Local facilities 4
(i.e. Restaurants, hire shops)
Slope conditions 4
Lift system 3
Skiing / boarding experience
Apres ski 3
It always looks further away than you think. As we nearly always drive to our ski holiday it turned out to be about the same driving time as the other major ski resorts in the French Alps, an pleasant drive, especially over the Col du Lautaret if the weathers good, not so much fun in the snow and driving with snow chains fitted.
The main village/towns of the valley offer accommodation to suit every budget and the thermal spas are a bonus if you like that sort of thing. We stayed in the village of Chantemerle, just 80 metres from the new Ratier ski lift. This is a proper old French village with tiny streets and lovely old houses. We stayed with Snowmonkees (www.snowmonkees.com) in one of their apartments, perfectly placed and with all the mod cons you need for a week self catering. Here's a link to a map of the village. http://www.serre-chevalier.com/en/winter/trip-planner/maps-of-the-villages/saint-chaffrey-chantemerle-map/
Some restaurants that are worth a mention are the Loup Blanc (http://www.restaurantleloupblanc.com/). Well worth a visit for some fine French dining. A firm favourite of ours was the Pizza restaurant, completely unassuming but the food was really good, not too expensive either. The other favourite of mine is the Restau-Thai, they ask you if you want it French hot or English hot! Here's a link to all the other bars and restaurants in the valley http://www.serre-chevalier.com/en/winter/your-stay/bars-restaurants/
The beautiful UNESCO heritage town of Briançon is worth a visit if you find the time, its the highest working town in France. The ski slopes are well connected and maintained to a high standard, there's something for everyone so don't be put off if you have non skiers in your group, there's so much heritage to go and see.
Most of the ski runs are through the trees and offer some great skiing if the weather closes in, if you've never tried any off piste between the trees then this is the place to have a go, very safe and flattering. Don't be put off by the piste classifications, the Luc Alphand black run back to Chantemerle is no worse than a good blue run anywhere else, the only steep bit is at the bottom 100 meters and anyone who can do a good snow plough will manage it.
You will quite often find the snow in good condition here even when other areas are suffering, it's one of the sunniest ski resorts in France and we love to go there in March and take full advantage of the long sunny lunches. It's only 14 kilometers from the Italian border and the lift pass gives you a day in Montgenèvre and/or a day in Alpe d'Huez, about an hours and half drive away.
The resort also offers ski lockers for hire, we find these a great help, the cost back in March 2014 was 25€, well worth budgeting for it especially if you have small children, it's inside the main complex right on the slope.
Here's some links to local providers. I've used most of these so I can vouch for their service.
www.eurekaski.com/ (great selection of accommodation)
www.zesteserrechevalier.com/ Fresh home cooked food delivered to your accommodation.
Good luck and Bon Ski!