Pros: Well-groomed, intermediate heaven, stunning village, stunning food on and off the hill, pedestrian-friendly, beautiful views. Easy to get to.
Cons: Expensive, no real expert terrain, can have thin snow due to low altitude, traffic horrible getting in and out at saturday turnover
LIFT PASS STATS:
Evasion Mont-Blanc Pass:
107 lifts, 445 km of pistes
Megève Ski Pass:
84 lifts, 325 km of pistes
28 lifts, 90 km of pistes
One of the most convenient and pleasurable ski town villages packed with charm, glitz, cozy chalets, cabins, luxury hotels, tons of shops, more than 80 restaurants and bars, 3 different banks with ATMs, skating, sledding, every kind of ski shop you can think of, gourmet foods, excellent outdoor cafes and horse-drawn carriages. Prices vary from fairly expensive to truly extravagant, depending on your desire. Very pedestrian-friendly, with no automobile traffic through the village center. Underground parking available at several sites, with a free ski bus shuttle throughout the village running on a continuous, convenient schedule. Two small grocery stores right in the village, with butcher shops, specialty cheese and regional products shops, wine stores and anything else you can think of. Movie theater showing two different films each day. Skating rink with skate rental right in the village center very well lit at night.
The luxurious history of Megève lends itself to a very cosmopolitan, international crowd, many with sable fur, huge watches that cost more than my house, stunningly "beautiful people", tiny dogs in expensive sweaters, 4WD Porches, custom Range Rovers, Mercedes, BMWs and special edition Audis. Not as "in your face" as perhaps Aspen or Vail wants to be, but more relaxed and family oriented, with very well groomed children in freshly purchased ski outfits churning about the village with or without Mom and Dad. This is a village with some of the most exclusive mountain chalets available (being anchored in a rich history of the Rothschild family's investment and involvement...including a secretive wine cellar complex for the haute-riche such as the Prince of Monaco and various Rothschild descendants). Megève is a gastronomic mecca. You have the simple crepe stands and basic Savoyard mountain dishes (Rachlette, Tartiflette, fondue, gratin and various other variations of cheese/potato/lardon baked goodies) and anything you could imagine. You also have some of the most highly regarded restaurants in the Alpes at your disposal, and they can dispose of your budget as fast as you can imagine. Truly stunning, Michelin-starred restaurants are available, and their reputations are based on truly stunning quality. Megève is often haunted by those who do not ski, but merely come for the beautiful mountains and luxurious food and accommodations in winter. Megève is a destination for well-to-do families who enjoy luxury and convenience, not the grunge-freeride, uber-partying nightlife teen-20-something crowd. In fact, there is a distinct lack of any grunge-freeride scene, so if you want to avoid that type of thing, Megève is the place. You can find lodgings on the Internet from tons of listing sources, and you can spend from approximately €1,000 per week to "sky-is-the'limit" for a roof over your head. The variety of lodging is extensive, but book early and remember the school vacations in France can fill the area during the Christmas week and the first 3 weeks in February.
Megève Village (from a previous visit in March 2009)
Megève is a wonderful place for beginners and intermediates, and will bore the socks off anyone who wants a challenging experience and serious workout on extreme terrain. This luxury resort caters to families for a reason - the terrain and grooming is superb for the recreational skiers. The network of lifts allows people to spread out over tons of narrow to wide slopes of varying terrain and difficulty, with no real steeps easily accessible by lifts without really, really trying. It's the kind of place you would not feel uneasy leaving your teenagers to roam around (unlike Chamonix or La Grave where there is no place for beginners, intermediates or those without a serious respect for fatal mistakes by going to the wrong place at the wrong time). Megève is like a giant Okemo (for eastern U.S. skiers), or Beaver Creek (for western U.S. skiers), but with a stunningly charming village and scenery, accommodations and food to shame ski areas in North America. If you want nice grooming, stunning scenery and no-stress situations, Megève is ideal for families.
Megève has a superb network of on-hill eateries ranging from your basic crepe-stand, to cafeteria-style crowd feeding stations to charming, quiet, home-style cooking restaurants, and expensive, reservation-recommended restaurants tucked away in various corners of the resort complex, some only accessible by skiing.