NEW for the 2008-09 winter season will be the ski run from the top of the Pralong chair and although an easy run it is sure to prove popular with those graduating from blue to red pistes. For an area spanning 400 square km known at the Ski Kingdom skiers enjoy exceptional choice and every level of ability of certainly well catered for.
Last winter three new 4* luxury hotels, new apartment buildings, a new underground car park at Courchevel 1550, the Diamant Indoor Shopping Centre at 1850 and remodelled pistes above the resort. No wonder the Courcheval area has become a firm favourite with British winter sports enthusiasts.
Sometimes described as classic, prestigious and even extravagent, Courcheval does enjoy a reputation for being the world's best ski resort. It forms part of the world famous Trois Vallees and consists of different villages such as La Praz at 1300m; then there is 1550m; Courchevel 1650m and finally the main resort at 1850m. Set in breathtaking scenery in a superbly inter-linked region, Courchevel offers visitors a choice of 198 lifts, uphill capacity of over 243,000 people an hour and 600km of pistes.
There is certainly sufficient skiing and uphill transport on this side of the mountain to keep most enthusiasts happy for a week without using the entire region but the more adventurous will want to connect into the Trois Vallees and ski across to Meribel, Val Thorens and Les Menuires.
The Courchevel complex has rapidly expanded in recent years but there never seems any obvious overcrowding and the resort's own 62 lifts provide access to a total of 198 lifts in the region, always ensures plenty of uphill transport and little waiting time.
Courchevel 1850m is the highest and most prestigious and is modern, yet retains a lot of charm and provides a choice of over 60 excellent restaurants with fine wines and great cuisine. There are indoor swimming pools and lot of apres ski entertainment with bars, nightclubs and three cinemas. It is here at Courcheval 1850 that the Saint Roch 4* deluxe hotel has replaced the former hotel Aigion with the first 4* Hotel (Manali) to be built just outside the 1850m resort. Here guests will have direct access onto the pistes serving Courcheval 1650.
Les Airelles 4* L Hotel has as its chef, Pierre Gagnaire, who is ranked among the best in the world. This hotel als0o has a spa over 850sqm with water falls and indoor and outdoor whirlpool baths.
For those who remember the petrol station, Club Alpin Francais, the Auberge Ensoleillee and the different shops located at the entrance to Courcheval, well this has all been demolished and will be replaced in December 2008 with a 42-apartment building with 22 suites to be added for 2009.
For youngsters there are "children's villages" and completely safe "buckets" for transporting children up the slopes without the need for an adult to accompany them on the lift! The kids can visit Tarzan's vines, sledging slopes and ice skating rinks as well as plenty of safe and easy pistes.
Local history dates skiing at Courchevel back to the l940's with pioneers such as Emile Allais with dreams of "recreational skiing". It was in l992 that the International Olympic Committee gave Courchevel the status of "Olympic Resort".
Courcheval provides an exciting 2km long sledging run (children MUST be accompanied) with a vertical drop of 300m so fast speeds can be expected! The resort has a wide range of shopping facilities, bars and restaurants. So if your choice is to eat out every night - and to sample different local dishes - then you will not be disappointed.
A large number of events are planned during the 2008-09 season including the Men's European Alpine Cup (21 and 22nd January) and a few days earlier the Women's Slalom and Giant Slalom Alpine Cup event.
We have teamed up with PV Holidays, leading supplier of French Skiing accommodation to offer a Christmas offer of one night free with every booking.