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A new corner of Les3Vallees - James Cove, Les Menuires
Tuesday December 22, 2015 - Email this article to a friend

New to us that is. PlanetSKI stays in Reberty 2000 above Les Menuires and comes away bowled over by the place.

We are all familiar with Les3Vallees.

It's the biggest ski area in the world with more than 500kms of linked slopes.

Everyone has heard of its main resorts of Courchevel, Meribel and Val Thorens.

Many have heard of St Martin de Belleville and Les Menuires.

But hands up who has heard of Reberty... thought not.

Well, Reberty 2000 sits above Les Menuires - it is a satellite area of the resort but in some ways it is a village in its own right.

Albeit a small one.

It has ski hire shops, a bar and restaurant and a ski school meeting point. There are shops and even a pizza restaurant.

It also looks like a village.

Reberty 2000Reberty 2000















Unlike Les Menuires below it.

Reberty 2000Les Menuires















Rather surprisingly in its handful of chalets are a number of British operators: Family Ski, Ski Famille, Ski Olympic, Ski Weekends, Neilson and Powder N Shine.

It has a feel of an Expat community, but with a French atmosphere.

"I fell in love with the place when I first came and many of our guests do too," said Francesca Pangli, the director of Powder N Shine.

Reberty 2000Francesca from Powder N Shine















The company had been operating since 2010/11 and looks after around 800 people each winter.

"There are so many British operators here as we know what Reberty 2000 has to offer and it provides exactly what they want. Top quaity accomodation in a snow-sure resort with ski in and ski out plus an easy transfer from the airport," Francesca adds.

So, is there any rivalry between the companies?

"No, not really, as we all offer a different service. Many families with young children start off with Ski Famille and then change to us when they do not need a creche any longer," Francesca said.

At this time of year, in the run up to Xmas and New Year, Reberty is near perfect.

It is situated at 2,000m so there is guaranteed snow with access to the slopes of Val Thorens, the highest resort in Europe, where there are slopes over 3,000m.

80% of the ski area is currenty open - not many ski resorts can say that at the moment.

The slopes are busy as we have reported elsewhere on PlanetSKI, but at least they are open.

I decided first to head to Pointe de la Masse.

I was staying in a resort in Les3Vallees I had never heard of and heading to a ski area I had never been to before.Smile

And I have been coming to Les3Vallees on and off for more than 25 years.

We went right to the top at Pointe de la Masse and tried the black and red off the top - they had easily the best snow of Les3Vallees.

"This is one of my favourite off piste areas of Les3Vallees and is something of a secret," said Vincent Lalanne.

He should know as he has been living in the region for two decades and is head of Les3Vallees Promotion.

Les MenuiresVincent points out the powder















Sadly there was not enough snow to test his claim, but I could see he was right.

We agreed with each other about more than just the slopes.

He has an excellent taste in ski jackets and a preference for orange.Wink

Reberty 2000Seperated at birth?















Lunch is an important part of many people's day. 

The other areas in Les3Vallees may have a sprinkling of Michellin starred restaurants but I like ones where the food is excellent and delivered with speed and without any fuss.

Step forward Le Bouche a L'Oreille on the slopes above Reberty and Les Menuires. 

It comes highly recommended by me.

After lunch we crusied the slopes above Les Menuires - un-crowded, unlike some of the other areas in Les3Vallees.

Reberty 2000High above Reberty 2000
















Now I also like a bit of après ski. 

At first glace Reberty seemed somewhat, er, dull.

In fact it appeared dead. Deceased.

"Head down to Skilt in the main part of Les Menuires at Les Croisette and you won't be disappointed," said one of the chalet girls from Powder N Shine.

So I did.

Reberty 2000Centre of Apres Ski
















And inside?

It was the same as so many après ski bars across the French Alps that the Brits populate - loud, beery and fun with a covers band playing.

Just my sort of place after a hard day's skiing.

Reberty 2000Apres ski














Reberty 2000Encore
















The ski hire shop, Absolu Sports at Reberty 1850, was excellent and is part of the Ski Pepublic chain with the full range of quality equipment.

It had no problems when I wanted to change my skis.

There was nothing wrong with the first pair, I just wanted something different for the hard packed pistes.

The Dynastar's delivered.

Reberty 2000Choping and changing















I advise most people to rent skis nowdays - the quality is high and it is good to change according to conditions.

And when this happens it is the shop's job to fix : Ouch!

Rock skis requiredRock skis required















This area of Les3Vallees kept on delivering surprises - it has free WiFi on some of its slopes.

Easily pleasedEasily pleased















As well as the good advanced skiing in the surrounding high peaks Les Menuires prides itself on catering for leaners and families.

The British operator, Ski Famille, spotted its potential early and has been in Reberty since the 2009/10 season.

It has three catered chalets.

"Reberty 2000 offers a 3 Valleys location that is hard to beat, even for those on a Russian Oligarch's budget. All of the chalets are metres from the piste. Kid's ski school is a minute's walk away from the chalet door and you can access Les Menuires, Val Thorens or Meribel ski areas with the first lift of the day," said Chris Thompson from Ski Famille.

"In terms of atmosphere you have the convenience of a ski in ski out purpose built development coupled with a bit of traditional Alpine charm," he added.

Thoughts echoed by the local Tourist Office.

"We are a simple resort and we deliver what we promise at good value for money.  People come back year after year and the UK is our main overseas market with 20,488 people each season.  Unlike other resorts we have held our own and seen numbers rise from the UK," said the Director of the Tourist Office, Marlene Giacometti, to me.

Les Menuires was awarded the title of Most Improved Family Ski Resort in this year's World Snow Awards.

Marlene covets the trophy that is proudly displayed in the tourist office.

Reberty 2000Marlene Giacometti















So, I have found a high-altitude resort with guaranteed snow, sitting in one of the best parts of the largest ski areas in the world with a wealth of accommodation options.

From the value and budget end in Les Menuires itself to the more upmarket end in Reberty 2000.

If I can find a new place to stay and new ski areas in a part of the Alps I have visited many times then there are two conclusions to be drawn.

1. Les3Vallees is huge and full or surprises.

2. I may have skied in over 450 resorts across the world but plenty more is to come.

Bring it on!

Reberty 2000High above Val Thorens, Les3Vallees















James stayed with Powder N Shine in Reberty 2000.

It has 3 catered chalets and 2 self catered ones. Much is sold out for this winter but there are some pockets of  availability - see here for further details.

Ski Hire was from Absolu Sports which is part of the Ski Republic chain that has shops across the French Mountains and offers discounts of up to 60%.

Transport was provided by Mountain Express. It has the largest independent fleet of 4x4 minibuses in Les3Vallees and picks up from all local airports and offers serices to the main ski resorts.

For more information about Les Menuires then here is the resort's web site.

See here for the main PlanetSKI news page with all the latest stories from the world of snowsports.

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