Alpe d'Huez was France's first resort to feature a mechanical ski lift, installing by what later became the Poma Lift company, though the resort has come a long way since, now a is a large, modern resort on a high, open, sunny plateau east of Grenoble, boasting an impressive 300 bluebird days on average. It has since become one of the best known resorts in the French Alps, in part because of it's ability to genuinely offer just as satisfying skiing for beginners as advanced and expert skiers, including excellent facilities for snowboarders.
The resort offers a huge expanse of terrain - the fifth largest in France with 86 lifts serving 248km of pistes and a vertical drop of 2,205m, down from the Pic Blanc at 3,300m on the Sarenne glacier, from which the synonymous black run descends - claiming the title of Europe's longest.
With all these positives on snow, the (minor) drawbacks centre around the sprawling and disjointed town. These are minor drawbacks however, with the town nowhere near as visually unappealing as some French resorts. There's a lively, lived in feel about the town with extensive Apres and nighttime options, as well as all the amenities you'd expect from a resort of it's size, including a heated outdoor pool and an ice rink. The lift pass gives days in some other resorts (including Les Deux-Alpes, Serre-Chevalier and Montgenevre). After years of speculation, plans for a cable car to Alpe d'Huez have been approved, with a forecast completion date of 2021. This in turn will link Alpe d'Huez to the off piste mecca of La Grave