Best Ski Resorts and Parties to Celebrate New Year’s Eve
What better way to herald the arrival of a new year than on top of the world in the French Alps. There is something undeniably refreshing about witnessing the dawn of a new year in the mountains; the energy is high, the atmosphere electric, and the magnificent natural surroundings awe-inspiring. Whether you’re a parent responsible for little ones with a sensible bedtime, someone who will be dancing till the wee hours of the morning, or the early morning Yeti who will climb the mountain to watch the sunrise and carve the first tracks of the year – the Alps offer something to cater for all.
But like most good things, a good evening usually requires a little preparation. So, to help you plan an unforgettable celebration for New Year’s Eve 2017, we’ve completed a round-up of the top events and best parties to welcome in 2018 in our favourite ski resorts in the French Alps.
Val d’Isère, Espace Killy
Val d’Isère is one NYE destination that will not disappoint. It has rightly earned its legendary reputation with a party scene that rocks the mountain from apres-ski through to the service of a New Year’s Day recovery breakfast. Spend the morning exploring Val d’Isère’s high altitude domain, perfectly groomed pistes and world-class backcountry. When tummies begin to rumble, venture to La Cave for lunch at the iconic La Folie Douce, located at the top of La Daille. The “Cave” houses over 200 different vintages of wine under its elegant vaulted cellars, sharing the space with some of finest regional cheeses. And what better way to celebrate anything in France but with wine and cheese? Described as a “visual treat for any foodie”, at the heart of the space is a large tasting table that can seat up to 40 guests. A small and intimate venue, booking is a must. Reservations: +33 (0)4 79 06 07 17.
Following lunch, head upstairs to where the real party is getting underway and taking the opportunity to burn off some of that delicious cheese just consumed. Join the Folie’s Last Party of the Season where people will be dancing in their ski boots under the open sky to an eclectic mix of live music and DJ tunes, in an original cabaret performance that blends high fashion with circus. The Folie Douce team will first take to the stage for a fantastical family-friendly show between 1.30-2.30pm. They will capture little and big imaginations alike with a spectacle of razzle-dazzle routines. From 2.30pm, the crowd will grow, the mood elevates and the decibels ascend. At this point, the performance can take a little bit of a risque turn potentially not so suitable for little ears, when the queen of the mountain, Kely Starlight, works the crowd in towering platforms.
In resort, the heart of the village will magically transform into a dreamlike world of fantasy with the Val d’Isère Airstar Night Light show. This event runs from NYE and continues as a regular event every Thursday between Jan 11th- March 8th 2018. Airstar Night is a fun-filled family event with live music, sound and light shows, ice sculpting, fire shows and complimentary hot chocolate and mulled wine. The main street will close to traffic between the two central roundabouts from 6 pm to 7.30 pm – Olympique avenue and Tourist Office square.
If you’re looking for a happening party with a stylish crowd then head to Dick’s Tea bar for their roaring 20s Cabaret party. Tickets can be bought online for €40 or will be sold at the door for €60. This is one of Val’s most popular late night bars, so to avoid disappointment it would be wise to get your tickets upfront (no-one likes queuing in the cold or worse, missing out altogether!).
If you’re not one for dressing up in your finest attire to party big, join the revellers who will head to the town centre for the big countdown. This is not an official event as such but rather a long-held tradition. As the clock strikes midnight, the sky will alight with fireworks, and be sure to duck as many champagne corks fly.
Méribel, Les Trois Vallèes
At the heart of Les Trois Vallèes, Méribel is always buzzing with life and New Year’s Eve is no exception. Young families and early-to-beds can celebrate ‘le Saint Sylvestre’ at the reasonable time of 6 pm. The three villages in the Valley – The Chaundanne, Méribel-Mottaret and Méribel Village – will simultaneously host free parties that will begin with a customary torchlight descent by local ski instructors. Celebrations will continue with live music, complimentary hot drinks and a firework display. By 7.30 pm, all your partying can be done and dusted ensuring a good night’s rest and a refreshing start to 2018.
For those looking for something extending beyond 90 mins of fun, almost all local restaurants are offering a NYE special fixed price menu. It is essential to book and wise to arrive seriously hungry – as gastronomy is serious business in France.
O’Sullivans are puttin’ on the Ritz for NYE serving top cocktails and a succulent 3-course meal for €55 per head.
At the top end of the market, Le Grand Coeur et Spa is offering an 8-course tasting menu at €275 per head. The evening’s entertainment will also include a luxury tombola and live band.
Courchevel, Les Trois Vallèes
Home to the International Festival of Pyrotechnic Art, Courchevel is well-known for its world-class firework displays. As with most French Ski resorts, family fun kicks off in the heart of the village with a torchlight descent of the Folyeres piste at 6pm. However, the event most party-goers are likely to head to is the free open-air dance party hosted on the Front de Neige in Courchevel 1850. Live music from the Inglorious Fonkers will carry the party from 10.30pm. As the clock strikes twelve, the sky will ignite with a mega firework display and a few lucky ones might steal a midnight kiss under the shower of colour. Top DJs will keep the party alive until the early hours of 2018 before winding down at 2.30am. For those who want to continue dancing till dawn, head to the Funky Fox bar open until 04:00 am.
Morzine, Portes du Soleil
Located in the Portes du Soleil, Morzine is an alpine destination ever-increasing in popularity. This year, the charming ski-resort is pulling out all the stops…. And better still it is all for FREE! From 3.30pm the area around the Tourist Office will come alive with family activities including face painting and live music. There will be a spectacular light display decorating the town square and special illuminated dancing figures and tubes will parade the streets. Morzine will transform into an idyllic and atmospheric playground that will be enjoyed by anyone of any age. At 6.30pm a classic ESF Torchlit Descent will flood the Pleney before the first firework display of the evening colours the sky. As early-to-bedders retire for the evening, festivities in the square will continue long into the night as DJs keep the crowd dancing until the countdown begins and the fireworks erupt at midnight.
If dining out Clin d’Oeil is serving a south-western French menu, expect mouth-watering dishes such as lobster tartare, Foie Gras and pan seared scallops. Centrally located, Clin d’Oeil is putting on two sittings for dinner, one at 6:30 pm and another at 9:15 pm. Booking is essential.
Les Gets, Portes du Soleil
Les Gets rolls out the red carpet for families and children, which is perhaps why it is recognised as a “Famille Plus Montagne” ski resort. As with most French Ski Resorts, if you head to the centre of town you will find plenty of interactive family entertainment on New Year’s Eve. When the sun sinks behind the mountain the whole family can enjoy an explosive firework display. Les Gets is by no means a party town but is perfect for those who want to welcome 2018 in their own style in the glorious natural surroundings of the French Alps.
For those looking for a venue to go to, La Chanterelle, located just behind the Mont Chery would be our top recommendation. You might have sampled or heard of La Chanterelle on the account of their amazing Sunday lunches. This New Year’s Eve, the restaurant is offering a fabulous dining experience that will include drinks, dancing and a lively ambience! DJ Candyman will be on the decks and spiced rum and bubbles will flow freely. To ensure a safe and stress-free return journey to the venue, La Chanterelle will even make arrangements for you to be chauffeured to and from the venue. The menu will include some tasty options such as BBQ spiced oysters, Cote du Boeuf and a good selection of vegetarian meals. Midnight will, of course, be marked by fireworks. Starting at 7 pm the evening will cost upwards of €75 per head. Bookings can be made by calling +33 4 50 04 08 19.