No digs capture the classic ski experience quite like a catered chalet. The original and best mountain hostelry, they've been hosting us for as long as we've been making the annual pilgrimage for our snow fix.
Homely atmosphere, home-cooked meals and attentive hosts - it's easy to see why we book more chalet accomodation than any other holiday. Hearty catering is usually accompanied by wine at supper. 😉
From more modest facilities in cheap ski lodges to our luxury chalets dripping opulence, we've options for all budgets and tastes. And there's not always a clear divide between the two extremes. A property with hot tub or swimming pool can be priced similarly to those without, where other things like location are a the trade off. Your holiday can have a very different feel whether you opt for a pad in the centre (fall straight into bed after epic apres), or a piste side ski-in/ski-out location (to be out of bed and on the first lifts each morning).
When taking your group of friends or family away, having dibs on a communal space and all meals covered avoids any of the hassle of travelling en-masse and you can find group ski chalets for your exact number, so there's no need to share if you prefer sole-occupancy. If you’re a family, cosy log cabins ensure kids are always in arm’s reach and we've many dedicated family chalets with playrooms and/or childcare in-house. Use our powerful search above, to filter your perfect options from the hundreds on SNO.
There are more stars among VDI chalets than the Hollywood Walk of Fame, but we’re also spoilt for choice of properties that see skiers well-fed and rested on a more modest budget. Chalet-wise Val can do no wrong.
We love a cosy crash-pad to sleep off the legendary St Anton après, and nothing gets you back on that legendary powder as fast as a hearty chalet breakfast - probably why St Anton has the most chalets in all of Austria.
This much loved snow mecca was hosting chalet holidays before the rest even heard of beef bourguignon and, at last count, has more than anywhere else in the world. Properties here show EXACTLY what makes a ski holiday great.
1850 chalets are so glam we advise you wear sunglasses. But it’s not all cool pools and hot tubs, because there are great value options with less bling and all of the charm, in the same perfectly preened ski area.
The tomboy of the Alpine set, Tignes is more fussed about sporting achievement than looking pretty – but if you’re happy to trade choc-box looks for a cheaper stay in the awesome Espace Killy, you’ll have a hoot here.
When you add guaranteed snow (glacier skiing at its best) and the famous Pano Bar après ski to the crackling fires and lovingly-cooked meals, LDA tends to exceed expectations. Browse the most recommended.
Verbier chalets come in two flavours: luxury (fine food, cheeky sauna) and mega lux (Michelin star, full-blown spas). Pick either to be moments from record-breaking terrain and ground-breaking après.
Born in Switzerland, the alpine chalet really hit the big-time in France. With the widest choice, the cheapest deals, the shortest transfers, more than half of all British chalet bookings are to France. The quintessence of the trad. ski holiday experience.
Chalets are an accessory rather than the fabric of Austrian life. Surprising, really, when waking up to wafting coffee and a breakfast spread is the quickest fix for their après. No wonder they’re all ‘schnapped’ up so quickly…
The nation that first brought us chocolate box architecture now houses some of the sleekest super chalets on the planet. But the properties here aren’t ALL billionaire bolt-holes. A more modest option with food included is one of the most affordable ways to ski Switzerland.
Wake up to views over the Belleville Valley and ski straight out onto the snowiest slopes of the world’s biggest ski area in Val Thorens. If that doesn't warm the cockles, the ‘welcome home’ of afternoon tea should do the trick.
With snow-sure slopes, ski-in/ski-out chalets AND pine-cladding aplenty, Les Arcs shows us how purpose-built ought to be. Its villages are crammed with chalets in an A to Z of Alpine architecture to pick according to preference.
Forgetting your worldly woes tucked away in tranquil La Tania’s a lot easier when you have one of its chalets to yourself, while in a bigger property you’ll meet new companions to accompany you through the never-ending 3 Valley’s.
A crowd pleaser if ever there was one, few ski areas make beginners, intermediate and experts feel as welcome as Alpe’s – and its chalet selection’s just as universally satisfying.
The range and breadth of the options leave no taste uncatered for. You’ll find a perfect property for the exact number of your group... and its just terrific to have your own pad, albeit with a profesional host, so you don't need to sweat the small stuff.
To make friends on and off the hill book a shared property or larger chalet-hotel, for apres chat by the log fire (or propping up the bar). Browse the categories above, popular resorts below, or use the full search (top) to filter by your dates and airport.
Hundreds of our properties come packaged with flights and transfers – a wonderfully hassle free, cost effective way to ski. Choose your most convenient flights from airports all over the UK and have a minibus or coach waiting to whisk you to the mountains when you land.
Holidays including flights cost less than you’d spend sorting everything separately thanks to chartered planes and airline discounts available only to operators. Hold luggage is usually included and you can add extra bags or ski/snowboard carriage when you book.
If you’re travelling with youngsters, our packages with childcare help create a holiday of happy sprogs AND parents. Our favourite family options come with on-site creches and kid’s clubs for different age groups – or access to these in a nearby sister property. Some have arrangements with childcare companies who can provide private in-house childcare. Safe in the hands of qualified nursery staff and nannies, your children will enjoy a mix of indoor and outdoor activities, nap-time and supervised meals. Childcare usually requires an extra charge on top of your stay – drop us a line for more information.
|Chalet Le Cedre Blanc||Meribel & Mottaret||10-12|
|Chalet Secret de Neige||Alpe d'Huez||12-14|
|Chalet La Rocheure||Val d'Isere||12-13|
|Chalet L'Ancolie||Meribel & Mottaret||10-11|
|Chalet Rendl (Mountain Lodge)||St Anton||10|
|Chalet Kapall (Mountain Lodge)||St Anton||10|
|Chalet Albona (Mountain Lodge)||St Anton||10|
|Chalet Noella||Val Thorens||8|
|Chalet Mathilde||Val Thorens||8|
|Chalet Chloe||Val Thorens||8-10|
We update this list often but facilities can change, so if any specific feature is essential to your trip, make sure you ask us to confirm the details before you book your holiday.
It depends what you want from your holiday. To find your perfect ski package, use the search ‘filters’ at the top of this page. Select your group size, budget, location and facilities (hot-tub, childcare etc) - the results show the best for you.
Top-selling ski chalets:
Traditionally a freestanding house of wood and/or stone, with a sloping, overhanging roof, this is the traditional accommodation found in or near a ski resort. These days they aren’t necessarily all freestanding – there might be two or more ‘chalet apartment’ style properties within a larger building.
This essentially means that some or all of your meals are included on a ‘chalet board’ basis. Generally, a catered ski holiday includes breakfast and dinner, but here it will tend to also include afternoon tea and free wine with dinner on 5 or 6 nights.
On arrival, you’re greeted by your chalet host. It’s their job to keep everything tidy and prepare and serve your meals, which means no housework for you! One or two days of the week, the hosts have a day off, where you’ll help yourself to breakfast and eat out for dinner. Dining is a sociable affair – you’ll be eating with others if you didn’t book the place for ‘sole occupancy’. We think it’s more like staying as a house-guest than being at a hotel. You’ll have your own room (usually en-suite), then everyone shares the communal parts of the accommodation.
Breakfast: included on most days, when your host will cook and serve. Once or twice a week it’s their day off, so breakfast will be laid out for you to help yourself to.
Afternoon Tea: usually provided on five or six days of a seven-night stay, when you come in from the slopes (often things like cake, cookies, toast, soup and hot drinks).
Dinner with Wine: usually a multiple course supper is served in the evenings and, in most cases, free-flowing wine, pudding and then coffee is served. The ‘free wine’ element is not universal, so check before you book if this is an important element of your holiday.
Hosts Day/s Off: afternoon tea and dinner won’t be served, giving you the chance to explore the local restaurants. It’s worth booking your table earlier in the week (especially if you’re a large group) as restaurants can be busy on these evenings and it’s often tricky to get a table as a walk-in!
A chalet girl or boy looks after you. How many hosts you have depends on the size or number of guests. Responsibilities include cooking (larger accommodation may have a chalet chef as well as a host), cleaning and generally ensuring you have a great stay. Sometimes the hosts ‘live in’, sharing the building with you. In others, they ‘live out’ somewhere nearby.
Bigger than average, these are hotel-sized buildings offering chalet-board catering (i.e. more than the usual half-board hotel). Breakfast, afternoon tea and dinner with wine are provided on 5/6 days of the week. You’ll often find extra facilities like a swimming pool. Most sleep 50-150 and have a team of rather than just one or two hosts.
Many skiers prefer this cosier, more intimate lodging. If you’re a large family or group, you can have the run of the place with a ‘sole occupancy’ booking. Apart from a few all-inclusive ski holidays, having afternoon tea and wine with your evening meal are perks you don’t usually get with most half board hotels, making them better value for money for some.
Catered chalet VS ski hotel:
1. A half-board hotel package usually includes breakfasts and suppers on every day of your stay. A chalet package provides breakfasts and suppers plus afternoon tea and usually wine with your evening meal – however, there will be 1 or 2 nights when tea and supper aren’t served.
2. In a hotel, you usually get your own table for mealtimes. With the chalet set-up, you’re more likely to be sharing a table with other guests.
3. Hotels are larger with more bedrooms, more room types and more facilities.
4. Chalets are more sociable and intimate. You either have the whole place for your group/family or share with other guests who you’ll get to know during your stay.
Firstly, work out your requirements. Think about the dates of your trip, number of beds, budget per person, any particular location or facilities. Then begin your search:
The correct pronunciation is: sha-lay. It’s like ‘shallow’ but ending in ‘lay’ instead of ‘low’. The ‘t’ is silent, like with ‘ballet’ or ‘valet’.
In a smaller lodge, your host will take care of the cooking as well as the other housework. In a larger property or luxury chalet, there’s usually a dedicated chef. In self-catered chalets, mealtimes are down to you!
In our self-catered chalets, absolutely! You’ll have your own kitchen where you can whip up whatever your appetite desires. Kitchens sometimes have restricted access for guests, ask us to check if this is an important factor of your holiday.
Most either come catered or self-catered, but some let you choose – our individual property pages show this information. Catered are the most popular, including meals for the majority of your stay. There’s no food included with a self-catered chalet, you can use the kitchen or eat out.
Our chalets can cater for numerous dietary requirements. Please inform us ASAP so that we can make sure you’re looked after. There may be an extra fee to cover alternative ingredients – we’ll let you know if this is required and what it will be. You may be able to liaise directly with staff in resort if necessary.
If your hosts have looked after you well, tips are by no means expected but definitely appreciated on a seasonaire’s subsistence-wages! Around £10-20 per guest in your group is a very rough starting point, but it depends on your experience. Anything from a fiver each will be very appreciated and no one will be upset if tips are never mentioned, so don’t feel it’s expected.
Pack a pair of slippers or thick socks to keep your toes toasty in the evenings, as shoes usually aren’t allowed inside. You don’t have to dress up for dinner, and most guests change into casual/comfy clothes – a jumper/hoodie and joggers/leggings/jeans/tomorrow’s thermals, even your favourite onesie.
Our most expensive luxury chalets earn their price tags with spectacular facilities like private swimming pools and exclusive spas. Guests get the very top level of service, with staff including a chauffeur and accomplished chef. Verbier’s Chalet Makini and Chalet Norte are often the priciest on our books – check their facilities and you’ll soon see why…
Certainly! In fact, most of our holidays come packaged this way and it saves a lot of hassle and money. Tell us your most convenient regional airport (we’ve over a dozen in the UK alone) and what kind of transfers you prefer (shared, private, helicopter) and we’ll put everything together for you.
They sell like hotcakes, so the best time to book one’s ‘as early as possible’. This is especially important if you’re travelling in the school holidays, or want to bag a property for sole-occupancy. Our early-booking deals can save quite a bit too.
A hot tub is such a popular addition that we decided to devote a whole page to ski chalets with hot tubs! You can read about what makes a hot tub or Jacuzzi so great, and browse properties with hot tubs that match your requirements.
Ski in/ski out chalets are widely thought to have the best locations in any resort - you can clip into your skis or snowboard and be sliding down the mountain moments later. Best of all, there’s no having to take the ski bus or trek too far with all your gear.
That said, if you’re travelling with non-skiers, the best location might be in the centre of resort, so they can easily explore on foot. The same goes for groups who want to make the most of the nightlife as the bulk of bars are usually in the centre. Alternatively, if you’re bringing beginners or children, staying near the ski school or kindergarten could be best.
Competition’s hot – but we’d say the Marco Polo in Val d’Isere. It has a huge gold-tiled swimming pool featuring an antique ceiling imported from Morocco and mosaics by French fashion god Christian Lacroix. The pool comes with a magically appearing movie screen and a DJ set with smoke machines. And that’s just the pool!
Chalet 1597 is the oldest building on our books, dating back to the year it’s named after, which makes it over 400 years old. At the time the chalet was built, Elizabeth I was Queen of England and Shakespeare had just finished scripting The Merchant of Venice!