Alpine nightlife can be hit and miss. Gregarious après, repetitive music and a general sense of excess over excellence can become wearing to the discerning traveller. So what if your holiday time is too precious to waste and your palate too discerning for disappointing drinks? Here are a few of our preferred destinations for the famous aperitivo hour and beyond.


You must go. Even just once. One recent visitor described it as ‘DJs and live music, dancers and fireworks, flares and smoke machines and people dancing on tables, all in this remote bar, randomly placed in the middle of nowhere, on a snowy mountain’. La Folie Douce is of course the birthplace of après, offering you a daily show involving dancers, singers, musicians and extravagant costumes. Book a table outside, soak up the atmosphere and get on the dancefloor. But be prepared—it closes promptly at 5pm and you are expected to exit the restaurant swiftly and descend the mountain safely without delay. So be sure to give yourself plenty of time for a safe ski home.


With live music, a vibrant celebratory atmosphere and a slide that takes you down to the toilets, “Ronnie’s” is a must do if you like excitable après and free-flowing drinks. This legendary bar offers all day entertainment right on the piste (09:00-19:30) with a fantastic ski-in/ski-out sun terrace. Despite being known as the largest après ski bar in France, it also boasts a great a la carte restaurant for lunchtime dining between 11:30-15:00. Whether you dine on the enormous sun terrace surrounded by the mountains or upstairs in the cosy restaurant on snowy days, Le Rond Point offers a fantastic dining experience. The menu consists of freshly-made house specialities, starters and main courses as well as salads, pizzas and pasta, plus a menu for the kids. If you are on a family holiday don’t write it off due to its excitable reputation; in the mornings or midday it is a fun hot chocolate break for children, especially when they find out they have to slide their way to the toilets!


Undoubtedly the trendiest place in the whole 3 Valleys. Thibault, the talented bartender, has created a menu of winter cocktails where drinks and cured meats can be enjoyed together. He can also create cocktails on the spot to suit your personality. There is live music but in an unobtrusive way that leaves you to relax and enjoy the open fire, cowhide stools and wingback armchairs. If you prefer high tea to après cocktails the Savoy High Tea includes a gourmet snack, a tasty homemade mixture of savoury and sweet treats, accompanied by a hot drink. Just 50 metres from the piste this is a great choice to meet up and regroup after a day on the mountain. Try to get the seats by the fire!


Stylish and sophisticated La Copiña promises to be the après ski hot spot for the winter season, offering a unique Spanish dining and drinking experience located right in the centre of Méribel. With an impressive menu of traditional homemade cocktails and tapas made with fresh produce (and with great skill), La Copiña is a great choice for post-piste drinks. They also have craft beers and wines from around the world and daily offers. The bar can be found on the former site of Jack’s Bar. If you go there perhaps tell your server that you know Copiña means “small glass” in Spanish. You never know, perhaps you will be given a small glass on the house…


It’s the little touches that make all the difference and that is what Le Kaila offers. The bar in this 5* hotel is a great place for swanky drinks and a far cry from the on-piste antics of the likes of the Folie Douce. With its sophisticated, relaxed décor, combining light woods and warm fabrics, English influences and modern accents it offers delicate teas, rare alcohols, fine wines and superb cocktails. It’s the ideal place for sophisticated après, decadent high tea or perhaps an end of evening nightcap. For those who enjoy the occasional cigar there is even a smoking room, complete with leather armchairs.