Visitor reviews for Brides Les Bains Ski Resort
December 30, 2013
Kat from United Kingdom
Just returned from a week's snowboarding over Christmas; booked with Direct Ski. Firstly, would definitely recommend them as a company. Excellent reps who went above and beyond to help (my luggage was lost by the airline, our rep, Lucy, sorted it all out for me, translated the French paperwork, contacted the airport and arranged for it to be couriered, providing regular updates by text & visiting our apartment with info and advice on buying essentials and contacting our insurance company. My luggage eventually arrived 4 days late but thanks to her excellent service it didn't put a downer on the holiday at all (she even lent me her own phone charger for the week so I could charge my phone and have it on the hill).
We stayed at Lagrange Residence Cybeles and it was a lovely apartment. When you only pay £350 for a week at Xmas (before lift pass) you could be forgiven for thinking you were going to be staying in a bit of a dump; not at all. The studio we stayed in was the perfect size for 2 people, was very warm and cosy and had everything we needed. I have seen a few reviews that have been negative regarding its location as you need to get the gondola up into Meribel to ski. For us it wasn't a problem at all. It's a 10min walk to the gondola, we never used the bus once although there is a free shuttle for those who maybe have kids or don't want to walk in ski boots. The gondola opened at 8.30am but most days they let you on early if you were there and we didn't queue once in the 6 days we were on the slopes. Yes, it takes 25 mins but it's a nice ride up and the main lifts in Meribel didn't open till 9am anyway so if you're one of these people who wants to be first on the slopes, staying in Brides doesn't impact on your ski time at all as actually, the timing works out perfectly.
Brides, itself, doesn't have a massive amount of shops etc (bit of a struggle when you have no luggage but then Meribel doesn't either (and what it does have is extremely expensive anyway). We ate several times at the restaurant opposite the apartments; lovely staff, very nice food although not a huge choice and reasonably priced; burger & chips for 10euro.
The apartments do have a pool and jacuzzi although we didn't actually use them; we attempted to once but with 6 adults already in the jacuzzi and a group of kids playing with a ball in the pool we walked straight back out again. The changing area was a bit dirty if I'm honest but many apartment blocks don't have those facilities so if you time it right you should be fine. As you need to take your shoes off at the door and place them in pigeon holes you can actually tell whether it's worth going to get changed by counting the pairs of shoes already there as that will tell you how many people are in!
We had a Xmas dinner at Hotel Verseau (top end of town) organised by Direct Ski. English run hotel, very nice traditional English Xmas dinner. We also ate once at a restaurant along the Main Street (can't remember its name but It has a pub attached to it and the sign outside actually says restaurant in vertical and pub in horizontal) - steak and chips for 14euro, again would recommend.
All in all, our stay in Brides was great. Yes, it would have been handier to be in Meribel but it also would have been a lot more expensive and probably a lot nosier/busier.
It's a great accommodation option if you don't want to pay over the odds for your holiday, prefer somewhere a bit quieter and don't mind being a little bit out the way. The staff were very friendly and helpful, reception isn't open all day every day but we never found that an issue. So far they haven't rung me to say I need to pay the cleaning charge so that's a bonus as I'd read about people saying they had been charged even though they felt they had cleaned it well enough.
All in all, a great holiday; visited all of the 3 valley resorts and never felt like we missed out on anything because we weren't on the doorstep of Meribel.
Brides Les Bains Ratings
Overall: 3.9. Based on 3 votes and 17 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 Brides Les Bains.
Public Transport: 3.5
(1) There are no buses or taxis to Brides Les Bains, (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 Brides Les Bains, (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: 4.0
(1) No luxury accommodation available, (3) just one or two luxury hotels so book ahead, (5) several up-market hotels in Brides Les Bains.
Ski in/Ski out: 4.0
(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 Brides Les Bains, (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) Brides Les Bains is snowsure even in the poorest seasons.
(1) Brides Les Bains relies entirely on natural snow, (3) there are just a few snow cannons, (5) there are snowmaking facilities on all pistes.
Snow Grooming: 5.0
(1) There are no snow groomers at Brides Les Bains, (3) occasionally some pistes are left ungroomed and in a poor state, (5) all the runs at Brides Les Bains 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) Brides Les Bains 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 Brides Les Bains, 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: 5.0
(1) Brides Les Bains 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 Brides Les Bains are rude or unhelpful, (5) lift staff at Brides Les Bains 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: 3.0
(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: 5.0
(1) The ski runs are featureless and unvaried, (3) the ski runs are varied but not extensive enough for a week, (5) Brides Les Bains 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 Brides Les Bains, (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 Brides Les Bains, (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 Brides Les Bains, (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) Brides Les Bains has long and well maintained luge / toboggan facilities suitable for all ages.
Mountain Dining: 5.0
(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: 3.0
(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: 3.0
(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): 4.0
(1) Overall, Brides Les Bains 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, Brides Les Bains 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.
March 19, 2013
david hickie from Ireland
I have just come back from Brides Les Bains with Directski, a very good company which offered a remarkably good deal for a week's skiing. I agree with the reviewers who say it is a cheap way to experience the Three Valleys ski area.
We had a self-catering apartment but ate out a few times in the town. There was not a lot of choice in restaurants but the best for a bit of buzz, friendly staff and half-decent food at a reasonable price is La Petite Auberge.
We were VERY disappointed with our set menu dinner in Les Cerisiers, which you will pass as you walk down to the village from the lift station. The bar next door is comfortable and welcoming and you can sit out on the terrace and have a drink apres-ski but I would warn people about eating in the restaurant. We complained to the manager and although he apologised, the meal was so poor, we deserved a refund.
February 19, 2012
Sergey from Russia
I came to Brid (Brides Les Bains) 17 Feb 2012 - it's the peak season. So far, everything seems fine.
Hotel - Belvedere 2*, half board, DBL room - 840 EUR for 2 persons for 7 nights. The hotel is located 5 minutes away from the gondola (I mean 5 minutes walking in ski boots). Wi-fi in the rooms. French TV + CNN. Paid with Visa on arrival. The hotel is old Savoie style, food is nice, can't complain.
Gondola - now it opens at 8-30 and closes at 17-30, 20 or 30 minutes to the centre of Meribel. Didn't face any problems with queues, actually. If you don't call a 3-minute wait a queue, then it'll be OK for you.
So, I arrive at the slopes by 9-00, leave them at 17-00, and have a break for lunch for 1 hour - that gives me 7 hours of skiing daily.
The town is actually one little street with a few bars, ski rents, and hotels. Re bars - I've tried only one yet, paid 6 EUR for 500 ml of dark Guinness. Actually, I come too tired to go out for any night life.
February 14, 2012
Geoff from United Kingdom
I went to Bride les Bains with Crystal. Not on a cheap deal either. I was supposed to be in the 3 Valleys but nobody can tell me this place is anywhere near. The Crystal rep dropped us outside the "hotel". I immediately realised something was wrong when we saw a hundred Polish children waiting to book in. It was self catering and also self organising. Bed Linen cost me 200Euro deposit cash! Get it back at the end of the holiday! TV had to be hired!
The rest of the resort was just as bad. The walk to te Gondola was a pain. It started late and finished early so hours lost on the slopes. If you were in the queue at 4.30 they stopped the Gondola despite hundreds waiting. The taxis then turn up ( obviously the relatives of the lift operators ) and it costs 30 Euro to get back! The place should be avoided like the plague. BTW watch out for Crystal and other cheap outfits selling you ski deals with AOR ( allocation on arrival )! Advice stay away from Brides. Its a dump!
January 12, 2012
alex from Greece
Brides Les Bains facts:
+ Cheap accommodation compared with the other villages that are close (Meribel, Courchevel, etc).
+ Direcct access to (probably) the best ski area in France (Les 3 Valees).
- Not very often ski bus transportation (one every 3 hours), but you can go with your skis on.
- about 20 minutes way with the gondola to the ski area.
- you cannot come back with your skis on from the ski area to Brides Les Bains.
January 27, 2010
Mrs C from United Kingdom
Went to Brides Les Bains with my husband a few years ago. Remember getting bagettes and cheese from the local shop and translating for some Polish people who didn't understand French and were new to French cheeses. We bought local food and cooked in the evening. I remember going up the on the gondola. It was romantic. On one occasion we went out for a meal. That was special. We had a fondue. We took candles with us to Brides and enjoyed the mulled wine in the day and the bottled wine in the evening. I had only just learnt to ski so it was quite new to me. Where we stayed wasn't luxury but it didn't matter.
January 09, 2010
david 0 neill from Ireland
Have stayed in Brides Les Bains for the last three years with directski. It's a cheap way to ski the Three Valleys. If you can ski, you can ski all the valleys for a fraction of staying in a main resort. If you ski all day, where you stay is not important, just the snow - Three Valleys rocks.
December 13, 2009
Peter Sutton from United Kingdom
Brides (Brides Les Bains) is a small and pretty town. I've stayed there many times since 1995. The gondola opens at 8.30-not 9.30 and closes at 5.00(5.30 in peak season). Queues can be bad at New Year and during French holidays. Arrive by *.20 and you have no problem. During certain peak weeks the bubble opens at 8.15 am. You can queue for the return but also avoid queues by arriving at the lift by 4.00 or waiting til shortly before it closes. The town at Brides Les Bains has some good restaurants and locals are very friendly and helpful. If you're driving try Residence Cybele(lagrange holidays)or travel by coach with Ski Weekends and stay at the hotel Verseau. Off-peak their deals cannot be beaten.
February 05, 2009
Paul from United Kingdom
We went to Brides (Brides Les Bains) last year in March and I thought it was quite a good place to stay.
Around a 20min ride in the gondola to get to Meribel and we were the first ones on every day, and getting back was ok too as the gondola runs until quite late.
Our hotel at Brides Les Bains was the Verseau with reasonable beer prices and good food. Because there were not many other places to go there was a bit of a party atmosphere in the evening.
We will be back at Brides Les Bains soon in a couple of weeks.
September 06, 2008
Bob Crichton from United Kingdom
Bride is a brilliant place. I can drive to it in 7 hours from Calais. Love it so much have bought a house in town. It's so nice in the summer too. Only leaving this message because I was so angry at the Alex Vickers comment not sure where he paid 12 euros a pint but it wasn't Hotel le Centre where the prices are reasonable and the staff are lovely. There are some lovely restaurants my favourite is the Hermitage; great fondue bourginion. I intend to retire there!!!