The People Hostel in Les Deux Alpes is now in its first season of operation and has an impressive 362 beds to offer travellers looking for a sociable and seamless ski experience on a budget

So what is it like to stay there? Ski Club’s Sophie Mead went to see if bigger is actually better when it comes to ski hostels.

Previously a youth centre, the project was part of an €11 million investment by France Hostels, becoming the first ski venue to be launched following their first hostel in Lille. The décor is modern, minimal and highly functional, with some stylish touches throughout the building, such as backlit wooden snowboards on the walls and quirky filament bulb lighting. The entrance is a spacious and fuss-free, designed to accommodate large numbers of people on changeover days. IPads are set up at the entrance so the guests can check straight in with a QR code on their phone and avoid queues. They then collect an electronic wristband designed to be worn for the duration of the stay which is also the automatic room key. 

The hostel sits over 4 floors arranged around a large, stripped-back stairwell with an industrial feel. Lifts transport guests to their rooms and each corridor has two levels of security access: one door to enter each corridor with rooms and another to enter the bedrooms. Inside, the bedrooms are simple, practical and cosy with wooden finishes and contemporary features such as convenient under-bed storage boxes.

The hostel offers 43 private rooms and 41 dorms for 6-8 people. I was pleasantly surprised to see that larger dorms have many of the features that you would expect from contemporary inner-city hostels such as curtains on bunks for privacy, a safe which locks with your wristband and even in-safe phone charging. Storage in 8-person dorms is limited to boxes in the centre of the room but hooks and shelves are also provided. Most private rooms have balconies and all have bathrooms, whereas larger rooms can use communal bathrooms and showers. These facilities were brand new when we arrived so it will be interesting to see how shared bathrooms fare over the season. 

Downstairs the bar and social dining area enjoy views of the resort through a huge glass front which keeps it light and bright. Guests can easily step out into the mountain air via a large deck area with seating and cushions. Breakfast of a croissant and baguette with fresh orange juice and a hot drink can be bought for only €4 and the kitchen serves lunch and 3 dishes every night for €13-€15. A few options include fondue, raclette, soup and quiche, all freshly prepared by chefs on site plus a vegetarian option is always available. A raised stage area in the main lobby will be used for live music performances and events throughout the season. 

Downstairs there is a well-equipped, modern kitchen and even more space for socialising. A mini amphitheatre with beanbags gives the space a friendly feel and the colourful chairs and décor brighten up an otherwise simple basement. This area closes at 10.30pm but luckily there is plenty of space upstairs in the bar and dining area to comfortably accommodate guests. Downstairs you’ll also find ski locker access which has a lock controlled by your electronic band. At the door, an automated ski pass machine allows you to pay for your time on the slopes without having to fight the crowds at the central lift office. Simply ask at reception for a card and load your slope time on to it using the machine. 

There is a rental shop conveniently located next door plus the nearest slope is just 50m away, so there really is no excuse for not skiing, even if you do stay at the bar until it closes at 2 am. Les Deux Alpes is arranged along one long main road and The People Hostel is at the entrance to the resort with restaurants, shops and clubs only a 10-15 walk away.  At the bar, the drinks menu offers an eclectic mix of cocktails and mocktails plus very reasonably priced pints at €4!

I visited the hostel during its opening week and although the smell of paint and new wood was still in the air, there was an excited buzz and an eagerness for the season ahead. The bar was busy every night and several different types of groups had already booked in. We saw a team of Italian children staying for a race camp plus various groups attending Rise festival and couples on holiday. With rooms from as little as €19 per night, The People Hostel looks set to make snowsports available to even more people by proving that budget trips don’t need to sacrifice convenience or comfort. From the wristband payment service to automated ski pass machine in the lobby, the creators of The People Hostel have gone out of their way to try and make your stay as efficient and fun as possible.

Curious to find out about more ski hostels? Earlier in the season Ski Club's Harriet Johnston visited Moontain Hostel near Alpe D'huez, find out what she thought here...