Alpe d’Huez is a fantastic resort that offers more than you think. Admittedly, not the prettiest of resorts, it has enough skiing to sink a piste-basher and plenty of atmosphere to go with it. Whether you’re just learning or a crazy off-piste skier there is something to suit you; from the gentle green runs to the death-defying drop of Le Tunnel. It’s also easy to nip over to Les Deux Alpes for the day and ski the famous La Grave off-piste route.With allegedly 360 days of sunshine per year, sunshine dominates in Alpe d’Huez which makes for a great tan and chilled out park days. Après starts at the world famous La Folie Douce – expect live music and dancing on tables. Alternatively, if a chilled beer is all you need at the end of the day make your way to the Underground but be warned! One drink always leads to another, get carried away and you run the risk of staying for one of its many fancy-dress parties! If you are enticed by a bit of childish fun, head to Freeride bar with its copious amounts of shots (drunk from a syringe) as you make your way down an indoor slide. To finish the night, a bit of cheesy fun will be had in Igloo, previously described as the ‘ultimate in European disco’.As for working in Alpe d’Huez, there is a great atmosphere between all the tour operators and also a couple of bars where you won’t find holiday punters. Skiworld has a fair few chalets so you will have an immediate group of friends. All in all, a pretty awesome place to do a season!
Arc 2000 is a great place to do your first season – or any season for that matter. Small and intimate, it’s also a lively resort with one of the largest ski areas in the world meaning you can combine the advantages of a family-like resort atmosphere with the joy of hundreds of runs and undiscovered pow-pow! It’s almost guaranteed you will know (and love!) most of the other season workers in Arc 2000 and more often than not, get cheap and free drinks in the bars.All the chalets are situated within 5 minutes of each-other, creating a super friendly atmosphere and close-knit support network and the slopes are no further than 10 minutes away from any accommodation. There are only a couple of bars in the resort - we recommend heading to Latinos and Whistler’s Dream to catch Vince the owner for a few free beers.Arc 1800 is larger and a bit livelier. It’s renowned as a student filled mecca meaning the bars are busier, often with live bands. Head to Bar King Mad (BKM for the locals) for good food and après beers in the sunshine.The skiing in Les Arcs is epic and quite often under-rated. It’s one of the largest areas for off-piste skiing, and the Apocalypse Park in 1800 is famous among free-style skiers as being well maintained and with an awesome variety of kickers and rails to try.
Courchevel Moriond (formerly 1650) has a great atmosphere amongst seasonnaires. A bit smaller than 1850 (with slightly less Russian billionaires in Ferraris), the village is the traditional centre of the valley and older than the other Courchevel areas. Consequently it has many shops and restaurants as well as doctors, dentists, supermarkets and such. There are several good bars (Rocky’s, Bubble, Funky Fox and La Bulotte) which will welcome you and offer you a seasonnaires’ discount.The ski area around Courchevel Moriond is in the corner of the valley and as a result is a bit quieter than the bustle of Courchevel 1850. The runs here are wide, long and great for any ability level. Elsewhere in the valley, miles and miles of excellent pistes are available as well as a boardercross and a snow park. It only takes about 45 minutes to get from the centre of 1650 to 1850 via the lifts and slopes, or you can take the bus to another village. The local free bus links all the Courchevel resorts together and runs well into the night allowing you a night out in another village without worrying about how to get home.The Skiworld chalets are fairly close together and the staff accommodation is less than 5 minutes away. Most staff stay in apartments, so no doubt you’ll have other tour operator’s staff as neighbours to social with. Try to win over the locals, who may object to a noisy gathering with a little French - Courchevel isn’t as English as other resorts so it can help to have a few phrases handy just in case. You will find you get to know people who work in the shops, bars and restaurants so take the time to say hello from day one, it often results in some sort of advantage whether it be a free pizza, preferential service at a busy bar or a bit more discount on that new snowboard.There are a few villages in the area, go and explore them! There are great bars, nice shops and amazing restaurants in all of them. It’s very easy to follow the same routine week in, week out and miss out on all Courchevel has to offer. Go ice skating in 1850, ice karting in 1550 or ski jumping in Le Praz. On days off you can go climbing on the indoor wall at the Forum, go to the cinema, watch ice hockey, catch a bus down the valley to Moutiers or Albertville, go parapenting or just stay in bed all day and nurse a hangover.
Les Deux Alpes was one of the first ski resorts to develop in the Alps and is a great winter destination for either a week’s skiing or a whole season. Although not the prettiest resort, what it lacks in Alpine charm, it makes up for with a variety of terrain and its renowned nightlife.One of Europe’s highest resorts, Les Deux Alpes has a skiable glacier extending up to 3660m making it a snow-sure resort throughout the winter season. It has 225km of well linked piste and boasts an extensive and modern lift system. Whether you are a first time skier or self-declared expert, there are slopes to suit all abilities. The resort has invested heavily in its snowpark which is why it is popular with some of the best freestyle skiers and boarders in the world, holding regular competitions and demos throughout the season. Considered one of the best in Europe, the snowpark features a half pipe, slope-style, boarder-cross, big air, pipes, rails and boxes. It also has a link to the famous off-piste skiing area of La Grave, an incredible place to ski although we would advise always going with a guide.The nightlife in Les Deux Alpes could give Val d’Isere a run for its money, but without the expensive prices. With over 40 bars and 3 nightclubs in resort ranging from laid-back cosmopolitan, lively with regular bands or the more typically French, there is something to suit everyone. Chat to the bar staff and you’ll be sure to find free drinks heading your way!Approximately 500 tour operator staff, bar staff and ski bums are based in Les Deux Alpes so you’ll be sure to make plenty of new friends. It is a relatively big town, taking approximately 20mins to walk from one end to the other and is served by a free shuttle bus. The resort has all the amenities you need for a season but if there is something you can’t find, there is a scheduled bus service running to the city of Grenoble. And if skiing in Deux Alpes is not enough for you, there are buses to neighbouring Alpe d’Huez and Serre Chevalier which are also included on your lift pass.MERIBELMeribel Ski Resort
Meribel lies in the centre of the Three Valleys and is renowned for its nightlife and the ability to easily ski the vast Three Valley area from the Chaudanne (where all the main lifts are situated). The terrain in Meribel is great for all abilities and as challenging or as easy as you make it, with many greens, blues, reds and blacks. The off piste is also excellent, although due to the number of seasonnaires in resort and in the neighbouring valleys be sure to be the first one on the lifts on a powder day!Meribel has awesome nightlife and your day off will no doubt be après fuelled in the legendary piste bar The Rond Point (or the ‘Ronnie’ as it is affectionately called). With plenty of bars and two clubs, always full of seasonnaires - you won’t get bored easily. I would advise going to Dicks Tea Bar over the very French, La Loft, but either way be prepared for the hangover the next morning. Neither are particularly sober affairs!If you want to brush up on your French then I would advise working in another resort like La Rosiere rather than Meribel. Meribel is a particularly English ski resort where almost all the workers are from the UK. However, this does mean that making friends is easy; it’s not hard to get to know a very large number of people from many different companies very quickly.You will find people go back to Meribel again and again, this is a testament to the fantastic resort it is. Meribel is the heart of the Three Valley’s and I heart Meribel!