When it comes to booking accommodation in Chamonix, there is certainly no shortage of choice. Whether you are looking for luxury hotels, ski chalets for large groups or apartments that are as close to the ski lifts as possible, you’ll find it all here. This guide to the different sections that make up this superb holiday area should help point you in the right direction so that you are situated as close to whatever action you are looking for. But, first things first...
Where should you stay in the Chamonix Valley?
It depends on the type of holiday you'd like to have. It’s always a good idea to know exactly what you’re looking for: chalet or apartment, party or tranquillity, sporty or relaxed – a holiday in Chamonix can offer all of these things. With an impressive assortment of accommodation hot spots, from the picturesque Alpine town of Chamonix to the family-friendly village of Les Houches, the Chamonix Valley is full of surprises.
These are some of the things you may want to consider in advance before you pick the place you want to stay in:
1. Distance to the pistes: Being able to ski to your door is everyone’s dream – there’s no better feeling than putting your skis on right outside your front door. Chamonix and its surrounding area offer a small selection of ski-in and ski-out apartments, chalets and hotels. However, bear in mind that these very sought-after spots are usually more expensive than the places further away from the pistes so, if you want to save some money, you can always rely on the excellent network of free shuttle buses that run along the whole length of the valley and will take you to the foot of the slopes in no time.
2. Quiet or bustling: Is après-ski as important (or more important) than the skiing itself? In that case, you’d want to stay as close to the bars and clubs in resort as possible. However, if you’d rather stay in after a day on the slopes and prefer to avoid the hustle and bustle of the centre, one of the charming villages surrounding Chamonix is probably a better choice – and, if you find yourself itching to party, you can always hop on a bus to the centre of Chamonix.
3. Amenities: Ask yourself what you’ll need around you when holidaying in Chamonix. For example, if you’re self-catering, you probably want to be as close to the supermarkets and restaurants as possible, while those staying in catered chalets and hotels may not need to. Having shops, ski and/or bike hire places and cafes around you can be very handy but also quite noisy… you decide exactly what you need!
4. Things to do: As with amenities, not everyone will need the same services nearby. For example, families will want to be near the ski schools meeting points to avoid trudging across resort on ski boots while carrying two pairs of kid’s skis. Having the local swimming pool and sports centre close by is also a great idea for those coming with little ones as it’ll keep them entertained after a day on the slopes. Or perhaps you need a spa for a good back rub or to soak your sore muscles in a hot tub after a few hours snowboarding. Food for thought!
5. Budget: Last but not least, location is key when it comes to saving money. Generally, the closer you get to the slopes and to the resort centre, the steeper the prices will be, while the villages further away from the lifts will usually offer cheaper deals. You may have to sacrifice convenience for budget but worry not, you’ll never be further than 20 minutes from the world-renowned Chamonix pistes thanks to the aforementioned shuttle buses.
Our local team’s top tip: When booking accommodation, take a good look at the photos – do you like what you see? It probably seems unimportant but you’re going to be spending a week in this space so you may as well feel comfortable in it! It’s not just about whether you prefer a cosy rustic interior or a light-flooded, airy living area but also whether the layout and decor fit your needs. Are the rooms big enough? How about the bathrooms? Is there a super-modern, steep staircase your toddler won’t be able to climb? All of this matters when choosing your accommodation and not every town in Chamonix will be able to provide all sorts of styles.