Whether you’re drawn to its sublime slopes, or would rather visit in summer to hike its verdant peaks, Chamonix is best enjoyed with a bit of flexibility. A self-catering stay gives you exactly that, with the ability to come and go as you please, the space to spread out, and the equipment to work some culinary magic with an array of local cheeses – Reblochon and Vacherin are both must-trys. So when you head for those famous slopes, be sure to book one of the best vacation rentals and villas in Chamonix right here on Culture Trip.
From the outside, this collection of apartments looks perfectly chalet-chic: think peaked roofs and long rows of balconies overlooking snow-dusted mountains. Inside the mountain-themed decor continues, with a range of warm wood-dressed suites sleeping between two and seven people, and flashes of fiery red for extra cosiness. Set at the edge of central Chamonix, restaurants and kid-friendly activity centres are in abundance nearby, but the sauna and indoor pool give you reason enough to stay in.
It’s classic Chamonix style – golden wood, furry throws, roaring fires – gone modern. Luxurious kitchens, stuffed with modern appliances, plus marble sinks in bathrooms and statement lighting wouldn’t feel out of place in a city flat, but smatterings of thoughtful alpine touches (not to mention those views) underline where you are. With an on-site spa, children’s pool and apartments ranging from one-bedroom (sleeping two) up to four (sleeping eight), it’s romantic enough for couples but kitted out for families, too.
Not into the classic chalet decor? Pointe Isabelle’s rooms – sleeping from one to four people – feel distinctly modern, with their minimalist pendant lights, sink-in leather sofas and patterned wallpapers. You won’t find full kitchens, but minibars, bar sinks and coffee machines let you easily prepare light breakfasts, simple suppers or bountiful snacks (we recommend a giant wedge of local Vacherin cheese). You’re just a three-minute walk from a clutch of popular restaurants, so you’ll certainly never go hungry.
Just 100m (328ft) from the Bossons train station, this unit (named Studio Grace) is a perfect nook for two. From your outdoor Jacuzzi, gaze at the imposing Mont Blanc, Aiguille du Midi and the Bossons Glacier. The minimalist interior leaves everything looking sparkling clean, while wood panels and fluffy fur throws add a warm and inviting quality. The host, his wife and family live in the main chalet mere steps from the apartment, so you can rest assured that you’ll be well taken care of during your visit.
This stunning apartment has a river passing by and mountain views all around in its quiet location about 2.5km (1.5mi) from the town centre. Much thought and care have gone into the chic decor of blues and greys. Meanwhile, skylights keep the space illuminated with natural light, and exposed wood beams give it an alpine vibe. One of the hosts, Sam, is a trained mountain guide who knows the area and its peaks exceptionally well and is happy to answer your questions or offer his advice.
This two-bedroom duplex, at the foot of Mont Blanc, mimics the snow-dipped mountains that rise before it, with high, slanted ceilings creating a conical peak, slate-grey stairs and kitchen countertops resembling rock and brilliant white walls forming a wintery backdrop. Wake up to the chime of the bell tower – whose postcard-worthy spire you can catch a glimpse of in the corner of the dining-area window – and flick on the espresso machine for a morning coffee at the breakfast bar. After an active day, kick off your hiking or ski boots (depending on the season), and lounge with a good book on the bedroom’s springy hammock floor.
Chloe Byrne contributed additional reporting to this article.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
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