Which is the best ski resort?

Posted 29th June 2023

Which is the best ski resort?

I often get asked which is the best ski resort or we have this particular group where should we go.

In my opinion all ski resorts are great! I have never been to a ski resort and not had a great time because all ski resorts have:
Amazing scenery
Mountain restaurants
Apres ski
Happy People

But, if you are looking seriously at the best resort for your next ski holiday I would recommend looking at the following criteria:

Transfer Times
Your journey to and from a ski resort can have an impact on your holiday experience especially when travelling with children. The distance / travel time from your destination airport such as Geneva or Chambery to your resort can vary from 1hr to 3-4hrs which is a long time in a minibus.
Resorts with short transfer times are usually found in the Northern French Alps and include Chamonix, Verbier and the Portes du Soleil.
Resorts with long transfer times in the middle and southern French Alps include Val d’Isere, Meribel, La Plagne and Les Deux Alps.

Ski Area
Most ski areas have suitable slopes for all abilities but it is worth looking at size and variety of ski slopes when planning your next ski holiday to ensure it is going to be great for everyone in your group. I find the higher more vertical resorts do not cater as well for beginners such as Chamonix or Zermatt but offer some amazing terrain for advanced skiers especially those looking to combine off piste or mountaineering. Some resorts have a smaller ski area such as Courmayeur which is great for a weekend break but might be limited for a full week. Some of the most varied and exciting ski areas link multiple resorts such as the Trois Valley, Portes du Soleil, or Espace Killy.

Mountain Restaurants
A perfect ski day must include a wonderful lunch in a mountain restaurant. Maybe a cheesy fondue in a cosy restaurant with roaring fire or a delicious Savoyard Salad on a sunny balcony with amazing views. When booking your next ski holiday is is certainly worth getting advice on the best mountain restaurants in the area and book early to ensure you get a table. Here is an article I have written about the wonderful Restaurants in the Portes du Soleil.

Apres Ski / Night life
After an amazing day on the slopes it’s so much fun to drink with friends, enjoy some tunes, let your hair down and maybe even dance on the tables. If you love your apres-ski then some resorts and bars really stand out such as:
Farinet in Verbier
La Folie Douce Val D’Isere
Krazy Kanguruh in St. Anton
The Rond Point in Meribel
However that said La Folie Douce are opening bars across the Alps including Avoriaz and every ski resort has some great bars to enjoy some apres-ski festivities.

Activities for non-skiers
If you are organising a holiday for a large group you may need activities for people who do not want to ski everyday. There are some great activities in most ski resorts such as snow-shoe walking, husky rides and para-ponting. For less active guests some ski resorts such as Zermatt, or Val d’Isere have lots of boutique shops and spa facilities. It’s also often good to check if walkers can use some of the chairlifts to meet the skiers higher up the mountain for lunch.
Here is a article I have written about non-skiing activities in Chatel.

Not everyone has the budget to stay in a catered chalet in Courchevel which can cost anything up to £250,000 per week. In all resorts there is an array of accommodation options at different price points however it is worth noting that some resorts are much more expensive than others, not just for accommodation but also for ski hire, lessons, ski passes and eating out. Due to exchange rates the Swiss resorts such as Verbier and Zermatt are expensive for UK travellers. Recent employment laws in Austria have also made catered chalets in Austria more expensive than French or Italian options. If you are looking for value for money then the Portes du Soleil is a great option but you can also find smaller resorts connected to larger ski areas such as La Tania in the Trois Valley or Vallandry in the Paradiski ski domain.

Types of Resort
The mountains are beautiful across the Alps but I am afraid not all ski resorts have the same charm. Some of the purpose built ski resorts such as Tignes, La Plagne or Val Thorens are not the most aesthetically pleasing however do have plenty of ski-in / ski-out options. Resorts such as Meribel and Val d”Isere are also purpose built but with a lot more style and built with more care and planning. For real mountain charm there are several traditional farming towns which have developed into ski resorts such as Megeve, Serre Chevalier, and all the resorts in the Portes du Soleil. If you are looking for a busting mountain town with lots of shops and restaurants then I would suggest Chamonix or Zermatt.

There are 1161 ski resorts in the Alps and almost 4000 across Europe so plenty to choose from. I am not suggesting Chatel is the best ski resort in the World however it is definitely a hidden gem with lots of mountain charm, loved by all who visit and sitting in the World’s largest ski area, only 90 minutes from Geneva airport it’s a really good choice for your next ski holiday.

If you would like anymore information please look through or e-book or feel free to give us a call.

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