?
The chalets and apartments here are generally of a very high standard and it is a popular destination for those who prefer a tranquil village atmosphere. The single high-speed chairlift links to the Altiport ski area above Méribel, from where an easy blue run returns to the village.
Les Allues: Charming Alpine village populated year-round with locals
Les Allues (1,100m) is a large village with year-round life. It has charming new and old chalets, as well as some apartments and hotel accommodation, plus a couple of bars and several restaurants. It is linked to the ski area by the Olympe gondola lift and the free Meribus service. It is possible to ski back to Les Allues via a blue ski run, though this usually closes before the end of the ski season due to its lower altitude.
Who should stay in Les Allues?
If you want to experience a slice of true Savoyard life, this is the place to stay. There are several hamlets in the valley which offer traditional chalets and an authentic village atmosphere. Of these, only Le Raffort is linked by lift to the ski area. Nantgerel and Chandon are linked to Méribel by the Meribus service. If you are staying in any of the other villages, such as Le Plantin or Villaret, you will need a vehicle to get around.
Brides-les-Bains - Spa town with cheaper accommodation options
Brides-les-Bains (600m) is a spa town at the bottom of the valley linked with Méribel by the Olympe gondola lift.
Who should stay in Brides-les-Bains?
Hotel and apartment accommodation is relatively inexpensive, making it popular with those on a budget. The Olympe lift takes around 25 minutes to reach Méribel Centre and stops running at the end of the skiing day – if you want to enjoy Méribel’s après-ski, you will need to take a taxi back down the valley. It is not possible to ski back to Brides, except off-piste during exceptionally snowy periods. In March, the ‘curistes’ (spa visitors) return to Brides, resulting in an eclectic mix of clientele – fit skiers rubbing shoulders with the arthritic and overweight.
Luxury hot spots in Meribel
If you're searching for luxury accommodation in Meribel, you're in luck! The resort offers plenty of high-end options, many of which feature private swimming pools, spas, hot tubs and even cinema rooms.
Where are luxury chalets and apartments located in Meribel?
Le Belvedere is Méribel Centre's upmarket neighbourhood. Far from the hustle and bustle of the centre, it boasts excellent piste access from its luxury chalets and apartments. Méribel also boasts a couple of high-end gated communities favoured by the rich and famous filled with high-end chalets: Le Domaine de Burgin, Les Brames and Les Chalets. For luxury apartments, Méribel Village is another good choice.
Are there any five-star hotels in Meribel?
Méribel has two five-star hotels, both of them located in the centre. Le Kaila was the resort's first luxury establishment while Le Coucou was opened at the start of 2020 in the upmarket Le Belvedere neighbourhood. They both boast stunning spas, gourmet restaurants and cosy but opulent bedrooms with plush beds and panoramic mountain views.
Romantic corners in Meribel
High snow-capped peaks, deep luscious forests, white snow-filled fields and cosy wooden chalets with roaring fires – a ski break can be the most romantic of holidays. In Meribel, you’ll be able to make all your fairy-tale escapade dreams come true.
What’s the best place to stay in Meribel for couples?
All of the Méribel towns offer the quintessentially picturesque Alpine holiday. Picture large, modern ski chalets nestled between the trees where you can relax in the hot tub at the end of a hard day on the pistes and enjoy wonderful panoramic mountain views.
Group accommodation in Meribel
Groups have very specific needs, namely a big enough space and easy access to the slopes and the resort's amenities.
Where in Meribel can you find large apartments and chalets for groups?
All around the Méribel Valley, you'll find chalets and apartments accommodating up to 10 people and more. However, if you want to impress your guests or you want your group of friends to make the most of what Méribel has to offer, staying in the centre is key. Try La Chaudanne for its closeness to the pistes or Le Plateau-Le Rond Point for the selection of bars and restaurants.
Family accommodation in Meribel
When travelling with young children, you ideally want to stay somewhere that has lots of facilities and services nearby so that you don't have to travel long distances to get to the slopes or the restaurants.
What’s the best area for families with children to stay in Meribel?
Méribel Centre is the best place for piste access and to be near the ski schools, especially the Chaudanne area, while the Altiport is a good choice for those looking for a quiet spot near Méribel Centre's amenities. Also popular with families is Méribel Village because of its slower pace of life.
Cheap accommodation in Meribel
Méribel has a huge number of catered chalets and self-catered apartments on offer, many of which are on the affordable end of the spectrum. In general, the further away from the centre you get, the cheaper the prices are.
What’s the cheapest area to stay in Meribel?
Bride-les-Bains is undoubtedly the cheapest place to stay in the area. It offers direct access to Méribel via the Olympe gondola and has a couple of bars and restaurants but it's world's away from Méribel Centre's lively atmosphere. Those willing to pay a bit more can try Les Allues and Méribel 1600.
Ski-in ski-out accommodation in Meribel
Ski-to-door accommodation is very popular in Méribel, which means that it gets booked out quite quickly. Prices are also usually more expensive than the accommodation a bit further away from the slopes. However, there's no greater feeling than arriving at your doorstep with your skis on, so get on booking as soon as you can if you want to experience it yourself.
Where can you find ski-to-door accommodation in Meribel?
Méribel Mottaret was built as a car-free, ski-in and ski-out resort so many of its apartment buildings can be accessed from the pistes. In Méribel Centre, it's the upmarket areas like Le Belvedere and Les Chalets that are as close to living on the actual runs as possible. La Chaudanne, where the snow front is located, also offers a decent selection of apartments and hotels near the slopes.
Camping & glamping in Meribel
There's a campsite and a couple of motorhome areas in Méribel and its surrounding area. Although most are open only in the summer, there's a few open in the winter and even during the off-season – it's better to enquire before you book.
Are there any campsites in Méribel?
No, there are no campsites in Méribel itself. The closest one is located in the spa town os Brides-les-Bains and is open from April to October only.
Are there any motorhome areas in Méribel?
France is famous for its well-equipped motorhome areas or 'aires de camping-car' and Méribel is no exception. The closest motorhome area is located by Le Martagon restaurant. This paid-for area known as 'Caravaneige' offers a bar, a laundry room, electricity and water. There's also a free motorhome area on the Parking du Saz, in La Tania.