I’m still on a travel high from my trip to Les Deux Alpes. I’ve skied in Colorado, France, Switzerland, Utah, and California, and when I say this was the PERFECT place to go for a ski trip with friends, I literally mean our trip couldn’t have been any better. We skied, we ate, we drank, we Aprés-ed (I’m making that a word). If you’re even remotely questioning where you should book your next ski trip with friends, without a doubt you have to go here!
Getting here is a bit of planes, trains, and automobiles — something I’ve gotten accustomed to living in London.
FLIGHTS | We took British Airways to Lyon from Heathrow. (If you want exact travel directions, you can take the Heathrow express easily like we did, or the Piccadilly line on the tube for cheaper fare but longer travel time.) Some friends took easy jet flights from Gatwick — but because the rest of the travel took a bit longer, I’m so glad we cut off a bit of time and went for Heathrow.
BUS | Once you get to LYON, you still have a ways to go until you get to Les Deux Alpes. We took the bus to Grenoble (1hour 5 minutes | £12 each + bag fees) then took a pre-booked taxi from here (Another 1 hour 10 minutes). Fair warning, there are only a select few buses that run daily, hints why we took a taxi the second leg — by the time we arrived to Grenoble, buses were done running for the day. To get home we took two buses (Les Deux to Grenoble on (FLIXBUS) and then Grenoble to LYON on (OUI BUS) — my Roomate used Trainline to book everything.
CAR SERVICE | If you’re over the shlep and want to pay more to just get there — you can just book a driver from SUN TRANSFERS like my other group of friends did to get straight to/from Lyon to/from Les Deux Alpes.
To be honest, it was a long travel day, but I slept on the bus and really didn’t mind it all in the end. To re-iterate from the beginning, this trip was so much fun, every minute of travel time was worth it.
As someone who grew up skiing and has been to quite a few mountain resorts — I can say the skiing here is great and the views of the alps are unreal! We came with a crew of 44(!!!) and as you can imagine, everyone was at a different level. Some had never skied, some were pros booking trips off piste — whether you’re a newbie or grew up on the mountains, there are runs for everyone.
PASSES | To get discount ski passes, book in advanced on the website (HERE) fair warning, this website feels like it was designed by a four-year-old, but nonetheless if you want to save a little money, have some patience, deal with the navigating, and book your ski passes per day on the website. I recommend doing this 2+ weeks in advance — they’ll mail them directly to you. Alternatively you can select to pick them up at a kiosk in town, but again this is a bit of a hassle once you get there and they’re quite strict about making sure you go to the right kiosk. Lastly, you can buy passes for a more expensive rate once you get there. Our hotel (Mercure) sold them at the front desk — with this route you obviously pay for convenience.
RENTALS| If you need to rent skis, we pre-booked with Intersport, right near our hotel (The Mercure). There are other Intersport locations in town + other rental companies. This is the company I also used when I skied in Zermatt and was good with them — The skis were good but the pick up lines were a bit long even though we booked in advanced. Just plan ahead to hopefully pick up the skis on the day you arrive, if not first thing in the morning.
RUNS | Similar to skiing in North America, Greens and Blues are the same as the states, but Red is equivalent to Black. My all time favorite runs of the trip were the blue runs at the top of he Toura Lift (This is also where you’ll find the big Les 2 Alpes sign) and then all of the glacier runs at the top of the second half of Jandri Express. If you’re more of a beginner/ intermediate be sure you at least get up to the top of the Cretes lift and do these easy/pretty runs a few times. There are ski maps at the ski pass stations and should be at most hotels or online HERE.
While I loved skiing and made a point to get full ski days in every day, we came to Les Deux Alpes for the ski scene + Aprés. I’ve been to sleepier family resorts, more romantic ski holidays, but the vibe of Les Deux is great for groups who want to enjoy skiing but also the Aprés scene.
LE DIABLE AU COEUR| This was our all-time favorite spot. When it’s sunny, there’s truly nothing better. We stumbled upon this place during our first sunny day skiing for lunch, and came back for lunch every, single day, it was that good. Food wise, they have a quick cafe outside to grab sandwiches, crepes, and fries if the weathers nice and you want a quick bite to get back on the mountain. If you want something more substantial, make a booking in advanced and come here for a sit down boozy lunch. We’d get aperol spritz & mulled wine for a mid-day break and their menu has a lot — pasta, soup, salads, several delicious French options. If you need a hot cocoa break, definitely stop in here. You can walk in, swap your ski boots for their slippers, and warm up by the indoor fire. Additionally, there’s a round covered bar outside, plenty of lounge chairs to bask in the sun on a bluebird day, and a saxophone player who makes the vibe even better when the weathers nice. Rant over, but basically this place is a must.
PANO BAR | Pano bar was where the crew of 44 planned on meeting every day for Aprés. It’s was less alpine, much more Avicii, but a great time overall if you’re wanting that typical energized, no-frills, alcohol heavy Aprés scene. It’s definitely worth a stop, and you can pop by here for a ski break too for standard snacks food or water break, if you’re already up skiing by the Jandri Express. Beginner skiers, you can still enjoy the Aprés at 3200m. You can ski blues to get here and take the Jandri runs all the way down to the bottom, or if you’re worried about skiing + drinking, just take the main gondola back to the bottom before if closes at 5pm.
UMBRELLA BAR | We also ended up at Umbrella Bar every single day — this was our favorite place for true Aprés. Aim to get here by 5 and dance and drink until it closes at 7. The drinks are super cheap, the music is a lot of fun… it always depends more so on who your with, but every night we were here we had the BEST time.
DINNERS | Once Umbrella Bar ends, there’s always that weird lull where you want to keep going but now the bar’s closed. This is typically when we’d eat dinner (book reservations around 7:30) — there are tons of restaurants in town, just make sure to book in advanced as most placed are booked up.
- SHERPA (By the Fire): The food here was good not spectacular but if you book a table in advance by the outdoor fires, the ambiance is great.
- Le Passe Montagne: Several places serve fondu, be sure to get this at least once night!
- Capricorn Tavern: because we hadn’t planned ahead with reservations, we ended up eating here two nights. The vibe is super casual, the foods really good, and they’re pretty good about accommodating big groups (just call ahead for a res on weekends to be safe).
POLAR BEAR PUB | We ended up here a few nights after umbrella bar closed. It’s mellow, but a fun local bar to keep drinking with the crew and gets going into the evening.
SMITHYS | All the locals kept telling us to go here — I honestly don’t know the names of a lot of the places we ended up, and would typically end around 11-midnight to be able to survive skiing every day, but this is one of the most popular that goes on until late!
THE MERCURE | There is nothing 5 star about our hotel by any means, and the rooms are nothing special but I will say the views are incredible (our balcony view above), the location is really convenient for skiing, the included breakfast is great!! (Fresh crepes and omelettes everyday), and it’s great for accommodating very large groups. Usually we have issues getting 4 people in a room — but they offer rooms with one double bed and two single beds to easily accommodate groups. It’s right near the village 1800 lift, so super convenient for anyone wanting to wake up and ski + here are lockers for your skis/gear. It’s right near Intersport for rentals, above restaurants for dinner. Again NOTHING FANCY, but a place to sleep. The big downside — it’s a 20-minute walk from town, the free shuttle ends at 9pm, and there are pretty much zero taxis in town, so if you plan on going out really late either be prepared to walk home or get the last shuttle by 9pm and go to one of the bars/clubs near the hotel.
HOTEL IBIZA | We ran into a stag do party that was staying at Hotel Ibiza — I know nothing about this place but something else to look into if you want something fun for a group!
CHALET MOUNIER | We stumbled upon this place while walking through town before umbrella bar and it was SO cute — definitely more cosy/couple vibes, and more upscale (4-star). Good option if you’re traveling just with girls, on a couples trip, or to grab a pre-dinner drink by the fire if you want something more mellow.
If you saw my Instagram stories, you know I’m not the lightest packer :/ I definitely overpacked for this trip so If I can shed any light on the packing sitch, I’d say bring way fewer “Aprés” outfits than you’d expect — realistically we mainly wore our ski clothes the entire time, and you’ll want to shed everything and just be in your base layers by the time you get to the bars. Ski wise, we experienced quite an array of temps. Day 1 was sunny but HOT! So I literally skied in my onesie + a long sleeve workout shirt and sports bra. Day 2 was a complete whiteout and I was quite cold so went with ski coat, base layer, and additional zip up layer. Same goes ski wise for the last day. Honestly girls, don’t bother wearing jeans. I stayed in my ski pants for the bars & dinners, otherwise just wore leggings and a chunky sweater + winter boots or my ski boots. Definitely bring a big waterproof coat (you can always wear your ski jacket out) and then pjs, a beanie or furry headband for extra head warmth. Don’t bother bringing a cross-body bag, none of us used ours. Just keep your credit cards/money in a safe pocket. I ski a few times a year so have invested in some nicer ski items from Saint Bernard Sports, Toni Sailer, Perfect Moments, and Bogner and then added in some ski items from Zara that I loved including this fun silver ski jacket. A lot of my friends from the trip got ski clothes from TOPSHOP Sno (A lot of which is on sale) and the ones who rarely ski went for ski clothes from ASOS!
Overall, honestly this was an 11/10 trip and easily one of my top 5 favorite trips of my life! As mentioned, it’s always about who you’re with over where you are BUT when you have both there’s truly nothing better! We traveled here Feb 28-March 3, 4 nights, 3 full ski days. I could have skied one more day, but overall it was perfect! Definitely recommend it for fun groups looking for a ski trip + Apres…. MAJOR creds & shout out to our friend Fletch who managed to coordinate 44 people on the trip & my roomie Alex and her boyfriend for being MVP logistics planners 🙂