La Plagne’s accommodation is spread over 11 villages and purpose built resorts, keep reading to see what makes each resort in La Plagne unique…
Plagne Centre – a lot of concrete
Plagne Centre was built 50 years ago and as such, displays a 1960’s affection for concrete – just think of some classic Brutalist buildings (Trellick tower anyone?) and you get a bit of the picture. Obviously having mountains as a backdrop does a good job of mellowing the scene though. So why would you stay here if there are a handful of other villages all offering a more ‘charming’ stay? Convenience and price. You will get more for your buck here. And anyway, they will all probably be Grade II listed buildings in the next few years, the price will go up and you won’t be able to get room for all the celebrities and health food cafés!
Plagne 1800 – nice catered chalets
If you’re looking for the perfect base for a family ski holiday then consider Plagne 1800. It is an old mining village, where, if snow isn’t adorning the roofs, you should be able to see some blue lauze slate from the local quarries. Catered ski chalets are the accommodation of choice here and British operators run a large proportion of them, giving you a wealth of options. If you are able to hold out for a last minute booking during the off-season, you might get a spectacular bargain too. If you do fancy self catering apartments, there are the Maeva Plagne Lauze buildings, as well as the new and beautifully presented Chalets Edelweiss by La Grange.
Bellecôte – apartments
Bellecôte is all about apartments; you won’t find other types of accommodation in this section of the resort. Many of them are fairly basic, but generally prices are cheaper here, making it a worthy contender if budget self-catering is the way you want to go. You can ski to the foot of the buildings, but will need to make a very short walk to the lifts. Bellecôte is linked to Belle Plagne via the Roche de Mio gondola which is free for foot passengers and operates until after midnight. Bellecôte also boasts its own cinema, outdoor ice-rink and outdoor pool.
Belle Plagne – ski-in, ski-out
Better looking than the likes of Plagne Centre and Bellecôte, Belle Plagne offers a large variety of apartments and hotels, almost all of which provide excellent ski-in, ski-out access. There aren’t really any individual chalets, but there are some lovely chalet style apartment buildings (such as the Montagnettes) which offer a similar feel once you’re inside. Some operators run these as catered chalets (Eg Skiworld, Smitten by Snow). There are two large underground car parks which give access to the accommodations and have pistes on top so you can ski through the village. The central commercial and restaurant area is tastefully cobbled and easy to get to, although the shortcuts through the walkways and car parks can be a bit maze-like.
Aime 2000 (also known as Aime-la-Plagne)
Aime 2000 is a funny looking village with some interesting architectural design. There is a large apartment block which incorporates the “gallerie commerciale” where most of the shops, restaurants and other facilities are found. In addition to this there are two Club Med operations and the popular Hauts Bois apartment complex run by Pierre et Vacances. Convenient ski access and a link by cable car to Plagne Centre make the village seem less out-on-a-limb.
Plagne Soleil and Plagne Villages
Plagne Soleil and Plagne Villages consist of a mixture of apartments and chalets of different standards. Firm favourites with families, they each have a small central section where most facilities are concentrated. There is a free shuttle bus between the two, and from Plagne Villages you can take the Telebus gondola into Plagne Centre. You’re never far from a piste here, but the convenience of the ski in/out access may vary depending on your accommodation.
Montalbert and Montchavin-Les-Coches
The lower villages of Montalbert and Montchavin are traditional farming communities and there are plenty of chalets and apartments available. The snow isn’t so reliable but the queues can be much shorter than in the higher villages. Cap’Vacances have recently finished the Hotel Club in Plagne-Montalbert. It’s a goal setting new example of well designed, functional and low carbon building in the Alps. Situated at 1550m the hotel even boasts its own lift to get easy access to all the pistes of La Plagne! And the good news for you nature lovers is that the building has been awarded a ‘low emissions building’ status (a wood-fired boiler, solar panels and super thick insulation all helping to lower its carbon footprint).
Champagny is a pleasant traditional village with access to the La Plagne ski area via gondola. There is a red run which descends all the way to the foot of the gondola, but does have a tricky narrow section. Towards the end of the season, when this run may close, you can simply download in the gondola. Staying in Champagny has the advantage of cheaper accommodation prices as well as quite reasonable access to the 3 Valleys just a short drive away if you fancy a change.
Belle Plagne. Photo © Elina Sirparanta