You've made up your mind – you want to come to Val Thorens on your next holiday. As you research your trip, you'll discover that there’s more than one town in the area and that they all offer a great selection of chalets, apartments and hotels. Accommodation is one of the biggest expenses when booking a holiday, so you want to make sure that you’ve chosen the right location. Worry not, we’re here to help.
With a global reputation for world-class skiing, Val Thorens is one of the most popular ski resorts in the world. Its location, right at the heart of the largest ski area on Earth, the Three Valleys, is largely responsible for its success.
There are several towns and villages that come under the umbrella of the brand ‘Val Thorens’, linked by an efficient and free bus service. Val Thorens centre, being the highest resort in Europe, offers snow-sure skiing and a varied choice of accommodation, from a youth hostel to ski-in/ski-out self-catered apartments or luxury hotels. If you are looking for French charm, quaint hotels and luxury chalets, then St Martin de Belleville may be for you, while Les Menuires offers some great ski-to-door accommodation in a high altitude, family-friendly resort without breaking the bank.
- Five things to consider before deciding where to stay in Val Thorens
- Val Thorens: The heart of the action
- St Martin de Belleville: Charming traditional Alpine village
- Les Menuires: Purpose-built resort with affordable accommodation
- Luxury hot spots in Val Thorens
- Romantic corners in Val Thorens
- Group accommodation in Val Thorens
- Family-friendly areas in Val Thorens
- Cheap accommodation in Val Thorens
- Ski-in & ski-out hot spots in Val Thorens
- Camping & glamping in Val Thorens
- More inspiration...
Five things to consider before deciding where to stay in Val Thorens
When it comes to booking accommodation in Val Thorens, there is certainly no shortage of choice. Whether you are looking for luxury hotels, chalets for large groups or apartments that are as close to the lifts as possible, you'll find it all here. With a fantastic choice of chalet, hotel and apartment accommodation in Val Thorens, you're spoiled for choice when looking for your perfect holiday here. This guide to the different sections that make up this superb area should help point you in the right direction so that you are situated as close to whatever action you are looking for. But, first things first.
Where should you stay in the Belleville Valley?
It depends on the type of holiday you'd like to have. It’s always a good idea to know exactly what you’re looking for: chalet or apartment, party or tranquillity, sporty or relaxed – a holiday in Val Thorens can offer all of these things. With an impressive assortment of accommodation hot spots, from the lively town of Val Thorens to the traditional charming village of St Martin de Belleville, the Belleville Valley is full of surprises.
These are some of the things you may want to consider in advance before you pick the place you want to stay in:
- Distance to the pistes: Being able to ski to your door is everyone’s dream – there’s no better feeling than putting your skis on right outside your front door. Val Thorens and its surrounding area offer a great selection of ski-in and ski-out apartments, chalets and hotels. However, bear in mind that these very sought-after spots are usually more expensive than the places further away from the pistes so, if you want to save some money, you can always rely on the excellent network of free shuttle buses that run along the whole length of the valley and will take you to the foot of the slopes in no time.
- Quiet or bustling: Is après-ski as important (or more important) than the skiing itself? In that case, you’d want to stay as close to the bars and clubs in resort as possible. However, if you’d rather stay in after a day on the slopes and prefer to avoid the hustle and bustle of the centre, one of the charming villages surrounding Val Thorens is probably a better choice – and, if you find yourself itching to party, you can always hop on a bus to the centre of Val Thorens.
- Amenities: Ask yourself what you’ll need around you when holidaying in Val Thorens. For example, if you’re self-catering, you probably want to be as close to the supermarkets and restaurants as possible, while those staying in catered chalets and hotels may not need to. Having shops, ski and/or bike hire places and cafes around you can be very handy but also quite noisy… you decide exactly what you need!
- Things to do: As with amenities, not everyone will need the same services nearby. For example, families will want to be near the ski schools meeting points to avoid trudging across resort in ski boots carrying yours and your children's skis. Having the local swimming pool and sports centre close by is also a great idea for those coming with little ones as it’ll keep them entertained after a day on the slopes. Or perhaps you need a spa for a good back rub or to soak your sore muscles in a hot tub after a few hours snowboarding.
- Budget: Last but not least, location is key when it comes to saving money. Generally, the closer you get to the slopes and to the resort centre, the steeper the prices will be, while the villages further away from the lifts will usually offer cheaper deals. You may have to sacrifice convenience for budget but worry not, you’ll never be too far away from the world-renowned Val Thorens pistes thanks to the aforementioned shuttle buses.
Our local team’s top tip: When booking accommodation, take a good look at the photos. You're going to be spending some time in this space so you may as well feel comfortable in it. It’s not just about whether you prefer a cosy rustic interior or a light and airy open plan space, but also whether the layout and décor fit your needs. Are the rooms big enough? How about the bathrooms? Is there a super-modern, steep staircase your toddler won’t be able to climb? What floor is the apartment on? Is it accessible by a lift? All of this matters when choosing your accommodation and not every area in Val Thorens will be able to provide all sorts of styles.
Val Thorens: The heart of the action
Val Thorens basically has it all, from hotels catering for every budget (with some fantastic luxury options including a rooftop igloo) to ski-in/ski-out self-catered apartments dotted throughout the resort high and low, and charming traditional chalets. If you want to go back to basics there is even the option of a youth hostel in Val Thorens with a great location just next to the ice driving circuit.
Who should stay in Val Thorens?
The town centre is ideal if you want to stay at the heart of the action, close to the ski schools, bars and nightclubs, as well as to the world-famous slopes of Val Thorens. Val Thorens centre has great facilities. There are bars aplenty, restaurants for nearly all types of cuisine, a bowling alley and a nightclub for late-night extended après ski. While other resorts in the Belleville valley have spread out into adjoining hamlets, Val Thorens accommodation is really centrally located all attaching itself to the pistes that run through the resort.
At 2,300m, Val Thorens is also as snow sure as you get with the resort opening from late November to the beginning of May each year. The ski area is able to offer a snow guarantee with 99% of the area located between 2,000m and 3,230m and 40% of the ski area supported with snow cannons when required. The thing you do need to bear in mind, however, is that at this altitude you get the extremes of weather including high winds, whiteouts on snowy days and some oh-so-low temperatures. That’s not to say it’s a frequent occurrence, just something to note – the upside is that there is always a piste to ski, even in the worst of conditions.
The resort has also in recent years ensured that they maintain their no-car policy so there's limited roadside parking. Worry not, however, there are several car parks available so that you can leave your car for the week with shuttle buses working their way around day and night.
St Martin de Belleville: Charming traditional Alpine village
St Martin de Belleville (1,450m) is known as the ‘hidden gem’ of the Three Valleys being very much a French village with a ski lift rather than a purpose-built ski resort. Oozing French charm, there are still traces of its previous life as a farming village, from the local farms you can eat in to the great snow walks up to cheese-making dairies. Tucked away at the top of the village are the St Martin 1 & 2 ski lifts which whisk you up to Les 3 Vallées, the largest ski area in the world.
Who should stay in St Martin de Belleville?
Those looking for an authentic Alpine village with luxury accommodation. As St Martin has kept its traditional feel, it means there are few large accommodation providers with around just four quaint hotels to be found here. There are also some small catered chalets and self-catered apartments, of which many offer a ski-in/ski-out location. Most accommodation tends to be in the centre of St Martin itself with a couple of chalet companies venturing into the nearby village of Villarabout, from where you can still walk to St Martin (most actually provide a shuttle service).
Over the past few years, the number of catered chalet companies in St Martin has steadily increased with most providers now tending to offer a luxury service aimed at those that love to ski but also like to be taken care of in the evening with fine dining and fine wines. With just three bars in the village, a catered chalet is a very popular option in this low-key resort.
Les Menuires: Purpose-built resort with affordable accommodation
The resort of Les Menuires (1,850m) won’t be winning a beauty competition any time soon with the majority of its apartment residences having been constructed in the 70s. The upside, however, is that the resort offers a large amount of accommodation at La Croisette, right next to the piste.
Who should stay in Les Menuires?
Les Menuires is great for skiers on a budget wanting centrally located accommodation with direct access to the Three Valleys. There are several three and four-star hotels, as well as a large amount of self-catered apartments, many bars, restaurants and a couple of nightclubs. Les Menuires also has a sports centre with swimming pool, sauna, steam room, gym, squash and badminton courts and other facilities.
Just outside Les Menuires, the areas of Reberty and Bruyeres are great mini-resorts that have developed over the past few years. Reberty is located at an altitude of 2,000m. The Sunny Express lift whisks you up to the pistes in Les Menuires or Val Thorens, while the Boyes run leading you back home. Les Bruyeres has a lift that provides easy access to the Val Thorens Les Menuires ski area, as well as a popular spa and the ‘Speed Mountain’, a toboggan run on rails. Both Reberty and Les Bruyeres tend to be popular locations for many catered chalet companies but there are also a couple of four-star hotels here. These smaller areas offer a number of bars, restaurants, ski hire shops and ski lifts just slightly away from the crowds. The planning restrictions have also been stepped up in these hamlets, meaning they have a much quainter look about them than the main resort.
At a slightly lower altitude but still under the 'Les Menuires' umbrella, the village of Le Bettaix is also a growing choice at 1,400m. This location provides quick access to the Three Valleys while a lovely gentle blue run will take you back to your accommodation at the end of the day. Catered chalets and self-catered apartments are the main choices here. Facilities are more limited with no restaurants or bars but this is a good option for a quiet location with easy Three Valleys access without breaking the bank.
Luxury hot spots in Val Thorens
If you're searching for luxury accommodation in Val Thorens, you're in luck! The resort offers plenty of high-end options, many of which feature private swimming pools, spas, hot tubs and even cinema rooms.
Where are luxury chalets and apartments located in Val Thorens?
Luxury chalets and apartments can be found all around Val Thorens. If it's a bustling atmosphere with plenty to do on and off the slopes what you're after, then Val Thorens centre is your best choice. However, if you prefer peace and quiet, you should opt for St Martin de Belleville or Les Menuires.
Are there any five-star hotels in Val Thorens?
Val Thorens has not just one, but five five-star luxury hotels. Four of them are located in the centre and offer all the high-end facilities and services you can think of: gourmet restaurants, fully equipped spas, easy access to the pistes, sumptuous décor and cosy but plush bedrooms. There's a fifth five-star hotel located between St Martin and Les Menuires, in the small unknown village of St Marcel, La Bouitte, which is well-known for its three Michelin-starred restaurant. As it's located slightly out of the resort, it offers a chauffeur service to take you to St Martin to start your ski day. With no other facilities in St Marcel, your holiday will centre around the hotel and restaurant. But, really, why would you want to go anywhere else?
Romantic corners in Val Thorens
High snow-capped peaks, deep luscious forests, white snow-filled fields and cosy wooden chalets with roaring fires – a ski break can be the most romantic of holidays. In Val Thorens, you’ll be able to make all your fairy-tale escapade dreams come true.
What’s the best place to stay in Val Thorens for couples?
St Martin de Belleville offers the quintessentially picturesque Alpine holiday. Imagine cosy, traditional ski chalets nestled between the trees where you can relax in the hot tub at the end of a hard day on the pistes and enjoy wonderful panoramic mountain views.
Group accommodation in Val Thorens
Groups have very specific needs, namely a big enough space and easy access to the slopes and the resort's amenities.
Where in Val Thorens can you find large apartments and chalets for groups?
All around the Belleville Valley, you'll find chalets and apartments accommodating up to 10 people and more. However, if you want to impress your guests or you want your group of friends to make the most of what Val Thorens has to offer, staying in the centre is key.
Family-friendly areas in Val Thorens
When travelling with young children, you ideally want to stay somewhere that has lots of facilities and services nearby so that you don't have to travel long distances to get to the slopes or the restaurants.
What’s the best area for families with children to stay in Val Thorens?
Val Thorens offers plenty of things to do, including free nursery slopes right in the centre. However, at 2,300m, it may be a bit too high for those with younger children. Les Menuires, with a wide range of restaurants, shops and activities available, plus easy access to the slopes including wide and easy beginner runs, is another great option. It's not only lower but also generally quieter than Val Thorens.
Cheap accommodation in Val Thorens
Generally marketed towards the wealthier skiers, Val Thorens isn't well-known for being affordable. But this doesn't mean there aren't any budget-friendly options on offer. In general, the further away from the centre you get, the cheaper the prices are.
What’s the cheapest area to stay in Val Thorens?
Les Menuires and St Martin de Belleville tend to offer cheaper prices than Val Thorens. However, you may be able to find a bargain in Val Thorens itself but you'll need to time your trip outside the main school holidays.
Ski-in & ski-out hot spots in Val Thorens
Ski-to-door accommodation is very popular in Val Thorens, which means that it gets booked out quite quickly. Prices are also usually more expensive than the accommodation a bit further away from the slopes. However, there's no greater feeling than arriving at your doorstep with your skis on, so get on booking as soon as you can if you want to experience it yourself.
Where can you find ski-to-door accommodation in Val Thorens?
In the winter, Val Thorens' streets turn into pistes so most of the chalets, apartments and hotels in the centre offer ski-to-the-door access. Les Menuires also has some apartment buildings located on the side of the slopes, especially in the area of La Croisette.
Camping & glamping in Val Thorens
Val Thorens isn't really a camping destination, so there are no campsites in the area. The nearest ones are located in the neighbouring valleys in towns like Orelle, Brides-les-Bains or Bozel.
Are there any campsites in Val Thorens?
No, there are no campsites in Val Thorens. The best choice for those visiting the area is the public campsite in Orelle, linked to Val Thorens thanks to the Three Valleys gondola. The campsite offers showers and toilets, water and electricity and even tennis courts.
Are there any motorhome areas in Val Thorens?
France is famous for its well-equipped motorhome areas or 'aires de camping-car' and Val Thorens is no exception. You can stay with your motorhome or campervan at the P2 car park, on rue du Soleil – we recommend you book in advance if you're coming during the high season. Les Menuires also has a motorhome area just 50m from the slopes.