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Visitor reviews for Villard-de-Lans Ski Resort
February 18, 2016
Nick Stephenson from United Kingdom
It should be noted that the town of Villard de Lans has looked very closely at the visitor infrastructure over the past couple of years.
There are now regular buses to and from Grenoble and they run into the night which they did not used to do. On our last visit in January there were more taxis running around than ever before and the tourist office is modern, helpful and informative.
Property is available for rent in the tourist office and even if you turn up on the off chance they will do everything they can to find accommodation.
More new lifts, snow cannon and fresh runs have made this an even better resort.
It is really beautiful and being situated in a National Park means that this is likely to remain the stunning location it is.
Overall: 4.1. Based on 7 votes and 10 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 Villard-de-Lans.
Public Transport: 4.1
(1) There are no buses or taxis to Villard-de-Lans, (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 Villard-de-Lans, (3) a few places to stay in the resort, (5) a wide variety of accommodation suitable to suit all budgets.
Cheap Rooms: 4.2
(1) No budget accommodation available, (3) just one or two hostels so book ahead, (5) several cheap hostels and pensions available.
Luxury Hotels: 3.5
(1) No luxury accommodation available, (3) just one or two luxury hotels so book ahead, (5) several up-market hotels in Villard-de-Lans.
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 Villard-de-Lans, (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) Villard-de-Lans is snowsure even in the poorest seasons.
(1) Villard-de-Lans relies entirely on natural snow, (3) there are just a few snow cannons, (5) there are snowmaking facilities on all pistes.
Snow Grooming: 4.6
(1) There are no snow groomers at Villard-de-Lans, (3) occasionally some pistes are left ungroomed and in a poor state, (5) all the runs at Villard-de-Lans 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) Villard-de-Lans is mostly in forest where you can ski in flat-light and windy days, lifts rarely close.
Nearby options: 3.7
(1) If snow conditions are poor at Villard-de-Lans, 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: 3.7
(1) Villard-de-Lans 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: 4.1
(1) The staff at Villard-de-Lans are rude or unhelpful, (5) lift staff at Villard-de-Lans 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: 3.8
(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: 4.3
(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: 4.4
(1) The ski runs are featureless and unvaried, (3) the ski runs are varied but not extensive enough for a week, (5) Villard-de-Lans 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 Villard-de-Lans, (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: 2.6
(1) Not even a kicker at Villard-de-Lans, (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 Villard-de-Lans, (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) Villard-de-Lans has long and well maintained luge / toboggan facilities suitable for all ages.
Mountain Dining: 4.2
(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: 4.2
(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: 4.2
(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: 4.0
(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): 4.1
(1) Overall, Villard-de-Lans 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): 4.0
(1) Overall, Villard-de-Lans 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.
January 21, 2014
Graeme from United Kingdom
We're just finalising plans for our 2nd trip here in a couple of weeks or so. We first visited last year as we have friends who live in Grenoble and have an apartment in the town of Villard de Lans.
In short, it is an ideal resort for a family holiday (as we discovered taking our 2, aged 4 and 6, for their first trip).
Firstly, the town is small and largely remains a working rural hub for the area, combined with a holiday resort. Walking and cycling are as common here in summer (from what we hear from our friends) as skiing and cross-country (it's a bit of a mecca) are in winter.
A good selection of restaurants, in town, from a quick pizza to something more local and traditional. The advantage of it being a working town is that there are supermarkets and real local shops. So, if you're self-catering, as we were, you can get great food at non-'resort' prices.
A free bus takes you up to the slopes from the town but if you're visiting out of peak season, check the times very carefully, it doesn't run that often. Once up at the base, you're fairly quickly whisked up to the mountain hub where the ski school is.
From there, you have your pick of cruisy blues, fun reds and some properly challenging blacks. We would drop our kids off at ski school and then make our way across the resort and back in time to pick them up. My wife is an expert and I'm fairly advanced, so we like a challenge but also enjoy some carving. The advantage of being there in low-season, yet mid-season (early-mid Feb) is that the snow was fabulous and the place was deserted.
Eating up the mountain doesn't offer a huge choice but the food is fine and compared to the mega resorts, not badly priced.
There's a great leisure pool to loosen the limbs in after a day and this year we're hoping to catch the local ice hockey team, the Bears, for a match.
As I said, all in all, it's a great family 'resort', relaxed, friendly and unpretentious. Can't wait to get back!
PS That said, 4 weeks after this trip I'm heading to Meribel with the guys (7x 40-50 yr olds) for the annual trip. I wouldn't take them to Villard de Lans. But then I wouldn't take my kids to Meribel yet when they don't need that amount of terrain and whilst VdL offers such a 'nice' family holiday.
February 04, 2012
Louise Heath from United Kingdom
Just returned from a fantastic week at Villar-De-Lans, traveling 21st January 2012, with a party of 6 adults and 1 child. Have been to Bulgaria and Austria skiing previously and there was no comparison between the quality of skiing in Villard. Perfect snow, economical, lovely people, beautiful setting.
Booked flights to Grenoble (approx £100 per person), booked self catering apartment (Balcon Apartments £450) over looking the slopes which was basic but very spacious and could have easily fitted in 8 persons. Other expenses included lift passes (£150 per person for 6 day pass), and Ski hire (£50 for 6 days).
Food was expensive compared to the UK but you could buy food and prepare it in your room to cut costs. We often went back to the apartment for lunch and rest, returning skiing in the afternoon. In the evening the restaurants are limited and a little expensive by the slopes but the village of Villard-De-Lans is only 10 minute away if you want more variety. The customer service was very good on all occasions and the locals went out of their way to speak English, as our French was limited.
The ski runs are fantastic! Many slopes to explore for all abilities. Snow quality was exceptional, powdery, well prepared, wide, quiet runs. Many lifts with no queues and the views were outstanding although mist could make skiing difficult at times.
The youngest in our group was 5 years old and he was enrolled into the Ski School (09.30am-12.00pm). The French instructors made him feel very welcome and they explained everything in English to help him settle into the class. The school had excellent facilities and lovely instructors.
In summary, I would definitely recommend this resort to anyone who goes skiing to ski and would rather relax in the evening with a bottle of wine and a book rather than Party until the early hours. We are already looking to return next year and we are going to spend time polishing up our French as the locals really appreciate any effort made to communicate in French.
January 30, 2012
The Davey Family from United Kingdom
We have been going to VDL (Villard-de-Lans) for the past 6 years and every time we don't want to go home. The best kept French secret for skiing. Tell people where you are skiing and they say "never heard of it". Great, don't tell too many people as it's a quiet location with not many English families there, so lets keep it that way. Skiing is excellent for beginners and intermediates! Ski school is fab having 3 children they really enjoy it, going again at half-term in 2012! Around 12 hour drive from Eurotunnel but with the excellent French roads and picnic/service stations it's a breeze. Again, staying in a rented accommodation with another family, they are converts now too! Enjoy!
February 07, 2009
Anthony Fletcher from United Kingdom
What can I say – Villard-de-Lans is probably the best kept French secret from the rest of the world. Fantastic resort, lovely people and superb skiing. Stayed in a fantastic little hamlet called Saint Julien en Vercors a few kms away from the main resort; fantastic and peaceful. Would really recommend this fantastic blissful place, once you have been to Villard-de-Lans you will not want to go back to the over subscribed ‘Benidorm’ type ski resorts.
December 07, 2008
Nick S from United Kingdom
Great family skiing. The resort of Villard-de-Lans offers a good range of piste for all levels of skiing. Linked to Correncon, which is delightful, it has over 132 km of well groomed skiing. The food and facilities on the mountain are very good but do get a bit busy at the weekends. the longest lift queues on the busiest days are about 1/4 of the time you would experience in the bigger resorts and you will not be listening to English voices whilst you wait.
The village is quiet, but there are some gems of restaurants which offer some high quality food. There is even a Michelin star to be hunted down (Hotel du Golf). The local ice hockey team is in the top flight of the French leagues and you can see some of the very best players in Europe (when they play Rouen and Grenoble).
There is loads to do if you do not want to ski, and if you want to get a change of scenery then Autrans and Meudre in the next valley offer some very pretty runs in an amazing hidden valley.
Most important - it's not expensive - about 2/3 of the average cost across France.
Ski hire is reasonable too.
Highly recommended for a family of new skiers - or those wishing to experience a more laid back time on the piste. If you want high powered apres-ski and riot on the slopes Villard-de-Lans is not the place for you.
October 20, 2008
Tim from United Kingdom
We went with another family to V de L Easter 07. Part of the resort runs had been closed just that what they do later on in the season. The snow was excellent fresh powder at the start of the week. The most people on the slopes at one time was about 20 we had the place to ourselves. No lift queues and ski pass was 17 Euro a day! Restaurants are cheap; food 10 Euros for 'plat de jour'. Not much English spoken so brush up. Slopes good for beginners to good intermediates. Black runs good, fun scenery, amazing and loads of trees and canyons. Village has true French markets, awesome nearby underground cave system that is well worth a visit. Would return before it gets spoiled. Only heard one English voice in a week, bliss. Unlike Tignes that was like Little Britain.
January 02, 2007
Ian from United Kingdom
I took a party of 16 to Villards-de-lans mainly non skiers, the ski school is very good. The skiing is good for beginners & intermediets & the slopes are very quiet even though we went at French half term also the lift pass & ski hire is really cheap. The village is very pretty but very quiet not the place to go if you want to go clubing although there is a bowling alley, swimming pool, ice rink & cinerma if you speak French.
We drove down it is a 15 hour drive including the euro tunnel but the roads are good.
If you want good cheap skiing but not much excitment & you dont want to meet any other English people this is the place for you.