There are various venues for après-ski in Villars, with options to suit most tastes.
Le Blues Bar (tel: +41 244 952 126) hosts live blues bands and serves fondue and other traditional dishes. Charlie's Bar (tel: +41 244 957 595) is a good place for televised sports events and live music – it also offers free entry to the adjoining El Gringo nightclub (tel: +41 244 957 920; www.elgringo.ch). Also recommended is L'Arrivée, a typical wooden chalet at the bottom of the Eurotel village slope.
Harambee (tel: +41 498 1833; www.harambee.ch) has a lovely relaxed atmosphere and an eclectic selection of live music acts complemented by a diverse drinks menu; open until 0100, though closed Mondays and Tuesdays in low season.
Villars has always catered well for foodie guests, with cuisine options ranging from French to Tex Mex. There are a number of good pizzerias, but the local Swiss food, based around regional cheeses, is strongly recommended.
Au Feu de Bois (tel: +41 244 963 838; www.hoteldugolf.ch) in the Hôtel du Golf dishes up grilled meat straight from the fire in a stone-walled rustic restaurant, while Toscana (tel: +41 244 957 921; www.elgringo.ch) has a strong reputation for excellent gourmet dining, especially its seafood, which it serves in an intimate setting.
Other popular choices include Peppino (tel: +41 244 953 131; www.eurotel-victoria.ch/villars) for pizza and Swiss cuisine infused with local Alpine flowers and plants, and the romantic L'Alchimiste (tel: +412 44 95 2 478), which serves tapas with a French twist, excellent steak tartar and delicious homemade burgers.
Beyond the slopes
For a slower-paced approach to the slopes, the tourist office provides maps for seven snowshoe routes. Alternatively, stroll along the 27km (16 miles) of winter walking trails.
In Villars itself, there's the Centre des Sports (tel: +41 244 951 221), which offers indoor tennis courts, volleyball, badminton, football, unihockey (floorball), squash and a fitness room on its main site. The sports centre's smaller site has an ice rink and two indoor swimming pools.
A 30-minute train ride down the mountain is the picturesque Château d'Aigle, now converted into the Musée Vaudois de la Vigne et du Vin (Vine and Wine Museum) (tel: +41 244 66130; www.museeduvin.ch), which has a fascinating array of objects charting the history of viticulture in the area.
A recommended day trip is a visit to Gruyère, with its strangely familiar castle (used in the film Chitty Chitty Bang Bang) and chocolate and cheese factories.
Villars markets itself as a family-oriented resort, and children do not need to pay for lift passes until the age of nine.
The variety of ski and snowboard schools in Villars is a strong selling point for families, while La Trottinette nursery (tel: +41 244 958 888; www.latrottinette.ch) provides care for children up to six-years-old.
In neighbouring Les Diablerets, Mountain Evasion (tel: +41 244 921 232; www.mountain-evasion.ch) offers a selection of fun activities, including sledging and the hair-raising night-time toboggan run. Switzerland's premium water park, Aquaparc (tel: +41 244 820 000; www.aquaparc.ch) in Le Bouveret – which is marketed as 'the Caribbean on Lake Geneva' and features indoor pools – is 30 minutes away by train.
The village has more than 50 shops, selling groceries, souvenirs, regional foods and wine. There are also several boutiques with fashion items, watches and antiques. Of particular note for children is the delightful toy shop, Les Paradis des Jouets (tel: +41 244 952 801), while for parents, the Magasin Relay (tel: +41 244 952 621) is the place to buy international newspapers.
Book in for a candle wax massage as well as a black soap peeling at the spa in the Chalet Royalp Hotel (tel: +41 244 959 090; www.royalp.ch), which is open to non-residents. Flames soothe the mind, the hotel says, and the mixture of smell and heat is intended to relax and harmonize, as well as regenerate dry skin.
A blend of traditional Swiss mountain village and modern ski resort, the village has a mixture of picturesque chalets and smart hotels. There are several 3- and 4-star hotels in Villars, but renting a chalet, many of which are conveniently located near the slopes, is a good alternative (contact the tourist office or a bookings agency for current availability).
The Eurotel Victoria is a large 4-star hotel with spa facilities, a popular Italian restaurant and piano bar with live jazz. For skiers its location directly on the ski bus route, one stop from the lifts, is an added bonus.Address: , Route des Layeux, Villars, CH 1884
Telephone: +41 244 953 131
Chalet Royalp Hotel & Spa
This 5-star hotel is the most impressive in the area, with ski-in/ski-out facilities and its own funicular railway stop to reach the main slopes (plus a run all the way back to the hotel). For non-skiers Chalet Royalp Hotel & Spa houses three restaurants, a luxury spa and private cinema.Address: , Domaine de Rochegrise, Villars, CH 1884
Telephone: +41 244 959 090
Hôtel du Golf
The family-run Hôtel du Golf is located 100m (328ft) from the funicular railway line to the slopes, and also operates its own ski shuttle. Facilities here include three restaurants, a sauna, solarium, a children's games room and tennis courts.Address: , Rue Centrale 152, Villars, CH 1884
Telephone: +41 244 963 838
Alpe Fleurie Hotel & Residence
A recently renovated 3-star hotel, Alpe Fleurie Hotel & Residence is well located opposite the station in the heart of Villars, granting direct access to the slopes by funicular.Address: , Rue Centrale | Case postale 147, Villars, CH 1884
Telephone: +41 244 959 090
An affordable, family-run, bed and breakfast close to the resort centre, Les Choucas offers several large wooden chalets that can accommodate up to five people.Address: , Rue du Lac 26, Villars, CH 1884
Telephone: +41 244 952 551
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