You've made up your mind – you want to come to Chamonix on your next holiday. As you research your trip, you'll discover that there’s more than one town in the area and that they all offer a great selection of chalets, apartments and hotels. Accommodation is one of the biggest expenses when booking a holiday, so you want to make sure that you’ve chosen the right location. Worry not, we’re here to help.
The oldest ski area in France, Chamonix conjures up images of high, snow-capped peaks and legendary mountain adventures. Dominated by the imposing silhouette of Mont-Blanc, the Chamonix Valley attracts millions of visitors each year who come here to sample its challenging ski slopes and conquer the Alpine summits.
There are several towns and villages along the Chamonix Valley, many of which are linked to the pistes thanks to an extensive network of lifts. In a nutshell, the river Arve divides the valley into two wooded slopes and a narrow valley floor where the towns and villages stand, some spilling onto the foot of the mountains. Coming up the valley from Geneva and Passy, you will find Servoz, Les Houches, Chamonix, Les Praz, Les Bois, Le Lavancher, Argentière, Le Tour and, on the border with Switzerland, Vallorcine.
- Five things to consider before deciding where to stay in Chamonix
- Chamonix: The heart of the action
- Argentiere: On the doorstep of the Grands Montets ski area
- Les Houches: Family-friendly town
- Les Praz & Les Bois: Alpine luxury
- Vallorcine & Le Tour: Quiet villages with easy slope access
- Servoz: Traditional Alpine village
- Luxury hot spots in Chamonix
- Romantic corners in Chamonix
- Group accommodation in Chamonix
- Family-friendly areas in Chamonix
- Cheap accommodation in Chamonix
- Ski-in & ski-out accommodation in Chamonix
- Camping & glamping in Chamonix
- More inspiration...
Five things to consider before deciding where to stay in Chamonix
When it comes to booking accommodation in Chamonix, there is certainly no shortage of choice. Whether you are looking for luxury hotels, chalets for large groups or apartments that are as close to the lifts as possible, you’ll find it all here. This guide to the different sections that make up this superb area should help point you in the right direction so that you are situated as close to whatever action you're 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 where you want to stay:
- 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/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.
- 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.
- 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 cafés around you can be very handy but also quite noisy.
- 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 in ski boots carrying yours and your children's skis. Having the local swimming pool and sports centre close by is also a great idea for those coming with little ones, 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.
- 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. You’re going to be spending some time 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 and airy open plan space, but also whether the layout and décor 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? What floor is the apartment on? Is it accessible by a lift? All of this matters when choosing your accommodation and not every town in Chamonix will be able to provide all sorts of styles.
Chamonix: The heart of the action
Staying right in the centre of Chamonix has its obvious perks, the main one being that you'll be able to walk to and from the resort’s main facilities and attractions.
Who should stay in Chamonix?
If you want to be first on the lifts in the morning and last out of the bars in the evening, then booking accommodation in Chamonix town itself is a must. At the heart of this famous valley, this is where you will find the largest choice of accommodation, bars, restaurants, shopping and entertainment. By basing yourself in the centre of the action you will really get the feel of this legendary Alpine town, its history and, of course, the famous Alpine après ski!
All types of holiday accommodation are on offer here, ranging from luxury hotels to simple self-catering apartments, many within easy reach of the Aiguille du Midi cable car required to access the legendary off-piste Vallée Blanche descent. The northwestern edge of Chamonix leads you towards the Brévent-Flégère area and is known for receiving the most sunshine in Chamonix town, as well as being perfectly placed for wonderful views of Mont Blanc. The areas of Les Pélerins and Les Gaillands cover a kilometre stretch of parallel roads running down the valley and are a popular place to stay as they can be cheaper but are still only a short walk from Chamonix town centre.
Argentiere: On the doorstep of the Grands Montets ski area
Situated 8km further up the valley from Chamonix town and below the infamous Aiguille Verte and Drus, lies the picturesque village of Argentière. While Chamonix itself has a distinctly cosmopolitan atmosphere, Argentière retains more of an Alpine village charm: the chalets and hotels here tend to be traditionally Savoyard in style and with more space and larger gardens than those in Chamonix town.
Who should stay in Argentière?
The main attraction of staying in Argentière is its proximity to the Grands Montets ski area which is home to some of the most exciting skiing in the world – both on and off piste. Argentière may be a mountain lovers’ paradise with a laidback feel, but it still offers a good handful of shops, nice restaurants and après ski bars with live music.
Les Houches: Family-friendly town
Located down the valley, on the way to Geneva, Les Houches is one of the largest towns in the Chamonix Valley and very popular with its long-term dwellers.
Who should stay in Les Houches?
With good amenities, restaurants and bars, and home to the valley’s easiest ski area, Les Houches is a good choice for those looking for a more relaxed Chamonix holiday experience. Understandably popular with families, Les Houches is also home to some of Chamonix’s few ski in/ski out chalets as well as a number of niche eco-chalets. Les Houches skiing area may not be the most extreme in the valley but it is certainly challenging and the pistes are regularly used for international events in particular the ‘Kandahar’ run which features on the Men’s Alpine Skiing World Cup circuit. Also in summer the access to beautiful hiking routes is exceptional.
Les Praz & Les Bois: Alpine luxury
Just outside Chamonix Town, on the way to Argentière, sit the prestigious areas of Les Praz and Les Bois, two tranquil spots dotted with gorgeous chalets.
Who should stay in Les Praz & Les Bois?
If you're looking for high-end, large chalets and luxury accommodation with hot tubs, home cinemas and enough space to build an army of snowmen in the garden, this is the area of the valley for you. Most of the hotels, apartments and chalets here have exceptional panoramic views of the whole Chamonix Valley from Le Tour across to Les Drus, the Aiguilles, Mont Blanc and down to Les Houches.
Les Praz is a quiet village located close to the Flégère ski lift and ski area, with an 18-hole golf course and a couple of small shops, bars and restaurants. In winter, this area receives the most sun in the valley. Beyond Les Praz is the beautiful area of Les Bois, boasting numerous extravagant holiday accommodation options in peaceful settings. Perched a couple of hundred metres up the south side of the valley, above Les Bois, is the hamlet of Le Lavancher where you will find some more luxury accommodation possibilities in a beautifully serene spot.
Vallorcine & Le Tour: Quiet villages with easy slope access
Who should stay in Le Tour and Vallorcine?
The skiing on offer in Le Tour and Vallorcine is ideal for beginners as it is fun, gentle and generally sunny, making it a good choice for families. Combined with the spectacular views back down the Chamonix Valley, this area is well worth a visit, just bear in mind that both villages are small, so basing yourself here means that accommodation and dining options are pretty limited.
Servoz: Traditional Alpine village
Further down the valley is the small village of Servoz, the gateway into the Chamonix Valley. This traditional Alpine village, formerly a farmer settlement, has a scattered collection of accommodation options.
Who should stay in Servoz?
With fantastic views back up the valley towards Mont Blanc, Servoz is a pretty and quiet village offering potentially cheaper accommodation options. Just be aware that, if you have come specifically to ski in Chamonix, it's a decent drive, bus or train journey from Servoz to reach the main slopes.
Luxury hot spots in Chamonix
If you're searching for luxury accommodation in Chamonix, you're in luck! The resort offers plenty of high-end options, many of which feature private swimming pools, spas, hot tubs and even cinema rooms.
Where are luxury chalets and apartments located in Chamonix?
Many luxury chalets in the Chamonix Valley are based out of town, in the beautiful and quiet hamlets of Les Praz and Les Bois. Boasting breathtaking views of the Mont-Blanc mountain range and easy access to the slopes in Flégère, many of these chalets have swimming pools, fully equipped spas, private chefs and chauffered rides. Luxury apartments are everywhere in the valley but the most popular are clustered around the centre of Chamonix, towards the Brévent ski area.
Are there any five-star hotels in Chamonix?
Chamonix has not one but four five-star hotels. They're all located in the town centre, near the slopes of Brévent and the local restaurants, bars and shops. Not that you'd want to leave their premises! They all boast stunning spas, gourmet restaurants (even a two Michelin-starred eatery) and cosy but grand bedrooms with plush beds and panoramic mountain views.
Romantic corners in Chamonix
High snow-capped peaks, deep luscious forests, white snow-filled fields and cosy wooden chalets with roaring fires – a ski break can be the most romantic of holidays. In Chamonix, you’ll be able to make all your fairytale escapade dreams come true.
What’s the best place to stay in Chamonix for couples?
For the quintessentially picturesque Alpine holiday, there's nothing better than Les Praz or Les Bois. Picture large, modern ski chalets nestled between the trees where you can relax in the hot tub at the end of a hard day on the pistes and enjoy wonderful panoramic mountain views.
Group accommodation in Chamonix
Groups have very specific needs, namely a big enough space and easy access to the lifts and the resort's amenities.
Where in Chamonix can you find large apartments and chalets for groups?
All around the Chamonix Valley, you'll find chalets and apartments accommodating up to 10 people and more. However, if you want to impress your guests or you want your group of friends to make the most of what Chamonix has to offer, staying in the centre is key. It's in Chamonix town where all the action takes place!
Family-friendly areas in Chamonix
When travelling with young children, you ideally want to stay somewhere that has lots of facilities and services nearby so that you don't have to travel long distances to get to the slopes or the restaurants.
What’s the best area for families with children to stay in Chamonix?
A pretty town with easy access to the pistes, ski schools and with plenty of things to do off the slopes, Les Houches is perfect for families with little kids. Ski runs here are gentle and wide, ideal for beginners and intermediate skiers, and there's an ice rink and plenty of activities for children to keep them entertained.
Cheap accommodation in Chamonix
Chamonix may not be well-known as the cheapest resort in the French Alps but you can still enjoy a budget-friendly holiday here, especially if you know where to look.
What’s the cheapest area to stay in Chamonix?
The infamous buildings of Cham Sud, located just behind the Aiguille du Midi lift, still offer the best prices in the valley. Fear not, however, most of the apartments here have been tastefully renovated and trendy bars and restaurants have opened their doors in the pedestrianised square.
Ski-in & ski-out accommodation in Chamonix
Ski-to-door accommodation is very popular, but not that easy to find in Chamonix, which means that it gets booked out quite quickly. It's usually more expensive than the accommodation a bit further away from the slopes. However, there's no greater feeling than arriving at your doorstep with your skis on, so if you find a place you like and it's available, book it as soon as you can.
Where can you find ski-to-door accommodation in Chamonix?
Les Houches probably has the highest number of ski-to-door chalets in the area, while some apartments and hotels in Chamonix Centre are located close to the Savoy beginner's area and the Planpraz gondola that takes skiers up to Brévent. Otherwise, you may be able to find accommodation near Flégère in Les Praz.
Camping & glamping in Chamonix
There's a good number of campsites and motorhome areas in the Chamonix Valley. Although most are open only in the summer, there's a few open in the winter and even during the off-season – it's better to enquire before you book.
Are there any campsites in the Chamonix Valley?
Yes! The Chamonix Valley is a popular destination for campers and there are campsites dotted around the Alpine pastures on the slopes of the valley. Some are remote and idyllic, whereas others are a mere stone's throw from the shops and bars of the nearest town. Some have only a cold shower and a toilet block while others boast restaurants and leisure facilities.
Are there any motorhome areas in Chamonix?
France is famous for its well-equipped motorhome areas or 'aires de camping-car' and Chamonix is no exception. The valley has one motorhome area located in Argentière, on the Grands Montets car park. Free to use, there's a waste disposal area and water available.