Alex Hutchins - Ski Expert"A peaceful spa town that provides a great value yet convenient way to ski the 3 Valleys. The Olympe Gondola will whisk you up into the heart of Meribel in just 25 minutes!"
BRIDES LES BAINS
Brides-Les-Bains Spa Town has a large range of treatments dedicated to "well-being". So after a hard day on the slopes, relax at the Brides Les Bains Spa and enjoy one of the many treatments available. Discover the fun area with its oriental design and let the ski strain drain from your body in the heat of the steam room and sauna, the douceur of the plant steam bath, the sensational iced shower or the amazing experimental shower. People have known about the healing properties of the waters of what one day would become Brides-Les-Bains since time immemorial. In the 16th & 17th centuries, the archbishops of Moûtiers were partaking in the thermal waters of the area.
The medical practitioners of the day prescribed vast quantities of these waters: sometimes, 50 to 60 glasses per day - it must be good! The thermal waters were used to cure all kinds of ailments until their excellent properties for fighting obesity came to light. In the late 1870s, the local hotels instituted specially designed diets. The Spa, which was developing, began to attract international personalities such as Queen Elizabeth of Spain, the Countess Montgoméry and the Baron of Rothschild as well as members of leading Russian, US and English families. In 1925 at the prompting of a certain Doctor Philibert, the spa, now specialising in slimming cures, rebranded itself as the 'elegant woman's spa'. One of the thermal springs in Brides-Les-Bains is today named after Doctor Philibert.
Today the Grand Spa Des Alpes in the Ski Weekend resort Brides Les Bains is used for spa breaks for those looking to lose weight or just require a bit of pampering and relaxation. In the winter skiers enjoying ski weekends and ski weeks use the spa to ease away the strain from the alpine elements. What a perfect way to recover and recuperate ready for the next day of your ski holiday.
SKI AREA OVERVIEW
It is not only the sheer size and altitude that makes the 3 Valleys such a superb ski area; 600+ km of piste with over 150+ lifts and piste that range from 1260 - 3230 m. The whole area is very well interlinked with increasing numbers of fast chairlifts replacing older lifts. Accessing the 3 valleys from the Meribel ski area (where the Olympique Gondola from Brides Les Bains arrives) is perfectly central for the whole of the 3 valleys, perfect for Ski Weekenders with only a few days at your disposal!
It is possible to ski in all 3 Valleys areas and back again, you can cruise the sweeping red and blue runs of Courchevel, hammer the snow park in Meribel and head above the tree line in the snow sure Val Thorens. If this is not enough with a weeks 3 Valleys pass you can have one-day skiing in the neighbouring Ski Paradiski area, only a 10-minute journey away from Brides Les Bains. As a beginner do not be intimidated by the vast ski area, a reduced cost single valley Meribel lift pass will provide access to the gentle runs of the Altiport in Meribel; the perfect playground on which to learn and get bitten by the ski bug.
Snowboarders will find the terrain of the 3 valleys varied from the Moonpark with 10 hectares of kickers for all levels, rails and boardercross course, some long cruising runs well connected by chairlifts and then the freeriding at Mont du Vallon. With Brides-Les-Bains you are at the ideal gateway ski resort in the 3 Vallées, providing inexpensive skiing and snowboarding weekends and weeks to the biggest ski area in Europe.
- The Olympe Gondola opens half an hour before and closes half an hour after the lifts in Meribel so for those of you eager to get a full day on the slopes you can jump on the first gondola and still have time to grab a quick coffee before the lifts open. The gondola on average takes 20 minutes and in excellent snow conditions, it is possible to ski back to the mid-way station, Les Allues.
- Every Tuesday evening there is a shuttle bus that runs up to Meribel until later in the evening (check locally for details). This gives you a great opportunity to eat out at a local restaurant in Meribel or stay there for après and not worry about having to get the gondola back.
- Need to relax after a tiring day on the slopes? Brides Les Bains is an excellent spa town, with many of the hotels having an extensive range of facilities open to the public and guests alike, why not treat yourself to a massage or relax in a steam room.
- Grab a chocolate chaud from the wooden hut at the base of the gondola for a warm ride up to Meribel.
- Go skiing out towards the Mont du Vallon to make the most of the beautiful views and quiet slopes on some great runs.