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Visitor reviews for Mottaret Ski Resort
January 13, 2016
James from United Kingdom
I have been visiting Mottaret for 10+ years since learning to ski there when I was young.
I have also ski'd in Mayrhofen in Austria, Verbier in Switzerland, Whistler in Canada and Chamonix in France. I can say without question the 3 Valleys and Motteret is second to none!
The sheer size of the ski area is incredible, you can ski all day without having to do any runs twice. My suggestion is plan your day and destination, try and get somewhere different as there are so many places to see and experience with a variety of exciting slopes to ski.
We have an apartment there so I can't say much for the accommodation, however, we have had friends stay and they give very good reviews of the hotels.
It is not cheap; the 3 valleys is the biggest and best ski resort in the world and you'll pay a premium for that, but with it you get the most incredible skiing, stunning views, lovely food and a very accessible resort.
Great for beginners, who can navigate blue runs easily, and also offers plenty for the experienced skier too.
Overall: 4.1. Based on 3 votes and 11 reviews. Vote
(1) At least one overnight stop, (2) requires a whole day, (3) requires more than half a day – you may have time for a few turns (4) arrive by lunchtime and ski all afternoon, (5) there is a main airport within an hour of Mottaret.
Public Transport: 5.0
(1) There are no buses or taxis to Mottaret, (3) there are slow or infrequent buses / trains available, (5) getting to the resort is easy with frequent bus / train connections.
(1) An ugly resort in a bland setting, (3) average mountain views and resort, (5) a spectacular setting and a beautiful / historic resort town.
(1) No places to stay in/near Mottaret, (3) a few places to stay in the resort, (5) a wide variety of accommodation suitable to suit all budgets.
Cheap Rooms: 4.0
(1) No budget accommodation available, (3) just one or two hostels so book ahead, (5) several cheap hostels and pensions available.
Luxury Hotels: 3.0
(1) No luxury accommodation available, (3) just one or two luxury hotels so book ahead, (5) several up-market hotels in Mottaret.
Ski in/Ski out: 5.0
(1) The ski area is located far from any accommodation, (3) a free ski bus takes you to the ski area in a short trip, (5) Ski-in ski-out accommodation is available.
(1) There are no child care facilities at Mottaret, (5) the resort has excellent child-care facilities including at least one reasonably priced creche.
(1) Occasionally gets enough snow for skiing, (2) is often closed due to a lack of snow, (3) occasionally suffers from a lack of snow, (4) rarely suffers from a lack of snow, (5) Mottaret is snowsure even in the poorest seasons.
(1) Mottaret relies entirely on natural snow, (3) there are just a few snow cannons, (5) there are snowmaking facilities on all pistes.
Snow Grooming: 4.7
(1) There are no snow groomers at Mottaret, (3) occasionally some pistes are left ungroomed and in a poor state, (5) all the runs at Mottaret are groomed daily.
(1) there is nowhere to ski when it is windy or visibility is bad and lifts often shut, (3) there are some trees for poor visibility but main lifts sometimes close, (5) Mottaret is mostly in forest where you can ski in flat-light and windy days, lifts rarely close.
Nearby options: 5.0
(1) If snow conditions are poor at Mottaret, it will be poor everywhere nearby, (3) there are good alternatives within an hours drive, (5) other locations on the same lift pass provide a rich variety of snowsure ski conditions.
Regional rating: 4.3
(1) Mottaret usually has poor snow conditions compared to other resorts in region, (3) has average conditions for the region, (5) usually has the best snow conditions in the region.
Lift Staff: 4.0
(1) The staff at Mottaret are rude or unhelpful, (5) lift staff at Mottaret are pleasant, cheerful and eager to help.
(1) the resort is always busy and there are usually long lift queues, (3) it is quiet apart from occasional weekends and school holidays, (5) it is uncrowded and lift queues are very rare.
Ski Schools: 4.0
(1) No ski schools available, (2) one or two ski schools but local language only, (3) a few ski schools but book early for multi-lingual instructors, (4) plenty of ski schools and multi-lingual instructors available, (5) excellent ski schools with friendly multi-lingual ski instructors.
Hire and Repairs: 4.0
(1) Nothing can be sourced, not even ski-wax or ptex. (3) there are some ski shops but rentals need to be booked in advance, (5) good quality ski equipment can be purchased or hired and overnight repairs are possible.
Variety of pistes: 4.5
(1) The ski runs are featureless and unvaried, (3) the ski runs are varied but not extensive enough for a week, (5) Mottaret has diverse and interesting pistes including forests and high alpine terrain.
(1) Beginners can only watch others ski and snowboard, (3) a few gentle slopes but beginners will get bored in less than a week, (3) Vast areas of gentle terrain.
(1) No intermediate terrain at Mottaret, (3) intermediate skiers will get bored after a few days, (5) vast areas of cruising runs.
(1) Nothing for advanced skiers and snowboarders, (3) enough steep terrain for a few days with some good offpiste, (5) Enough steep terrain and offpiste areas to entertain advanced skiers for at least a week.
Snow Park: 4.0
(1) Not even a kicker at Mottaret, (3) average sized park quite well looked after, (5) huge park area and expertly crafted pipes, jumps and boardercross trails.
(1) No off-piste worth mentioning, (2) off piste is out-of-bounds, (3) some varied offpiste that stays fresh for one or two days, (5) a vast array of off-piste routes that can stay untracked for several days.
(1) There is nowhere to go for cross-country skiing around Mottaret, (3) there are some cross country trails available, (5) the area features many spectacular and well maintained cross-country trails.
Mountain Dining: 4.0
(1) Nowhere to buy food by the pistes, (3) some places to eat up on the mountain but they are often busy and expensive, (5) there is a variety of excellent mountain eateries right next to the slopes to suit all budgets.
(1) Bring your own food, there isn't even a shop. (5) A wide variety of places to eat and drink in the resort, from fast food to fancy restaurants.
(1) Nothing to do, not even a bar, (3) there are a few bars in the resort but nothing special, (5) clubs and bars stay open until very late and have a friendly atmosphere.
Other Sports: 2.0
(1) No sports facilities at all apart from ski lifts, (3) resort has just a small public swimming pool, (5) resort has all kinds of sports facilities, including a full-size swimming pool.
(1) Besides the snow and walking there is nothing to do here, (3) the non-skier will find things to do for few days but may become bored after a week, (5) the resort area is a fascinating place to visit, regardless of winter sports.
Winter Walks: 4.0
(1) Very limited walking and no snowshoe trails, (3) a couple of designated scenic walking/snowshoe trails, (5) extensive and diverse winter walking trails for all abilities.
Ski Pass Value: 3.3
(1) A 1 week ski pass is overpriced compared to the number of lifts available, (3) the ski pass is averagely priced and covers a reasonable number of lifts, (5) ski passes are excellent value for money and cover a lot of lifts spanning a big area.
Value (National): 3.0
(1) Overall, Mottaret is one of the most expensive ski resorts in the country and not worth the money, (3) overall represents average value for money, (5) overall offers the best value resort in the country.
Value (Global): 3.0
(1) Overall, Mottaret is one of the most expensive ski resorts in the world, (3) overall it offers pretty average value for money compared to resorts from other countries, (5) internationally the resort offers excellent value for money.
February 28, 2013
rozita from Jersey
Have just returned from Mottaret. We were there for Feb 1/2 term term and had the most fantastic time. The snow conditions were the best we have ever had. The piste was not crowded and there were no really long lift queues. Prices for food and drink seem to have stayed the same for the past 2-3 years. Ok, more expensive than you would like but they do have to get everything up the mountain.
We made the most of the new group lift pass which is available for groups of 3 or more.
We booked all our travel and accommodation independently which worked out so much cheaper We stayed in the Ruitor appartments right in the centre of Mottaret with the shops bars and lifts just outside the door. The apartment was fantastic. Not the small cramped type we stayed in last year. It slept 6 and we all had decent beds.There was separate bathroom and toilet as well as kitchen and lounge/diner. The huge balcony was south facing looking onto the slopes. Will be going back there next year.
Travel was on the overnight sleeper train from Paris and at 600euros return for 6 of us was a bargain. Transfers was by Altibus which can be booked online.The bonus of the night train is you get 8 full days ski.
For those that want lively apres-ski there is the free bus to Meribel.
I loved Mottaret and am looking forward to returning there next year.
February 05, 2013
Chai Uawithya from United Kingdom
Beware of snow systems ski school.
They have just cancelled my wife's morning lessons less than two weeks before our holiday starts. My wife can't ski so she has a lift pass, ski hire and a week in a ski resort without lessons!
There's no compensation or viable alternative offered.
January 08, 2009
Laura and Paul from United Kingdom
If you want to go to the most expensive ski area in France (Mottaret) during the peak season as we have to, but are not lucky enough to have the cash to pay for expensive accommodation, then the Le Hameu ticks all the right boxes for ski in - ski out, locality of slopes, shops, ski hire, free transport to Meribel and a bar which has a happy hour with a roaring fire. We have stayed there 3 times so far and we have booked for Feb half term this year. The apartments have always been clean and warm, with lots of hot water and very quiet.
Last year we stayed in the Pierre Vacances by the ski meeting area in Mottaret and to be honest with you the accommodation was smaller and we had a long trek up lifts along balconies and then up more stairs to get back to our apartments, and of course, we had to do all this with our luggage on arrival and departure also.
Admittedly the Hameau does need serious refurbishment and if we booked with a tour operator and paid masses for it, we would be annoyed, but we book independently and pay about half of what the tour operators charge.
December 16, 2008
Kevin Down from United Kingdom
I have been going to 'Les Trois Vallees' for over 12 years. For the past 6 or 7 I have been staying in Mottaret. OK I don't stay in self catered apartments so I can not comment on the quality of them. I do however, know of many people who have stayed in various Mottaret apartments both with the cheap end providers like Crystal and Thomson and with the more exclusive providers like Pierre Vecances. True, those appartments are small and you unfortunately do get ripped off by the tour operators somewhat as they do try desperately to cram as many people in as possible. You can of course book those very same apartments direct from the booking agents in Mottaret or Meribel for a fraction of the price and not have to worry about single or dual person occupancy surcharge.
As for the friendliness (or lack of) of the French hosts I have always been made most welcome in the resort. The French certainly frequent it because it is by far the best location to get access to all four vallees quickly. Indeed, if you are into first tracks, it is only from Mottaret that you can get first tracks down the famous Combe d' Saulire in Courchevel as the Pa Du Lac bubble will, provided you are there for lift open, will get you to the top of the Saulire before either the Meribel lifts or Courchevel lifts get to the summit. This gives you about 5 minutes to descend the Combe without any body else on the slope. Indeed, last year I did just that and picked the first cable car up from Verdons and did it again before playing a deserted Creux. Similarly, from Mottaret centre, you can pick up Plattiers to station 2 and be at Mt Vallon or ascending Cote Brune before 09:30, or on Plattiers 3 for a long quiet descent down to Saint Martin De Belleville.
There are some great authentic Savoyard style restaurants in the resort. Even up at Hameau, for those who like traditional Savoyard cuisine I can highly recommend La Taverne du Crocodile, the proprietress is always most welcoming even though my French is no better than pre 'O' level. Or the Hotel restaurant at Les Arolles (where I have stayed and been welcomed many times).
To sum up, Mottaret (and Meribel) are great places to stay. They are friendly and full of authentic French hospitality. The skiing is second to none. The access from Mottaret to the most varied extensive skiing in the world in second to none. But like many places, whether it is Switzerland, Austria, France or the US, you get what you pay for. If you choose the bottom of the market then you can not expect 3 or 4* accommodation. And will I go back? Most certainly even though the £ is approaching parity with the Euro, I am off to Mottaret again this January for what looks to be a brilliant season.
December 16, 2008
Jonathan from United Kingdom
Jonathan - from Scotland
In praise of Mottaret
First, most people come to a ski resort to go skiing and not for a tour of the toilets, so let's focus on the former for a start. I've been to quite a few resorts, including many of those touted along with the 3V as the 'best ski resort in the World'. Everyone has their favourite (Val d'Isere-Tignes, Verbier, Whistler etc) and they all have good aspects, but to date, the 3V wins as the best all round resort in my view - great uplift system; superb variety of terrain and runs; excellent piste grooming.
Mottaret is without doubt the best centre for accessing all of the above. There is a variety of runs close by including the pair at Mont Vallon; you can be at the top of Combe Saulire before the Courchevel crowd; you can access Val Thorens and the 4th valley relatively easily; and you can get down to the Meribel Chaudanne lifts with a nice warm-up run down La Truite.
Secondly, I've stayed where Phil had his unhappy time and would agree that the accommodation could do with sprucing up. But you get what you pay for and as this is probably the cheapest accommodation in the 3V (other than in the villages on the valley floor with poor access), one should perhaps have lowish expectations. He is right in implying that the UK tour operators could do more to manage these expectations, to assist where accommodation is manifestly sub-standard and to prompt improvements on the part of the owners. I don’t think Crystal should be singled out, though, unless he thought their reps to be particularly ineffective regarding his problems. I can report that staying in hotels nearby has been a different and great experience and in reality not that much more expensive overall, when food costs are taken into account.
The staff in the accommodation receptions are extremely hard pressed and at rush periods work their socks off to deal with loads of customers and their requests. I've always found them to be cheery, curtious and helpful.
March 16, 2007
Paterson family from United Kingdom
In case you have been put off this resort by the previous reviewer we thought we'd add our comments. We also travelled with Crystal and stayed in the same apartments.The apartment was basic and very compact but clean and comfortable. We cannot comment on the bar as we did not use it. This does seem to be a resort frequented mostly by French people but we found them friendly and helpful. This part of Mottaret is quieter than the main village but has a very well-stocked supermarket, a few shops and a reasonable range of good places to eat. The ski hire shop is two minutes walk from the apartment. For us the chief advantage was the ability to ski in - ski out with such ease. The apartment block is at the foot of a chairlift which gives you ready access to the vast 3 valley ski area and there was no queue even at peak times. The mountain restaurants were all lovely and family friendly. The snow conditions were good. All in all we had a lovely week and would definitely return.
February 12, 2007
Phil Yates from United Kingdom
Feb 3rd - Feb 10th 2007
Phil Yates from England
If you are thinking of staying here.....forget it......If you have already booked it then try and change your booking.
We went with Crystal and stayed at Le Hameau which is isolated at the top of Motteret.
I will start with the only two positive things I can say about the resort and the accommodation.
It is a good location to the slopes and there is an endless supply of hot water after a hard day on the piste!
From there it is "DOWNHILL" all the way !
You will be made about as welcome as "a pork chop in a synagogue"
In my opinion this is a French resort, run by the French for the French......If this is the sort of reception foreigners get in France when they arrive then it's no wonder so many of them end up in the UK.
If you arrive at reception speaking English you will be treated like a second class citizen.
The apartments need a good make over........It seems to me that the place has been invaded with vandals........In ours the electrics did not work, the toilet and the basin were cracked.....the blankets covered in various bodily fluids.....the oven was a disgrace.....we had a 7 bed apartment which were all bunk beds and not suitable for adults over 8 stone or 5 foot 6 inches tall.
We had to pay a 250 Euro deposit and do an inventory within 24 hours for crockery, cutlery and equipment which would fail to be even given away at a boot fair.
The bar area which is located near the "friendly" reception area contains pool tables that are about as level as a black run, pinball machines that didn't work all week, and bar staff with attitude.
If you do have a drink and eventually need to use the toilet located under the bar area...forget it and go back to you room....you will have less chance of slipping on the snow and ice than on the toilet floor.
The doors have been kicked in, the lights didn't work, there was no toilet roll and on one evening there were torrents of water streaming out of the toilets down the hallway.
There is a sign saying no ski boots...it should state that you need to wear wellies in the toilet area!
We went on the snow train and arrived in resort at about 9am expecting to go skiing as mentioned in the brochure.
We asked where the baggage room was and were told that 600 French people were vacating the apartments that day and that the baggage room was not available to us.
We asked what time our room would be ready and were told that it would not be ready until 5.30pm due to the French evacuation.
Our choice was to leave our unattended baggage all day or not go skiing.
After threatening the rep with legal action they put our luggage in their minibus for the day.
To summarise I would not go to Mottaret again even if it was the last ski resort available after the polar ice caps have melted.
I will never travel with Crystal again due to the fact that their brochure is misleading....they employ young people with very little local knowledge and it seems the only training they get is how to avoid answering a questions!
I will be going back to Austria in future for some decent food and drink and a far more authentic atmosphere!
February 02, 2007
Big George from United States
Try Niederau, Arraba or Poland ............they are much better places and a lot more affordable.
Hello to Gary and Sandra from England,
January 18, 2006
Tom Mayes from Germany
Mottaret is a fairly well thought out "purpose-built" resort. It has more ski-in/ski-out accommodations than any other resort I've visited. It's also less crowded than its lower sister, Meribel--except at lunch, and at 3:30 pm when all the skiers start cueing up at the Pas Du Lac and Plattiers bubbles to return to the other valleys.
I truly enjoyed the location, and the wonderful skiing in Meribel. We stayed the Christmas week, and the early season snow was patchy, but they did a pretty good job of keeping the runs covered with snowmaking and grooming--it was fortunate this year that the temperatures were cold enough every night to make snow. We had easy access and were able to link over to Courchevel, Val Thorens, and Les Menuires--there was plenty of diverse terrain to cover. The man-made snow was only icy in the shade.
Eskiador/Sport2000 in Le Hameau took very good care of us, and even let us swap out our skis/boards for "mini-skis" the last day. AMS Rentals were very helpful, and we had a wonderful apartment for the week.
There are some oversights, though. There is very limited ‘beginner’ ski instruction in this area. If you have a beginner skier in your group, you'll spend a lot of time getting them sent on a bus down to Meribel for lessons. (If the skier wanting lessons is a bit above ‘beginner’ they can likely navigate the long green run down to Meribel—just allow plenty of time before the lesson in Meribel starts!) The buses are also typical city buses--no ski racks on the outside of the vehicle--so each hairpin turn is an exciting exercise in shoulder-to-shoulder balancing, while holding a heavy board, or skis & poles. They don’t stop at every stop, either. Twice, we had quite a hike from the center of Meribel back to the Castors Restaurant bus stop (near the ski school meeting point), because the bus driver ignored our request to stop before the tunnel.
Restaurants are limited in the Mottaret resort, as well. They all play an orchestrated game each evening where all the sandwich shops close at 5PM and all the menus switch to an assortment of overpriced omelets and local dishes that only the most adventuresome would otherwise try--the food is ok, but none of it's worth $25 a plate. It's impossible to find a burger anywhere for dinner. If you want to eat on the cheap, plan to cook a lot in your apartment. There are a few carry-out pizza places that are more reasonable, and the local grocery store has whole roasted chicken if you get there early.
You should try to stay high on either side of the valley. The ski-in/ski-out feature doesn't work well if you stay halfway up in the entrance of Mottaret (1), or at the back of the valley (2). See the www.meribel.net/welcome-h.htm and go to the resort map of Meribel-Mottaret--areas (1) are D2 & E2, and area (2) is A1. I saw many skiers hiking a fair distance, skis on shoulder, to the nearest lift from these areas
Also, snowboarders should avoid the long run "Ours" at all costs--If you pass the "Plan Des Mains" chairlift, you've gone too far, and you're in for a painfully long "scoot" back to Mottaret--probably easier to pick up your board and walk.
All told, it was a very enjoyable week. Pricier than most, but if you want to ski-in/ski-out from the central most point of Les 3 Vallees during the holidays, a premium should be expected.