While at Grand Ski last week, we noticed that the Folie Douce have announced plans to add a fourth venue to their expanding empire.

Regular après-skiers will already know the very successful Folies Douces in Val d’Isere, Val Thorens, and, from this season, in Meribel.

La Folie Douce comes to Alpe d’Huez

From December 2013, there will be a fourth Folie Douce in Alpe d’Huez.

“We bought the mountain restaurant Les Marmottes,” Jean-Baptiste Gravier, the manager of the new property, told Skipedia.

“This restaurant has the largest capacity on the slopes of the Grand Cross of the Alpe d’Huez.”

At an altitude of 2350m and with a south-facing terrace and blue run back down to resort, the location is perfect for après partying.


Open-air clubbing since 2007

It’s evident that the Folie Douce concept is working.  The plan was dreamt up in 2007 by Luc Reversade, a former ski instructor, when the first La Folie Douce opened for business in Val d’Isere.

Although on-mountain apres-ski in Austria has been huge for many years (see the Moosevirt, KK et al), the Folie Douce was a brand new concept for a ski resort.

If you’ve never been, the easiest way to summarise it is ‘open air clubbing at altitude’.  Every afternoon sees a mix of resident DJ, singers, sax/trumpet horn section and the famous on-stage Folie Douce cabaret.


The Folie Douce cabaret

Eat, Drink, Shop

You could say that it’s a high altitude version of the famous full moon parties that go off in some of the coolest corners of the planet.  Except that in this case, it’s often sub-zero temperatures that the €4500 jeroboams of bubbly are served at.

While the young and beautiful dance topless outside, there is a self service cafeteria (‘Nuvo Self”) and quality restaurant (‘La Fruitiere’) in each venue.  The brand is so strong that there is also a shop, selling Folie Douce tshirts, hats, iphone shells, stickers and more.

Topless clubbing (c) Ladauphine.com

Topless clubbing (c) Ladauphine.com

Critics of Les Folies Douces argue that the mountain and its users would be better off in peace and silence rather than the hedonistic partying the venues inspire.   They argue it attracts a certain type, most easily categorised as Jack Wills Seasonaires‘ (anyone wearing these tops is unlikely be be a real ‘seasonaire’).

But why not judge it for yourself?   If you’re within range of a Folie Douce, you won’t be able to miss it…

By Iain Martin