Ian Harris discovers the delights of a little known ski resort in the heart of the French Alps.
Where? Never heard of it, well that was my reaction as well when I was asked to review a ski resort in the French Alps called Les Karellis.
This little known gem seems to have slipped under the radar for quite a while and is predominantly a ski resort for French and Belgian tourists.
Set up as a family friendly resort, it has a lot to offer those wanting a ski break with the family without breaking the bank.
You no longer need to look at Andorra or Bulgaria for an affordable ski holiday. There is one available right here in the French Alps with all the expertise and finesse that the French and the Alps has to offer.
Les Karellis is situated in the Maurienne region on the Italian side of the French Alps.
It shares the ski runs of La Plagne with a few extra of its own to add to the mix, with a total of 538 hectares of skiing territory available, offering 60 kilometres of skiable runs and a good mix from five beginners’ green runs, nine blue, ten red and four more adventurous black runs.
Developed in the 1970s, this resort was built as a municipal development and none of the hotels, restaurants and bars are privately owned.
It provides excellent accommodation based on being a family resort for those wanting a safe secure environment. This entirely pedestrian ski resort provides everything a parent could ask for, with four children’s clubs from ages three to 17.
There’s a selection of seven hotels offering more than 2,600 beds. Six of the seven offer ski-in, ski-out and the seventh can be skiied back to providing there is enough snow.
We stayed at the Village Club Odesia Residencia, a purpose built accommodation/hotel block in the centre of the resort, just 100 metres from the nearest chair lift.
The hotel offers a variety of rooms suitable for everyone from couples up to families of five with one or two adjoining rooms. All rooms are en-suite. Other hotels in the complex offer apartments sleeping up to seven people.
There are some excellent package offers with everything included. We went on the full board package and were not disappointed.
The staff were exceptionally welcoming and friendly and made our stay an absolute pleasure. Several of the staff speak English, but really appreciate visitors at least trying to converse in French – even if you stumble along like me!
The all inclusive packages include seven nights accommodation, nurseries and children’s clubs, ski pass, equipment rental and six two-and-a-half-hour lessons.
The all inclusive price in the high season is just 595 euros per adult, and 460 euros per child (four to 11 years).
You can build as much or as little into your package as you like. If you want accommodation only, for example, and sort out your own lift passes or tuition, that’s no problem.
There are several decent bars and restaurants where you can eat at the end of your day’s skiing, all at reasonable prices.