It is ten seconds' walk from the church, at the very heart of Val d'Isere's quaint and quiet old village, and mere metres from the snow square, nursery slopes, drag lifts, ski schools, ski shops, bus stops and all the shops. Guests here spend more time skiing, eating and drinking and less time travelling around than anyone else in Val d'Isère.
If you wonder why you've never noticed Les Chardons, it is next to the Hôtel Bellevue (which you've probably never noticed either) on that little lane which leads from the Tourist Office roundabout to the church. Very few people and even fewer vehicles use this road, and it really is astonishingly silent. Even the church clock doesn't chime at night.
Les Chardons is a sweet little family hotel in one of the best positions in Val d’Isère, that we run as a chalet. It is probably the best-loved and fastest re-booked chalet in the whole of Val d’Isère.
Why? Well it’s not the fabric of the building. This is a former 0-star hotel, and is on the basic side. The rooms range from simple to comfortable, and when we come out from the UK we are always delighted to stay in them, but they are not plush. If luxury bathroom fittings or distressed timber wardrobes are important to you, you’d probably be better looking at some of our really smart chalets!
So what is the appeal of Les Chardons? First, it is in just about the best position in Val d’Isère, ten seconds’ walk from the church, at the very heart of Val d’Isère’s quaint and quiet old village, and mere metres from the snow square, nursery slopes, drag lifts, ski schools, bus stops and all the shops. Guests here spend more time skiing, eating and drinking and less time travelling around than anyone else in Val d’Isère.
Secondly, its food is famous. Our top chef Murray leads a team in the professional kitchen, aiming not just to match the food in our smaller chalets, but to surpass it. Eating well may not be your main motivation for coming to Val d’Isère, but breakfast cooked to order before your eyes and fresh cake when you get home are very pleasant. And it’s good to know that dinner in the charming dining room will provide the perfect ending to a day when all has gone well on the slopes or the antidote to the day when you kept falling over.
Thirdly, Les Chardons seems to generate an atmosphere of benevolent bonhomie. Don’t worry: we’re not going to rope you into pop quizzes or funny hats nights. The ambience depends entirely on you. We have a large French family, based all over the world, who meet up every year here for Christmas, and sip their wine and play games and refuse to try plum pudding. We have crowds of doctors on conferences discussing cirrhosis while trying to develop it, and families during school holidays amazed to hear their young actually complete a sentence. We have large groups of friends on long dining tables, and honeymoon couples at their own table. We even have couples who come regularly and have their own little table in the sitting room where they can eat in peace and quiet. The smiley young staff are carefully supervised by Murray’s Teutonically competent wife Christina.
Fourthly (is that a word?), Les Chardons has eleven single rooms for people who don’t want to share, and for which we do not charge a supplement. You may need to read that again! As well as having space for 32 guests in pairs or couples, Les Chardons has eleven rooms for people travelling alone, who are normally faced with the choice of sharing with a stranger or paying to keep the other bed empty. The singles actually comprise six twin and five double rooms, but we treat them as singles because they don’t have the same facilities as the other rooms. Five have showers and basins, five have bidets and basins and one has just a basin. There are three communal showers and three wcs on the landings. The question is whether you’d rather have a loo and share your bedroom, or have your own room but share a loo! (Seldom with more than three other guests.) Better still, during school holidays or when a single group books the whole chalet, a second person (must be a child during school holidays) can stay in these single rooms half-price. We can’t promise this extra person a flight, but with a saving of up to £700 someone in the party probably won’t mind booking a seat on easyJet or Jet2!
The twin and double bedrooms aren’t huge, but they’re comfortable, with modern bathrooms, good lighting and handmade curtains. Some have balconies, and all the rooms’ views range from good to fabulous. If views don’t do it for you, eight bedrooms (2, 3, 4, 5, 14, 15, 16 and 17) also have little flat-screen TVs with British Freeview.
Ten rooms have en-suite showers and loos (actually, some of them are baths, but those short ‘sit-in’ baths, so most people treat them as showers).
Six more bedrooms are in sweet, almost fully en-suite pairs, each room having its own shower-room and basin, but with one loo for both rooms on the landing between them. To some people it is very important to have their wc in their bathroom. Others however, particularly of the long-suffering wife variety, are quite glad not to! Anyway, for having to share a loo we give the four guests in each of these ‘suites’ quite a generous discount.
If you wonder why you’ve never noticed Les Chardons, it is next to the Hôtel Les Cinq Frères (which you’ve probably never noticed either) on that little lane leading from the Tourist Office roundabout to the church. The proper name of this little alley is the Rue Nicolas Bazile, though the locals tend to call it the Montée de l’Église. Very few people and even fewer vehicles use this road, and it really is astonishingly silent. Even the church clock doesn’t chime at night.
We do not run a bar, but guests keep their own drinks in a fridge in the sitting room, and we can buy drinks in for you if you tell us in advance what you’d like. It’s all at supermarket prices and there is no cheaper or more convenient way in the Alps to imbibe.
And there’s a snug, a second sitting area with HD Sky+ and BT for those of you who don’t want to miss the Test Match/News/America’s Next Top Model or whatever.
There’s a ski/snowboard locker and a room containing nothing but boot-warmers and glove-warmers. If you are accustomed to the pleasure of slipping your feet into warm, dry boots, wait until you put on warm, dry gloves!
Chalet Les Chardons is unique in Val d’Isère: a large chalet for keen skiers who are also keen foodies, and it sells out very quickly.
We are extremely well-suited to families. Some of our chalets are large, some small. Some are very smart, some very good value. And some have Extra Beds for children costing half the normal price (without flights), or 85% of the normal price if flights are included (though we cannot guarantee flights for extra beds).
Chalets are more relaxing for families than hotels, where parents are constantly worried that their brood will upset fellow guests, or self-catering apartments, where most of someone’s holiday will be spent shopping, cooking and clearing up.
And, perhaps surprisingly, Val d’Isère is the ideal family ski resort. It has good snow, short queues, wide nursery slopes with free lifts, and extensive new beginner runs higher up the mountain at the top of Solaise. (Beginners do, however, need a ski pass to access these higher nursery slopes) The flat village, free and frequent buses, very good ski schools, English-speaking instructors, and lots of British youngsters also help hugely. Where to Ski and Snowboard magazine describes the nursery slopes as ‘95% perfect’.
27 bedrooms for 43-48 guests
6 baths, 18 showers
Bedrooms with en-suite bath or shower and wc
Second Floor. Twin/double with shower, wc, TV and balcony.
First Floor. Twin/double with shower, wc, TV and balcony.
Second Floor. Double with shower, wc, TV and balcony.
First Floor. Double with shower, wc, TV and balcony.
Second Floor. Twin with bath, wc and balcony.
Second Floor. Twin/double with bath, wc and shared balcony.
First Floor. Twin/double with bath and wc.
First Floor. Twin with bath, wc and balcony.
Third Floor. Twin/double with bath, wc and shared balcony.
Third Floor. Twin with bath, wc and balcony.
N.B. Twin/double rooms. Please specify whether you would prefer your room to be made up as a twin or a double when booking. Please note these rooms are for two people only.
Baths. All the baths mentioned above are half-size with a shower attachment.
Suites, 2 rooms each with shower, sharing a wc
Second Floor. Twin with shower-room, balcony and wc shared only with room 21.
Second Floor. Twin with shower-room, balcony and wc shared only with room 20.
First Floor. Twin with shower-room and wc shared only with room 8.
First Floor. Twin with shower-room and wc shared only with room 9.
Third Floor. Twin with shower-room, shared balcony and wc shared only with room 29.
Third Floor. Double with shower-room, shared balcony and wc shared only with room 30.
Single rooms with shower
Room 17 Second Floor. Single with shower and TV.
Room 16 Second Floor. Single with shower and TV.
Room 5 First Floor. Single with shower and TV.
Room 4 First Floor. Single with shower and TV.
Room 6 First Floor. Single with curtained-off shower.
Single rooms with basin
Room 18 Second Floor. Single with basin.
Room 23 Second Floor. Single with basin.
Room 11 First Floor. Single with basin.
Room 27 Third Floor. Single with basin.
Room 32 Third Floor. Single with basin.
Room 26 Third Floor. Single with basin.
There is one wc and one shower on the first, second and third floors, and another wc on the ground floor.
Single rooms 4, 6, 11, 16, 18 and 23 have twin beds. Rooms 5, 17, 26, 27 and 32 have a double bed. The second bed in these rooms can only be used during school holidays by children , or when one group books the whole chalet at any time during the season. A maximum of 5 extra beds can be used. Extra beds are charged at 50% of the normal price of that room (subject to a minimum of £400) but these can only be booked without a flight . School holiday dates are: 15, 22 and 29 December 2019; 9 and 16 February; 29 March; 5 and 12 April 2020
We start with a proper breakfast. Fruit juice, porridge, cereals from Rude Health, bacon, eggs, baguettes straight from the famous local bakery, yoghurt, tea and fresh coffee from Nespresso machines (with instant or infusions for those who prefer them). On one morning breakfast will be self-service with fresh croissants and pains au chocolat delivered to your chalet.
You return from the slopes to find bread and jam, a freshly-baked cake (except on staff days off), tea and coffee left out for you. If you would like hot chocolate, please inform your chalet staff (and tell them how you like it!).
Dinner is where we pull out all the stops on five nights of your holiday. Our policy on food is straightforward. We start with the best cuts of meat and the best fresh fruit and vegetables, not really counting the cost. Everything we need is available in Val d’Isère. Most people are very happy with our normal formula of canapés followed by a three-course, fixed-menu, dinner-party-style meal. The cuisine is largely French, though with a fusion of other influences.
A small proportion of our guests wishes to eat different food from the rest of their party. If you request a different diet, we will be able to offer one alternative meal so that the normal meal or this alternative will be suitable for vegetarians, vegans, dairy free, no red meat or no onions/no garlic.
Or you could tailor-make a menu for your party for the week and ask us to cook, say, two fish meals, one chicken, one red meat (when vegetarians can simply not have the meat) and one vegetarian meal – or whatever combination suits your group. This way everyone enjoys the same meals all together and, dare we say it, eats a little more healthily.
If a diet is more complicated than those mentioned above, we may have to make a charge for special ingredients but we will let you know in advance. If you want us to buy in special non-dairy milks and yoghurts there will be a charge in the resort, much the same way as the alternative wines mentioned below.
There are some diets we cannot cater for. We regret that we do not have the separate fridges, etc., required for Kosher diets, we do not have access to Halal meats, and we cannot guarantee that our chalets will be nut-free.
With dinner, we serve free unlimited quantities of a selection of very drinkable French AOC wine and vin de pays. This is, unfortunately, only with dinner, not breakfast, and we stop serving the wine when the coffee appears.
We also have a wine list from which you can buy everything from slightly smarter wine to Châteaux Lafite-Rothschild or d’Yquem. We sell these wines at less than they cost because you are not drinking the house wine.
Damage deposit for all bookings.
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•½ of Espace Killy •Fantastic après •Traditional chocolate box village •Skiable glacier
Ski never-ending pistes and powder, ogle at colossal peaks and cosy Savoie architecture, then end the day with some of the world's most wild and wonderful après ski. Val d'Isere is considered by many to be the best ski resort on earth, and we’re inclined to agree.
Great for •Families •Groups •Non skiers •Catered Chalets
Snow Report: Top 215cm, Bottom 120cm
Snow Forecast: 25cm expected this week
Snow History: January average depth 113cm
Approx. airport transfer times depend on conditions:
|Chambéry (CMF)||145km, 1h45|
|Geneva (GVA)||180km, 2h40|
|Grenoble (GNB)||210km 2h50|
Val d'Isere lift pass price last reported as €294 (adult 6 day). Ask for a quote when booking Chalet Les Chardons.
Night skiing: Yes, every Thursday
Val d'Isere has NSEW facing slopes.
Usually open for skiing October - May.
|Top of slopes:||3300m|
|Bottom of piste:||1550m|
|Total length of trails:||300km|
|Longest piste:||10km (Tignes)|