Catered Ski Chalets in Verbier
Located close to Geneva and boasting over 400kms of piste to explore, some of the best nightlife in the Alps, amazing lift served off piste and a wonderful range of stunningly beautiful chalets, Verbier has a great deal to offer!
The town itself is a little spread out but most of the action revolves around the main square, the Place Centrale, and the road to the Medran gondola. Contrary to popular knowledge Verbier has three main lift stations, not just Medran, with Savoleyres offering access to superb intermediate skiing and the relatively new La Combe chairlift taking skiers higher up towards the Ruinettes area.
The skiing is mainly catered towards developing intermediates and advanced skiers, with few blue runs and fairly uninspiring nursery slopes. High quality and easily accessible off-piste gives relative beginners the chance to enjoy good powder skiing, and those who want to ski trickier pistes find plenty of options in Verbier and the surrounding slopes of the mighty 4 Valleys ski area.
Apres ski is one of the main reasons to come to Verbier and there is a good number of superb bars. Le Rouge and Fer a Cheval tend to attract a slightly older clientele whereas the youngsters congregate in the legendary Farinet après bar and the Pub Mont Fort. Later on in the evening, the Farinet Lounge Bar and Coup d’etat often bring in the celebrities before they head to the Farm Club.
Getting to Verbier is quite easy from Geneva – around 1hour 45 minutes in a car or 2 hours in a coach/minibus. You can also use the excellent Swiss rail network to access Le Chable, and take the gondola lift from there right into the heart of the town.
The centre of the Verbier après ski scene is on the Rue de Medran which comes down from the bottom of the home run down to the Place Centrale which forms the heart of the town. That said, there are a few other options dotted around the town and the mountain which can be great fun!
Fer a Cheval – Located just a few metres away from the Medran lift station, the Fer a Chevel is very popular with the locals and can get quite noisy from about 5pm! The age range here is quite mixed but it’s generally an older crowd with quite a few ski instructors drinking here at the end of a hard day. There après bar closes down at around 7pm as people arrive for some good value food – the pizzas here are especially good.
Offshore – This is one of the older après venues in Verbier and is well known for its famous VW Beetle parked inside! The Offshore does excellent milkshakes and some of the best coffee in town so if you’re after something a little less alcoholic then this is a great option.
Big Ben – Despite the very ‘English’ name, the Big Ben is far more popular with French and Swiss teenagers than any other demographic! There are two pool tables as well as some nice booths so it’s a good place for a group of friends to relax in. Beers are cheaper here than in almost any pub or bar in Verbier so if you’re on a budget you need look no further.
Mont Fort – Affectionately known as ‘The Pub’ this is an unapologetically British institution with a dart board, excellent curries and lots of draught lager on offer. Happy hour runs from 4-5 and offers half price pints and wine and the terrace outside can be superb when the sun comes out. A relatively younger crowd tends to hang out here and it’s dominated by holiday makers and those on enjoying a gap-year.
T-Bar – Right on the Place Centrale, but slightly tucked away up a small flight of stairs, there is often live music on offer with ‘Yellow Mike’ regularly performing. A good food menu means you can stay here beyond 6pm, but be wary of their free-poured long drinks – they can be lethal!
Farinet Après Bar – This is one of the most famous après ski venues in the world and has had a much needed makeover for the 2012/2013 season. The floor space has been greatly improved meaning that it’s no longer quite as cramped to stand up in but the atmosphere is still the same with live music every day from 4.30pm and dancing on tables by 6pm!
Le Rouge – Now in its 4th season, Le Rouge is at the bottom of the Le Rouge piste in the Brunet area of Verbier about half way up from the Place Centrale to the Savoleyres lift station. There is a live DJ every afternoon from 3pm and if you’re looking to spot some celebrities this is the place to come! The crowd here are generally a bit older than you find in the Farinet but are looking for a good time none the less!. The terrace is the place to be when the sun is out so pack your sunglasses!
Restaurants in Verbier are always busy but the quality can sometimes leave a little to be desired as some have been resting on their Laurels for a little too long! Have a look at some of our favourites below:
Brasserie le V – Located in the recently refurbished Hotel Vanessa by the Place Centrale this very popular restaurant has a claim to be the best restaurant in Verbier. Although it doesn’t have Michelin star like the restaurant at the Chalet Adrien, it does have excellent standards, a well-rounded menu and first rate service. Prices are not cheap, but they aren’t extortionate either so it’s worth checking out.
Al Capone – Situated just up the hill from Le Rouge is one of the most popular restaurants in Verbier, offering excellent food at good prices. The restaurant looks like a pizzeria or a more family style restaurant when you first walk in, and whilst both these types of cuisine are done very well at Al Capone you should try out some of their specials which are almost fine-dining in quality.
Le Rouge – This bar and restaurant might have made its name as a pumping après ski venue but there is actually a superb restaurant at
Le Rouge which serves some spectacular meat and seafood dishes. The prices are very high but so is the quality with fish arriving straight from the coast and superb USDA beef flown in from the United States! You can enjoy a burger and chips for around £20pp at lunchtime, which is actually pretty good value for Verbier, so if you’re looking for somewhere a little bit trendy to eat out make sure you check out Le Rouge.
Millennium – This restaurant is situated in the Millennium hotel on the Rue de Medran and has a wide ranging menu of modern dishes with a slightly oriental twist. The food here is beautifully presented with the desserts earning a special mention but the food is generally very rich so steer clear if that’s not your thing.
Fer A Cheval – This small restaurant is one of the best value establishments in Verbier. Just a few metres down the hill from the Medran lift station, it’s a perfect spot for anyone staying in the Venus or Cupidon buildings by the bottom of the home run, looking for simple yet well-done meals.
Vieux au Verbier – Right by the Medran lift, this is where all of the La Fantastique ski instructors hang out in the morning to have a coffee and share some gossip. The food here is very Swiss so you can expect a lot of meat and a lot of cheese! The terrace outside is excellent for lunch and is much better value than any of the restaurants on the mountain.
Chez Dany – Arguably the best mountain restaurant in Verbier, this small family-run restaurant has absolutely incredible views over the Combins with no buildings in sight! The food is a real treat and they are open for dinner every evening – the owners pick you up in a special snow tractor and after your meal you can sledge back into town. There really isn’t a better experience if you’re only going to eat out once!
Offshore – If you’re looking for somewhere a little more casual, suitable for large groups or families, don’t go past Offshore. This friendly and relaxed surf shack-themed restaurant offers a large menu at reasonable prices. Dishes range from nachos and fajitas, to burgers, salads, chicken wings and ribs to name but a few! If you have any vegetarians in your group, there are plenty of meat-free options (which can be hard to come by in the Alps!) to choose from. Offshore is open from 8am-8pm so great for lunch but if you’re looking for a dinner location, make sure you head there a little early.
Verbier is well known for its superb skiing and off-piste potential, but many people come to Verbier and only spend a few days on the piste so there is actually quite a lot to offer those who want a more varied holiday!
Snowshoeing – All of the best mountain restaurants in Verbier are actually quite close to the bottom of the slopes and are easily accessible from the village if you’re prepared to strap on some snowshoes and walk! Towards the end of the season this is one of the most popular activities in Verbier and is a great way of getting a great sun tan and burning off a few of the calories you’re bound to eat at lunch. The best restaurants for this are Chez Day, Marmotte, Namaste and Carrefour which is particularly close to town.
Paragliding – Verbier has excellent weather for paragliding as well as some unbelievable alpine views, so if you’ve got a head for heights then this is one of the best ways to spend an afternoon! Prices start from around £100 but the spots do get booked up in advance so if you’re interested try and get something in the diary before you go and be prepared to adjust to the weather. http://www.verbier-summits.com/tandem-paragliding-flights/
Ice Karting – Forget go-karting, ice-karting is the ultimate motor sport in the Alps. Adults and children over the age of 7 can enjoy the experience of a lifetime on the indoor and outdoor tracks – a perfect opportunity to settle family tensions! - http://www.kartingextremeverbier.com/
Tobogganing – the 10km toboggan run from the top of Savoleyres down to La Tzoumaz is one of the longest in the Alps and is designed as much for adults as it is for children. You can hire toboggans from the hire shop at the bottom of Savoleyres for around £13 for an afternoon and then set off for a race with your friends!
Leisure Centre – Verbier has a recently renovated sports centre at the boot of the village with an ice rink, 25m swimming pool and an excellent gym, so if you feel like a bit of a break from outdoor exercises you can head here when the weather closes in. Discounted rates with a lift pass.
Shopping – Verbier has some incredible shops, stocking all of the latest winter fashions so if you’re after a new jacket then head to one of the boutiques on the Rue de Medran and see if you can sniff out a bargain! Mountain Air has the best selection of designer wear in the town but do look at the price tags before you get to the checkout! If you spend over CHF500 in one transaction then you can claim the taxes back at the airport so hold onto your receipt if you’re buying new skis or a particularly swish new outfit.
Verbier isn’t a particularly family-friendly resort with its steep slopes but if your children are confident on their skis then it can be a fantastic place to come!
There are Two major providers of childcare in Verbier:
Petit Verbier – British-run with a number of excellent nannies offering daily or weekly childcare depending on your preference. They are the most popular childcare company in Verbier so do make sure you book well in advance, especially for peak weeks of half term, Christmas and New Years. http://www.petitverbier.com/
Les Schtroumpfs – This is the local crèche in Verbier which is actually very popular with British holiday makers. Prices are quite a bit cheaper than using a private nanny from Petit Verbier and you can book by the day or half-day, with or without lunch. - http://www.lesschtroumpfs.ch/p1.php
Another option is to arrange childcare through your chalet operator. A number of the more upmarket operators in Verbier can arrange for childcare in your chalet and will arrange everything for you to ensure a seamless transition at handover time! Give one of the sales team a call and they will be able to run you through the various options.
The various ski schools in Verbier all take children but the Altitude Ski School has their own Polar Bears Kids Camp that offers very young children (3+) a perfect introduction to the slopes. Have a look at their website here: - http://www.altitude-verbier.com/lessons/childrens-lessons/
If you fancy doing something a little bit different with your children for a day or an afternoon, there are a number of great activities on offer to make your holiday a bit special.
Ice Skating – this is really popular in Verbier and they have a huge ice rink at the sports centre on the Rue de la Piscine at the bottom end of town. Booking isn’t required and the prices are very reasonable. There are often ice-hockey matches in the evening which are great fun.
Tobogganing – Verbier is home to one of the longest toboggan runs in Europe, the Piste de Luge from the top of the Savoleyres lift all the way down to La Tzoumaz. At 10km long you will need to have your wits about you, but it’s a fantastic way to spend an afternoon and won’t be forgotten in a hurry. Toboggans can be hired in town and it’s free to go down the track.
Ice Karting – this is only for older children (7+) but if you want to re-create your favourite episode of Top Gear then this is the place to do it in relative safety! Both indoor and outdoor options are available but it’s the outdoor track that you really want to try – especially when the sun is shining! http://www.kartingextremeverbier.com/about-verbier-karting/kids-activities-verbier/
Swimming – the recently refurbished sports centre is at the bottom of the town, about a 10 minute walk from the Place Centrale. Although there are no facilities especially for kids (such as slides) there is an 8-person Jacuzzi and a 25m pool with 5 lanes. - http://centre-sportif-verbier.ch/