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Visitor reviews for Valmeinier Ski Resort
April 01, 2013
Jane Sault from United Kingdom
Just returned from a great one week holiday in a privately owned appartment which was advertised on the Valmeinier site. Most of the accomodation was near to the slopes and some was virtually ski -in, ski-out. We thought the accomodation (75 euros each) and lift pass (170 euros) were good value but if we had booked through Locasun (e.g. Camille A) or through the Valmeinier Central reservation (for wb 23rd March), we would have got a 50 euro reduction on each person's lift pass.
The village is small and everything is within walking distance. The Spar supermarket isn't huge but stocks most things. We had to be out of our accomodation by 10am but our transfer wasn't arriving until 3pm so we used the 'Baggagerie' which was next to the Maison de Valmeinier (lower level - there is a free lift to take you down). They even have a shower room there so you can get an extra morning's ski in.
Everyone is very friendly in the resort. Not everyone speaks English which gives it a traditional feel. The nicest runs, I thought, were on the Valloire side but it doesn't take long to get across. Beware, there is no public transport between Valmeinier and Valloire - we had to get a 40 euros taxi back when someone in our group couldn't ski it.
I would thoroughly recommend the area for intermediate skiers and boarders. My husband and son took boards and had a great time. Although the resort isn't massive we didn't get to cover the whole resort in a week. The mountain restaurants, as expected, were dear (chips 5 euros). In Valmeinier 1500, a short walk from the Roi and Armera lifts, there is a small restaurant which the locals use. Chips are 3 euros and Plat du Jour 10 euros. (Kir only 1 euro 50!) For a great meal out in 1800, try Estaminet but you will need to book.
The only disadvantage is the transfer cost and time - over 2 hours from Lyons or Geneva. Worth it though!
Based on 6 votes. 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 Valmeinier.
Public Transport: 4.2
(1) There are no buses or taxis to Valmeinier, (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 Valmeinier, (3) a few places to stay in the resort, (5) a wide variety of accommodation suitable to suit all budgets.
Cheap Rooms: 4.7
(1) No budget accommodation available, (3) just one or two hostels so book ahead, (5) several cheap hostels and pensions available.
Luxury Hotels: 3.6
(1) No luxury accommodation available, (3) just one or two luxury hotels so book ahead, (5) several up-market hotels in Valmeinier.
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 Valmeinier, (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) Valmeinier is snowsure even in the poorest seasons.
(1) Valmeinier relies entirely on natural snow, (3) there are just a few snow cannons, (5) there are snowmaking facilities on all pistes.
Snow Grooming: 4.8
(1) There are no snow groomers at Valmeinier, (3) occasionally some pistes are left ungroomed and in a poor state, (5) all the runs at Valmeinier 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) Valmeinier is mostly in forest where you can ski in flat-light and windy days, lifts rarely close.
Nearby options: 4.8
(1) If snow conditions are poor at Valmeinier, 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: 4.8
(1) Valmeinier 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: 5.0
(1) The staff at Valmeinier are rude or unhelpful, (5) lift staff at Valmeinier 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: 5.0
(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: 5.0
(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: 4.7
(1) The ski runs are featureless and unvaried, (3) the ski runs are varied but not extensive enough for a week, (5) Valmeinier 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 Valmeinier, (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: 4.3
(1) Not even a kicker at Valmeinier, (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 Valmeinier, (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) Valmeinier has long and well maintained luge / toboggan facilities suitable for all ages.
Mountain Dining: 3.7
(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: 3.5
(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: 3.6
(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: 4.8
(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): 4.8
(1) Overall, Valmeinier 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): 4.7
(1) Overall, Valmeinier 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.
Based on 6 votes. Vote
January 20, 2011
Sue T from United Kingdom
We have just visited Valmienier for the first time (January 2nd) and fell in love. Ok, the runs are not as plentiful as some resorts but it is so friendly, quiet and reasonably priced. We stayed in an apartment in 1800; just a 50m walk you are on the piste and down to the main chair lift. We would not hesitate to go back, and we are looking to book for April, cannot wait. So please do not all rush there and overcrowd the place, but do try it, you may be suprised that smaller can be better!
January 02, 2011
Konstantinos2211 from Greece
The blue run running down from the top of Grand Plateau back to Valmenier (called Combe Orsiere) is very steep and narrow and should not be considered as a return route for the inexperienced. Very icy too, in spring. It should be classified red if you ask me.
April 12, 2010
Chris from United Kingdom
Not long back myself from Valmeinier 1800. I had not heard of the resort before but the cheap coach company made it worth a go for the family. We had a great time and were lucky to get some decent snow for the first few days. Later on in the week typical spring conditions persisted but if you timed it well you could still get some decent runs in. I agree that Valloire has some better runs and found no problem getting over there easily. Some slopes have varying grading accuracy (I guess to look better in the brochure) but no worse than other resorts elsewhere in France.
There is a good mixture of slopes from beginer to the advanced intermediate, but for experts you will need to go off- piste and then, only if you get the snow as there are very few challenging pisted runs. Mountain restaurants are pretty poor self service affairs and the apres-ski is quiet. However, for a family it is at its best - there is a bowling alley and a couple of other non ski related activities with a generally welcoming ambience all round.
Chair lifts were generally good with the only queues at the base first thing in the morning. Fun parks looked good for those not minding wiping out in full veiw of the chairs! The piste grooming varied a bit.
All in all, I was pleasantly suprised with Valmeinier and will go back again with the family without hesitation. As for the lads ski break maybe Konstantinos can recommend a good Greek resort?.
March 21, 2010
Konstantinos 2211 from Greece
I have just come back from a week of skiing in Valmeinier 1800.
The runs are good, though you will find the better runs in the middle mountain: Crey du Quart, as they are nice and steep and also broad (not like little thin ones on Gros Crey) and the snow is most stable here and preserves well in warmer weather like I had now. On the other mountains the snow gets slushy or icy. I really liked this ski resort, it is so much better compared to Greek ski resorts. But we had the missfortune that we head warm temperatures and only little snow covering so that bare ground stuck out at some slope places which was dangerous sometimes. The snowboarder fun-parc is cool with a huge half-pipe and nice jumps and rails.
Come to Valmeinier and have lots of fun!!!
February 02, 2009
Samantha from United Kingdom
Spent last week in Valmeinier/Valloire and loved it. The slopes were pretty quite, lift queues short and polite (no shoving or queue jumping) and we were blessed with lots of fresh snow. Stayed at Valmeinier 1800 with easy access to the lifts and found everyone in shops, bars & restaurants to be very friendly (despite my rubbish French.) Navigating around the slopes is relatively easy with the good signposts. Getting over to Valloire (with its wide blue & red runs) is easy. Only grumble; the flat/uphill bits on the blue and green runs are a pain when you snowboard.
January 09, 2009
Andy from United Kingdom
Have fallen in love with Valmeinier. 1800 is the place to stay. Have just come back from our fourth trip there and booked to go back later in the season.
Greens can get a bit lumpy and busy at the end of the day especially with The Flocons (tiny kids in ski school) that can make some of the afternoon runs an obstacle course. The link to Valloire has been improved so that you don't need to use the drag lift.
Some of the blues are fast but the best run is the red from the top, Genepi. This is a really great run but can be a bit icy near to 1500.
December 30, 2008
Dusko Koncar from Croatia
Valmeinier is a beautiful family resort with lots of both sun and snow. Vallerie side has better slopes for ski experts with some interesting blacks. When there go and ski it all to enjoy properly. No night life as such; excellent for families with small kids.
April 01, 2008
Sally from United Kingdom
We discovered Valmeinier about 2 years ago, What a result! We are a family of mixed ability skiers (teenagers and adults) and everyone is happy. It is a friendly, family orientated resort and not nearly as pricey as the 3 valleys.
The narrow greens are a bit hairy as they can get very busy, but the long blues and reds in both Valmeinier and Valloire are great. There are some challenging blacks too! The links and chairlifts are being improved and updated every year and the pistes are regularly well groomed.
I think we will be regular visitors for years to come.
March 17, 2008
Pete from United Kingdom
We travelled in the kids half-term week in February 2008 and yes, found the resort very busy with lots of queues for all lifts and the majority of the slopes. The long greens were especially dangerous with too many skiers of all standards. The slopes were well groomed and the weather was perfect as was the variety and mix of runs.
However, if you want to experience some form of apres-ski, don't go here. It was similar to a ghost town after 1900hrs, not sure where all those people went?????
Not much to do during the day if you need a break from the slopes either. The kids had lessons organised via the only ski school and I must say this was very poorly organised with the instructors time keeping and lack of interest (probably due to mid season).
All in all, a reasonable resort to ski, but that's it!!
January 07, 2008
David from St Albans from United Kingdom
Visited Valmeinier in the first week of Jan 2008. It's a great place - well groomed pistes, excellent lifts and real variety across the three hills to Valloire.
I'm a pretty bad skier and found some of the piste gradings to be wayward - some of the red runs are much easier for people like me than the thin and often busier 'greens'. But don't be too fooled because other red runs are truly terrifying for the occasional skier, especially off the top of Crey de Quart! But for all the others in my party who were better than I, they were full of praise. Takes a degree in logistical analysis to work out how to use the lifts and runs to get to where you want to go, but worth going as far afield as you can.
Valmeinier itself? There's not much to do if you don't want to ski, but it's a small, friendly, reasonably priced and not overly dominated by one nationality. The altitude can make some of your dreams quite weird though as we all reported strange nocturnal visions. Well, that or the wine...
January 03, 2008
Paul - London from United Kingdom
Visited Valmeinier in 2007 and found the resort to be a real gem. Spread across 2 villages 1500 and 1800, I would recommend staying at 1800. Although small in comparison to some of its more illustrious neighbours, it benefits from a reasonable sized ski area (once you take Valloire into account), a modern lift system which is constantly being improved and some of the best piste preparation outside of the 3 valleys. Pistes were almost empty and lift queues in last week of Jan were non-existent.
September 12, 2006
Helen from United Kingdom
We visited Valmeinier 1800 in mid March and the snow was fantastic. It snowed for 3 days non stop and we had the best skiing conditions ever. It was great for the kids with extremely long green runs from the top of the mountain to the bottom and intermediates would be in heaven but if you are the more experienced skiier there may not be enough to cater for your needs. We stayed in one of the original Valmeinier 1800 buildings that overlooked the main chairlift in the resort, it was a little dated but you could roll out of bed and onto the slopes, Fantastic! The neighbouring Valloire valley is so picturesque with even better runs than Valmeinier, it's a shame that the link wasn't any better. It took 2 chairlifts and a drag just to get there but when you do you will be pleased you made the effort and have an amazing day out. (Valmeinier and Valloire is all included on the ski pass). Valmeinier is a reasonably priced resort and you won't have to pay the same high prices as other nearby resorts but you will have just as much fun for a lower, more reasonable price.
We had an amazing week so visit Valmeinier now!
(Tip: visit the pizza place it's the best I have ever tasted!)