A Beginner’s Guide to Catered Ski Chalets in France
If you’re going on a catered ski chalet holiday, the chances are you are going to France. The sheer choice on offer in France sometimes makes it difficult to earmark the perfect option for your trip, very much a “can’t see the wood for the trees” situation. We have some top tips and considerations for the rookie group ski holiday organiser to make your life easier and to make the holiday as perfect as possible for everyone. We also recommend some of the best catered ski chalets in France.
1. Shared or sole occupancy ski chalets?
There are two ways to book a catered ski chalet. The most popular is to book one chalet for you and your family/friends so you have the whole place to yourselves. This is a sole occupancy chalet booking. The alternative is to book a few rooms in a larger chalet and share with others.
Both options have pros and cons but the main thing to think about is whether you want to socialise with other people, or whether you want your own space.
Generally speaking, you can’t really do a sole occupancy catered chalet for two guests (although there is one chalet we know of that’ll do this). Four guests is just about doable but you will need to book early to get this. Chalets for six guests upwards will generally be doable unless you are booking at the last minute.
Our ski chalet recommendations for 2 to 6 guests
Chalet Les Marmottes in Courchevel is a catered chalet for two guests in a superb location close to the village centre and the slopes.
Chalet Petit Chardon in La Plagne offers a small group or family of six their own place just 200m from the slopes with access to a shared, heated swimming pool.
2. Flights included or independent travel?
You can book ski chalets either as a package including flights and transfers or as a chalet-only booking. The pros and cons of these options are pretty obvious, but the main ones are that a package holiday takes the faff element out of the organisation, and it’s frankly much simpler.
The main benefit to the chalet-only option is the flexility it gives you. You can book your own flights at times you pick from the airport you want to fly from. Transfers are a doddle to sort out and we can generally help with that.
One thing we have noticed is that for the upcoming ski season, booking your flights and an independent travel chalet separately does seem to make your money go a bit further. We are noticing this in the sort of holidays we are booking our clients for next season.
Our ski chalet recommendations for package ski holidays vs independent chalets
Chalet Atilla in La Tania is a super option for guests looking for a package ski holiday without booking through a large tour operator. The chalet is close to the piste and has a hot tub too.
Chalet Grizzli in La Plagne is one of our favourite independent travel ski chalets. It’s pretty much ski to the door, opposite the gondola and has a private chef and hot tub too. Also, it’s proximity to Aime, which is a stop on the Snowtrain route, makes it really popular for those wanting to take the train out.
3. Which ski resort in France is best for you?
A key point for most groups, as different resorts offer different things. For example Samoens (one of our favourites) offers guests a picturesque setting with a short transfer but not much going on after the skiing day is done. Val d’Isere on the other hand offers hustle, bustle, world-class skiing and apres-skiing in spades…but is a very long transfer. It’s important to know what sort of ski holiday you are looking for and using that to decide which resort will suit you best.
Our ski chalet recommendations for different types of groups
Chalet Samoens is a great option for guests looking for a high quality service, excellent food at a good price. The chalet itself is well located and very spacious too.
Chalet Tolima is a gorgeous chalet in Val d’Isere with super service and a very comfy living room. A real favourite.
4. The location of your ski chalet
This may seem obvious, but the location of the chalet within the ski resort can make or break the holiday. Everyone asks for ski in/out because it’s just so convenient and saves a lot of time, but often that location might mean you aren’t close to the town centre and apres-ski bars. Also, ski in/out tends to carry a premium which means other chalets that are a short walk from the piste might be a lot cheaper. We also recommending checking whether the ski chalet you’re looking at has a driver service with it. Generally, if the chalet isn’t a walkable distance from the slopes or on a frequent bus route, then the chalet staff will often whizz you to and from the skiing. This compromise can often result in getting a much higher spec chalet than you might find if you rule out anything that isn’t a short walk from the slopes.
Our ski chalet recommendations for best location
Chalet Olivier is located ON the slopes, and is one of the best-located catered ski chalets anywhere in the 3 Valleys.
Chalet Charmille is in Les Allues, just outside of Meribel. It’s a short walk from the gondola, and the chalet staff also lay on an apres-ski driver service to make sure you don’t miss out on an afternoon at the Folie Douce or the Ronny (Rond-Point apres-ski bar). The location means you get a great chalet with a hot tub at a super price.
If you like the look of any of these chalets or want to find a catered ski chalet for your next group ski holiday in France, contact us and let’s have a chat!