People who book ski holidays independently – rather than through a tour operator – do so to save money and get better value holidays. Catered chalets are the ‘ideal’ ski holiday for many people, so to help you independently find your ‘ideal’ we’ve found eleven of the best independent catered ski chalets in France.
Firstly, and most importantly for many people, the best independent catered ski chalets in France represent great value for money. This is because smaller independent operations have lower costs, and by dealing with the chalet directly you are not paying commission to a middleman.
For some people this means saving money, for others they spend the same but get something much more luxurious. You can also make savings on the travel, either by flying on a budget airline, using airmiles, catching the train or coach, or even driving over – the choice is yours.
Building your own holiday around your chalet accommodation gives you more flexibility to create the kind of trip you really want. Sunday to Sunday is popular with independents meaning you avoid the busy saturday arrival. You can also time your travel to be able to ski on arrival and departure days – meaning eight days skiing rather than six.
By booking independent catered ski chalets you are more likely to get a better standard of service, accommodation and food, with a more personal approach. This is because the owners either run the chalet or if they have a few chalets they are still heavily involved. Chalet staff tend to be older and more experienced, with hardly any of them doing their first season.
There are some drawbacks. Booking independently can be time consuming, and it is not always cheaper – you need to thoroughly research the travel options. Also if you travel independently you are not covered by ABTA or TTA, which travel agents and tour operators legally have to use to protect your holiday. However you can get some degree of protection by booking on your credit card.
With all that in mind I am sure you now want to go independent. But there are almost too many options…… So the team at AWE365 we have pooled our collective experience, asked friends and family and come up with this list of eleven of the best independent catered ski chalets in France.
All companies on the list has either been experienced directly by one of the team, or personally recommend to us by someone that has experienced it. We are sure there are many other great independent chalets out there so let us know your favourites in the comments.
With chalets across two of France’s premier destinations, Val D’Isere and Tignes, Ski Bonjour has plenty of options to choose from. All their chalets offer the high quality catered service you’d expect to find at a top hotel, combined with the relaxed, friendly and fun atmosphere of a family home.
All the Ski Bonjour chalets are conveniently located close to the slopes, and there are options available for everyone from single travellers up to groups of 50 or more. A close friend of mine stayed with Ski Bonjour a couple of years ago, he has not yet stopped going on about how good the food was and that it was his best chalet experience.
I stayed with Venture Ski last winter and the staff provided the best service I have ever received in a ski resort, read my review here. They operate six luxury chalets in the small resort of Sainte Foy, that all come with luxurious spa facilities, incredible food, first class childcare and a hot tub on the balcony. Sainte Foy is small and quiet and perfect for families but is also renowned for freeride. Visit: www.ventureski.co.uk
With chalets in the traditional ski villages of Peisey and Nancroix in the Vallandry area of Les Arcs, there is easy access to La Plagne and the 400km Paradiski area. Whitebeam offer a classic ski chalet experience at a very reasonable price. The chalets come with their own private management and knowledgeable host teams available 24 hours a day. Visit: www.whitebeamchalets.co.uk.
Stanford offer catered chalets in Megeve, a famous and beautiful resort, but a relatively undiscovered gem in terms of British skiers – even the French only visit during the holidays. Megeve has no mass market ski groups and one of the cheapest lift passes in France, which combined with the lovely Stanford Skiing chalets and legendary service makes a ski holiday with a difference. Visit: www.stanfordskiing.co.uk.
In La Plagne, Les Arcs, Tignes and Les Menuires Skibug specialise in offering all the luxury you would expect from a private chalet experience, without the associated price tag. This is budget ski accommodation with a difference – fully catered, excellent facilities and down to earth service. Ideal for big groups of friends or families on a budget. Catch the Skibug at http://www.skibug.co.uk/.
If you are environmentally conscious then Green Rides offer the best independent catered ski chalets in France for you. Based in La Rosiere and Val d’Isere (Sainte Foy coming in 16/17), Green Rides aim to have minimal environmental impact, adding new green initiatives each year while maintaining luxury chalets, delicious food and offering yoga. Find out more: www.green-rides.com.
Rude have been offering modern, funky and fun catered chalets since 2003. This is a company with modern approach, ideal for a younger crowd looking to embrace the mountain lifestyle. Let these guys be your guide to the Morzine and Chamonix experience. The fun begins at www.rudechalets.com.
Providing winter ski chalets in the most inspiring locations, Adventure Base is the ultimate mountain activity accommodation. Open all year and covering all mountain activities, their catered ski chalets are the perfect setting for an epic winter adventure. Find out what’s in store at www.adventurebase.com.
The first thing you notice about Hucksters is the price. This is catered ski accommodation in top resorts that’s incredibly affordable. If you thought a catered chalet was way out of your price range, then think again. They also offer coach travel from the UK and are a bonded tour operator. Check out the incredible deals at www.hucksterslodge.com
Based in the Pyrenees, Mountain Bug is a small, boutique chalet provider that specialise in designing experiences around your needs. With simple, homely accommodation and good transport links, Mountain Bug offer a range of board and catering options. The accommodation is available throughout the ski season and for summer activities too. For more information visit www.mountainbug.com.
Reves de Montagne provides a fine dining chalet experience. Based a few minutes from Morillon and Samoëns in the Grand Massif, it comes with a well regarded chef cooking up sumptuous meals, accompanied by superb wines and excellent service.
Reves de Montagne is a traditional French Savoyard farmhouse that was built in 1746. So it is full of character and authenticity, and has been tastefully renovated into a luxury ski chalet. It sleeps up to ten adults and four children in en-suite bedrooms and a family suite.
You can store all your wet gear in the the ski room which comes with heated boot drying. To keep kids – and big kids – entertained there is a games room with pool table and table football, plus a cinema room with a 160cm TV. The large open plan living and dining room has original wooden beams, double height ceilings and a huge picture window for the wow factor.
At Reves de Montagne you get a five star experience making it one of the best independent catered ski chalets in France. Find out more www.revesdemontagne.com or call Karen on + 33 6334 50012.
All of the above offer top catered accommodation based around different needs. From fine dining, to great value, to green credentials plus based in resorts ranging in size and style. Work out your priorities and choose from our list of the best independent catered ski chalets in France and you won’t go wrong.
Please leave a comment if you know of a chalet you feel is one of the best independent catered ski chalets in France.