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 ApartHotels with indoor pools, saunas and spas.
Where to stay in the Chamonix Valley
The valley runs north eastwards as you come in from the motorway, and it’s about 25kms (15 miles) from Les Houches at the start to Vallorcine at the far end near the Swiss border.
Les Houches at 1000m is the lowest resort in the valley with the lowest ski area – the top lift only reaches 1900m. The village has expanded considerably and now includes L’Essert, Le Fouilly and La Cote, as well as countless chalets stretching up the mountain. This means most of the accommodation is 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 themselves nearly a kilometre apart. There are plenty of attractive, low-rise, chalet-style buildings, often surrounded by trees, but no real centre.
The town of Chamonix at 1035m is 8km (5 miles) up the valley from Les Houches. It is very much a town rather than a ski resort, but it has two major lift stations (Plan Praz which accesses Brevent and the Aiguille du Midi) a pretty centre and a definite buzz about it at night. On its outskirts is the village of Les Praz which has its own lift, La Flegere, linking into the Brevent-Flegere ski area. It grows bigger every year but it t still feels more like a suburb of Chamonix than a separate resort.
At 1252m Argentiere, home of the high, steep and deep Grands Montets ski area, is a further 6km (4 miles) up the valley. It has its own railway station, as well as frequent buses connecting it with Chamonix. There are enough remnants of the old mountain village to give Argentiere some real character, the mountains and glaciers above it are stunningly beautiful, and the woods surrounding it have lots of lovely tranquil walks but it’s not unscarred by modern tourism: the high-rise apartment blocks near the lift station are a definite eyesore, and the road running through the village centre is surprisingly busy.
Le Tour, situated at 1462m and about 12km (7.5 miles) from Chamonix, is really just a collection of chalets and apartments gathered around the lift station which links it to Vallorcine, a small village close to the Swiss border with a railway station surrounded on one side by some rather grand looking buildings, and on the other by small pretty wooden chalets. It’s easy to ski between Le Tour and Vallorcine (the combined ski area is called the Domaine de Balme) but they are 9km apart by road and separated by a mountain pass.
And these are just the main accommodation centres in the Chamonix valley. There are lots of other villages, suburbs, hamlets and groups of chalets along the way. And to some extent it does not matter where you stay because nowhere has quick access to all the different slopes, so at some point in your holiday you’re probably going to take a bus or train, or drive a car, wherever you’re based – it’s all part of the Chamonix experience. But if you’re a keen strong skier who wants to spend as much time as possible on the toughest slopes, try to stay in or near Argentiere. And if you’re a night owl who wants to take in as much nightlife as possible, try to stay in or near the centre of Chamonix itself.
Hotels and apartments in the Chamonix Valley
Chamonix and Les Praz
Hotels in 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 (near the Flegere lift), 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.
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, and are both on the through-road from Chamonix which can be busy. 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 12 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.
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.
Vallorcine and Le Tour
Vallorcine and Le Tour are very apartment dominated. tw0 of the best complexes are the aprthotel 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.
Chalet holidays in the Chamonix Valley
Alpine Answers has over 30 chalets on its books covering the whole valley. Most are catered and some include flights from the UK and/or transfers from the airport, but you can ask for discounts if you’re not coming from the UK or want to organise your own transport.
There are also self-catered chalets without transport which are best booked direct online. Search these self-catered chalets here >>>
UK Tour Operator Package Holidays in Chamonix
Inghams provides hotel and self-catering apartment holidays in Chamonix, including flights from the UK and airport transfers. Search their Chamonix holidays here>>>