La Rosiere, France
La Rosiere is built at an altitude of 1850m on the road which rises up from Bourg-St-Maurice towards the Col du Petit St-Bernard pass, ensuring a good snow record despite South facing slopes. The area links with its Italian neighbour, La Thuile, which opens up a large number of pistes suitable for beginners and intermediates but with no seriously challenging terrain. The combined ski area is called the Espace San Bernardo (the St Bernard pass is close by) with the French and the Italian sides of the ski domain offering two interesting and distinct skiing atmospheres. Enjoy a French croissant or pain chocolat with your morning coffee; then a delicious Italian pasta lunch near La Thuile before heading back to French La Rosiere for a yummy crepe at the end of the day. Crossing the Franco Italian border twice in a day makes for an interesting mountain experience!
The resort has been built in traditional chalet style, with many attractive buildings, which are dotted discreetly in the woods. There isn't much to the resort except accommodation and a few shops, so the atmosphere is peaceful and due to the height of resort, there are fine panoramic views. After dark the apres ski scene is limited to a couple of bars and there is a reasonable choice of restaurants to sample - head to Genepi's for outstanding steaks.
There are two distinct residential areas to La Rosiere. There is the original ski resort and then connected by bus and one mile further around the mountain is the new development of Les Eucherts - this is where most of the chalets in La Rosiere are located. This new area has been very sympathetically designed and built - with its Croisette 'ski front' area of restaurants, ski hire shops and ski schools it have a very North American ski resort feel. Most of the chalets in this part of La Rosiere are very close to the hub of Les Eucherts and many are pretty much ski-in and sk-out for the ultimate in family ski holiday convenience.
La Rosiere is a very good choice of resort for beginners, intermediates and families as there is an exceptionally good branch of the ESF meaning you will be in very safe hands. For those wanting to push the limits a little then there is the opportunity to heli-ski in Italy which is just a couple of miles away. The Moulin Express and Mont Valasian Express chairlifts (new for the 2018-19 season) open up a large area of skiing best suited to better skiers with lots of high altitude off-piste terrain accessible from the highest lift accessed point in the ski area at 2,800 metres.
Pros & Cons
- Attractive purpose built resort
- Fair sized area of slopes shared with La Thuile in Italy
- Good value for money especially the lift passes
- Heli-skiing over the border in Italy and some great off-piste on the French side of the ski area
- Good nursery slopes for beginner skiers
- Winds can close lift links with Italy
- Snow is affected by sun in late season
- Lots of slow lifts
- Few on-piste challenges for experts
- Limited apres ski
The dining options are limited to The Chalet, Yeti, L'Oustal, Le Plein Soleil and Ancolie.
There is little choice unless you descend to the village for lunch. The Plan du Repos is a big self-service restaurant. The San Bernardo is well located on the boarder. In the village the Relais du Petit St Bernard and Petit Relais are the favourites.
Apres ski is limited to a couple of bars in town.
None to shout about.