Ski accommodation in Alpe d’Huez
If you’re wondering about taking a skiing holiday to Alpe d’Huez, you can take our word that it’s a terrific choice and with years of experience, insider knowledge and local partners on the ground, no one’s better placed than Erna Low to find your perfect accommodation here.
If you closed your eyes and imagined the ideal ski area, Alpe d’Huez ticks practically every box for the discerning snowsports enthusiast. Situated in a snowy mountain pasture in the Oisans Valley of the Central Western French Alps, the main resort is perched at a lofty altitude of 1860m on the lower slopes of the 3,300m Pic Blanc.
As well as the main resort, the Alpe d’Huez Grand Domaine ski area also includes the satellite villages of Vaujanay, Villard Reclus, Oz-en-Oisans, Huez-en-Oisans and Auris-en-Oisans, each of which has its own distinct charms.
With a mighty 250km of runs to suit all levels and styles of skiers and snowboarders, Alpe d’Huez is a powder hound’s paradise and it’s particularly enjoyed by intermediate and advanced skiers because it boasts one of the world’s most lift-linked verticals, with a dizzying drop of 2,300m between the highest and lowest lift and many marathon pistes, some of which reach an astounding 16km in length!
Facilities and amenities in Alpe d’Huez are first-rate too, with a host of hotels, chalets and apartments to suit groups of all sizes and tastes and many holiday residences here have in house spas and pools as well as sumptuous suites. You’ll have a blast here whether you’re going solo, holidaying as a couple or travelling as a family or group of friends ̶ this is a vibrant and versatile ski area which you’ll want to revisit as often as possible.
If you’re thinking of taking your children on holiday here, the fact that it’s accredited as a Famille Plus Montagne resort should also provide peace of mind ̶ this is a national accolade awarded to tourist locations offering an excellent standard of services designed for families and kids.
Sounds superb? Read on for some of our outstanding accommodation recommendations in Alpe d’Huez.
Alpe d’Huez Chalet
You’ll see a broad range of architectural styles in Alpe d’Huez, but traditional chalet-style silhouettes are still common, which is particularly appropriate as this is one of the world’s oldest ski resorts.
In 1911, local school teacher Marie Muller was one of the first people to ski in the area and several years later the French Touring Club capitalised on the magic that had captivated Marie and built the very first Alpe d’Huez tourist chalet which welcomed five guests from Paris who had made the arduous journey via train and mountain mule. This chalet refuge was bought by local entrepreneur Maurice Rajon in 1935 who, together with Joseph Paganon, made several developments to the nascent resort, most notably the iconic 21 bends in the approach road, which eventually led to it being included in the Tour de France route from 1952 onwards.
The first ski school was opened in Alpe d’Huez in 1936 and the first Poma drag lift of any resort on Earth was installed here by Polish immigrant and engineer extraordinaire Jean Pomagalski. The evolution of Alpe d’Huez stalled during WWII when the Oisans region was the centre of fierce resistance fighting, but it regained momentum during the post-war period, with many hotels being built between the mid-40s and mid-60s. The resort gained worldwide recognition when it hosted the bobsled event in the Grenoble Winter Olympics in 1968.
So chalets have played a seminal role in the development of Alpe d’Huez as an international ski resort and if you visit today, the type of chalet-style accommodation you can stay in include the following:
- Le Cristal de l’Alpe is a family-friendly contemporary twist on the traditional chalet-style accommodation and it’s regularly highly rated and recommended by Erna Low customers. Situated in the heart of the village and only 100m from the slopes and shops, this 4-star residence has all the high-class comforts you’d expect, including an indoor swimming pool, saunas, jacuzzis, hammam, and fitness room, as well as cathartic massage and beauty treatments in the Ô des Cimes wellness centre. Apartments are available with 1-4 bedrooms which sleep 2-10 people in comfort, therefore you can find the perfect cosy couple’s room here, a larger suite for a family with young children or an expansive setup for an extended group of friends or family members.
Ski apartments in Alpe d’Huez
The advantage of choosing an apartment in Alpe d’Huez is that you’ve got all of the comfort, security and Alpine ambience of a chalet and the fine features of a hotel without any of the formality ̶ so you can embrace the independence of a home from home in this pristine, snow-kissed playground.
In an Alpe d’Huez apartment, you can shop for local delicacies in artisan stores and cook up a storm for your family in your kitchenette, order takeaway when you simply can’t be bothered, or stroll down the street to treat yourself to a lip-smacking treat at a local café or restaurant, as well as letting your hair down while you sample the local après-ski and rolling home whenever you like. For many Alpine travellers, apartment living is altogether more authentic because you can feel like a local for the duration of your travels.
With that in mind, here are a couple of amazing Alpe d’Huez apartments you can choose from:
L’Ours Blanc apartments are located right in the middle of Alpe d’Huez and this is a contemporary residence where you’ll still enjoy authentic Alpine hospitality. The interior décor is comfortable, with every detail designed to make you feel completely relaxed. Each apartment also has a balcony which is blessed by beautiful valley or Oisans mountains views, the slopes are five minutes away via the free shuttle bus and you can access the shopping mall and ice rink directly from the residence. Apartments have 1-2 bedrooms, sleep 2-8 guests comfortably, and there’s private parking and Wi-Fi throughout.
Les Bergers is a good value apartment accommodation option located close to the pistes and it’s rated highly by many Erna Low clients. The ski lifts and children’s village are only 100m away and the balconies offer beautiful views of the area. The outdoor heated swimming pool is the perfect place to relax and soak up the scenery and you can enjoy sumptuous Savoyard food at La Fondue restaurant. Apartments and studios that sleep between 2-8 people are available and stylish furnishings are standard. If you want to be right in the heart of the action, then Les Bergers is a great choice.
Ski hotels in Alpe d’Huez
There’s something particularly cosy and cathartic about hiding away in an Alpine hotel of an evening and Alpe d’Huez has plenty to choose from if hotel accommodation is your preference.
Hotels were crucial to the development of this resort in the post-war years and today’s quality establishments are upholding a fine tradition of Alpine hospitality here. During this period the French Alps, and Alpe d’Huez in particular, were the hotspots where the rich and famous simply had to be seen, with the glamorous four-star Hotel la Ménandière being a particular favourite. Throughout the 1950’s hotel owners realised that improving the lift system was the key to truly unlocking the tourist potential of Alpe d’Huez and formed an association with that specific aim. By winter 1962/3 the lift system reached the Pic Blanc and could handle 400 people per hour, with a descent via the Sarennes pistes. By 1980 the Pic Blanc lift had been deemed too slow and small to be fit for purpose and was replaced by a new lift based on the DMC system, with the final stage improved by a high-tech 90 person cable car which could transport an impressive 1000 people per hour. Throughout the 1980s most of the resort’s original hotels were converted to apartments, although a few notable hotels or hotel-like properties remain, one fine example of which we’ll describe below:
- Résidence Daria-I Nor is a hybrid hotel-style apartment property that offers many of the communal facilities and facilities you’d expect in a traditional hotel with the flexibility of self-contained apartment suites. Located close to the slopes, this well-appointed hotel has suites with 1-4 bedrooms which can sleep 2-10 people, living rooms in all sizes of suites have scenic balconies as standard and larger rooms even have private saunas. Whether you simply want to make yourself a morning cuppa or throw together a healthy lunch or evening meal, kitchenettes have ovens, microwaves, hobs, fridge/freezer, dishwashers, coffee makers, kettles and toasters, living rooms have flat screen TVs and direct-dial phones and bedrooms have hair dryers, drying racks and (naturally) super-comfy beds.
Beyond your salubrious suite you can also enjoy the 400m square wellness area, which has a sauna, hammam, jacuzzi, sensory showers, ice fountain, solarium and heated pool, with massages and beauty treatments available for an extra fee on request. When you need to unwind in the lap of luxury, this is the place to be!
However, the luxury at Résidence Daria I-Nor doesn’t stop here ̶ your pampering continues in the two onsite restaurants. L’Améthyste is the domain of expert chef Stéphane Tarabla, who adds his own delicious spin to everything from seafood to authentic Savoyard mountain cuisine in the charming location with panoramic views. Alternatively, try La Table du Daria I-Nor, where head chef Damien Ruffier takes traditional local recipes and adds a range of exotic flavours to create a fabulous fusion that’s truly a taste sensation. In this delightful restaurant you can also take lunch on the sun-kissed terrace and imbibe the fresh Alpine air along with your fine wine. If you’re staying on a half-board catered basis, La Table Daria I-Nor can even create a customised 5-course menu that satisfies your every gastronomic desire.
Facilities and amenities in Alpe d’Huez
Nicknamed ‘the sunny island’ because of its 300 days of sun per year, Alpe d’Huez is a winter sports wonderland with over 840 hectares of pristine powdery snow perfect for skiing, snowboarding and all manner of exciting alternative activities.
But the facilities and amenities off the slopes are just as impressive as those on them. For example, if you’re reasonably fit and enjoy awe-inspiring views (who doesn’t?) you’ll find 50km of organised cross-country trails here and 35km of snowshoe hiking trails. And if you happen to be here in the summer, this is an amazing place for cyclists of all types ̶ road racers can test their mettle against the 21 bends of the ‘Great Loop’ Tour de France stage and if mountain biking is more your bag there’s a dedicated bike park and many thrilling cross-country routes.
Other awesome activities here include climbing, rafting, horse riding, while the Grotte de Glace at the top of the DMC lift is always worth seeing ̶ it’s a magical ice cave full of delightful, dexterously carved ice sculptures. Foodies can definitely get their fill in Alpe d’Huez too. For instance, Mere Michel is located just past the ice rink at the top of the ice rink and it’s a great place to grab a fast but fab brekkie of artisan coffee and wholesome muffins and sandwiches. Alternatively, if you fancy going Italian one evening, L’Authentique does a divine reblochon lasagne, while Francophile gourmets will enjoy the lip-smacking French fusion dishes at Puits de Saveurs.
Meanwhile, if you’re a bon vivant you won’t struggle to find lively après-ski ̶ there’s a branch of the famous Folie Douce franchise here which has all the champagne, DJs and tabletop dancing you might expect, Tiger Bar in Les Bergers is a sweet spot for a few beers over a game of pool or live big screen TV sport, and the fun with locals and seasonaires continues into the wee small hours at the FreeRide bar.
Last but not least, Alpe d’Huez fulfils its Famille Plus accreditation with some fab facilities for kids. In terms of childcare, Les Intrépides is a highly capable crèche which has English speaking staff and cares for children aged six months to four years old. Alternatively, ESF Chalet des Enfants accepts children from aged 2 and a half and offers a gentle introduction to skiing. For slightly older kids, there’s the X Fly adventure park which is suitable for ages 6 and upwards and features exciting zip lines, a vertical maze, free fall jumps and even a ski jump with soft air bag landing! The fun doesn’t stop here though ̶ the Palais de Sport is situated on Avenue des Brandes and has an eclectic range of activities including swimming, a traditional indoor climbing wall and the wonderful In’vertigo suspended adventure trail where children from age 4 and above can have a whale of a time swinging on obstacles and walking on tightropes, with a huge safety net below to catch them if they wobble and wipe out. If that’s not enough to tire out your youngsters, they can also try the ice laser game in the same centre or the resort’s outdoor ice-skating rink, which is suitable for kids aged 3 and above. Toboganning is another favourite snow-based activity for children in Alpe d’Huez and there’s a free sledging zone at Lac de Bergers, plus the Eclose piste is floodlit every Tuesday and Thursday for night sledding, which is terrific fun.
Selecting your ideal Alpe d’Huez accommodation
As you can probably tell from our enthusiasm, skiing, snowboarding and Alpine culture are more than a business for Erna Low ̶ this is a way of life we’ve embraced for almost 90 years. So while we don’t want to blow our own Alpine horns, we’re better placed than many competitors when it comes to arranging tailor-made ski holidays where every detail is carefully designed to deliver maximum satisfaction.
But moreover, we want our customers to love the Alps as much as we do, therefore creating a great customised ski holiday in a resort like Alpe d’Huez is vital and we want to build your satisfaction on every subsequent trip.
We include comprehensive descriptions of all our ski areas, resorts and individual residences online to help you choose wisely, but we also love talking to you directly so that we can be extra sure that we tick every box for all members of your party. So please call us on 020 7584 2841 to chat to one of our friendly advisors, it’s our privilege to organise your next ski adventure!
Ski Accommodation Overview of Ski Area Alpe d'Huez
Check our Alpe d'Huez accommodation guides below.
Le Cristal de l'Alpe
Le Cristal de L'Alpe apartments are located close to the shops and slopes at the corner of ‘l’Etendard’ and ‘Poutat’. This top quality residence features an indoor heated swimming pool, hot tub, saunas, steam rooms, a fitness centre free for guests and spa treatments are available payable locally. A lounge with open fireplace and pool table is available for use during reception hours. Those staying at Le Cristal de L'Alpe ski apartments can also take advantage of the bakery delivery service which can be organised and paid for locally.
Located in the Quartier des Bergers, this residence has a restaurant, lounge with fireplace and bar. The apartments benefit from an outdoor heated swimming pool, relaxation room and sauna. The Pierre & Vacances Les Bergers apartments are 100m from the ski lifts, 150m from the shopping centre and 500m from the resort centre.
Résidence Daria-I Nor
The new jewel in crown in Alpe d’Huez is the 5* Hotel Daria-I Nor and we are delighted there will also be some luxurious self-catering apartments within the development. The Residence Daria-I Nor ski apartments will boast the same great location in the central Eclose area of the resort with spectacular panoramic views of the valley as well as well as an easy access to the slopes thanks to the Les Bergers gondola, located at about 100 meters from the residence.
These centrally located apartments with panoramic views over the valley or over the Oisans mountain range are approximately 300m from the ski lifts, next door to the skating rink and to the shopping gallery. Formally split into two classes, L'Ours Blanc and L'Ours Blanc Privilege, L'Ours Blanc apartments have all been refurbished and are now all of equal standard.