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What's new in Courchevel winter 2019/20

Exciting developments for the upcoming ski season

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| Ana Hernández, Courchevel Editor | Published
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As the first snows of the season fall on the mountains of Courchevel, our thoughts inevitably turn to the day when a thick white blanket covers the mountain, the lifts open and we all get to hit the slopes again.

It is not just the weather that is changing however, as there have been plenty of new developments throughout the Courchevel ski area and resort. Here are a few of the changes for the upcoming season.

New lifts & pistes

There are some very exciting new lifts on the slopes of Courchevel. A new four-seater chairlift, Les Grandes Combes, has been built to connect the four-star Ecrin Blanc Hotel, located in front of Aquamotion in Courchevel Moriond 1650, and Courchevel 1850. There will be a new 1km blue piste to provide access to the area.

Also in Courchevel Moriond, there's a new signposted but ungroomed ski touring itinerary, La Trace. It starts at Le Belvedere and goes up into the forest near Les Chapelets, arriving at the top of Le Signal. This adds to the two marked and groomed touring tracks which begin at Le Praz and end in Courchevel 1850 (3.2km and 500m climb) and the Col de la Loze (5km and 1000m climb).

Over in Courchevel Le Praz, a 10-person gondola has been added as part of a full revamp of the snow front. Linking Le Praz and Courchevel 1850 in less than 6 minutes, this gondola departs from the new Alpinium building and arrives just beneath the Croisette. The top of the toboggan run in Le Praz has also been reorganised and the Tovets chairlift moved to a new position.

Redesigned snow front in Courchevel Le Praz

The 360º redesign of the snow front in Courchevel Le Praz will improve pedestrian access to the ski area. As well as the new lifts, the main change is the construction of a multi-purpose building, the modern Alpinium, that will greatly improve the public facilities and services in this section of the resort. It hosts two-level car park with 500 parking spots and a synthetic-grass multi-sports pitch on top, a 350m2 multimedia library with games room and art workshop, an indoor kid's playground, a ski pass office, a tourist information area, ski lockers, a multi-purpose hall, toilets and much more.

New activities

This winter, the prestigious ski school Oxygene have partnered up with Altitude Parapente to offer tandem paragliding flights in Courchevel. Explore the resort from the skies with a knowledgeable instructor who will adapt the experience to your specific wants and needs, whether it's an adrenaline-fuelled acrobatic flight or a serene glide. Paragliders take off from the summit of the Col de la Loze and land in Courchevel Le Praz.

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New accommodation options

Hotel de La Loze is celebrating its 70th anniversary in Courchevel this year and they've decided to commemorate the occasion with a complete renovation of its facilities. Opened in 1949 by the Maraux family, it was one of the first hotels in Courchevel 1850. Now under the management of Maison Fenestraz, the fully revamped hotel will open in December 2019 with one more star, rising from three to four, after three years of building works. All the rooms have been modernised in a refined alpine style with carved wood and hand-made floral wall paintings. The lobby, lounge area, staircase and corridors have also been redesigned, following the same cosy mountain fashion.

Brand new to Courchevel Village this year is the Ecrin Blanc Hotel, a four-star establishment just in front of Aquamotion with ski-in/ski-out access thanks to the new four-people chairlift mentioned above. Offering 127 rooms accommodating two to eight people, three restaurants, eight conference rooms, a kid's club, a shop and much more, this elegant resort will be the area's next hot spot. There's also a private underground tunnel connecting it to the water playground and spa that is Aquamotion.

There are also two new luxury holiday rental options in Courchevel Moriond this year, built and managed by Alpine Lodges. Manali Lodge, on the premises of the former Manali Hotel, is located right on the ski slopes and offers 18 high-end apartments, available for sale and for rent, ranging from two and three bedrooms to a 240m2 penthouse accommodating up to 12 people. Five-star services will be available at the residence including concierge, swimming pool, spa, fitness room, ski room and two restaurants.

Alpine Lodges are also offering two new chalets at their Canyon Lodge, in the Belvedere area of Courchevel Moriond. Boasting balconies, jacuzzis, private spas, ski rooms and all the luxuries you can think of, they sleep up to 12 people.

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New restaurants

At the Manali Lodge in Courchevel Moriond, there are two new restaurants. Bistrot Manali is open for lunch and après-ski, featuring a large sunny terrace overlooking the ski slopes. Gaïa Restaurant is a gourmet restaurant with a festive atmosphere. Open for dinner, it's perfect for a romantic evening or a special ocassion.

Renowned Japanese restaurant Sumosan is opening a new location in the Six Senses Residence in Courchevel 1850. Coming to the Alps after its raging success in London, Moscow, Monaco and Dubai, they serve innovative Japanese cuisine. The menu will feature signature Sumosan favourites such as tuna and truffle rolls, salmon-rice pizza, grilled seabass with citrus-ginger sauce or Furikake-crusted rack of lamb and mustard sauce. New, exclusive dishes will include black caviar rice pizza and table-side torched sushi. Their creative cocktails will be perfect for apres-ski.

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New greener alternatives

Eco-friendly travel alternatives are popping up all around the Alps, making our journeys into the mountains gentler to the environment. Local transfer company Vanoise Prestige will be operating in a more eco-friendly way this winter by offsetting the carbon emissions of every journey their cars make. So, when booking with them, you'll be asked whether you'd like to donate to One Tree At A Time – otherwise, they'll make the donation themselves on your behalf. Customers will also be offered complimentary glass water bottles and reusable coffee cups while being allowed to carry digital copies of their tickets. Their vehicles are currently in perfect working order so changing them would have an impact on the environment but, going forward, their plan is to swap them for those with less or no carbon emissions. They're also working on finding an effective way to work alongside other companies to pool transfers so that there are fewer empty transfer vehicles on the roads.

Holiday rental company Mountain Heaven has launched a new scheme this season to encourage people to take the train instead of flying to the Alps. Their Environmental Travel Discount sees a -10% reduction on the price of your catered chalet holiday when travelling by train to Courchevel, which can be applied on top of any other offers. It's really easy to reach Courchevel by train from the UK, read our Getting Here Guide for more information and save money on your ski break, while also reducing your carbon footprint. Mountain Heaven are dedicated to helping the environment and, last year, they took steps to reduce their use of plastic, cut palm oil products, recycle, improve their chalets' energy efficiency and train their staff in green hosting.

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New catering options

There are two new private chef and catering services in Courchevel offering online bookings. Run by our beloved former Méribel snow reporter, Tim Ball, Mountain Chefs was born out of a group of super-experienced private chefs living in the Three Valleys. Allowing you to tailor your Courchevel holiday to your wants and needs, you can rent self-catered accommodation and book one of their amazing chefs online. Just let them know your dates and requirements and they'll select the perfect chef for you, ideal for those with special dietary requirements such as vegans or gluten-free, or those who just enjoy eating their favourite food in their pjs after a day on the slopes.

3 Valleys Chefs provides a large portfolio of industry-leading chefs in the Alps, ready to cook in your chalet at a time and period that suits you. All sorts of cuisines will be available, from relaxed cooking to Michelin-star dining, catering for all kinds of occasions. Just go online, create an account, choose your dates, select a chef, pay a deposit and you'll be able to contact your private chef directly to arrange all the details.

Huski revolutionised self-catering four winters ago when they launched their meal delivery service. Since then, for a fraction of the price of a catered holiday, you can enjoy delicious breakfast, lunch, three-course dinners, canapes, fine wines and even cheese boards at your apartment or chalet completely hassle-free. Huski delivers everything to your door and the only thing you need to do is pop your food in the oven to heat it up. This year, they’re offering a new, locally made, Savoyard-inspired range of meals called “Gourmet 73” cooked daily by chef Nick Casey at their headquarters in Bourg Saint Maurice. Think creamy tartiflette and moreish Beef Mondeuse! Also new this season is their very own beer, the Huski Mountain Pilsner created in collaboration with the Brasserie du Petit St Bernard.

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New ski hire options

One of the most widely spread ski hire franchises in the Alps, Skiset, have just launched their Netski app, a fast and easy way to rent your skis or snowboard this season. Choose between two packages – the Netski.comfort for the best prices or the Netski.plus for the latest gear (Netski.kids and Netski.teens bundles also available) – and confirm your booking in only two clicks. You’ll get a QR code to collect your equipment at your local shop. For a small fee, Netski clients can also benefit from priority assistance in shops, ski lockers with boot dryers and direct delivery to your accommodation.

Also available in two of Courchevel’s Skiset shops this winter is Scanfeet, a state-of-the-art foot scan that takes a full 3D image of the skier’s feet in under 20 seconds and then pulls up the best-suited boots available in store. Enjoy rental boots that fit like a glove in record time! Even better, scans are shared among Skiset shops so you won’t need to scan your feet again if you rent your equipment with them.

Worried about slipping on those icy pavements when walking to the slopes? Fear not, Intersport is now offering GripWalk across their whole rental range. These innovative boot soles offer a non-slip surface as well as a more natural profile for walking (or dancing at La Folie Douce!), and they can be combined with GripWalk bindings for perfect performance on the slopes.

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New ways to take care of your body

Mobile Alpine massage company Massage Me is offering two brand new therapies this winter. First of all is their 100% bespoke MY Massage service where you’ll be able to select every single step of your wellbeing journey, from the massage style and pressure preference (including Swedish, sports, holistic and even a combination of all of them), to the part of your body that needs more attention, the massage oil and even the music. This winter, they’re also adding Physiotherapy, Pilates and Yoga to their mobile services menu in partnership with Alpine Therapies. Not only that, but they’ve embarked on a green journey to be more eco-friendly, from reducing single plastic use and carbon emissions to assessing the materials they use. So it’s not only your muscles that will feel much better by booking a massage with Massage Me but also the environment.

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New airport transfer options

Snowlinx have launched a new Business Service for those who want to travel in ultimate style. You'll be driven in a Mercedes E Class saloon car with plenty of space for up to three passengers, including onboard WiFi and water and light snacks. For larger groups, the Mercedes V Class minivan seats up to six people and is ideal for families and business trips. The vehicles are all black with leather interior and their experienced chauffeurs will be sporting the ultimate suit and tie combo.

The Altiport in Courchevel is inaugurating its new departure lounge this year. This is a one-of-a-kind small airfield with the highest gradient in the world (up to 18.5%) and the only one opened throughout the winter in Europe.

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New childcare options

Local babysitting company MeriNannies have been taking care of the little ones while parents ski the pistes of Courchevel for well over a decade. This year, their fully qualified, hand-picked nannies will be available in any resort of the Alps thanks to their new Travel Ski Nanny service. After you've selected a nanny, you'll get the chance to meet her through Skype to ask her any questions (further online chats can be arranged). Once booked, she'll travel to your chosen resort on the day you depart and be provided with accommodation and food. You'll get the chance to ski, enjoy the apres and even the nightlife as she'll be available full-time, night or day.

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More inspiration...

Keen to know more? Then take a look at all that's new in Courchevel for yourself... book your winter ski holiday now!

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