Heli-skiing in Verbier
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Heli-skiing in Verbier

© Creative Commons / Alex Grechman

Verbier resort information & après-ski

Après-ski

Verbier is as well known for its partying as its demanding skiing. In fact, the intoxicating mix of fashionable bars, traditional-style pubs and cosmopolitan clubs (open until the small hours) creates one of the most exciting après-ski scenes in the Alps. Friday and Saturday, in particular, are the big nights out due to a massive influx of well-heeled weekenders from Geneva and London.

Popular watering holes include Le Fer à Cheval (tel: +41 27 771 2669; www.feracheval.ch) which has a sun terrace and can get very busy and Pub Mont-Fort (tel: +41 27 771 9062; www.pubmontfort.com) famous for its shots selection and happy hour from 1600 to 1700 each evening.

After dinner, rub shoulders with celebrities and Verbier's beautiful people into the early hours at The Farm Club (tel: +41 27 775 4000; www.hotelnevai.com), an Alpine institution that has thrilled clubbers for more than 40 years.

Eating out

Restaurants in Verbier offer everything from light mountain snacks to gourmet cuisine. There are more than 60 restaurants to choose from and many of the best eateries here feature the hearty cuisine and fine wines of the Valais region.

On the slopes, dine at Cabane du Mont-Fort (tel: +41 27 778 1384; www.cabanemontfort.ch) for nourishing soups and sandwiches; head to much-loved La Marmotte (tel: +41 27 771 6834) for fantastic rösti; or savour regional dishes at the celebrated Chez Dany (tel: +41 27 771 2524).

In the village itself, Au Vieux-Verbier (tel: +41 27 771 1668) serves traditional Swiss mountain fare, while Le Caveau (tel: +41 27 771 2226), specialises in fondue and raclette.

For a lighter meal the Offshore Café (tel: +41 27 565 2137; www.offshorecafe.com) is one of the world’s longest established snowboarding venues, welcoming customers for 30 years. It’s open from 0800 to 2000 daily and is famous for its breakfasts.

Resort Information

Beyond the slopes

Winter sports enthusiasts can explore extensive marked winter hiking trails or opt to have a go at ice climbing, dog-sledding, curling, ice skating and tobogganing in Verbier and its surrounds.

Non-skiers can visit the resort's Alpine Museum (rue de la Bérarde) at le Hameau, and spend time in the village with its galleries, cinema, shops, tea rooms, swimming pool complex and spa facilities. For a more structured itinerary, there’s the option to join in the tourist office's themed walks and visits to local sights.

For those craving something a little more adrenaline-inducing, there’s an opportunity to see the slopes from above on a paragliding trip, or to explore the mountains on a guided climbing tour.

Family fun

Verbier offers good facilities for families, with considerable reductions on lift pass prices (children under six are free). Most ski schools offer tuition for children. The Swiss Ski School's kids’ club (tel: +41 27 775 3363; www.esecure.ch/verbier) has its own drag lift and takes children from three years and upwards.

Other family facilities include nursery slopes, a 10km-long (6 mile) toboggan run from the top of Savoleyres to La Tzoumaz, a children’s playground, adventure trails and climbing walls.

Childcare options include Les Schtroumpfs (tel: +41 27 771 6585) for little ones aged from three months to three years, and Arc-en-Ciel (tel: +41 27 771 4469) nurseries from 18 months upwards.

Retail therapy

Verbier has an extensive selection of more than 70 shops, including small fashion boutiques, specialised wine shops, art galleries and independent shops selling local products – the most exclusive establishments are mostly in Place Centrale and Rue de Médran. There is also the usual ski resort offering of grocers, convenience stores and ski rental shops in Verbier.

Splashing out

For the ultimate in money-no-object Alpine chic, stay at The Lodge (tel: +41 27 775 2244; www.thelodge.virgin.com); an exclusive hideaway located in the wooded fringes of the resort. Rustic, but luxurious, this chalet-hotel sleeps 18 (plus six children in the Kid's Bunk room), and boasts its own mini ice rink, indoor and outdoor pools, tailor-made cuisine and a stylish spa to soothe aching muscles after a day on the slopes.

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Hotels

Verbier is very much a chalet town, with something for everyone. There are more luxury chalets here than you’ll find anywhere else (including several 5-star options). Given the size of Verbier, there are surprisingly few apartments and guesthouses; although nearby Le Châble has inexpensive bed and breakfast options for those on a budget. There are also a number of hotels in the resort, including a selection of 4-star, as well as a few simpler accommodation choices.


W

+41 27 472 8888.

Too trendy for a full name, W is a luxury hotel that opened near the slopes at the start of the 2013-14 season to rave reviews. Well located for both slopes and town, the hotel benefits from excellent facilities, including an indoor/outdoor pool, a spa and gym.

Book this hotel

Rue de Médran 70

Hotel Ermitage is a traditional outfit with modest but clean rooms, a small spa and a good on-site restaurant. Wi-Fi access is available to guests.

Carrefour Central 18, CH 1936CountrySw, Verbier, Switzerland

Hotel Vanessa

+41 27 775 2800.

A stylish four start hotel in the resort centre with a shuttle to the slopes, Hotel Vanessa has pleasant rooms, a spa area with large Jacuzzi and good food at the on-site restaurant.

Chemin des Vernes 1, CH 1936, Verbier, Switzerland

Getting there and around

Getting there

Nearest airport: Geneva International Airport (GVA).

Distance to resort: 161km (101 miles).

Driving time: 2 hours.

Nearest railway station: Le Châble.

Distance to resort: 8.5km (5 miles).

Driving time: 15 minutes.

Getting around

Verbier is small enough to explore on foot, but free buses also run throughout the resort every five to 15 minutes during the day. There are no bus connections with the other resorts in Les 4 Vallées, for which taxis should be ordered.

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