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ItalyCourmayeur: Reviews

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Denise Burgess
Posted: 07/02/16
LSH Ski Challenge 2016 - Cormayeut
Overall rating: 5 stars
Denise Burgess
Visited: January 2016

This was an organised event for the property sector.
We had three perfect days of skiing.
During the week the slopes were quiet ... And the weekend more crowded with Italians and French locals visiting from the cities.
Maison Vielle restaurant (in the slopes) has outstanding pasta... Particularly the carbonara.. Also recommend the foccata bread with peppercino (like a crushed chilli sauce in a jar)

Black Piste 5 was the only really challenging run/mogul field... And for an advance intermediate a real challenge to get down... But huge grin at the end! Found the rest of the blacks and reds thoroughly enjoyable!

Bar Roma is the place to go for Apres... And the American Bar

Slopes:
5 stars
Accommodation:
4 stars
Eating:
5 stars
Apres:
4 stars
Value for money:
4 stars
Philip Scarfe Beckett
Posted: 05/04/15
Mont Blanc, sunny side up
Overall rating: 4 stars
Philip Scarfe Beckett
Visited: March 2015

Chose Courmayeur on the basis of a magazine review years ago. No regrets! I do like some trees as well as bare rock and snow, and there are plenty..........snow was great, especially up top, nicely groomed..........short lift-lines........the best hot chocolate in the world.......good food at on-the slopes restaurants.........50% sunshine across the week with no non-skiable days. Not bad for a snap decision trip a bit late in the season! Just wish there were a few more blues in the mix for start and end of day.

Slopes:
4 stars
Accommodation:
4 stars
Eating:
5 stars
Apres:
4 stars
Value for money:
4 stars
Alex Miller
Posted: 14/12/14
Off piste - Alex Miller
Overall rating: 3 stars
Alex Miller
Visited: March 2014

I go regularly for the odd day from the French side. Nobody has mentioned the long off piste runs from the top. These are superb in good conditions, and in less good snow or visibility conditions challenged my limited ability considerably. There are some other possibilites through the trees mainly from the top of Plan de la Gabba, otherwise it is mainly boulevard skiing (pleasant enough).
1. Cresta di Youla down right back to Zerotta, choice of two big gullies lower down, then poling or skating along cross country tracks. Can also traverse round the back into this bowl from Crestas d'Arp
2. Cresta di Arp traverse left to col then down left to Dolonne. Route back to piste hard to find and steep descent, easier to carry on down to town and short walk.
3. Cresta d'Arp down Val di Youla to La Balme in Val di la Thuile. Get bus (coming from La Thuile) back to Dolonne. A little expedition. If sunny, better to stay up on right hand side of valley..

David Hatley
Posted: 25/01/14
great for a short break
Overall rating: 4 stars
David Hatley
Visited: January 2014

Just returned from a short ski break to Courmayeur in early Jan 14. Overall the experience was very enjoyable and would do it again. If you like quiet pistes and no lift queues then Jan is definitely the time to go. In 3 days I think we queued twice for lifts! The down side though is that the town was quite quiet in the evenings and there was no apres ski anywhere which was dissapointing for us. I suspect though that this is the case even when the town is busy.
Courmayeur itself is a beautiful town set in the magnificent mountainous scenery with lots of expensive shops, a few bars, and plenty of restaurants. The ski area is a gondola ride up the mountain to around 1700m. Apparently there's is 100km of pistes but i would very much doubt that there is half of this of groomed pistes. Neverthless, there is definitely enough to keep most experienced skiers interested for a few day with plenty of pretty steep reds that might be blacks in other resorts. Couldn't recommend Courmayeur for beginners though as there is really only two blue runs and one of those has some definite red sections in it!

Slopes:
3 stars
Accommodation:
3 stars
Eating:
4 stars
Apres:
1 star
Value for money:
3 stars
S A Pierce
Posted: 22/02/11
Courmayeur review
S A Pierce

We have just returned from a wonderful week's skiing in Courmayeur after a five year absence. In the intervening period a stunning new high speed Gondola has arisen out of Dolonne to Plan Checrouit linking in with a high speed chair to take you on up the mountain. The whole lift system is now very efficient and there were no queues except for the small cablecar up to Youla, which is hardly worth the wait. (They have plans to replace this with a new lift that goes on up to Cresta d'Arp). It is now possible to ski on an excellent new, wide run down to Dolonne, so there is no need to come down in the Gondola/cablecar at the end of the day. Much work has been done to improve the runs and to enlarge the skiable area. All the runs were very well maintained.



Our holiday was very special as we had a week of dark blue skies and perfectly bashed pistes. It was every bit as beautiful as I had remembered it. The other side of Mt Blanc was short of snow and some resorts were closed but Courmayeur runs were all in excellent condition - and the biggest bonus was that the pistes were almost deserted. The restaurants were busy at lunchtime on Saturday when Turin/Milan etc came to town, otherwise there was hardly a soul, except for a few intrepid French coming through the Mt Blanc tunnel.



As we travelled independently, midweek, we hired a car from Turin Airport and it took us 1 1/2 hours to reach Courmayeur. The car enabled us to have a pleasant day's skiing in Pila (included on our ski pass) which is only a short drive away on the edge of Aosta (take the Sarre exit).



An evening or two at the Thermal Baths, 10 minutes away in Pre St Didier, is an interesting diversion (but avoid weekends). Sitting outside in the dark, in steaming bubbling waters, with the peaks above you, surrounded by animated Italians, with only stars and flares for light is a novel experience - try it!!



Do not miss the Passeggiata before Dinner on Friday/Saturday evenings, when the streets come alive.



The Meuble Laurent is an excellent B and B to stay in, from which you can try the many wonderful restaurants around the town. It is small, spotlessly clean and exceedingly friendly, with lots of character. Enjoy practising your Italian or French at breakfast! It also has a large underground garage. From the Meuble Laurent it is only a 10 minute stroll to the new Gondola in Dolonne and you can arrange ski and boot hire at 4810, nearby - I had excellent brand new skis! Leave your skis and boots in their lockers overnight so you are free to wander through the old villages after you have finished skiing.

The whole village is now much quieter since the old main road that brought all the lorries through the village from the Mt Blanc tunnel was re-located through another tunnel - out of sight and out of earshot!



The pretty old village of Courmayeur and the beauty of the surrounding area greatly add to the enjoyment of a holiday here but it is the amazingly warm-hearted, friendly people that makes it so special for me!



Buon viaggio e buona vacanza

Posted: 25/04/10
Courmayeur review
Ski Club member

Spent a week in Courmayeur in late March 2010 - it was a last minute decision to go and fit one more ski trip in before season's end. I was impressed and as such would not rule out returning to this charming village in the Aosta Valley. The only downfall was the weather, but it was late in the season so I wasn't expecting it to be exceptional. I will, at this point say that if you have the opportunities to go on any excursions then do so and maximise your holiday to the full.


Courmayeur itself can be skied quite easily in 2 days, even for a competent intermediate so the availability to ski in other resorts is something one should consider. The skiing area of Courmayeur is reached by going up in one of Europe's largest gondolas - this itself involves a short walk depending on where your hotel is situated. Be advised that it is far easier to 'rent' a ski locker once you're up in the ski area itself, this eliminates hauling your kit to and fro everyday (also be advised that it's probably best to rent on a daily basis, especially if you intend to go on 'ski away' days).


Take the chance, if available to ski in nearby Pila and La Thuile where you can also ski into La Rosiere, France, but the best experience for me was skiing the Vallee Blanche (maybe not for beginners). The weather on this day was perfect and it was truly an amazing ski experience. The one drawback being as it was late in the season we could not ski all the way into Chamonix as there was not enough snow cover thus having to climb what seemed like a thousand and one steep steps to a gondola and then to the train to take us into Chamonix for a well deserved beer or two!


Back to Courmayeur, and it is a beautiful village with lots of shops, restaurants and not so lively bars, but pleasant all the same. Apres ski is really not the thing here if this is what you seek. Bar Roma seemed popular early evening where there is a free buffet selection of pasta and salad - always plenty and of a very good standard. There are a good selection of restaurants, in high season it may be advisable to book a table. I quite liked the 'Cadran Solaire' - good food in beautiful settings. Wine can be a little on the expensive side, I ordered a bottle one evening in a bar and it cost 35 Euros!


In summary: A beautiful, quaint Italian village nestling at the foot of Mont Blanc with great views, friendly locals and decent enough skiing, but do try and ski in other nearby resorts. Nightlife is quiet however and apres ski is not something the Italians do as well as the Austrians. Worth a visit.

Nigel Hayes
Posted: 28/03/08
Courmayeur review
Nigel Hayes

I spent Easter in Courmayeur for the second year running, booking independently with Easyjet to Turin and driving to the resort. It's motorway all the way so is very easy to get there.


I stayed at the very friendly Bouton D'Or Hotel. It is in a good location with clean, comfortable rooms and well presented breakfast with lots of homemade quiches, omelettes, pastries and cakes.


There was 31cm of new snow on the Friday resulting in knee high powder. Conditions over the weekend were fantastic due to the new snow and sun with cloudless skies. I visited Chamonix on Saturday as it is so easy to get there through the tunnel.


I had lunch at Maison Vieille on Friday and would recommend either booking or going early as it does get busy - but the food is worth it. I also went to Chiecco beside the drag lift on the Sunday which serves fantastic home cooked food with very friendly service. I would highly recommend it - the specials are excellent - but definitely book in advance. I would also reccommend Bar Roma (good atmosphere, music and free food), the back room of Cafe Della Poste and La Terrazza, Vieux Pommier and Cadran Solaire in town. Again depending when you go it is advisable to book.


All in all another excellent late break - even though it was only 3 days skiing it felt like a week.

Elizabeth Crutchley
Posted: 01/02/08
Courmayeur review
Elizabeth Crutchley

Just returned from a long weekend in Courmayeur 23rd - 26th January. Really accessible with flights to Turin and just under a 2 hour drive.

Stayed at the Hotel Courmayeur very friendly, good food and about 7 minutes walk to the main gondola.

Mainly red runs and good intermediates will ski it in a day or so. Also, not many long runs and resort gets busy on a Saturday. Don't try and eat at the Maison Vielle (at the top of the chair of the same name) on a Saturday, they can't cope and service is totally chaotic. Food at Petit Mont Blanc was pretty poor, really sloppy pizzas!

For Apres-ski Bar Roma and The American Bar are good with great free nibbles!

All in all a good place for a long weekend but if you go for a week make use of the other resorts covered on the lift pass otherwise you might get bored!

Charles Irish
Posted: 04/04/07
Courmayeur review
Charles Irish

Courmayeur is charming and relatively small resort. Those choosing holiday dates would do well to avoid weeks where life in this resort, including its streets, bars and restaurants, is dominated by those attending corporate events organised from the UK.

Simon Wilkinson
Posted: 26/03/07
Courmayeur review
Simon Wilkinson

Courmayeur March 04-11th 2007. Excellent skiing to be had, although limited for the more experienced skier (who should expect to ski the whole area in 2 days). Most of the runs were unchallenging but well groomed. Best of all, the slopes were empty Mon-Fri.

One of the best runs I have ever skied was down from the Yula cable car with amazing views over the mountains.

The mountain huts and restaurants were excellent with all budgets catered for.

I’d recommend a trip to Pila where the runs are beautifully tree-lined, but easy-going. We were less impressed with La Thuile as many of the runs plateau out half way down which was very annoying.

We wanted to ski the Vallée Blanche run down into Chamonix but the risk of avalanche and a closed Mt. Blanc tunnel sadly prevented it. It is a challenging c18km off-piste decent (led by a guide) with supposedly the most picturesque of views and I would definitely consider going back to Courmayeur just to do that run.

We stayed in the Les Jumeaux hotel (in the Annex), which was a great location next to the cable car.

In the town, the après ski was lively with some great bars.

Posted: 13/02/06
Courmayeur review
Ski Club member

fantastic really deep snow at the moment, great resort, pretty

Posted: 03/02/06
Courmayeur review
Ski Club member

Spent the last weekend in Jan in Courmayeur. Easy to do independently as it's only an hour and half from Geneva. Pretty village with fab restaurants and a couple of decent apres ski bars (Bar Roma and Bar Americano which both offer huge free buffets at about 4.30-5pm!). Several hotels are inconvenient for the large cable car out of town so leave your ski's and boots up the mountain. It's a shame the ski back down to the village involves an infrequest bus service to get back to the centre of town cos the run is excellent. Decent skiing on piste but a lot of it is quite "samey" - tree lines moderately steep reds that mostly bring you back to the same place - Plan Checrouit. Found two excellent mountain restaurants (La Zerrota and Ristorante Chiecco just above Plan Checrout where the owner, Anna, is good fun and totally mad!). Would have liked to have done the ski routes off the top but the weather and visibility would have taken the enjoyment out of them. Lift sytem is a bit rickety and slow typical of many italian resorts but the piste grooming was as good as I've seen anywhere. All in all a decent resort for early to mid intermediates who don't want high mileage skiing and like a good lunch on the hill, or advanced skiers who want good off piste. NOT suited to beginners or high mileage skiers at all.

Posted: 12/12/05
Courmayeur review
Ski Club member

Courmayeur is a fantastic resort. There is something there for everyone. Although the beginners area is a little steeper than normal, as soon as your up and about there, there are endless runs to explore. Two tips, one down the back of the hill is Zerotta, great couple of restaurants with amazing views of Mont Blanc and really nice runs down. Second, the Yula, from the top in the little gondola, only a handful of people in front of you. The view is out of this world then the steep red decent back down really gets those legs working. Swing a left and cut down between the pistes to follow another sweeping red all the way down to the bottom where nobody ever really goes! Happy skiing!

Posted: 08/07/04
Courmayeur review
Ski Club member

i thought Courmayeur was great for me being intermediate. The lift queues were surprisingly short for peak times and the only problem was getting to the ski area in the morning. Great place Great skiing.

Posted: 21/06/04
Courmayeur review
Ski Club member

i thought Courmayeur was great for me being intermediate. The lift queues were surprisingly short for peak times and the only problem was getting to the ski area in the morning. Great place, great skiing.

Posted: 22/03/04
Courmayeur review
Ski Club member

Just returned from week's skiing in Courmayeur with a group of 14 guys. A really first rate place ( once you get usd to the cable car trip each morning - fast and regular). Lots of red runs to keep an improving intermediate challenged - if not all week then certainly good for a 3 - 4 day trip. The drive from Genva took less than an hour and really is very convenient to get to. For boy's apres ski Poppy's Bar andf the American Bar are the top places.

Posted: 05/03/04
Courmayeur review
Ski Club member

The ideal weekend break resort. Straight up the motorway from Turin and only 2 mins from the junction.

Posted: 03/02/04
Courmayeur review
Ski Club member

Just came back from staying at the "I Maquis" hotel, in the hamlet of Entrèves. Outstanding restaurant, incredibly contemporary & chic, but has a nightclub which stays open until 3am on Fridays and Saturdays, which does make sleep impossible! However, midweek stays were great. It is 150m to the Val Veny cable car, and the ski shop has handy lockers next to the cable car entrance. The skiing was great during the week, but hoardes descend from Milan and Turin at the weekend. As intermeditates, the pistes were just right, although we were glad that we were only there for 4 days otherwise we would have been a little bored. Piste maps are dreadful!

Posted: 26/01/04
Courmayeur review
Ski Club member

A great all round resort. Pretty village with nice shops although more for window shopping than spending unless you've a big bank balance. Very friendly people. Hotel Laurent was a good find. Recently renovated the rooms were cosy and traditional and the bathrooms were modern and clean with the added luxury of a heated towel rail! Best to hire and store equipment at the base of the slopes at the top of the cable car. Not ideal for beginners or experts. Don't expect long pistes or a very varied ski area, but with good conditions it's excellent. Most piste maps are terrible. The best one found is in a shop called 'Ski In' under the gondela station at the base of the slopes.

Posted: 22/12/03
Courmayeur review
Ski Club member

I took my children aged 8 and 7 to Courmayeur in 2003 for their first ever
ski holiday. It was a total success. The ski instructor from the local
school was excellent - great way with the kids, gave them confidence and
good technical skills. The local restaurants were terrific and good value.
I can recommend this resort to people going with their kids for their
first taste of skiing.

Posted: 01/05/02
Courmayeur review
Ski Club member

I went to Courmayeur in January on the school ski trip, and I really enjoyed myself! I thought it would be really scary, but it was great! I didn't wan't to go home! I wish to come back in the future.

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member discounts in Courmayeur

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