Méribel (1,450m), known as ‘Little England in the Alps', is a firm British favourite. In fact, Brits make up almost half the total visitors and much of the hotel and bar staff; ask for un verre de vin rouge and expect blank faces. The annual influx of Brits means you can easily get by without speaking a word of French, British voices are everywhere, and nightlife can be boisterous - shots of toffee vodka and dancing on tables is a prerequisite at Le Rond Point bar. Although a purpose-built resort, high-rise developments have been banned in favour of chalet-style architecture. As a result the resort has grown out rather than up, extending more than 10 kilometres across the valley floor.
The resort is made up of a number of villages. Méribel Centre (1,450-1,700m) is the largest of the villages and home to the main shopping area and the biggest selection of restaurants and apres-ski bars. Further up the hill, a short bus-ride away, is the upmarket Belvedere, Altiport, the Rond-Point, Le Plateau, Altitude 1600, and Morel. There are a range of shops and restaurants in these areas as well as ski-in/ski-out accommodation (unlike in Meribel Centre). Four kilometres further up the valley lies the quiet and more modern Mottaret (1,700-1,800m) with a good selection of bars, shops, ski-in/ski-out accommodation as well as its own lift pass. The tiny hamlet of Méribel Village (1,400m), below Méribel Centre, is popular with families and offers peaceful accommodation, a supermarket and a couple of restaurants. It also has its own chairlift with direct access to the beginner's area of Altiport. Further down the mountain lies the traditional village of Les Allues (1,100m) with its chalet acommodation, several restaurants, supermarket and ski-hire shop. From here, jump on the Olympe gondola straight up to Chaudanne in the centre of Méribel's ski area.
Méribel's 150 kilometres of slopes make up part of the Three Valleys - the largest lift-linked ski area in the world - which serves up a vast 600 kilometres of slopes on one ski pass.