Overview of Brides-Les-Bains
If you are looking for the best value ski resorts in the French Alps, then Brides-Les-Bains should certainly feature on your list of options to consider. An old spa village that sits just below Méribel in the Three Valleys, Bride-Les-Bains is one of the Alp's best-kept secrets. The Three Valleys are one of the most sought after ski resorts in France and is also well known for being the home to the world-famous resorts of Courchevel, Méribel and Val Thorens. Sitting quietly, 850 metres below Méribel in the Doron valley, is the sleepy spa village of Brides-Les-Bains. It has fantastic connections to all three resorts via the Olympe gondola, with Méribel, in particular, a mere 25 minutes away. The hotel and chalet accommodation prices here have always been significantly less expensive than you would find in other resorts in the region, thus making it a great choice to consider when visiting the Three Valleys. It is a fantastic ski resort to visit on a budget, thanks not only to its connections to the larger resorts in the area and low prices but more so for its access to 600 kilometres of pistes across the Three Valleys ski area.
Host of the Albertville Olympics in 1992, Brides-Les-Bains has always been renowned for its excellent ski area. The area offers fantastic skiing opportunities with extensive terrain such as the Three Valleys on its doorstep. The area also has some of the best snow conditions and reliability in France, in particular, the slopes at the top of Belleville valley in Val Thorens as well as the slopes above Méribel and Les Menuires. The ski area here is better suited to intermediates and advanced skiers with beginners having very few options. A mellow village, Brides-Les-Bains is not an ideal apres ski destination so perhaps, you will be better off opting for one of the larger resorts in the area; however, if you like a nice quiet evening with a few drinks, delicious meals and even a bit of poker and blackjack in one of its casinos, then Brides-Les-Bains is the just the resort for you.
Skiing in Brides-Les-Bains
The Brides-Les-Bains ski area is best suited to intermediates and advanced ski ability levels. There are few blues for beginners but the majority of the pistes are not advisable to novices. With access to up to 600 kilometres of pistes in the wider Three Valleys ski area, the options for all ability levels are endless.
Beginners should take the gondola to Méribel to access its numerous blues as well as the nursery slopes. It is also quite easy to access Val Thorens if you want to seek further. For those who would prefer to stay at the resort and explore the local options, there are a few gentle, tree lined blues by the Altiport and Rond Point des Pistes.
Intermediate skiers will rejoice in the vast amount of long red runs, ideal for improving your skiing. The Pic Noir descends through the trees from the Col de la Loze, or try the excellent 5km red run down the Combe du Vallon.
The Three Valleys is an intermediate skier's dream, thanks to its long cruisy reds offering a different challenge at every turn. The Combe Saulire above Courchevel at 2,740 metres offers some of the best intermediate runs if you catch it early in the morning on a clear day. Check out the 5 kilometres Combe du Vallon for a speedy run.
The Grand Couloir above Courchevel and the Couloir Tournier above Méribel rank among some of France's toughest non-pisted black runs. Checkout steep reds coming down Mt Vallon above Méribel Mottaret for a good dose of adrenalin. We will always strongly recommend you take a local experienced guide when going off-piste.
Snowboarding in Brides-Les-Bains
Freeriders should take the gondola to Méribel for any chance of getting some proper carving. The terrain here suits all ski abilities, with great snow conditions to keep everyone happy. The area is vast and there's a lot to explore. You might fancy the long Saulire red from above Courchevel and running down to Méribel Mottaret. Adventurous advanced skiers might be tempted to head up Mt Vallon in search of fresh powder. Beginners should head to the Altiport for the easy tree lined blues for some gentle rides and confidence building. Freestylers have multiple fun parks to choose from at Méribel, Courchevel and Val Thorens all suited to various ski ability types.
Snow Conditions in Brides-Les-Bains
No weather forecast available
The Three Valleys has more than 85% of its slopes sitting above 1,800 metres. The conditions here are always excellent throughout the season. The area also has excellent snowmaking facilities that cover up to 75% of the slopes should there be any shortages.
Après ski in Brides-les-Bains
Brides-Les-Bains is a much quieter resort than its larger, more popular neighbours in the Three Valleys. It is certainly not the resort for party animals as the bars here are cosier and laid back in general. Evening drinks in Brides-Les-Bains are calmer and consist mainly of low key evening drinks and restaurant meals. Most bars are also found in hotels; some of which do get a bit busy but your best bet for a wild party ( if you are after one ) is heading to Méribel for the evening and catching a gondola back to the resort. There are also free buses twice on Tuesday nights to Méribel; one early evening and the other close to midnight so keep your eye out for these. Nevertheless, we have identified a few bars you can visit at Bride-Les-Bains for some evening apres-ski.
The Terrace at The Hermitage
The Terrace is located in the Hotel L'Hermitage in Bride-Les-Bains. It has a rustic cosy bar where you can enjoy some after-ski drinks and traditional homemade dishes such as oysters, Foie Gras and Savoyard Burgers which are a well-known favourite. It has a welcoming atmosphere and hosts most of the skiers who lodge there and come down for an evening drink and meal.
Hotel Verseau has a nice bar with a vibrant atmosphere. Enjoy an evening post-ski drink after a long day on the slopes next to a crackling fire or underneath the parasol heater. If you fancy a bit of extra excitement or if you are feeling lucky, try your hand in the hotel's casino. The Hotel Verseau often has live entertainment events such as comedy shows and live bands so do check for updates on the scheduled events happening when you’re at the resort.
Le Rond Point and La Folie Douce ( Méribel)
If you want to get a taste of the traditional apres ski party scene and soak up the atmosphere, take the gondola down the mountain to Méribel some partying on the slopes, take the gondola to Méribel head up the slopes ( preferably between 3 pm and 4 pm) to experience the magic of the worlds biggest party on the slopes, La Folie Douce; it is worth the trip if you can make it down as La Folie Douce parties have gained legendary status over the years in the Alps. They feature some world-renowned musical acts, fancy themed events, extravagant dancers, foam parties and more. Le Rond Point is another option for a fantastic terrace party, located high up on the mountain at Méribel. It also has garnered a reputation for throwing some of the biggest parties in the Three Valleys. It features internationally known music artists and DJ’s across a variety of music genres. Both parties present the perfect opportunity for holidaymakers to soak up an authentic apres ski atmosphere.
Facilities in Brides-Les-Bains
The facilities in Brides Les Bains are great and more than sufficient to cater to all visiting ski holidaymakers. The resort is well equipped with a fantastic network of ski lifts, pistes bashers to keep the pistes groomed and world-class snowmaking facilities. The resort also benefits from fantastic ski accommodation, quality hotels, spas and restaurants. We have listed a few more interesting facilities and services below.
Brides-Les-Bains ski hire
You can hire your ski equipment from several ski equipment retail and rental stores at Bride-Les-Bains. If you are booking your ski holiday to Brides-Les-Bains with us and do not intend to travel with all your ski equipment, why not secure your ski equipment hire with us as one of the extras on your holiday booking. We have established very good relationships with a number of ski equipment hire stores over the years and have been able to make your ski equipment rental process so much easier. You can simply select the equipment you require from our ski extras page and add them to your order with ease. It is a very simple and straightforward process and you are not charged a higher price than what you would normally receive in the store. For more information on your ski equipment hire and rental, feel free to contact us directly or check out our ski hire page.
Brides-Les-Bains ski passes
Your Brides-Les-Bains ski pass can be purchased from the ticket machines at the resort or the ticket offices. We would, however, strongly recommend that you purchase your ski pass directly from us as part of your holiday package. It is so much easier and straightforward and you may stand to benefit from early discounts. Simply select to add your ski pass to your order on the ski extras page and with a few clicks of the mouse, your ski pass will be ready and waiting for you. Ordering your lift pass online saves you precious time at the resort especially if you are visiting with your family or a large group of people. With your passes secure, you can ski the long queues at the ticket machines and head straight for the slopes. Look up our Bride-Les-Bains ski pass page for additional information.
Spa and Swimming Pools in Bride Les Bains
The larger and more famous ski resorts in the Three Valleys such as Courchevel and Méribel are very well known for their extravagant and fancy hotels and spa centres. Even though Brides-Les-Bains is one of the lesser-known and more affordable ski resorts in the Three Valleys, it is probably one of the best resorts to visit if you want to enjoy a spa experience over the duration of your stay in the Alps. Brides-Les-Bains is originally a spa village that has an amazing array of spa and wellness facilities with a range of fantastic treatments. Checkout Le Grand Spa Thermal otherwise also known as Thermes de Brides-Les-Bains. It is a world-class wellness centre nestled in the valley offering some of the very best beauty, slimming and wellness treatments anywhere in the Alps. It has more than 10 different massage and relaxation practices, beauty treatments including facials, hammam scrubs, seaweed wraps and a host of others. It also has an extensive list of spa facilities including and not limited to herbal and aromatic steam baths, hammams, saunas, experiential showers, ice-cold showers, whirlpools ( outdoor and indoor) and heated swimming pools. Other wellness centres include the SPA Cinq Mondes which also has an extensive list of facilities including hammams, indoor and outdoor heated swimming pools, relaxation areas, whirlpools and a host of massage and beauty treatments. Most of the top hotels in Brides-Les-Bains also have resident, top quality spa and wellness centres. The 4 stars rated Golf Hotel and the Mercure Brides Les Bains Grand Hôtel des Thermes all offer fantastic spa and wellness facilities.
Shops in Brides-Les-Bains
Brides-Les-Bains is not too different from other ski resorts in the Alps in regards to the shops you can find in the resort. The variety of shops here do not measure up to Val Thorens or Méribel standards, but understandably for a much smaller resort, it has a very good selection of shops, restaurants and cafes. There are ski equipment shops, boutiques, a jewellery shop, a SPAR supermarket for basic groceries, a cafe, a wine shop and a bakery. The village also has beauty services like hair and nail salons. Overall, the village has a good selection of shops to cater for the visiting holidaymakers over the ski season.
Facilities for children in Brides-Les-Bains
Brides-Les-Bains is traditionally a quieter and calmer resort than its neighbouring counterparts and could be a shrewd, cheaper option to stay at especially if you are visiting with the kids.
Ski Schools in Brides-Les-Bains
There are a few ski schools for children in Brides-Les-Bains where you can enrol your children in their ski lessons. We would also urge you to consider booking your children's ski lessons with us directly as part of your holiday plan. Save yourself the time, extra worry and long decision-making process and secure your children's place in the ski schools directly with us online. We have had long standing relationships with some of the Alp's best and most reputed ski schools including those at Brides-Les-Bains and the Three Valleys. We make it so much easier to secure the children's lessons as we take care of all the hassle involved for you. Simply select the option on the ski extras page and leave the rest to us.
Children's Entertainment in Brides-Les-Bains
Brides-Les-Bains transforms into a Christmas winter wonderland if you are visiting over the Christmas season and the children absolutely love it. The sleepy town comes alive with the spirit of Christmas in the air and the village features a number of attractions that are bound to have the kids drawn in. Most of the ski schools have kids clubs and host mini activities and events for the children whilst in their care. Activity wise, there are loads to catch up on at neighbouring Val Thorens and Méribel such as go-carts in the snow, husky sledge rides and horse-drawn carriages for the family.
Childcare in Brides-Les-Bains
There are a few creches and childcare minders at Brides-Les-Bains. Our suggestion is always to check with the local tourist and ticket offices at the resort for any local recommendations for childminders. Please make sure you specify you would like an English speaking carer ( that is of course if you are not fluent in French).
The resort sits at a modest 600 metres and is the lowest sitting village in the Three Valleys ski area but its slopes go up to 2950 metres altitude.