So as the sun has seemingly set on Summer, our attention here at Meribel Ski Chalets turns to back to the winter and the soft fluffy white stuff. To get you (and us in the mood) we thought we’d ask one of last season’s guests, Jennifer Babb from Scotland, to remind us of what we’re missing.
“Myself and my partner had been itching to get away for our annual ski trip for the last 6 months. It’s always the same – one ski season finishes and we’re already wishing the next one was just around the corner. It’s the 8-month wait between seasons that has us going positively potty!
Finding a big chalet that fits our group of 10 friends is never an easy task – but the website won us over with the photos of Chalet Le Marmotton: 5 en-suite bedrooms, the cosy lounge and an on terrace hot-tub, which has an amazing view up the Valley.
Having been elsewhere in the Three Valleys before, we wanted to try out Meribel, as people had mentioned how good it was in terms of getting to the other valleys, how charming the town itself was and also because both my partner and I adore skiing in Courchevel, which is just next door.
We couldn’t have scripted it any better. After a super smooth arrival in resort, our chalet hosts had our lift passes ready and waiting. The icing on the cake was that it had snowed 15cm the night before and early on the Saturday there was not a cloud in the sky – everyone knows what the chances of that happening are –our spirits were soaring.
Quickly getting changed, we unpacked our skis and boots, hoovered down some fresh croissants from the Boulangerie and marched double-time to the slopes. Saturday skiing is the absolute best – hardly anyone on the pistes, empty restaurants and as luck had it for us, tons of fresh, untouched, fluffy powder to enjoy.
Headed over to the infamous ‘Mario land’ area over at Courchevel 1650…a space with plenty of trees, little gullies, a natural, shallow half-pipe and plenty of off-piste to explore – it was absolute heaven – the extremes of skiing a beautiful snaking ‘s’ that we could trace back up the mountain, to face-planting, getting that temporary brain freeze and being able to laugh about it as soon as the feeling to our faces returned.
Our heads were in another world and we were only brought back to reality by our friends’ rumbling stomachs, which led us to the awesome Bel-Air restaurant, where we sat on the sun terrace and tucked into a velvety onion potage.
After lunch we returned to the Meribel valley, heading over to the high altitude Mont Valon, and reminded our inadequately prepared ski legs what moguls should feel like. After several trips up and down, with increasingly weary limbs we all then made our way over to the Roc de Fer and Olympique chair lifts on the far side of the Chaudanne area to take on what would be our last runs of the day.
With varying levels of fitness, ability and desire there was a natural selection as to who did what. Now, if you’re anything like my partner and I, we are always set on making the most of every ski day and so we made sure we took the longest route home.
I can honestly say the serenity of those last 20 minutes, with the sun disappearing over the mountain ridge behind us, the feeling of being the last two people to be skiing where we were, coupled with how quiet it had become was quite simply awesome – the feeling of being so close to nature and away from the humdrum of everyday life back home.
Once safely back down to Meribel centre, we both made our way back to the chalet in double quick time, salivating at the thought of the afternoon tea treat. Letting out a collective ‘ahh’ as we pulled our ski boots off (we forget every year how good that feels) we creaked upstairs where we were to be greeted by our lovely hosts Chiri and Tania who had prepared a delectable chocolate cake. A couple of slices of chocolate heaven later, we then plunged into the hot-tub clutching a glass of bubbly and let the bubbles do the rest!
For our group, dinner is always a time of the day to be celebrated and it was no different at Chalet Marmotton. Canapés, a four-course dinner and several very drinkable bottles of red and white later, we crumpled into our beds exhausted but 110% satisfied.
Waking up the next morning and nattering over breakfast, we all agreed how good the day before was and how we always have the best sleep during our week’s skiing – there really is nothing quite like it. Although the weather was mixed for the rest of the week, that first day will stick in our minds for years to come, along with the fact that we hardly had to think about anything – the guys at Meribel Ski Chalets really took good care of all that.
Just a pity we’ve got almost another year until the next one. Meribel – we will be back!”