Alpe d'Huez resort guide - a general overview
Alpe d'Huez has an extensive ski area and when the snow is good there are plenty of runs for all levels of skier, including the longest black run in the Alps - a thigh burning 16km in length. The efficient lift system means very few queues and the snowmaking facilities more than counter the effects of its South facing location so taking ski holidays in Alpe d'Huez late in the season is still a good idea. Owing to the purpose built nature it's possible to ski back to a lot of the apartments and the more luxury orientated chalets in Alpe d'Huez. Alpe d'Huez has good facilities for children, a highly rated ski school and a buzzing nightlife which makes this a good all round resort.
If you can get over the fact that Alpe d'Huez is neither particularly stylish, nor very attractive to look at then it really is a great ski resort. The ski area is surprisingly varied and large, and there is plenty of terrain for all standards of skiers. The nursery slopes have to be amongst the best in the Alps and the off-piste terrain will give much more prestigious resorts a real run for their money. Factor in the lack of ski bums here (compared to more prestigious resorts) who normally ski out fresh powder in a matter of hours and you have a ski area which, on a powder week, will keep on giving great lines day after day.
Use this link to check out all the chalets in Alpe d'Huez. You can see the availability, locations and prices to make choosing your ideal chalet easy.
1,860m - 3,320m
Level of skiing
- Snow sure
- Ski area
- Charm factor
- Resort layout
- Fine dining
- Short transfer
- Resort value
- Extensive, high, sunny slopes and efficient, modern lift system. It has a great ski area
- Huge snowmaking installation great for late season ski holidays in Alpe d'Huez
- There are lovely ski in and ski out chalets in Alpe d'Huez
- Vast, gentle, sunny nursery slopes right next to the resort - the perfect learning environment
- A wide variety of lively apres ski and nightlife
- Icy morning and slushy afternoon conditions on the many South and West facing runs
- Overcrowding on the main runs in high season. Our tip is to head for Auris ski area
- Very little wooded areas to retreat to in bad weather. Again head for Auris
- Alpe d'Huez is a sprawling resort with a mis-match of chalet and apartment styles
Alpe d'Huez Resort Restaurants
Alpe d'Huez is not short of restaurants varying from high quality to cheap and cheerful but generally they are cheaper than some of France's other premier resort restaurants, so don't worry if you tire of the food in the chalets or hotels. Alpe d'Huez has some good dining - for genuinely tasty fare try the The Cremaillere, P'tit Creux (quite pricey), Genepi, Pomme de Pin. For pizzas and pasta L'Origan and Pinocchio are well recommended. Smithy's Tex Mex is far from shy about the size of the helpings and Edelweiss is excellent value for set menus and grills.
Alpe d'Huez Mountain Restaurants
The mountain restaurants are generally good. The self-service places are welcoming and there are more rustic restaurants with table service than you'd find in other similarly sized French resorts. Chalet du Lac Besson is located on the cross-country loop north of the Les Grandes Rousses Gondola (aka DMC) mid station. The pretty Foret De Maronne hotel at Chatelard below Signal de L'Homme is a great sun trap and has a good menu. The Bergerie at Villard-Reculas also comes recommended for its views as does The Signal. The Plage des Neiges at the top of the nursery slopes is the best place for beginners. Chantebise 2100 at the DMC mid station is good for slick and cheerful service. Try skiing to Oz and Vaujany for better value for money.
Alpe d'Huez Apres Ski
There are are wide range of bars, some good ones straight off the slopes, some of which get lively later on, and there are also the bars found in the hotels. Alpe d'Huez night spots include the Roadhouse located under Crystal's Hotel Vallee Blanche and the Underground in Neilson's Hotel Chamois are established favourites amongst the British run bars. The Crowded House in Crystal's Hermitage hotel is a quiet alternative with a pool table. The Sphere Bar, O'Sharkey's and Pacific are popular after the lifts close.
Alpe d'Huez Nightlife
Smithy's gets quite rowdy later on and the Yeti hosts some great live bands. The Sporting is a fun bar with great bands although it reputably the most expensive bar in town. This and the Igloo disco liven up when the French hit town en masse!