The resort of Les Deux Alpes may be one of France’s oldest ski resorts but it has long been a popular destination with young British skiers. One of the reasons for that is its excellent, lively après ski scene.
Of course the skiing is great here too, and with a top altitude of 3568m on the resort’s glacier, it can be done almost all year round. Advanced skiers will find plenty to keep them entertained over the 222km of pistes, and those looking to try out new tricks will love the terrain park at the top of the glacier with its halfpipe, superpipe and demanding boarder/skicross course.
If you’re looking to combine a bit of really challenging skiing or boarding with your après ski activities, then hire a guide and try the excellent off-piste skiing over the edge of the glacier. You’ll certainly deserve a beer or two after that.
After the Skiing is Done
We all know that ski holidays are about skiing; we care about the best snow, best runs, best weather conditions, but once the day’s skiing is done, what you really need is somewhere you can party until it’s time to do it all again the next day.
Les Deux Alpes is the perfect resort if you want to burn the skiing candle at both ends. Ski all day and then come back to your accommodation, get changed and party all night.
Set out along one long stretch of road, the village of the resort is almost perfectly designed for a pub crawl from one end to the other. Many of the bars here stay open until the early hours and if you still don’t want to stop, there are a couple of good clubs to move on to.
Here are some of my favourite places to play after a day on the slopes.
Food and Beer
No one can (or should) party on an empty stomach. Luckily there are some great restaurants-cum-bars in Les Deux Alpes which will get you fed while stoking you for a night out.
- Smokey Joe’s – This is one of the most popular bars/restaurants in the resort, always crowded and always a great atmosphere and lively vibe with guest DJs. You can stop off here for a full-English up until 2pm, but after dark its TexMex all the way with sticky ribs, burgers and chicken wings to sate your beer munchies.
- Le TriBeCa – If you want to start your evening on a slightly quieter note then pop into TriBeCa for a reasonably priced pizza or some traditional mountain fare. This is a great place to drop into if there’s a major sporting event on and you want to combine food and viewing because they have a well-placed plasma screen TV.
- Crêpes à Go Go – This place is popular with the local French crowd and it’s easy to see why. Cheap, delicious crêpes and the local raclette and tartiflette are all served alongside reasonably priced beer. You may need to book in busy periods.
Once you’re well fed, you’ll probably want to try out some of Les Deux Alpes’ lively bars along the resort’s central strip. There are plenty to choose from (40 at the last count) so if you get tired of one, or it gets a little too crowded, you can simply move on to the next one.
- Smithy’s Tavern – The resort’s largest bar, Smithy’s Tavern is set out over two floors with a capacity for around 500 people. Food is available but most people come for the double shots and British ales. Live bands entertain the crowds on selected nights and there are a range of DJs playing everything from house to drum and bass.
- Pub Windsor – Reportedly the oldest drinking spot in the resort, the compact Pub Windsor has a great, friendly atmosphere and a startling choice of beers and whiskies.
- La Rhumerie – If you like your rum then La Rhumerie is, not surprisingly, the place for you. Here you can sample a vast range of rum, including many flavoured varieties.
- Le K.ré Shooterloungebar – Those looking for a more sedate, elegant drinking spot should venture down to Le K for a cocktail. Think low lighting, sofas in cosy alcoves and some mellow acid jazz-style music. If cool is your thing, this is for you.
Dance Until Dawn
Okay, party animals, if you’re still up for more once many of the bars close at 2am, you need to head over to the resort’s two nightclubs, both of which often stay open to 4am.
- L’Avalanche – This is a very French club, by which I mean it’s sleek and stylish but the music tends towards Euro pop and Euro house. Fine for a bit of late night drinking and cutting a few shapes, but serious British music fans should probably avoid.
- L’Opéra – Set over three floors, this is more of a British scene with regular guest DJs playing contemporary RnB, house, hip hop and garage. Very popular with the party crowd, it’s a great place to party until late.
How to Get to Les Deux Alpes
Les Deux Alpes is within two hour’s drive of Grenoble, Chambery and Lyon airports, each of which has regular flights by budget, charter or national carrier airlines during the skiing season. For a bit of luxury book yourself a Shuttle Direct airport transfer before you set off – a driver will be waiting for you at the airport to take you directly to your accommodation at the resort.
If you’re on a budget, Shuttle Direct also offers group shared airport transfers taking you to the heart of your chosen resort. Just don’t forget to mention what, if any, ski/boarding equipment you’ll have with you when you book so that they can provide a vehicle big enough to fit it all in for free!
Where to Stay
Hotel Jam Session – This is a great place for laying your head, getting out on the slopes quickly and easily, and being close to the all important après ski scene. Hotel Jam Session has free WiFi, a restaurant, fitness room and, of course, a bar. There’s also free ski storage to store your precious equipment.
Hotel Le Clarines – Another great budget choice is the Hotel Le Clarines. With comfortable, basic rooms, a sauna, hot tub, dining room with a view and ski-from-the-hotel access close to the Super Venosc ski lifts, this has everything you need to be a good base for your Deux Alpes ski break.
Apartment Résidence les Alberges – If you’d rather cut costs by doing your own cooking then try the self-catering apartments at Apartment Résidence les Alberges. Very close to the major lifts, Vallee Blanche and Jandri 1, these apartments offer ski-to-your-door access to the slopes and secure storage for your skis when you’re done for the day.
About Shuttle Direct
Airport transfer specialists Shuttle Direct are well known for being a leading provider of reliable, friendly airport transfer service across Europe and North Africa. Book your car or shared mini-bus online before you leave and you can relax knowing that a driver will be at the airport to meet you and transfer you to your resort. Let them know if you will be carrying ski equipment before you arrive and they will transport it for free.