Courchevel is one of the world's most prestigious ski resorts, home to more luxury chalets and hotels than any other, while a playground for billionaires and Russian oligarchs who flock here for the well-groomed pistes and glitzy après-ski. As part of the world's largest ski area the Trois Vallees, it is an excellent place for beginners and intermediates, while offering a great base for advanced skiers to discover the region's best black runs.
SEE ALSO: Things to do in the Trois Vallees that don't involve skiing
The glamorous ski resort also provides designer boutiques and Michelin-starred restaurants for well-heeled skiers.
But all this shouldn't put you off visiting this beautiful destination. It is perfectly possible to experience the champagne lifestyle with lemonade money - and even in 1850, the most exclusive of Courchevel's four villages. Here's how to have a cheap(ish) ski break in the luxurious resort...
Stay at a two-star hotel
Yes, really! Amid the five-star 'palace' hotels and regular five-star hotels in Courchevel 1850 is a two-star boutique hotel slap-bang in the centre of the resort, just steps from the likes of Prada and Moncler. Ski France's Hotel Olympic has 28 rooms with large windows and contemporary decor that are ideal for couples, families or groups of friends. The lounge-bar is an inviting space for guests to socialise over a game of Monopoly or pool, or relaxing with drinks by the fire. A seven-night stay in a standard room on a bed and breakfast basis costs from £402 per person.
With seven Michelin-starred restaurants, Courchevel is a tempting resort for foodies but you don't have to remortgage your home to indulge in its top-notch dining scene. Hotel Le Chabichou is home to one of the Michelin-starred restaurants, Le Chabichou, but also delightful bistro Le Chabotté, which serves up excellent Savoyard dishes at reasonable prices. A younger version of Le Chabichou, the restaurant's menu features fish from the mountain lakes and home-style desserts.
Hurtle down the sled run
Courchevel 1850 offers visitors something unique in France - its very own two-kilometre-long sled run for a thrilling ride. The floodlit toboggan run, which operates from 9am to 7.30pm, features 300 metres of vertical drop. The ride costs nine euros for those without a lift pass (plus extra if you need to rent a sledge) and departs from the edge of the Tovets ski run, arriving in Courchevel 1550. Fun for children and adults, it's an exhilarating non-ski activity everyone can try.
Spend a day in spa heaven
For a few hours of utter bliss in a luxurious setting, visit Aquamotion in Courchevel 1550, where you can experience state-of-the-art spa facilities in a futuristic building. Offering multiple swimming pools inside and out, waterslides and a diving pool, the water park is loaded with activity for all ages. Those who just want to relax should head for the adults-only area for its steaming outdoor lagoons, Finnish sauna complete with an ice-cold plunge pool for a quick dip, saltwater grotto and more. A three-hour pass costs 35 euros per adult in the adults-only Aquawellness area, or 13 euros per child/23 euros per adult in the Aqualudique area.
Take in the scenery on a winter walk
One of the best things to do for free in Courchevel is go on a breathtaking nature walk, allowing you to take in the fresh air and spectacular mountain views. There are 17 kilometres of winter walking paths to enjoy the superb scenery and maps are available from the tourist office. The trails take in the gorgeous pine forests where you might spot the tracks of deer, foxes and hares, or simply bask in the unspoilt winter wonderland while soaking up the peace and tranquillity away from the ski slopes.