This 12th-century Savoyard village in the French Alps offers a wealth of hotels oozing with alpine charm – and the tree-lined skiing is pretty lovely too. Here’s our pick of where to stay.
Les Gets, in the Portes du Soleil region of the French Alps, with easy access to 650km (400mi) of pistes, is peppered with traditional chalets and perfectly placed for a mountain getaway – and it’s only an hour from Geneva airport. Tree-lined pistes snake up from both sides of the town, and they link with neighbouring Morzine, providing plenty of terrain to keep skiers and boarders happy. Families love it here (the central, open-air ice rink helps), while good bars and restaurants add to the buzz.
Chalet-Hôtel La Marmotte
Courtesy of Chalet-Hôtel La Marmotte / Expedia.com
Sheepskin-covered furniture, an open fire under oak beams, honey-coloured-wood panelling… the hygge is off the scale at this rustic, boutique bolthole. The 119sqm (1,280sqft) infinity pool is a big draw, alongside the top-notch spa that boasts seven treatment rooms and an herbal infusion chamber. Ski lifts are a two-minute stroll away, and you have a choice of three in-hotel restaurants.
Long for fresh tracks but love a lie-in? Check into this petite, family-owned gem in the heart of the village, and you’ll only need to stagger 50m (165ft) to the high-speed, six-person Chavannes chair lift. Return for après-ski beers at the fireside bar, come sunset. Outdoor hot tubs, the sociable staff and cosy atmosphere all add to its allure.
Slap bang next to the ski school and 200m (655ft) from the main lifts, this family-friendly hotel could not be better located. Families rave about its service and thoughtful facilities. Contemporary Scandi chic combines with practical spaces – expect a generous wardrobe for all that ski paraphernalia and a pre-bookable hot tub, so you can have it all to yourselves. Breakfast is a highlight, with a vast continental spread of cheeses, meats, yoghurts and enough bread to rival a boulangerie.
Interconnecting rooms, suites big enough for five (and the accompanying gear) plus playful mezzanines make the Crychar a win for bigger families. Decor is simple and modern. Plenty of timber makes it feel chalet-like, but contemporary not traditional. Families will be happy with the games room (with table football, films and board games), the 70sqm (753sqft) pool and the wellness area, complete with sensory shower and ice fountain. Winter mornings are easy – grab your boots from the heated warmers, skis from your personal rack, and you can get from hotel to piste in under 10 seconds.
It may look elegant and ice-cool, but the centrally located 23-room Chamois d’Or is universally loved for its friendly, laid-back vibe. The welcoming staff consistently receive five-star reviews, and the minimalist designer surroundings are the icing on the cake. Clever lighting and a neon-lit bar add to the chilled ambience. The Indigo bar serves up cracking cocktails, while the in-house Baaji restaurant dishes up excellent Indian cuisine.
Love a good breakfast to start your day in the mountains? The Alpina delivers with mouthwatering brioche and home-made jams, rivalled only by the dessert table laid on in the evenings for pick-and-mix delicacies. You won’t find in-room tea and coffee making facilities at this traditional Alpine, three-star hotel, but with breakfasts this good, you’ll be raring to get to the restaurant anyway.
With wood-panelled walls and cowbells hanging from the ceiling, Le Labrador is a hotel and apartment complex dripping with French Alpine tradition. It’s just a short downhill stroll into town, staggering distance to the boulangerie to collect morning croissants and a 10-minute walk to the ski lifts. The restaurant serves hearty, old-school French dishes (try the côte de boeuf wood-fire grilled in front of you) and offers a good wine list.
Can’t be bothered with piste maps or weather forecasts? Let the ski concierges take over and guide you, before heading back to five-star service. With one member of staff to every three guests, Ferme de Montagne has established a reputation for outstanding service. The friendly but unobtrusive staff concern themselves with everything, from the firmness of your pillows to the factor of your sunscreen. The lovingly restored Savoyard farmhouse (think stone walls, weathered beams and oak floors) sets high standards in attention to detail. Dreamy Hypnos beds? Tick. Locally sourced tasting menus matched with wine? Tick. Home-made spelt bread, designed to stimulate the body’s immune system? Bien sûr.