Situated in the heart of the massive Trois Vallées ski area – which, with 600kms of pistes is the largest in the world – the purpose-built satellite resort of Méribel-Mottaret (just up the valley from Méribel) is one of the most family-friendly in the Alps.
With much of the accommodation set right on the pistes of Le Chatelet on the eastern side and Le Laitelet on the western side and surrounded by natural beauty, everything is literally at your fingertips.
This friendly resort’s convenience and ski-in ski-out accessibility are matched by its very reasonable prices, making it the perfect choice for the family on a budget.
Convenient and Family-Friendly
The two most important things on a family ski holiday are budget and convenience: Méribel-Mottaret delivers on both.
Accessibility: With busy Geneva Airport being most convenient to the Three Valleys, you won’t find it hard to find some great budget flights from the UK, even during the busy ski season.
Save on transport: Because the resort is mostly car free, everything is accessible on foot – not only saving you hassle with children in tow, but also money.
Ski in, ski out: With most of the accommodation being ski in, ski out, there’s no problem with messing around on ski buses or driving to get to the slopes.
Well-facilitated: The resort is well-facilitated with a range of supermarkets and bakeries so you can stock up without having to outlay money for expensive snacks every five minutes.
Self-catering options galore: And on the subject of food, while there are some excellent family-friendly restaurants in the resort, much of the chalet accommodation is self-catering – so you can keep the budget in check by cooking family meals yourself.
Great Skiing and Great Value
The larger of the resort’s two ski areas, Le Laitelet is accessed by the free Chalets gondola. This means that the whole family can ride and ski all day at 1800m without paying a penny if you like! The sunny upper and lower eastern nursery and beginner slopes of Le Chatelet are linked by a lift that’s covered by the local ski pass (see below). The immediate resort area offers 80kms of pistes, comprising mainly beginner and intermediate runs.
Of course, if your children are older or more experienced skiers you’ll have access to the entire Three Valleys ski area and its 600kms of slopes.
Tip: If you only plan on skiing in the immediate Méribel-Mottaret area make sure you don’t waste money on a full Three Valleys lift pass. You can purchase a Méribel Valley Ski Pass for anything from three hours up to seven days. A one-day pass starts at €41.40 for children and €51 for adults, with discounted offers for a family of four.
Family Activities on a Budget
Even though being out on the slopes will probably occupy most of your time, it’s important to consider what other activities are available for the family that won’t break the budget.
Explore the outdoors: The great outdoors is always a good idea – and it’s free! The resort sits in the shadow of the picturesque Mont Vallon, and the forests at the base of the mountain are criss-crossed with hiking and cross-country ski trails.
Free shuttle to Méribel: Considering it’s just down the valley, maybe that doesn’t sound too exciting – but it makes for a great day out for the youngsters and there’s a lot they can get involved in. The resort has actually received “Famille Plus” status for its commitment to child-friendliness.
Snowpark: What’s more fun for kids than a dedicated snowpark? Not much! The fabulous new Snowpark DC Area 43 in the Plattieres area of Méribel-Mottaret provides 1200 metres of full-on energy burning excitement. Serviced by the Chatelet lift, the impressive specs of the park include 10 shapers, 24 snow canons and an airbag for beginners. (A four-hour pass for the snowpark starts at €23.50 for children.)
Dining Out on a Budget
While you might choose self-catering accommodation in order to save money, eating out once in a while doesn’t have to be expensive in this resort, as evidenced by these family favourites:
Mottaret Snack Bar: This little snack bar’s burgers have reached legendary status and, at around €7 for a lunch as big as your head, it’s not surprising.
Adray Telebar: Jump on the free shuttle and treat the kids to their famous chocolate cake washed down with a hot chocolate you can stand a spoon. €5 per person for the lot!
Le Village des Pains: Stock up for a family feast on the mountain with their advance ordered picnic baskets, chock-o-block with baguettes, pizzas, pastries and sweet treats. Fantastic value starting at around €20.
How to Get to Méribel-Mottaret
From the UK, the best way of getting to your budget family break in Méribel-Mottaret is to fly into Geneva. During the busy ski season you’ll find plenty of good deals for flights, with a number of budget airlines offering direct routes, including British Airways, Ryanair, EasyJet and Monarch. With flights from the UK taking just 1.5 hours, there’s not even time for the kids to get restless.
Once you land at Geneva, the most hassle-free way of getting your family to the resort is with a private airport transfer. Prebook a Shuttle Direct transfer to Méribel-Mottaret and you’ll be able to take advantage of the service to transport any ski equipment you’re bringing at no additional cost.
If you’re travelling across Europe on a family rail adventure, you can also book a Shuttle Direct service to meet you at Moutiers station and take you the final 30-minute journey to the resort.
Where to Stay:
Residence Dandy – Close to the ski lifts and featuring spacious family rooms, the Residence Dandy is the ideal family base. With a sitting room, balcony, kitchenette with oven and microwave, and even a separate dining area in some apartments, you’ll have room to move without breaking the bank.
Apartment Sérac – The cosy, self-catering accommodation of Apartment Sérac will make the family feel right at home. The generous proportions of the apartments include a full kitchen, balcony and sitting area, while the onsite ski storage and ski hire are great news for the family holiday budget.
Residence Chimes – The bright and cheerful Residence Chimes is affordable, family-friendly and you can even bring the dog if you like! The spacious units ensure there’s room for all the kids and luggage without feeling cramped, and the well-equipped kitchen means you won’t blow the budget on eating out every night.
About Shuttle Direct:
As the most respected provider of airport transfers in Europe, Shuttle Direct has been servicing winter transfers to resorts in the Italian, French and Austrian Alps for many years.
If you’re looking for an affordable transfer from Geneva, Chambéry, Lyon or Grenoble airports, prebook a fast, convenient service online with Shuttle Direct. With a transfer to suit every budget and group size, if your family is travelling with their own ski equipment, mention it at time of booking and it can be included in the cost.
Shuttle Direct’s expert team provides a friendly, professional service to help take the stress out of organising your family’s travel arrangements.