The lifts out of pretty St Martin are quieter than much of the vast Three Valleys network, and yet from the summit you can quickly access much of the area. As a base St Martin is ideally suited to mid-season groups of intermediate skiers who want a piece of the action without paying Courchevel prices, battling Méribel crowds, or staying above the treeline in Val Thorens. The half-dozen or so home runs are great, long cruising pistes, and popular with lunch-time traffic, and so St Martin has more in the way of good resort restaurants and cafes than its size would otherwise support.
St Martin is at 1450m, in the same valley as Les Menuires and Val Thorens. There’s the option of getting a local skipass for the 160km of Les Menuires pistes, which could be plenty, especially with the quiet, challenging slopes of La Masse. But that would be a bit of a waste of the giant 600km of Three Valleys terrain laid out before you. There’s minimal nightlife, but there are several lovely local bars and fabulous Savoie restaurants, including the 3 Michelin star La Bouitte and their new sister Brasserie in the Caseblanche development, poste-side, ‘Simple & Meilleur’.
If you want the Three Valleys ski scope, plus a more traditional alpine feel, or somewhere small and safe to take the kids, then St Martin de Belleville is real winner.