Les Menuires, France
Les Menuires is at the less fashionable end of the massive Les Trois Vallées ski area, and it’s excellent value for a mainstream French resort. You can take a snowshoe hike for lunch up in the little Refuge Le Trait d’Union, a ski hut-cum-chalet serving Savoyard cuisine, or for speed lovers there’s a 1,000-metre toboggan run on rails. Snow biking is another popular option in the area. The Les Bruyères swimming pool has massage jets and a huge paddling pool with water games for kids. Opening in December, ho36 is a smart “new generation” hostel with shared rooms for 4-6, family rooms for up to six, and private lofts – all dark grey walls, cow hides and bare pine.
La Clusaz, France
La Clusaz, one of the closest ski resorts to Geneva airport, exudes the vibrancy of a community that has a year-round life of its own. Take your pick from ice skating, ice driving, ski jöring (you are towed on skis behind a horse) or ski biking. Alternatively, wallow in the large new spa at the Residence Prestige Odalys Mendi Alde hotel. The old village is lovely to stroll around, and the lakeside town of Annecy is a 20-minute drive.