Saint Gervais Resort Reviews
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Visitor reviews for Saint Gervais Ski Resort
January 05, 2015
D Todd from United Kingdom
As some other reviewers have said this is an excellent resort for mixed ability groups. We went as a group of 4 adults and 6 kids aged 1-9yrs. The older children picked it up quickly after a few lessons and had plenty of easy green slopes to practice on. They even managed a few reds and blues with their dads before the week was out. For anyone else bringing young kids there are plenty of places to rent the sledges that young children can be pushed around in (am sure they have a name!) and there are 2 toboggan runs which even a young child could do on a bum board.
We stayed in St. Gervais le Bain, in a chalet, and there was only one cable car up to the resort which the kids enjoyed anyway and the better skiers were able to go on up to access more challenging runs. This holiday was excellent value and we are heading back next month.
Saint Gervais Ratings
Overall: 4.3. Based on 23 votes and 19 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 Saint Gervais.
Public Transport: 4.7
(1) There are no buses or taxis to Saint Gervais, (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 Saint Gervais, (3) a few places to stay in the resort, (5) a wide variety of accommodation suitable to suit all budgets.
Cheap Rooms: 4.1
(1) No budget accommodation available, (3) just one or two hostels so book ahead, (5) several cheap hostels and pensions available.
Luxury Hotels: 3.8
(1) No luxury accommodation available, (3) just one or two luxury hotels so book ahead, (5) several up-market hotels in Saint Gervais.
Ski in/Ski out: 3.9
(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 Saint Gervais, (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) Saint Gervais is snowsure even in the poorest seasons.
(1) Saint Gervais 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 Saint Gervais, (3) occasionally some pistes are left ungroomed and in a poor state, (5) all the runs at Saint Gervais 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) Saint Gervais is mostly in forest where you can ski in flat-light and windy days, lifts rarely close.
Nearby options: 4.7
(1) If snow conditions are poor at Saint Gervais, 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: 3.9
(1) Saint Gervais 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: 4.6
(1) The staff at Saint Gervais are rude or unhelpful, (5) lift staff at Saint Gervais 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: 4.7
(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: 4.9
(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: 4.8
(1) The ski runs are featureless and unvaried, (3) the ski runs are varied but not extensive enough for a week, (5) Saint Gervais 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 Saint Gervais, (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: 3.8
(1) Not even a kicker at Saint Gervais, (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 Saint Gervais, (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) Saint Gervais has long and well maintained luge / toboggan facilities suitable for all ages.
Mountain Dining: 4.5
(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: 4.3
(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: 4.8
(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: 4.5
(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): 4.3
(1) Overall, Saint Gervais 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): 4.4
(1) Overall, Saint Gervais 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 27, 2013
Tony Toole from United Kingdom
Just like to endorse what another reviewer has said about the new Monts Rosset chair lift at Le Bettex. This used to be the slowest and most exposed of the lifts in the resort, but is now one of the swiftest. The Chattrix lift, in Saint-Nicolas de Véroce, is now probably the slowest in the resort, but actually I like its elegant progression, particularly over the plateau half way up, so I hope they don't change that anytime soon.
By the way, the off-piste, through the trees, potential of the Marmire run down to the Monts Rosset chair (left side at the top, right side from halfway down) is well worth exploring!
January 11, 2013
Peter Forrest from United Kingdom
I can agree with practically everything other reviewers have said. St. Gervais is not Chamonix or Verbier, but it is a super resort in its own right, giving you the chance to roam a great ski area without spending an absolute fortune. The nightlife is limited, and ski-in ski-out is really only available from above le Bettex (the mid-station in the lift system up from St. Gervais to Mont d'Arbois), but there isn't much else to criticise.
The town is really lovely, and although it has its fair share of recent apartment blocks it also has some classic Belle Epoque buildings, a great Baroque church, and some excellent restaurants and shops.
It's also excellent in summer, unlike some resorts, and the views of the Domes de Miage and the Mont Blanc massif (both permanently snow-covered) are magnificent all year round.
It used to have a regular afternoon traffic jam coming up the hill from le Fayet, but with an impressive new bridge completed in 2012 that has been banished. The bridge even has a covered climbing wall and bungee jumping if you like that sort of thing.
The bridge spans a truly impressive gorge, which must be 100m plus to the bottom - with a slightly scary footpath going down to the famous spa at le Fayet.
We've been going to St Gervais for five years in a row, after flirtations with Plan Peisey, Val d'Isere, and Chamonix, and will be delighted to continue for the foreseeable future.
The Evasion pass gives you the whole of St. Gervais, Megeve, St. Nicolas and les Contamines to enjoy - with les Contamines the only area which can't be accessed by lift or free bus, so a paid bus trip or a car is needed to get you to the beautiful wide-open bowls and long meandering paths of this end-of-the-valley gem.
The real heart of the area, though, is the Mont d'Arbois - Mont Joux - Princesse section, full of huge rolling slopes, often tree-lined, and always offering a good range of fun pistes for most levels.
More challenging areas are at Cote 2000 on the Megeve side, and Mont Joly and l'Epaule going towards St Nicolas.
You can also take the Tramway du Mont Blanc up to Les Houches Saint Gervais for a change of scenery, though this isn't part of the Evasion pass.
St Gervais is one of the easiest good resorts to get to, with Geneva airport only an hour away, or the train at le Fayet if you want. Snowcoach also has regular coaches to its hotel in le Fayet, which you can get tickets for if space is available. By car, too, there's every chance you can get to the town without needing chains or having any disruption to your journey.
In high season (Christmas, New Year, February half-term) there are queues at quite a few lifts, but that is no different from most resorts, and much better than some we've been to; and the rest of the time it is amazingly uncrowded, with hardly a minute wasted queuing for lifts.
Personal favourites for eating include le Boitet above Bettex, Freddy for a picnic in cold weather, la Petite Fontaine on the Megeve side for cheap snacks, and, in the town, a whole load of nice places to eat, including 4 Epices, la Galeta, and, pushing the boat out a bit, le Serac, which serves the sort of classy food that would cost maybe double in Megeve.
To update a couple of points from earlier reviewers, there are now quite a lot of English visitors (probably encouraged by the good write-ups here) but that doesn't stop St Gervais being a delightfully French resort; and a main meal price up on the mountain is maybe 16 euros (as long as you avoid the expensive places like Mandarines or Super Megeve.
The lifts are reasonably fast, too - and in particular the long slow grind of Monts Rosset has been banished, with a smart 6-man which does the trip in less than half the time.
Evasion Mont Blanc isn't the highest ski area by a long way, so the snow isn't as reliable as the high resorts; but if at the beginning or end of the season things get difficult, and even les Contamines closes, St Gervais is only an hour or so away from Flaine and Courmayeur, and only half an hour from Chamonix.
All in all, a great resort in a great ski area.
October 17, 2012
Graham from United Kingdom
I have skied at Saint Gervais in each of the last few years - it's ideal for a mixed ability group with some really long green runs for any beginners who are trying to decide where to ski.
Okay, it's not ideal for 'powder hunters' and it is relatively low. But with the pistes lying over pasture land only a modest snow depth is needed to allow decent skiing - plus it has extensive snowmaking coverage.
Try a day or two 10 minutes up the valley in Les Contamines and you will have a really great time.
In the evening there are a few good bars and decent restaurants which are more than enough for our crowd - bone up on your French though because you won't hear too many English accents which makes it feel more 'French' than most resorts in this area.
Finally, the added bonus is that it is less than one hour from Geneva airport.
December 17, 2011
Tony from United Kingdom
I've been skiing at St Gervais for many years and can endorse the comments made by others reviewing this resort. The big advantage for Brits is the ease of access. A flight to Geneva of not much more than an hour, followed by a transfer of about the same time means that you can leave home at 6am (if you're reasonably close to the airport) and be skiing by lunchtime.
For ski-in, ski-out ability, I would recommend staying in or around Le Bettex. For me there's nothing better than clipping into the skis immediately outside the boot room and skiing down to the first lift at the beginning of the day, and then coming back off the mountain at the end of the day to return to the same spot!
The ski area is enormous and is worth exploring. On the first day you would probably get to know Mt D'Arbois and Mt Joux, discovering the welcoming bars/restaurants in places like Les Communailles and, on return, dropping in to Le Boitet just above Bettex, where you will be greeted by Gilles and a roaring log fire.
On the following days you will probably venture down to Megeve and across to Rochebrune where you will find your way to L'Alpette and then the wonderful reds of Fontaine and Lanchettes. If you start early enough, you can then reach Cote 2000 in time for a couple of runs before lunch in Le Radaz.
Another day would probably involve a trip to St Nicolas via L'Epaule and maybe a trip to the top of Mt Joly, perhaps the most challenging area of the resort.
For the adventurous, a trip by Navette into Megeve and across to Jaillet, Combloux, Christomet and Le Gettaz (bit of a trek this one) makes a good day out.
Then there's always the option of skiing down to St Gervais and catching the mountain train to the Col de Vosa ...
September 08, 2010
Steve from United Kingdom
For those skiers with families of varying ags and abilities (and even non-skiers), St Gervais is spot on.
The access to all parts of the area (even Cote 2000) is easy and if you can navigate the runs and lifts to get there, the far reaches of the Megeve area can be reached in about 1 hour from le Bettex.
I have been going to St Gervais for 5 years now, having tried the Cham Valley and Les Arcs previously, and although the resort doesn't have the 'name' of these larger resorts, you also don't get the issues such as over-crowding, drunken skiers and high altitude weather problems (I lost half a week of skiing in Les Arcs due to a snow storm that forced all of the higher lifts to close - we were at Arc 2000!!).
I can also recommend the creche at le Bettex for those with really young children. Our son went there this year aged 14 months and had a great time with the staff and other children. We left him there from 10am - 3pm which was long enough for us to have a good ski, and short enough for him not to feel abandoned!
Accommodation is also good value and good quality in the main. I have stayed at a different self-catered chalet each year, and have not had a bad experience yet. I would certainly recommend looking outside the town if you want to get good value for money, although you will need a car and be prepared to drive to the lifts in the morning.
All in all, I personally rate St Gervais as one of the nicest resorts in France because of its friendly, quiet (low number of Brits abroad) and easily accesible demeanour, and unless you are an off-piste god, the skiing will keep you smiling all week.
March 07, 2009
Graeme Dunbar from United Kingdom
Just had our first week skiing this area (Saint Gervais) at February half-term and we had a great time. The snow was admittedly fantastic, which always makes a big difference, but I loved the breathtaking beauty of the place, with lovely and varied tree-lined runs coupled with stunning views of Mont-Blanc and surrounding peaks. There are many nice huts to eat in on the mountain; we liked the Mont Joux and the 2 places in Les Communailles, particularly. That said, as in almost every French resort, food and drink are a tad expensive.
Would agree that Saint Gervais is mainly an intermediate's ski area, but with over 400km of available pistes to aim for, all but the best of experts will stay interested (that being said there are loads of off-piste possibilities). Although not all sectors are lift or piste linked, transport is easy (especially with a car), so exploring the various sectors is relatively easy.
We thought ESF were excellent at Le Bettex; well organised and catered well for non-french pupils. I would avoid Sport Evasion in Saint Gervais for ski hire, as quality and quantity of equipment was poor, as was their customer service (there are lots of other better ski hire options both in town or in Le Bettex).
Would agree that some of the lifts are painfully slow (esp the Mont Rosset and Chattrix chairs), and the gondolas get a bit busy, but not bad considering it was the busiest week of the season (waited no more than 15 minutes for any lift and that was rare). There is tons of free parking at the gondola station in Saint Gervais, so relatively unstressful in the mornings.
Saint Gervais is a real (and beautiful) town with a year-round life, extending much beyond skiing. There are several good places to eat; would recommend the 4 Epices, L'Eterle (great pizzas) and the Royal, particularly. The local people are very friendly and welcoming, and they have cracking sports facilities, including ice rink, tennis, mini-golf and (in the summer) a great outdoor municipal swimming pool.
Despite skiing solidly for a week we have only scratched the surface of the ski area. There is so much still to go at, so we are going back to Saint Gervais for 2 weeks at New Year. Can't wait.
March 02, 2009
Clive Lawton from United Kingdom
Having just returned from Saint Gervais, I can confirm that I have nothing but praise for the resort. However, for advanced skiers there may be several drawbacks.
(1) Saint Gervais has an enormous skiing area. In a week I only scratched the surface. I went at half-term week and the sheer size of the ski area absorbed the crowds very easily away from the important lift stations. Out of peak times I'm sure the area would appear almost deserted. With nearby resorts of Combloux and Les Contamines also on the area pass there are at least two hundred miles of ski runs to explore.
(2) Saint Gervais has a huge number of runs that will suit a family group towards the bottom end of the ability range. There are a great number of long greens and blues whilst the reds were relatively unthreatening. Family groups of differing abilities easily met up for lunch on the mountain.
(3) The scenery is extraordinary. Many runs through the trees or with views of trees with Mount Blanc visible from much of the area.
(4) Saint Gervais is an 'all year round' destination for both summer and winter holidays therefore the range of shops and facilities are above the norm for a ski resort.
(5) Everybody on the mountain seemed very relaxed and happy from the lift people to the restaurant workers to the skiers.
(6) Saint Gervais has a great range of accommodation from studios in Saint Gervais town to seven bedroom chalets up at Le Bettex.
(1) The resort is relatively low although Mount Blanc has its own weather system so I'm told. Having said that the snow, when I was there, was more than adequate as much of the area is summer pasture and therefore needs only a relatively small depth of snow to ensure great conditions.
(2) Saint Gervais has some of the slowest lifts I've ever ridden. It wasn't a problem for me as the weather wasn't so cold but if it had been? Also, the lift from Saint Gervais to Le Bettex is really too small to cope with holiday crowds but seemed to move the skiers up the mountain relatively quickly. The Le Bettex lift upwards was also a bit of a scrum but a good natured one. I never waited more than 10 minutes and there are alternatives albeit slow ones.
(3) Skiers of a high calibre may need help in searching out runs to suit their standards at Saint Gervais. Even the off-piste slopes visible from the lifts seemed somewhat gentle.
(4) The collapse of the £ against the euro helped no one. Costs were up on last year but there's a spread of cost options on the mountain and you can budget accordingly.
All in all, Saint Gervais is a great resort with the positives far out weighing the negatives. However, the snow (or potential lack of it) question is a bit worrying. Having said that, would I go again? A resounding 'yes' and I've already booked again for 2010.
December 05, 2008
Pete Mitchell from United Kingdom
I couldn't agree more with Greg Watts' review of Saint Gervais. He sums it up in a nutshell. I don't live in this beautiful part of the world, so he is a very lucky boy. But I have been holidaying here for a number of years now. I have stayed in the fully catered Chalet La Charme, a wonderfully peaceful chalet, run by Chris, who has always met our needs with professionalism and friendliness. His cooking standards are first rate, and his ability to show us the best spots to ski at Saint Gervais are uncanny. It's almost as if he has a sixth sense for finding empty pistes, or untracked powder. As for the skiing itself, I can't really add anymore to the review of Greg, one of the "locals". Praise indeed.
November 27, 2008
Greg Watts from France
Having now lived and skied here for 5 years - and having skied in may other places - I feel I can give a balanced view.
- The views are simply stunning and really can't be beaten
- It's true that St Gervais retains it's character and charm and has a great feel. It's also true to say that it is not a party town. but there are many good bars and places to eat. (Try the new Pur Bar for classy champagne & cocktails)
- The resort works really well for families and mixed ability groups, with everyone being able to re-group at Bettex throughout the day, or just at the end of the day
- We've had very good feedback on the various ski schools
- 450km of piste is a lot. It took me 3 seasons to actually get every run ticked off! And there really is terrain to suit everyone, from beginner to experienced, skiers and snowboarders alike. (I do both, so I know.)
- Les Contamines, covered on the Evasion pass, does seem to have its own microclimate and is very snow-sure. Perfect for early and late season.
- There is plenty of good off-piste, but some of it is a little hidden and you need to know where to look, or put the time in to find it (top lift from Mt Joly can provide steep, long and challenging runs.)
- But as a result, you can still score fresh tracks days after a storm, unlike many resorts (hu hum, Chamonix) where everything is tracked out within hours.
- It's a very 'low stress' resort. The lifties are friendly and you get the sense people are here to have fun, not to impress. Having said that, the W.O.S.P fun park has developed greatly in the last 2 years with all kinds of rails, table-tops and all manner of hips and jumps for the freestylers.
- A car is a good idea and gives you more freedom to explore the whole Evasion ski area. As well as St Gervais/Megeve and Les Contamines, take the time to explore the Jaillet/Combloux areas if you have the time.
- St Gervais is investing heavily. In recent years new lifts have gone in, more snow-making equipment has been added and the town is improving its roads and infrastructure as well as renovating town centre buildings in a very tasteful way. Year on year the resort is becoming more attractive, classier, easier to use and better equipped. It's also becoming increasingly popular as word gets out about this formerly little-known French treasure.
Come. I doubt you'll be dissapointed.