Courchevel welcomes more Gulf guests
More than 16 per cent of total international visitors to Courchevel hailed from the Middle East, in the 2021/2022 season. This included 10.5 per cent from the UAE and 2.7 per cent from Saudi Arabia. The Middle East is an extremely important source market for Courchevel, one that is consistently seeing an increase in visitors year-on-year.
Alexia Laine, Managing Director, Courchevel Tourism, in town for the weeklong celebration of Alb’fest, tells us in an interview that the Gulf markets are vying for the third most important spot after the French and English markets respectively, when the destination opens for ski season on December 3.
“Some of the big agencies, who have been sending clients to Courchevel for decades, obviously have extensive knowledge of our offering. We are constantly in touch with these agencies, keeping them updated. Equally, it is our duty to update more and more trade about our destination and we are attempting to do this through training, fam trips and partnerships like that of Gulf Reps.”
“We ensure that client experience is the ultimate best that we can offer, no matter where customers choose to stay”
– Alexia Laine
A winter wonderland in the heart of the Alps, Courchevel forms part of Les Trois Vallées, the largest lift-linked ski area in the world, encompassing some 600km of slopes with over 180 green-blue ski runs and 140-plus red-black runs. Amongst that trio Courchevel stands out, boasting a well-deserved reputation for the high-quality and consistency of its snow, the versatility of its terrain and its enviably glamorous feel.
Courchevel’s six linked villages encompass 150km of majestic, impeccably groomed slopes. A mix of green, blue, red and black runs and a family-focused snow park ensure that the resort offers something for all ages and abilities, while a seamless and speedy lift system makes navigating the area simple.
“While skiing and snowboarding may well be Courchevel’s major draw, the sheer beauty of the enchanting resort and its unrivalled amenities mean there is always something to do, both on and off the piste. Those keen for further outdoor adventures can embark on cross-country skiing and Nordic walking expeditions, try their hand at dog sledging, ski touring or tobogganing or even take to the sky and fly over the Alps in a private plane.
“For the more genteel of spirit, a wander around the picturesque old town with its stunning architecture delivers a welcome dose of culture. If inclement weather forces visitors inside the entertainment opportunities are again endless: bowling, ice skating, hunkering down at the well-equipped media library and creative centre, scaling indoor climbing walks and learning to dance included.
“At the spectacular Aquamotion centre, indoor and outdoor pools deliver breath-taking views and water slides and rapids provide plenty of high-octane fun. The saunas, steam rooms and wellness areas meanwhile are the perfect place to relax and soothe aching limbs in stunning surrounds.”
From cosy mountain chalets with glacier views to sleek and stylish apartments set amongst a snow-speckled forest backdrop as well as high-end hotels, Courchevel’s villages provide a wealth of accommodation choices.
The stunning Le K2 Palace has been developed as a prestigious hamlet with an exceptional panorama and direct access to the prestigious Cospillot slope. By choosing to stay in one of the six Le K2 Palace Chalets, guests can enjoy the best of both worlds – their own private chalet with the convenience of a five-star hotel, with the two worlds linked by a private passage and guests invited to take advantage of having their own personnel, a swimming pool, hammam or hot tub and even a cinema.
With its flawless design, spa and fantastic dining options, the ski-in, ski-shout La Sivolière offers guests a warm welcome in its 35 rooms, family suites and apartments, completely renovated in a re-imagined Alpine style that offers a warm and toasty ambiance that makes guests feel right at home from the moment they arrive.
Proudly flying the La Maison Tournier flag in Courchevel are the 5-star St Joseph and The Saint Roch, each delivering their own representation of the art of hospitality and good living that La Maison Tournier is so highly regarded for, with authentic and elegant design in two uniquely exclusive mountain settings.
There is plenty for the discerning foodie to enjoy here, too. The resort boasts a constellation of Michelin-star restaurants, as well as an abundance of excellent on-piste eateries and traditional brasseries serving hearty, authentic Alpine fare. A must-visit is the iconic Le Cap Horn, which is located right on the slopes of Courchevel – dating back to 1954, it is the oldest mountain restaurant in Courchevel and has a magnificent south-facing terrace where skiers and non-skiers alike come together after to soak up the winter sun and relax with some great food, drink and views. For a truly exceptional meal the Michelin-starred SW1850 at Les Grandes Alpes is absolutely not to be missed. Here Chef Sylvestre Wahid demonstrates his culinary flair, showcasing high-quality, locally sourced ingredients to stunning effect.
ONE AND ALL
While few can do luxury the way Courchevel can, it is a pleasant surprise to learn that the destination is not exclusively for the deep-pocketed. Laine tells us, “When we compare ourselves to the other ski resorts, we have the widest accommodation on offer from an affordable price point to high-end luxury. You can find an accommodation for 500 euros for a week to really big price tags.
“What makes us different is no matter where you stay, you live the same experience on the slopes or off the slopes if you don’t ski. We ensure that the client experience is the ultimate best that we can offer no matter where they choose to stay.”