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The Ultimate Ski Resort Face-Off: St Moritz vs Courchevel

St Moritz has been the ultimate ski resort in terms of exclusivity and luxury for as long as most of us have been alive, it’s been a home away from home for classic Hollywood stars, musical legends and some of the most infamous royalty this side of mad King George. St Moritz is the sort of place that has earned a spot in the history books, and in the big battle of the ski resorts it’s the old money option. 

On the other hand, Courchevel 1850 has always been regarded as one of the more upmarket options in the Three Valleys, but the sheer scale of wealth in the resort today sees the rich and famous descending to take advantage of the six Michelin star restaurants in the resort. Courchevel itself is famous for its Russian clientel, but in recent years, it has been the winter resort of choice for rich skiers everywhere. 

So, two of the glitziest resorts in the Alps; which one should you really visit?

The Skiing

Honestly, we all know which direction this section is going to go in. St Moritz has 350km of piste, with four sections, each with its own beginner slopes. It’s an intermediate’s playground, with plenty of long, cruising runs down the mountain and a few select black runs to test your mettle if you’re feeling brave. It’s a good ski area, with space for freeriders, a snowpark and a good variety of terrain. It isn’t, however, the Three Valleys.

The Trois Vallees ski area is over 600km of piste, with 170 lifts and a whole host of resort villages across the mountains. It’s the largest linked ski area in the world. There are four different resorts under the Courchevel banner alone, and the skiing is famously fabulous on and off piste in the area. Whether you’re a beginner or a pro, Courchevel is guaranteed to challenge your skiing in the best way. 

This one is hardly a contest; Courchevel. 

Couchevel photo credit tourist board640px

Couchevel - Credit: Courchevel Tourist Board

The Accomodation

As well as some jaw dropping chalets, St Moritz is home to a range of timelessly elegant hotels, from Badrutt’s Palage to Suvretta House and Kempinski Grand Hotel des Bains. There are a whole host of the finest hotels littered around the resort, each one with a history filled with St Moritz’s special brand of glamour. 

On the other hand, Courchevel’s most luxurious accommodation comes in the forms of a few stylish boutique hotels and a range of superbly luxurious catered chalets that offer every luxury to guests, with everything from private spas to stunning feature fireplaces and one off furnishing. If it sounds a little lower key than the extravagant luxury of St Moritz’s five star hotel chic, it is.

Just for being the classic resort, this one has to go to the old school charm of St Moritz. 

Dining Out

As well as the restaurants associated with the grand hotels in St Moritz, the resort holds a few superb restaurants with excellent cuisine at a range of prices, from fairly budget to the swanky Michelin star. On the mountain there are some of the world most interesting and highly regarded restaurants, with Alpetta serving what they will swear is roadkill game and La Marmite serving dishes laced with caviar and truffle. 

Courchevel on the other hand, not only has the entire of the Three Valleys ski area for lunch spots for the hungry skier, but 1850 has some of the best restaurants in the world. The resort has six Michelin starred restaurants and some seriously unbelievable mountain eateries within an easy ski of the resort. In resort, the two Michelin star Chabichou is one of the must visit dining experiences in the area. 

Frankly, nobody will be surprised that this one goes to Courchevel 

St Moritz photo credit tourist board640px

St Moritz - Credit: St Moritz Tourist Board

Après Ski

St Moritz is the home of upmarket après ski, with Hanselmann’s the place to be on the mountain, while Bobby’s Pub and Hemmingway’s Club serve as fantastic places to grab a drink in the evenings. End the night in the famous King’s Club in Badrutt’s Palace, where the high society have come to dance the night away since Frank Sinatra was a regular. King’s Club isn’t only the most famous nightclub in St Moritz; it’s the most famous nightclub in Switzerland. Take your suit and tie if you fancy getting in.

Courchevel 1850 is one of the more relaxed resorts in the Three Valleys, and keen après skiers should drop by the Folie Douce to get their après started in the evenings. Then head to the Kudetta or the Tremplin to carry on dancing the night away. With Courchevel Moriond and Village not too far away, guests at 1850 can easily head down to one of the bars further down the valley if the mood takes them. 

For sheer legendary status, St Moritz takes this.