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Verbier has the notable distinction of being one of our least favorite places to go. It’s a Brit-magnet, features high prices (seriously, really high), and has a splashy elitist vibe I find unappealing. To quote the SeeVerbier.com website, “Verbier has developed into a glamorous winter playground for anyone who wants to splash the cash.”

Galen’s ski report: Verbier is full of tourists, 90% British, the rest Americans and a mix of other people you don’t want to ski with. It’s popular for the “once a year skiers” and generally feels unsafe. Lots of snowboarders, and skiers on twin tips – but no one can ski switch. Very short runs, long lift lines, and reminds me of everything bad about Tahoe. I will do everything I can to not ski here again.

If you have to ski here, and it happens to be a snow day, try Bruson, accessed from the Le Châble lift. When we skied it, it was empty, with long groomers, great off-piste through the trees, and you can do quite nice laps from the main lift to the poma and back. As a side note: in talking to a variety of locals (waiters, ski instructors) Le Châble is a rather nice town, where the year-rounders choose to live, rather than Verbier itself. We’ll probably give this a try at some point.

Food & Lodging in Verbier itself

  • Our stay at the high end *La Cordée des Alpes was very mixed. It’s a pretty facility with very high-end service, including shuttles to the lift and a very good breakfast spread. They have ski rentals in the building. Our (not at all cheap, 460 CHF) room was very small – too small – at the level of a Citizen M room. Spa was okay, but catering more for families, with a pool, hot tub, and single sauna.
  • **Hôtel Le Vanessa is very central – a great location right next to the Medran lift. It’s expensive. Modern “mountain chic” style.
  • *Boca Restaurant was terrible. We should know better – Mexican food in Switzerland is always a risk – but this bordered on offensive for prices and volume of food. Drinks were good, food quality was very low.
  • **Le Fer à Cheval is where we inevitably end up – it’s central and relatively easy to get a seat, food is fine, good people watching without the chaos of the really popular apres spots.
  • **Restaurant Les Moulins: quite a good wood-fired burger. Very friendly staff, lovely setting, on the children’s bunny slope. Reasonably priced for Verbier and full of locals. Traditional Swiss mountain cuisine.
  • **Le Rouge Restaurant & Après-Ski is one of the go-to apres places, with loud music and good crowds on a large patio (ski-in, if there’s enough snow). It’s fun, if not remarkable. Go early or make a reservation.
  • *1936 (on the piste) is another popular apres place. It’s not exactly my scene, but it does get crowded.

In the Bruson section

  • **Restaurant de Moay is perfectly good. It’s not trying to be fancy, family run, good classic Swiss fare.
  • **Restaurant de La Pasay: a good rosti, seemed like the nicest restaurant on this mountain. Newish, amazing hot chocolate with rum (best in Switzerland so far).

Nendaz

Nendaz is part of the very extended reaches of the 4Vallées. It’s not as dramatic from a scenery perspective, and we haven’t skied this section yet, but it’s reasonably close and full of Bisse hikes. Haute-Nendaz is the start of #4 **Bisse Vieux and Bisse du Milieu. Watch carefully for the signs – they are there, and if you miss them it’s very easy to get off course. A quiet and peaceful experience.