Ski holidays are tough when you’re on a budget, but these chalets come without a gigantic price tag…especially if you choose a low season week.
Remember that in nearly all of these chalet half board is included – which is breakfast, tea and cakes after skiing, and three-course dinner with wine. So if you want to save money on a costly restaurant lunch paid for in euros, make sure you eat a big hearty breakfast. You could then manage a snack lunch or perhaps skip lunch and then tuck into a chalet tea of baguette and cake straight after skiing.
Another alternative is to visit the local supermarket then take a picnic in your backpack. Val d’Isere, for example, has an on-mountain lodge with a comfortable picnic area, complete with microwave. We hope the other resorts will soon follow suite.
You won’t normally find a swimming-pool or a full-blown spa in these chalets, and some of them are definitely no-frills, but double rooms will usually have en suite bathrooms, with linen, towels and bathroom goodies provided. Free wifi is likely to be included, but you’ll need to check whether it’s in every bedroom or just in the public areas.
Some chalets might have extras like pre-dinner canapés and hot tubs and log-burning fires, while others offer childcare (at extra cost) or slope transfer service.
Chalet staff will have one day off each week (as they will in a luxury chalet), which is your chance to try one of the resort restaurants.
Prices below range from £289pp (without flights) to £850pp (including flights and transfers) for one week chalet half board.
Chalet Austin, Morzine
Chalet Austin has an elegant interior, Italian designer bathrooms and huge floor-to-ceiling windows which capture one of the finest panoramic views in Morzine. The Austin sleeps eight in four bedrooms, each with an en-suite bathroom. The living area has furnishings made locally in Morzine.
The chalet is located 750m from the centre of the resort; a regular shuttle stops right outside and will whisk you to and from the slopes and town centre. You can walk into town in less than 15 minutes.
Chalet Maurilisa, Courchevel Moriond
Chalet Maurilisa has lots of character and is well located, a minute from the lifts and village of Courchevel Moriond (1650), yet it is tucked away off the main road in a quiet location. All three bedrooms have either an en suite or private bathroom. The chalet has recently had a makeover and the cosy sitting room has a log fireplace and new sofas. It opens onto a balcony overlooking the new hot tub. Sleeps six in three en suite twins.
Chalet Ptarmigan, Val d’Isere
Chalet Ptarmigan is located on Val d’Isere‘s main street, between hotels Savoie and Kandahar, and it has four bedrooms and four bathrooms, and a sauna. It is beautifully finished and fitted out with lots of old wood and granite, but also every conceivable mod con. The spacious sitting-dining room has a log fire and huge sliding windows onto a vast balcony. Sleeps seven or eight.
Chalet Elliot, La Tania
Chalet Elliot is a chocolate-box chalet set in the woods above La Tania, constructed in 1998 with reclaimed timbers taken from an old Russian farmhouse. The chalet has warm, cosy rooms and lots of traditional features. This building is divided into two wings (East and West) which can be individually booked for groups of up to eight people – or you can book both chalets and the connecting door can be opened to cater for 16 people as a group.
Chalet Neve, Reberty (Les Menuires)
Chalet Neve is a comfortable chalet situated right on the piste in the little hamlet of Reberty. In fact you can put on your skis right outside the boot room door. The chalet sleeps 15 to 18 people and is located at 2000m – there aren’t many chalets at such high altitude in the 3 Valleys. There’s a sauna, a dedicated children’s room, and outside on the south-facing terrace is a hot tub.
Chalet Polaris, St Martin de Belleville
Chalet Polaris is a stylish new chalet tucked away in a charming old quarter of t Martin. The enormous living room is on the second floor, with vast windows overlooking the Belleville Valley. The open-plan living space features a sofa draped with lovely furry rugs and a log fire. The huge wooden dining table is a central feature. The five large bedrooms have ultra modern en-suite bathrooms, kitted out with bathrobes, slippers and bathroom goodies from Cowshed.
Chalet Nicole, La Plagne 1800
Chalet Nicole is a spacious and newly refurbished chalet sleeping up to 30 people, almost all in family suites. The property is in a great location close to the slopes in Plagne 1800. On the lower ground floor there’s a spa area containing steam room and sauna. Bathrooms come with bathrobes, slippers and hair dryers, and there’s a free evening baby-listening service.
Chalet Rostaing, Vaujany
Chalet Rostaing is an old alpine farmhouse that has been meticulously restored and now oozes character and charm with an abundance of wood and local mountain stone. It sleeps 12-17 in six bedrooms – four of the bedrooms have a double bed and an extra single bed, and one of the bedrooms is an attic room sleeping four – perfect for children sharing. There are two sitting rooms with log fires, and the chalet benefits from a shared driver service.
Chalet Jazz, Reberty (Les Menuires)
Chalet Jazz sleeps 15 to 18 in four spacious family suites, all of them with en-suite bathrooms, and it’s recently been refurbished. There’s an open-plan kitchen, dining area and living room, large windows with great views and access to a hot tub on the terrace. The chalet is located in the attractive hamlet of Reberty.
Chalet Arbé, Meribel
Nicely decorated and located in Meribel Village, 80m from the high speed Golf chair-lift, Chalet Arbé combines convenience for skiing with stylish modern facilities. The chalet has three double/twin rooms, all with ensuite bathrooms, iPod docking stations and flat screen TVs. Bathrooms come with towelling dressing gowns, and chocolate bars are provided to take with you skiing.
Chalet Marie, Avoriaz
Chalet Marie is located right on the slopes and is a two-minute walk from the centre of traffic-free Avoriaz. The chalet is modern and spacious inside, and charmingly decorated with Alpine antiques and Savoyarde style. The seven wood-panelled bedrooms are all comfortable, and each has its own en suite bathroom.
Chalet-Hotel Rond Point, Megeve
Chalet-Hotel Rond Point is positioned at the heart of the medieval village of Megeve, with its open-air ice rink, horse-drawn sleighs and cobblestone streets. The Rond Point is a small and friendly chalet-hotel, with 13 homely rooms with en suite shower or bath and wc. Pre-dinner drinks are taken around the open fireplace. There’s a games room in the basement equipped with UK satellite TV, video player and board games.
Chalet Papillon, La Rosiere
The duplex chalet-apartment Papillon is on the first and second floors of the Chalet Papillon complex in the Les Eucherts sector of La Rosiere, close to the lifts and ski school. The chalet has six en suite bedrooms and an open-plan living/dining area. There’s underground parking in the complex, which is useful for those driving out.
Chalet Hermine, Plan-Peisey
Chalet Hermine is in the quiet ski village of Plan-Peisey, which is between Les Arcs and La Plagne in the giant Paradiski area. The comfortable chalet is the largest of a group of six in a superb central location, 75m from the nearest lift. The property has an outdoor hot tub overlooking the valley. In-house childcare (and ski tuition for the older ones) is available at extra cost for ages 17 months to 12 years.
Chalet Cervin, Meribel
Chalet Cervin is in the heart of the old hamlet of Mussillon, under 10 minutes’ walk from Meribel Village Centre and 250m from O’Sullivan’s Bar. A courtesy minibus service takes you to and from the lifts.
The chalet was recently renovated from a traditional Savoyard barn, and is beautifully furnished with lots of attention to detail throughout its wooden interior. The living area is open-plan and very light, with large French windows. All the bedrooms are of a good size with en-suite facilities, and three of them can take an extra child’s bed.
Chalet-Hotel Berangere, Les Deux Alpes
Chalet-Hotel Berangere is at the foot of the slopes in Les Deux Alpes. It has 63 double/twin rooms with ensuite bath. “The Berangere has a lovely old world European feel to it,” was a comment received from a recent guest. There’s an in-house children’s club. On the lower ground floor there is a sauna, steam room and heated indoor swimming pool, with massage and beauty treatments offered at extra cost.
Chalet-Hotel Charlotte, Serre Chevalier
Chalet-Hotel Charlotte was originally a monastery in Serre Chevalier and still retains the attractive architecture and details – such as alcoves, wooden beams, high curved ceilings and an open fire – which create a cosy ambiance. The building was completely renovated in autumn 2013. Positioned in the heart of Monetier, the property is a five-minute walk from the chair-lifts, while the patisserie, shops, and restaurants are all within easy reach. It has 11 bedrooms including two family rooms.
Chalet-Hotel Rosa, Lauterbrunnen
Chalet-Hotel Rosa has a grand exterior offset by large bedrooms, a living area with log fire and a professionally equipped kitchen. It’s in Lauterbrunnen, which is in the valley beneath Murren – the resort famous for the Piz Gloria revolving restaurant and the Schilthorn run – which featured in the James Bond movie, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. The property sleeps 30 in 11 bedrooms.
Chalet-Hotel Dragon, Cervinia
Located at the bottom of the main slopes, Chalet-Hotel Dragon is a welcoming place with a residents’ bar and a popular apres-ski bar. Its interior is somewhere between Italian mountain lodge and old English country pub. The snow-sure resort of Cervinia has 350km of fabulous skiing shared with Zermatt over the border in Switzerland. The chalet sleeps 24 – 26 people in 12 double rooms and one triple, and there’s a lift.
Dragon’s Lair, Jasna
Dragon’s Lair lies an eight-minute drive from the ski area base of Jasna, which has some of the best skiing in Eastern Europe. This is the only catered tour operator chalet here. It’s run by Australian Justin Garrett and his Slovakian wife Adriana, who built it from scratch, and is extremely comfortable with a wellness area and spacious living room around a log fire. The separate adjoining bar is open to non-residents. The chalet sleeps up to 19 in five attractively woody bedrooms all en suite. These include some split-level family rooms sleeping up to five.
Eco Chalet Diana-Ross, Bansko
Chalet Diana Ross is at the edge of Bansko’s historic old town, a five-minute stroll from the shops, bars and nightclubs. The gondola is just minutes away, courtesy of the chalet’s complimentary shuttle service.
This has got to be one of the cheapest chalets around. Does anyone know of another catered chalet where you’ll pay from £199pp low season to £399pp over Christmas high season week? Including transfers? The property sleeps 25 and has a large open-plan communal area, along with a separate sitting room featuring a widescreen TV and games consoles. There’s a hot tub and sauna, and table tennis.
The owners have three chalets in Bansko and are passionate about offering great mountain holidays whilst minimising their impact on the local environment. All the food is organic and home-made, with fair-trade produce and ingredients bought from local farmers. Meat, fish and much of the dairy on the menu have been responsibly sourced. Particular attention is given to vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free alternatives.