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Luxury Meribel Chalets for a Stylish French Alps Stay

… This post is brought to you by Purple Ski …

There are ski bunnies and there are après ski bunnies and I fall firmly into the latter category.

It probably has something to do with rarely seeing snow when I was growing up and only trying to ski for the first time in my late 20s.

But here’s the thing, even though I loved doing my first few runs with friends I realised that for me the skiing wasn’t the highlight of the trip.

I absolutely loved being in the snow and had a ball getting amongst it in ski-free ways including snowmobile tours and just walking around in it and watching it fall.

Which is why I’d love to go on skiing holidays with friends, as long as I don’t have to strap on the ski boots and can have my snowy fun in other ways.

So while I am yet to make it to Meribel in the French Alps I am so on board with the idea of meeting friends there and sharing a luxury ski chalet. Because hey, if we’re going to do it, let’s do it in style.

Why a Meribel ski holiday sounds so good

For those of you who do ski, Meribel is part of the Three Valleys ski area, which is one of the largest linked ski areas in the world and best places to ski in Europe.

On top of the world on a Meribel ski holiday, image D.Andre Meribel Tourisme
On top of the world on a Meribel ski holiday, image D.Andre Meribel Tourisme

Meribel celebrated its 80th birthday last year after being founded by British skier Peter Lindsay in 1938, and the villages of Meribel are between 1,600m and 1,700m with the highest being Altiport.

There’s around 600km of ski accessible pistes, 328 downhill skiing pistes, 169 ski lifts, and more than 2,300 snow cannons to pitch in when nature doesn’t have it covered.

If you’ve got the moves you can even try the Ladies Olympic Downhill run with a vertical drop of 1,300m. Or if you think a few more lessons might help before you take that on then there are skiing lessons available for all experience levels.

Meribel fun for non skiers

The 1992 Winter Olympics also left us non-skiers with some things to do, thanks to the Meribel Olympics Sports Centre.

There’s a swimming pool (indoor, obviously), ten pin bowling, ice-skating and a climbing wall.

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Twice a week there’s a Meribel market where we can potter around the stalls and check out the cheese and cured meat selections, and as well as the clothes stalls in the market there are shops to check out around the village.

And we don’t need skis to ride some of the lifts. A pedestrian lift pass will let us get up to some great scenic walks and to meet friends at mountain restaurants for lunch where we can swap tales from our day.

Meribel ski chalet holiday, image D.André Méribel Tourisme
On top of the world on a Meribel ski holiday, image D.Andre Meribel Tourisme

For ski boot free fun in the snow there are husky dog sleds to ride on, snowmobiles to zip about on and the joy of sliding down slopes on an inner tube for the big and the small kids. Sign me up.

Choosing a luxury Meribel ski chalet

Meribel’s friendly village atmosphere and chalet style architecture is all part of its charm, and while there are lots of ski chalets to choose from seven of the best are all operated by the same company.

Purple Ski Meribel chalets are a mix of hidden gems nestled in the trees, and right there in the middle of everything chalets with wraparound balconies to see everything that’s going on.

The chalets sleep between 8 and 15 people, and when I looked at some of the features including outdoor hot tubs, cinemas and games rooms I knew I could easily enjoy those ski free hours while the rest of the gang were on the slopes. Not that I’d be stuck at home, mind you.

While my snow bunny friends can be skiing in and skiing out of the chalet I can just be out walking, or if it’s too far I can put in a call to our chalet’s private chauffeur who can get me to wherever I want to go in a luxury 4×4 minibus.

Then there’s the food.

Inside Meribel Chalet Bartavelles, image courtesy Purple Ski
Inside Meribel Chalet Bartavelles, image courtesy Purple Ski

The Purple Ski chalets all come with professional chefs who have worked in top quality restaurants.

I love the idea of waking up to freshly baked croissants in the French Alps, and while I may not be skiing I’ll have to get some exercise in somewhere to justify the afternoon canapés and champagne before a four course meal finished with homemade truffles.

And when I went to look at the wine list and saw the words ‘champagne on tap’ I could really see my friends and I raising a glass to that idea. Especially when those free flowing champagnes are Veuve Clicquot and Taittinger.

The open bar also includes spirits, beer and soft drinks and the team can stock your favourite tipple upon request. If it’s a premium brand it might cost more, but they’ll be able to let you know when you tell them what you like.

Oh and they also have in house massage therapists so there’s no need to rug up and travel back and forth for a treatment.

Who needs to know how to ski when you can be enjoying great food, wine and a massage in your own not so little luxury chalet in the French Alps?

This après ski bunny is so ready to go.

This post has been brought to you by Purple Ski, who have welcomed more than 10,000 clients including families, friends and aristocrats into their luxury Meribel chalets.

Which Meribel chalet to choose? Image D.Andre Meribel Tourisme
Chalets architecture is part of Meribel’s charm, image D.Andre Meribel Tourisme

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