Alpe d'Huez Information
The size of Alpe d'Huez and its international appeal has helped it become one of the livelier destinations for après skiers. The party town reputation moved up a notch a few seasons ago when the famous French Folie Douce chain (www.lafoliedouce.com) opened its doors, bringing its mix of Austrian style dancing-on-the-table-in-your-ski-boots with the hedonism of an Ibiza club.
There are also plenty of bars and clubs for après-ski fun within Alpe d'Huez centre. The Underground Bar in Hotel Le Chamois (tel: +33 476 803 119) has a British theme, while Smithy's Tavern (tel: +33 476 113 229; www.smithystavern.com) is a good place to nibble on Tex-Mex food while listening to live bands.
Alpe d'Huez now has more than 60 restaurants that include many family-run, traditional French eateries serving quality fare at reasonable prices.
La Cremaillere (tel: +33 476 806 038) is regarded by many as the best in town, with a great ambience, excellent service and fabulous food. The cosy La Petite Taverne (tel: +33 476 803 225) is another good choice, particularly for alpine favourites fondue and raclette. La Taniere (tel: +33 476 113 089) is another firm favourite for cheese-based cuisine.
For a different flavour, the resort also offers several sushi bars, a pizzeria, a Tex-Mex eatery and an American-style burger joint.
Beyond the slopes
There's plenty to do in Alpe d'Huez for those who may find themselves growing sick at the sight of skis.
Alpe d'Huez boasts a skating rink (tel: +33 476 112 116), as well as an exceptional sports centre (tel: +33 476 112 141) with indoor and outdoor pools, tennis and squash courts, a climbing wall and more.
Outdoor activities in and around the village include an ice driving school, sleigh rides, toboggan runs, snowshoe excursions and ski joring (being towed on skis behind a pony).
Something more unique to the resort is its ice caves, which can be accessed via the Grandes Rousses lift for a small fee. These mystical caves are home to new gleaming ice sculptures every year, and provide a fascinating excursion for all ages.
More daring pursuits include paragliding with an instructor or speed riding, which involves skiing with an attached 'wing'. Both activities are available from Alpe Vol Libre (tel: +33 6 2266 2771; www.alpevolibre.com).
A family lift pass is a great money saver and enables families to ski together, whatever their ability. For beginners, the Easy Ski school (tel: +33 476 804 277; www.mgm-international.com) provides excellent guidance for English-speaking youngsters. The alternative, The École de Ski Français (ESF) (tel: +33 476 803 169; www.esf-alpedhuez.com) is also good, but can get crowded during the height of the season.
Crèche facilities are available from Les Intrépides (tel: +33 476 112 161), which takes children from three months to four years of age.
Off the slopes, free use of the excellent pool and skating rink for children enables endless hours of fun, while the little ones will be amazed by the resort's twinkling ice caves.
There's a wide range of shops in Alpe d'Huez, and a far bigger choice than at many French resorts, including a selection of ski equipment outlets, which become more attractive as the season wears on and the discounts get bigger. Apart from that, there are a couple of supermarkets, fashion shops and a number of delicatessens selling all manner of sausages, local cheeses, honey, wine, liqueurs and chocolates.
Take to the air from the local aerodrome, Altiport Henri Giraud, where the Aeroclub du Dauphine flying school (tel: +33 476 113 581; www.aeroclubdudauphine.fr) give lessons – or visitors can simply opt for an excursion (maximum three adults or two adults, two children). From the same spot, there are also organised helicopter flights, where passengers can enjoy a leisurely ride taking in the view or be dropped off at the slopes of Les Deux Alpes.
The sprawling village of Alpe d'Huez is a mix of buildings in all shapes and designs, with most of the new developments in a pleasant chalet style. There are more hotels in Alpe d'Huez than usual for a high-altitude French resort, while there is also an enormous choice of apartments. The Les Bergers area offers a good selection of chalets, and there are also some new chalets at the Altiport above the resort.
Le Pic Blanc
This big and modern purpose-built slopeside hotel in Les Bergers has a large spa, fitness area and swimming pool. The on-site restaurant offers panoramic views of the surrounding slopes.Address: Les Bergers, Rue du Rif Briant, Huez, 38750
Telephone: +33 476 114 242
Le Chamois d'Or
This is the standout luxury hotel in a resort where the hotels are mostly moderate. The 4-star Le Chamois d'Or is located right by the slopes and offers a pool, a Nuxe spa and great views.Address: , Rond Point des Pistes, Alpe d'Huez, 38750
Telephone: +33 476 803 132
Le Printemps de Juliette
Housed within traditional, but beautifully renovated, stone-built farm buildings, Le Printemps de Juliette is located in old Huez village. The hotel benefits from an on-site restaurant, has four spacious rooms, and also has a large garden area within its grounds.Address: , Avenue de l'Eglise Quartier de la Fruitière, Huez, 38750
Telephone: +33 476 111 313
Le Petit Prince
Located only 50m (165ft) from the slopes, Le Petit Prince has ski-in/ski-out facilities as well as a kids club, ski school and nanny services. All rooms have views facing the mountains.Address: , Route de la Poste, , 38750
Telephone: +33 476 803 351
A very popular chalet-style hotel, Les Cimes houses an on-site bar, restaurant, sauna and kids club.Address: , Route de la Poste,, Alpe d'Huez, 38750
Telephone: +33 476 110 000
Hotel Le Chamois
This pleasant, south-facing hotel in Vieil Alpe houses a restaurant and British-themed cellar bar. It also benefits from its convenient location, being just a short walk from the lifts.Address: , Chemin de la Chapelle, Alpe d'Huez, 38750
Telephone: +33 476 803 119