“ Savoie, France. „
I went to Mottaret last year and thoroughly enjoyed it. The resort is situated right in the middle of the Three Valleys so you've got great access to all the pistes. I stayed in Le Hameau appartments at the top of the resort, it's ski in and out and once you've skied down into the main part of the resort the choice of lifts is fantastic. The Three Valleys is a great place to ski, the quality of the runs is unsurpased and can keep people of any ability busy. The lift system is excellent with very few queues even at peak times, generally you can expect to wait about 5 minutes. Mottaret is a small village with very few bars, and the choice of restaurants is quite limited. The main problem with the lay out of the resort is that everything is at the bottom, so if like me your accomodation is at the top, you have an exhausting walk after a few bevvies. They have a gondola lift which runs between top and bottom, but this closes at about 8pm, which obviously isn't ideal. Overall I'd recommend the resort because of the fantastic skiing, but the nightlife is quiet so don't expect a wild time, but then if you're after a relaxing apres-ski this is the place to go.
First of all, let me confess, we think The Three Valleys as the greatest place on Earth to ski. And Mottaret is the gem. But then, I suppose it is dependent on what you're looking for. It's the only place we've been twice. We usually suffer from the "Been there, seen that, done that" syndrome but we just had to go back again, and we will be back for more, it's just that we really do have to see other places as well. Mottaret is the little village just up the hill from Meribel that people often forget; their loss. Most of Mottaret is beside the piste so ski in ski out is the order of the day, which is why we love it so much. There is a variety of accomodation but we stayed both times in the Hameau Appartments. Being four of us (Mum, Dad and two kids) we paid the extra for a seven person appartment. Loads of room, separate sleeping, no make up beds, two showers. There are all the usual facilities in Mottaret, supermarket, bars, restaurants, ski shops. Our favourite restaurant is Ty Sable. We booked a table for New Years Eve one year. The place was packed but we had the best fun. Poppers, pea shooters, hooters, good food, lots of drink. There isn't as many nightclubs as in Meribel, the place is much smaller, but if that's what you want then Meribel is not that far away. Skiing from Mottaret is great. From the Hameau it's any easy ski down to the main meeting place, just long enough to loosen up after the night before. After that, you can choose any direction. Meribel/Mottaret is the central valley, between Courchevel and Val Thorens. Both can be reached with ease by a variety of routes. You can take a whole day over either and never ski the same piste twice. A word of warning though. Pay close attention to the weather reports. The only time I've every been scared to death was crossing over from Mottaret to Val Thorens over the high
est pass. It wasn't apparent that there was a danger from lower down. It was moderately breezy but not enough to worry. However, we came over the top, turned the corner and ran straight into a 100mph gale, I kid you not. We couldn't get back against the wind, we had to go down. We got separated but somehow made it down into Val Thorens, much of it on hands and knees. Be warned. You will not be disappointed with Mottaret. We still compare all the places we go to it and usually they come out lacking one way or another.