For the uninitiated, the idea of a ski-in-ski-out chalet conjures up images of a luxury log cabin built on the side of a mountain that can only be accessed by snowmobile, or helicopter. The snow is all around but the roaring fire and chinchilla-fur rugs keep the occupants warm and cozy while the discreet serving staff deliver a succession of delicious canapés washed down by goblets of wines.
The reality of our ski accommodation is likely to be somewhat different from this image but sadly some unscrupulous operators will try to mask the location of their chalets to sell you (a version of) the dream.
This post is intended to unravel the mysteries and make sure you know what you are signing up for…
From the closest to the pistes, to the furthest. Here goes:
1. Doorstep Skiing
For us, this is the ultimate: step out of your door, clip into your skis and slide down the hill. And we define doorstep skiing to mean that the front door of the chalet has to be a maximum of ten metres from the slopes.
For an example of this, check out Chalet Evergreen (below) which offers doorstep skiing to the Hulotte piste.
This is a commonly misused term that seems to be applied to any chalet that one can get to and from without having to use a car or a bus or other form of motorised transport. To make it distinct from chalets with door-step skiing, we believe that a ski-in/ ski-out chalet must be within 100m from the piste.
A slope-side should be located, as the name would suggest, on the side of a slope but needn’t necessarily offer ski-in/ ski-out access – and normally won’t. It may be on the side of a forested slope that only the free-riders would take on.
For an example, check out Apartment Dou du Pont (below) which is located in the centre of Méribel and a short-walk/ short ski from the main lifts in La Chaudanne.
4. Town Centre Location
Of course, not everyone has the same plans when it comes to their ski holidays – and some people are happier to be located closer to the restaurants, bars and pubs than pistes. if you’re one of these people then select a town-centre location that makes the stumble home as quick and painless as possible.
This option’s not so easy to get confused with if you just check the distance in advance – but a town centre location in our definition should mean no more than a 5-minute walk to the main amenities.
5. Private Transfer Service
Not a location as such but if your chalet company offers you a private transfer service, it doesn’t matter too much where your chalet is located as you will be whisked from the chalet to the slopes or the Ski School meeting in the morning and picked-up again in the afternoon.
– Doorstop Skiing Vs. Private Transfer
Comparing the closest, to the furthest: one thing to bear in mind is that, while doorstep skiing is obviously a real selling point for any chalet, if you have children or beginner skiers you should find out what the skiing is actually like to and from the chalet. If you need to ski down a steep or challenging run to get back, or get going, it may be a premium that you should not have paid.
So, often it is better to go for private transfers which will take you from the door of the chalet to exactly where you need to be without the need to negotiate a busy blue run or a forested area.
Decided on your ski chalet location?
Then take a look at our availability for this season – there’s something to suit everyone, from doorstop to smack bang in the centre of town.