Megeve , France
Megeve is the essence of rustic chic and was the original purpose built French resort, conceived in the 1920's as France's alternative to Switzerland's St Moritz. Although Courchevel took over as France's swankiest resort a while ago, there are still many 'beautiful people' who visit the resort and stay in the many smart, luxury chalets and hotels.
Megeve's skiing is very extensive if a little fragmented, offering miles of easy pistes ideal for beginners and intermediates looking to put some mileage under their skis. Experts should look for off piste runs in order to find a challenge, or head for a day in Chamonix for some really serious terrain. The areas main problem is snow reliability as there are very few runs above 2,000m - in a bad snow year slopes tend to suffer quiet quickly despite snow making facilities.
The village itself has a medieval pedestrianised centre, complete with cobbled streets, horse drawn sleighs and a fine looking church. If you are looking for luxury chalets, Megeve only has a few to choose from as accommodation is made up mainly of fine, luxury hotels. Megeve also has a couple of Michelin stared chefs in resort, so eating out, although delicious, is very expensive. Many of the luxury hotels in Megeve are exceptionally stylish and welcoming and there are also some delightful luxury chalets to choose from.
Pros & Cons
- Charming old village with a scenic setting and amazing panoramic views
- Extensive slopes with lots of cruising pistes, ideal for intermediates. Great tree skiing too.
- Great for weekends with a short transfer from Geneva airport
- Some fantastic mountain restaurants
- Some fantastic hotels and chalets in Megeve
- Not many challenging pistes, though there is some good off piste
- Ski area is quite segregated with the three mountains and only two linked by lift not by piste
- A civilised apres ski scene, nothing too lively
- Being a low resort, runs to the resort can get patchy.
- If looking for a chalet, Megeve only has a handful to choose from
The Flocons de Sel which recently gained a third Michelin star with Emmauel Renault as the head chef is cosy and the service is first class. Le Cintra is great for fresh sea food, rather expensive but very popular. Most of the best hotels in Megeve have restaurants you can dine in and offer excellent cuisine, but it can be pricey. For very reasonably priced dishes head to the Brasserie Centrale, they have an extensive choice to suit everyone; it's a popular choice for families. The nearby Bistro also does good pizzas and salads at a good price. You really cannot go wrong with any restaurant you stumble across in Megeve!
Megeve is well known for its gourmet mountain huts, while some are expensive others are reasonably priced. The French who frequent the slopes of Megeve like their long lunches, booking in advance is advisable for table - service places. (You should be able to get a staff member to do this for you at you hotel) Megeve's Alpette over at Rochebrune has excellent all round views and a good atmosphere inside with excellent food served by friendly staff, not cheap! If you can find the tiny restaurant in the woods near to the La Croix chair then the Raviere is excellent, it's a rustic hut with delicious French home cooked cuisine. Up at Mont d'Arbois and popular with poseurs with small dogs and fur coats - the Club House and the Ideal 1850. At the base of the Mont Joux lift is recommended Chez Marie du Rosay. Over at Cote 2000 slopes are the restaurants - Auberge de la Cote 2000 and further up is our favourite the Radaz, they do excellent Tartiflette. With so much choice and lots of plentiful helpings, you may not be hungry for you evening back at your hotels in Megeve!
Megeve is a nice town to stroll aound after the lifts close, but it doesn't have a big apres scene. Most people will head back to their hotels. Megeve's most popular bar is Club de Jazz - it is quite expensive though.
The Jazz Club (aka the 5 Rues) is very popular. It's more of a cocktail bar but it does open until late and they do have some big names play here. The Wake Up bar is popular with seasonaires and the Cocoon gets lively in the evenings. Finally, S Bar gets the thumbs up from many of our Megeve regulars.There are two main discos, White Pearl and Palo Alto which are rocking on the weekends. Many people will just stay in their hotels in Megeve ready for skiing the next day.
- Cable Car
- Chair lift
- Drag lift