Well, it has been another (not so) "funny" start to the season this year. Even if you haven't already ventured to the Alps this winter, you will no doubt be aware that once again there was a major shortage of snow across the Alps at the beginning of the season. After an early snowfall in November, temperatures rose and the snow did not fall again until after Christmas :-(
However, what the media most likely didn't report was how well Courchevel and the Three Valleys fared compared to many resorts which were unable to open. The Three Valleys currently has 2186 snow cannons covering a third of the runs overall which, combined with the huge efforts of the lift company staff, ensured that the Three Valley resorts were all able to open and that all pre-booked ski lessons took place (and that the Ladies World Cup slalom was able to go ahead, but that's another story!). With all of our guests skiing for at least several hours a day, and most enjoying lovely mountain lunches in the sunshine, I'm pleased to say none of our guests went home unhappy!
Since the New Year we have seen at least 1m of fresh snow fall, and with 150cm forecast over the course of this week (even at low altitude), we are feeling optimistic.
Indeed, as it was snowing yesterday, I took the opportunity to try out the new Aquamotion centre in Courchevel with some friends. With a 3-hr pass to both the 'Aqualudique' area (pools, children's fun pools, diving pool, waterslides etc.) as well as the 'Aquawellness' area (more pools, including both indoor and outdoor Jacuzzi pool with massage jets, saltwater pool, sauna, Hammam and so on), it wasn't difficult to fill our afternoon (we didn't even have time to read our mags!), and I will certainly be going back!
As it was a Saturday (and indeed 'Happy Saturday' i.e. half price :-)) and therefore a busy family day, we chose to spend more time in the relaxing Aquawellness area, but I did have to try the Pentagliss and Canyon slides (all in the name of research of course....), which were great fun! Afterwards we had a sneaky peek into the very chic 'Nikki Café' bar and restaurant by Nikki Beach, but weren't so keen on the pumping music, and I fear the drinks/food prices will put us seasonnaire/local people off...having said that earlier in the day they had offered a very reasonable 3-course set lunch menu for 22 Euros, and were advertising a 3-course set dinner for 38 Euros. I'm just not sure that Aquamotion would be my preferred dinner destination...However if I felt the need for a snack whilst there I'd probably opt for the more reasonably priced Cabana Grill (also run by Nikki Beach) although this is very much the formica tabled, brightly lit 'café' one would expect in a leisure complex and not a patch on the former décor-wise!
So, our New Year's Resolution here at Exceptional Ski was to dust down our blog and start reporting more regularly from Courchevel during the winter. We hope you'll help to encourage us by following our blog or indeed following us on Facebook. But for now, bring on the snow!