|Courchevel is the name of a ski area located in the Savoie region of the French Alps, and part of Les Trois Vallées, the largest linked ski area in the world. The original resort was planned during the Second World War with a study in 1942 by the Vichy regime and in a doctorate by the town planner Laurent Chappis. Chappis was a natural choice to direct the development of the resort in the immediate post war years. Courchevel 1850 was significant as it was the first resort in France to be constructed from scratch rather than based around an existing village. It therefore served as an open air laboratory of ideas.
Courchevel refers to the towns of Courchevel 1300 (Le Praz), Courchevel 1550 (the original Courchevel), Courchevel 1650 (Moriond), and Courchevel 1850, which are named for their altitudes in metres. The highest point in Courchevel 1850 is in fact only 1747 meters, the name was chosen for marketing reasons to compete with arch rivals Val d'Isère. The towns become more exclusive and elegant as one climbs higher up the mountain, with property values in the town of 1850 significantly higher than those in Le Praz, 1550 or 1650. The Courchevel valley also includes the town of La Tania, built as competitors accommodation for the 1992 Albertville Olympics. Le Praz hosted the Olympic ski jump in that year.
The town of 1550 attracts mainly families, whereas 1650 has a young, party atmosphere while 1850 is the destination for the rich and famous with many 5-star hotels, multi-million-euro chalets and 2 starred Michelin dining at the Chabichou restaurant
Courchevel is the most French and chic of the Les Trois Vallees ski area.