Notre Dame de Bellecombe
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Visitor reviews for Notre Dame de Bellecombe Ski Resort
February 19, 2012
MCW from United Kingdom
Background: I own a property in this resort and I want people to enjoy visiting and returning to the place for what it is and not what a fancy sales brochure might suggest it is by people who have never been. It is a real French resort based on an established community going back hundreds of years.
In NDB there are an number of really super blue and red runs but most are shorter than you will find in the highly commercialised areas of Les Arc etc, but you won't be queuing ages for the lift and there are also a number of smaller but interesting runs for the advanced skier. Overall I would say it is a family resort ideal for beginners to competent intermediate skiers but for the advanced you may be frustrated at the lack of blacks.Off piste however there are some challenging areas.NDB is part of the vast Espace Diamant ski area but this is not as well connected as others and the occasional long pole to a connecting area can be a pain but you soon learn.Perhaps on one day you might take the short drive to the next village i.e Les Saises ,with good parking as it opens up,access to new and different runs. In the afternoon some can ski back to NDB while the more modest or slower take the car. In NDB the standard of restaurants is good and early après ski fine but we have not found it a wild place for the early 20's looking for clubs etc.
Megeve is accessible by car and takes about 20 minutes and there is much more night life for those inclined. Overall it is a real ski resort that offers attractive possibilities for family skiing and a great holiday. Only one year in eight has the quality of snow been to poor to ski but unless even then Chamonix was largely closing. Finally the lift passes are very flexible allowing some to ski all week and others to opt in and out at an affordable price.
Notre Dame de Bellecombe Ratings
Overall: 3.7. Based on 6 votes and 8 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 Notre Dame de Bellecombe.
Public Transport: 3.2
(1) There are no buses or taxis to Notre Dame de Bellecombe, (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 Notre Dame de Bellecombe, (3) a few places to stay in the resort, (5) a wide variety of accommodation suitable to suit all budgets.
Cheap Rooms: 3.6
(1) No budget accommodation available, (3) just one or two hostels so book ahead, (5) several cheap hostels and pensions available.
Luxury Hotels: 2.0
(1) No luxury accommodation available, (3) just one or two luxury hotels so book ahead, (5) several up-market hotels in Notre Dame de Bellecombe.
Ski in/Ski out: 4.3
(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 Notre Dame de Bellecombe, (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) Notre Dame de Bellecombe is snowsure even in the poorest seasons.
(1) Notre Dame de Bellecombe relies entirely on natural snow, (3) there are just a few snow cannons, (5) there are snowmaking facilities on all pistes.
Snow Grooming: 4.3
(1) There are no snow groomers at Notre Dame de Bellecombe, (3) occasionally some pistes are left ungroomed and in a poor state, (5) all the runs at Notre Dame de Bellecombe 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) Notre Dame de Bellecombe is mostly in forest where you can ski in flat-light and windy days, lifts rarely close.
Nearby options: 4.0
(1) If snow conditions are poor at Notre Dame de Bellecombe, 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: 4.2
(1) Notre Dame de Bellecombe 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: 3.8
(1) The staff at Notre Dame de Bellecombe are rude or unhelpful, (5) lift staff at Notre Dame de Bellecombe 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: 4.2
(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: 4.5
(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) Notre Dame de Bellecombe 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 Notre Dame de Bellecombe, (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: 2.2
(1) Not even a kicker at Notre Dame de Bellecombe, (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 Notre Dame de Bellecombe, (3) there are some cross country trails available, (5) the area features many spectacular and well maintained cross-country trails.
(1) No designated luge or toboggan runs, (3) there are toboggan runs that open quite often, (5) Notre Dame de Bellecombe has long and well maintained luge / toboggan facilities suitable for all ages.
Mountain Dining: 3.3
(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: 3.4
(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: 4.2
(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): 4.2
(1) Overall, Notre Dame de Bellecombe 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): 4.2
(1) Overall, Notre Dame de Bellecombe 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.
December 30, 2011
Tom fahy from United Kingdom
I have been going to "the Village" for at least 20 years in both summer & winter and it's a truly magical place. From the early days where all the shops were owned & run by village families & English was not spoken at all through to today where English is spoken just about everywhere. The charm has remained the same over the years despite it getting more commercial by the season.
I for one hope nobody else goes there because all who do fall in love with the place. the best part for skiers for the most part is (what is now the vast skiing area of Espace Diamant) covers plenty of different skiing areas covered by one pass and virtually no waiting at any of the lifts.
As I said, if you have not been there before - please give it a miss.
March 22, 2010
Kevin Jones from United Kingdom
Great skiing here at Notre Dame de Bellecombe, this largely unknown resort to UK skiers- much better than Les Houches, for example, and 7 euro a day cheaper. Lots of good intermediate skiing on mainly NE facing slopes that preserve the snow well and are quiet with no lift queues. Good link from Praz d'Arly, bit of poling required to get to the Praz d'Arly skiing from NDB. Close i.e. about 30 minute drive from Les Contamines, Megeve, Mont d'Arbois. The great skiing of Megeve Le Jailet accessed from La Giattaz, La Clusaz Areches and even the Chamonix valley. Fabulous scenery with the Mont Blanc, the Tarantaise and the Aravis spectacular from up top. Charming, quite village with all the facilities one requires except nosiy bars. Clientele at Notre Dame de Bellecombe is mainly French young families with pre-school children and their grandparents and the family dog.
November 29, 2008
Peter from United Kingdom
I have been going to Bellecombe for 18 years. If you know where to ask you can get some extremely good deals with the locals for apartments and hotel rooms.
Yes, this is not the biggest resort BUT in all these years I have never had to endure the tortures that are linked to the bigger ones.
This is a beautiful little village.
In the early days if you did not try to speak French you hardly ate!!
It is different now but I cringe when I see more package tour coaches driving around.
Don't tell too many people about this Shangrila
April 05, 2007
Joe from United Kingdom
I went to Notre Dame de Bellecombe over the new year with my family and we were quite impressed with what the resort had to offer. Having been to 'big' resorts at that time of year and generally finding them to be overwhelmingly
busy, we decided to opt for a decent sized resort yet not as popular as others and Noter Dame de Bellecombe fitted the description perfectly. We stayed in NDDB 1450 which was a quiet hamlet of the main resort and quite pretty, set around mountains and trees.
The ski area around Notre Dame de Bellecombe is an ok size with varied runs, yet all of them disappointingly rather short. The area is linked to the rest of the Espace Diamant by slow connections and, generally, there is lots of traversing involved. At 2069m, the high point of the area, the views are fantastic with great runs back to NDDB (access to the slopes down to Praz Sur Arly after a lot of traversing and the best runs in my opinion) the ones you ski when trying to reach les Saises.
Overall, it's a good resort yet you start to understand why with its amount of runs it's not yet a big resort. Its links are flaky, the lifts are slow and the skiing, though it is good, it is not in the same league as others. I would recommend Notre Dame de Bellecombe to people who want pretty relaxed skiing and no crowds.
September 16, 2005
Phil from Belgium
I went to Notre-Dame de Bellecombe the first week of January 2005 and will go back there during the same week of 2006, largely due to my family desires. For extreme riders or all-night parties lovers, it's probably not the best place to go, but for families with a range of skiing levels, it is one of the best place I know in France. First, NDDB is located in a very pretty place, with lots of trees, beautifull views on the Mont Blanc and other summits. The scenery, the village and all the surrounding chalets spread around reminds me of Austrian Tyrol, with no high rise at all. So, the atmosphere is great. Regarding skiing facilities, it was good last year and it promises to be even better this year since the link with neighbooring Les Saisies will completed. The new Espace Diamant (NDDB, Flumet, Les Saisies, Crest-Volland) will totalise some 140 km in total. The runs are not very long, but you can find beautifull "reds" for intermediate skiers and reasonnable off-pistes. The "greens" for beginners, at Les Saisies in particular, are very nice as well. Another positive point is the the prices are very reasonnable if you compare to other French resorts. Off season, there are nobody on the pistes and you can follow "collective" courses at the ski schools with 2 ou 3 persons classes.
Of cours, as you can't have everything at the same place, there is one "black point": the altitude. The highest "summit" you can reach is 2000 m high. We were lucky last year with the snow, but I'm sure that it will stress me again in the weeks preceeding our departure there... But I'm sure that if you liked Les Gets in "Les Portes du Soleil", NDDB will also become one of your favorite, a excellent compromise between good skiing, nice atmosphere, beautifull location and cheaper prices.
July 13, 2004
grace from United Kingdom
Really really really enjoyed my stay! Went with school for the week, and had an amazing time! Now doing project about it in French at school! The instructor i had named Laurence was cool! i had a wicked time!! you really should go!!!!