A rare combination of a traditional French village and a world class ski resort, Les Carroz is very popular with ski enthusiasts. One of our favourite things about this unique resort is its après-ski: the small size of Les Carroz and the paucity of its nightspots makes for a charming, intimate and relaxed après-ski, suitable both for those who like to take it easy and those who love the buzz of a big resort’s après-ski but feel like trying out something different.
As anyone who’s experienced life in both larger cities and smaller towns will tell you, the pubs and cafes tend to not only be far more aesthetically pleasing and comfortable in smaller towns, but also that they have an atmosphere that’s a far cry from the impersonal vibe of the same sort of establishment in bigger resorts and cities.
Les Carroz’s hangouts have that sense of intimacy, friendliness and personality in spades. The main pub frequented by skiers is called The Marlow and is a perfect place to head straight after a day on the pistes, as it catches the very last rays of sunset. The Marlow also serves quality food and enormous cocktails, all with some of the friendliest staff you could ask for, no matter how busy they are.
Due to the fact that there are very few après-ski spots in the resort, you’ll find yourself coming across the same friendly faces night after night. This can help set up a group dynamic for your holiday and can even lead to lasting friendships that persist away from the slopes.
The Carpe Diem epitomises this sense of fun and familiarity: there’s always something to do there, with live music and a quality beer selection. The staff are renowned for being fun and pleasant, while still ensuring that everybody is looked after and that service remains speedy. The Carpe Diem also offers karaoke; perfect for cutting loose and cementing those new friendships.
As well as a selection of characterful and friendly establishments, Les Carroz also offers some truly unique après-ski opportunities. Chief among these is La Vache Qui Ride: if you book a place at La Vache, the owner will guide your group on a snowshoe hike, pointing out the features of the mountain and local wildlife along the way.
The hike will bring you to a teepee high on the mountain. There’ll be an open fire and you can all while away the evening talking, laughing and eating fondue (which is cooked in a cauldron over the fire). The following morning, you’ll eat a breakfast, cooked once again over a fire, before embarking on the hike back to the resort.
How to Get to Les Carroz
If you’d prefer to keep things simple while on holiday, you can drive or take a Geneva airport taxi along the D1005 from Geneva Airport to Les Carroz. It’s about an hour and you’ll need to cross the Franco-Swiss border.
Les Carroz is also reachable via train: take the IC from Geneva Airport towards St. Gallen, then change at Lausanne to Lausanne Gare, heading towards Lausanne, Ouchy. There’s a ferry from Lausanne, Ouchy to Thonon-les-Bains, from where you can get a taxi to Les Carroz. All told, the journey via public transportation takes a little over two hours.
Where to Stay
Les Tavaillons – if you want as much for your money as possible, we highly recommend Les Tavaillons. The apartments are generously sized and well-equipped, including basic self-catering facilities. The bathrooms are private and there is even an on-site restaurant for convenient meals. Excellent, well-equipped accommodations that’ll fit within almost any budget.
Hôtel Résidence les Servages – if you’d prefer a hotel, Les Servages offers unbeatable mid-priced accommodation. It’s clean, comfortable and characterful, on-site parking is provided and (après-) skiers will be pleased to know that the hotel offers ski storage facilities.
Hôtel Les Servages d’Armelle – the Armelle offers a flawless marriage of old and new, with its characterful wood construction offset by its clean, modern design that is the epitome of good taste. This chic 4 star hotel represents a perfect combination of comfort and style.