The numbers in the village names that were used until 2011 implied altitudes, and although they were seriously inaccurate they did give clues to altitude: 1850 is higher than 1650, and so on. What we persist in calling Courchevel 1850 was one of the first French resorts to be purpose-built after World War 2. The other villages were developed later, although they already existed as old hamlets.
1850 is big enough to have several distinguishable quarters. The main lift base and the central area around it is La Croisette; the resort spreads a long way up the hillside on the left through the chalet-filled suburbs of Cospillot and Nogentil to the altiport, the resort's famously hazardous little airstrip. Part of these suburbs is the Jardin Alpin, a forested area with some of the swankiest hotels (and more modest chalets and apartments), served by its own gondola. On the opposite, right-hand side of La Croisette is another little 'downtown' area, with the suburbs of Chenus above it and Plantret below.
The other resort villages are smaller and simpler. The main part of 1650 has grown up along the road that links the resorts (though traffic is not very intrusive on weekdays); and the centre, below the lift base area, has been attractively developed and is lined with good everyday shops, restaurants and bars. Opposite the main gondola (reached by an escalator) individual chalets spread down the hill. Then there is another area of chalet development spreading up the slopes to an area known as Belvedere. 1650 has its own distinct sector of slopes, connected to 1850.
1550 is a bit of a backwater, with a few blocks and many more individual properties, directly below 1850. Le Praz is an old village on a plateau at the bottom of wooded slopes.
With a car, Champagny (linked to La Plagne's slopes) is easily reached.