Chamonix, Argentiere, Les Houches, Le Tour, Vallorcine and Les Praz have luxury hotels, chalets, plenty of mid-priced hotel accommodation and endless apartments, ranging from the small and basic to luxury condominiums with indoor pools, saunas and spas.
Where to stay in the Chamonix Valley
Chamonix and Les Praz
Chamonix at 1035m above sea level, is a mountain town rather than a ski resort. Surrounded by steep sided mountains, it has attracted tourists in summer and winter for more than a hundred years. Its pretty centre is thronged with bars, clubs and restaurants that draw in visitors from the rest of the valley at night. It has two major lift stations: Plan Praz which accesses the Brevent end of the Flegere-Brevent ski area, and the Aiguille du Midi which is the starting point for the Vallee Blanche. There are also frequent busses and trains to the other ski areas. On the outskirts of Chamonix, about 3km (2 miles) from the centre, is the village of Les Praz which has its own lift, La Flegere, which accesses the other end of the Brevent-Flegere ski area. Les Praz grows bigger every year but it still feels more like a suburb of Chamonix than a separate resort.
Hotels and Apartments in Chamonix and Les Praz
Hotels in or near the centre of Chamonix with very high previous guest ratings include Hotel Mont Blanc (5 stars), Le Hameau Albert 1er (5 stars), Auberge du Bois Prin (5 stars), Heliopic Hotel and Spa (4 stars), Grand Hotel des Alpes (4 stars) , Chalet-Hôtel Hermitage (4 stars), Le Faucigny (3 stars), Oustalet (3 stars), Auberge du Manoir (3 stars), Hôtel de l’Arve (3 stars), Hotel le Chamonix (2 stars) and Hotel Du Louvre (2 stars). There are plenty of apartments too. At the top end, Le Paradis 24 , Le Ginabelle, Les Balcons du Savoy and La Riviere apartment complexes regularly get high ratings.
In Les Praz, hotels with high user ratings include Hotel Le Labrador (3 stars), Hotel Eden (2 stars) and Hotel Le Castel (no stars). The self-catering apartment Maya is also consistently popular.
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Chalets and Chalet holidays in Chamonix and Les Praz
UK travel agent Alpine Answers offers a good selection of chalet holidays in and around Chamonix and Les Praz. Currently they are offering Ultimate-Ski readers a £20 discount per group booking so make sure you mention Ultimate-Ski on their enquiry form if you want to claim this. Search their Chamonix chalets >>>
There are also self-catered chalets in Chamonix that can be booked direct: Search these self-catered chalets here >>>
About 6km (4 miles) up the valley from Les Praz, is Argentiere, home of the fearsome Grands Montets ski area. It has its own railway station, as well as frequent buses connecting it with Chamonix, but it is much more self-contained than Les Praz and has its own identity. There are enough remnants of the old mountain village to give it some character; the mountains and glaciers above it are stunningly beautiful, and the woods surrounding it are lovely to stroll around, but the high-rise apartment blocks near the lift are definite eyesores, and the road running through the village is surprisingly busy.
Hotels and Apartments in Argentiere
Les Grands Montets (4 stars) is at the bottom of the Grands Montets ski area, has all the 4-star luxuries you would expect (swimming pool , sauna etc) and regularly gets good reviews from previous guests. Hotel Le Montana & Spa (4 stars), is similar. La Couronne (3 stars) and Le Dahu (2 stars) are next door to one another on the through-road from Chamonix. There is a ski bus stop within 100m of them, but if you want to walk to/from the Grands Montets lift station and home piste, it only takes about 10 to 15 minutes. La Couronne is in an attractive and atmospheric old building, and its walls are lined with old photographs from the late 19th and early 20th century showing what Argentiere looked like in that era, as well as 3D maps of the surrounding mountains. It’s family run and has excellent service. The more modern Dahu has a restaurant which is a cut above what you would expect from a 2-star hotel. Both hotels are close to Argentiere’s most popular bars – The Office and The Savoy. Argentiere also has plenty of self-catered apartments; the most popular complexes include Residence Le Cristal, Residence Grand Roc, Residence de Lognan and Residence Grands Montets.
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Chalets and chalet holidays in Argentiere
UK travel agent Alpine Answers offers a good selection of chalet holidays in Argentiere. Currently they are offering Ultimate-Ski readers a £20 discount per group booking so make sure you mention Ultimate-Ski on their enquiry form if you want to claim this. Search their Argentiere chalets >>>
There are also self-catered chalets that can be booked direct: Search these self-catered chalets here >>>
Le Tour and Vallorcine
3km from Argentiere (and therefore about 12 km or 7.5 miles from Chamonix) is Le Tour. Situated at 1462m, Le Tour is the highest ‘resort’ in the valley, although it’s really just a collection of chalets and apartments clustered around the bus stop and lift station which gives access to the Domaine de Balme ski area. At the other end of this ski area is Vallorcine, a remote pretty village close to the Swiss border with its own lift and railway station, some rather grand old buidings (and a few modern residences sensitively developed alongside them) and lots of old-fashioned small wooden chalets. The railway station has trains both to Chamonix and to Martigny in Switzerland. It’s easy to ski between Le Tour and Vallorcine but they are 9km apart by road and separated by a high mountain pass.
Hotels, apartments and chalets in Le Tour and Vallorcine
Vallorcine and Le Tour are very apartment dominated. Tw0 of the best complexes are the aparthotel Résidence & Spa Vallorcine Mont-Blanc (Vallorcine) and Chalet Victoire (Le Tour) . But these are just the tip of a very large iceberg which includes plenty of budget options, so use the accommodation finder below to search for more.
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Entering the Chamonix valley from the rest of France, Les Houches is the first resort you come to, and so it’s the quickest to reach from Geneva airport. Chamonix is 8km (5 miles) up the road and many people who stay in les Houches never go there or further up the valley to the other resorts because unless you buy the expensive ‘MBU’ ski pass, the Les Houches lift pass does not cover them, and everything they need is in Les Houches anyway. At 1000m, Les Houches is the lowest resort in the valley and it has the lowest ski area – the top lift only reaches 1900m – although it has the best tree-skiing. The village has expanded considerably and now includes L’Essert, Le Fouilly and La Cote, as well as countless chalets stretching up the mountain, so it lacks an obvious centre. Much of the accommodation is in attractive low-rise buildings surrounded by trees and sufficiently far away from the N205 motorway to be untroubled by it, but it can be a long walk (or a short bus/car ride) to the two main lift stations at Prarion and Bellevue, which are nearly a kilometre apart.
Hotels and Apartments in Les Houches
Hotels which regularly get high ratings from previous guests include Auberge le Montagny (3 stars), RockyPop Hotel (3 stars) and Les Campanules (2 stars). None of them have the luxury of the CGH Hameau de Pierre Blanche which is an apartment complex but is graded as an ApartHotel because of the services and facilities on offer.
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Chalets and chalet holidays in Les Houches
UK travel agent Alpine Answers offers a good selection of chalet holidays in Les Houches. Currently they are offering Ultimate-Ski readers a £20 discount per group booking so make sure you mention Ultimate-Ski on their enquiry form if you want to claim this. Search their chalets in Les Houches >>>