Chatel Resort Reviews
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Visitor reviews for Chatel Ski Resort
November 13, 2016
Laura from France
My experience of Chatel have always been excellent and I have skied here in 4 seasons from 2013 to 2016.
The skiing is varied and vast and the Portes du Soleil pass is great value compered to other ski areas.
The resort coped very well in December 2014 and 2015 when the snow came late and was one of only 7 resorts in France open for the last week of December 2015, despite what British Media reported. They made huge efforts with reduced ski passes and even moving snow via helicopter to ensure piste coverage. Morzine and Les Gets were closed during this time as they are lower.
For the last 4 years the season has run until end of April (~25th) with good coverage and plenty of skiing. Better in the morning than the afternoons, normal for Spring skiing.
The Chatel area is no longer split with 2 new chairlifts added 2 years ago, linking Super Chatel to Linga (with a great view from the chairlift!!). Overcrowding is only an issue on peak weeks, UK half term and New year and this is the same in every resort.
Overall: 4.3. Based on 38 votes and 56 reviews. Vote
(1) At least one overnight stop, (2) requires a whole day, (3) requires more than half a day – you may have time for a few turns (4) arrive by lunchtime and ski all afternoon, (5) there is a main airport within an hour of Chatel.
Public Transport: 3.8
(1) There are no buses or taxis to Chatel, (3) there are slow or infrequent buses / trains available, (5) getting to the resort is easy with frequent bus / train connections.
(1) An ugly resort in a bland setting, (3) average mountain views and resort, (5) a spectacular setting and a beautiful / historic resort town.
(1) No places to stay in/near Chatel, (3) a few places to stay in the resort, (5) a wide variety of accommodation suitable to suit all budgets.
Cheap Rooms: 4.3
(1) No budget accommodation available, (3) just one or two hostels so book ahead, (5) several cheap hostels and pensions available.
Luxury Hotels: 4.1
(1) No luxury accommodation available, (3) just one or two luxury hotels so book ahead, (5) several up-market hotels in Chatel.
Ski in/Ski out: 4.0
(1) The ski area is located far from any accommodation, (3) a free ski bus takes you to the ski area in a short trip, (5) Ski-in ski-out accommodation is available.
(1) There are no child care facilities at Chatel, (5) the resort has excellent child-care facilities including at least one reasonably priced creche.
(1) Occasionally gets enough snow for skiing, (2) is often closed due to a lack of snow, (3) occasionally suffers from a lack of snow, (4) rarely suffers from a lack of snow, (5) Chatel is snowsure even in the poorest seasons.
(1) Chatel relies entirely on natural snow, (3) there are just a few snow cannons, (5) there are snowmaking facilities on all pistes.
Snow Grooming: 4.7
(1) There are no snow groomers at Chatel, (3) occasionally some pistes are left ungroomed and in a poor state, (5) all the runs at Chatel are groomed daily.
(1) there is nowhere to ski when it is windy or visibility is bad and lifts often shut, (3) there are some trees for poor visibility but main lifts sometimes close, (5) Chatel is mostly in forest where you can ski in flat-light and windy days, lifts rarely close.
Nearby options: 4.4
(1) If snow conditions are poor at Chatel, it will be poor everywhere nearby, (3) there are good alternatives within an hours drive, (5) other locations on the same lift pass provide a rich variety of snowsure ski conditions.
Regional rating: 4.5
(1) Chatel usually has poor snow conditions compared to other resorts in region, (3) has average conditions for the region, (5) usually has the best snow conditions in the region.
Lift Staff: 4.4
(1) The staff at Chatel are rude or unhelpful, (5) lift staff at Chatel are pleasant, cheerful and eager to help.
(1) the resort is always busy and there are usually long lift queues, (3) it is quiet apart from occasional weekends and school holidays, (5) it is uncrowded and lift queues are very rare.
Ski Schools: 4.7
(1) No ski schools available, (2) one or two ski schools but local language only, (3) a few ski schools but book early for multi-lingual instructors, (4) plenty of ski schools and multi-lingual instructors available, (5) excellent ski schools with friendly multi-lingual ski instructors.
Hire and Repairs: 4.9
(1) Nothing can be sourced, not even ski-wax or ptex. (3) there are some ski shops but rentals need to be booked in advance, (5) good quality ski equipment can be purchased or hired and overnight repairs are possible.
Variety of pistes: 4.7
(1) The ski runs are featureless and unvaried, (3) the ski runs are varied but not extensive enough for a week, (5) Chatel has diverse and interesting pistes including forests and high alpine terrain.
(1) Beginners can only watch others ski and snowboard, (3) a few gentle slopes but beginners will get bored in less than a week, (3) Vast areas of gentle terrain.
(1) No intermediate terrain at Chatel, (3) intermediate skiers will get bored after a few days, (5) vast areas of cruising runs.
(1) Nothing for advanced skiers and snowboarders, (3) enough steep terrain for a few days with some good offpiste, (5) Enough steep terrain and offpiste areas to entertain advanced skiers for at least a week.
Snow Park: 4.1
(1) Not even a kicker at Chatel, (3) average sized park quite well looked after, (5) huge park area and expertly crafted pipes, jumps and boardercross trails.
(1) No off-piste worth mentioning, (2) off piste is out-of-bounds, (3) some varied offpiste that stays fresh for one or two days, (5) a vast array of off-piste routes that can stay untracked for several days.
(1) There is nowhere to go for cross-country skiing around Chatel, (3) there are some cross country trails available, (5) the area features many spectacular and well maintained cross-country trails.
(1) No designated luge or toboggan runs, (3) there are toboggan runs that open quite often, (5) Chatel has long and well maintained luge / toboggan facilities suitable for all ages.
Mountain Dining: 4.7
(1) Nowhere to buy food by the pistes, (3) some places to eat up on the mountain but they are often busy and expensive, (5) there is a variety of excellent mountain eateries right next to the slopes to suit all budgets.
(1) Bring your own food, there isn't even a shop. (5) A wide variety of places to eat and drink in the resort, from fast food to fancy restaurants.
(1) Nothing to do, not even a bar, (3) there are a few bars in the resort but nothing special, (5) clubs and bars stay open until very late and have a friendly atmosphere.
Other Sports: 3.7
(1) No sports facilities at all apart from ski lifts, (3) resort has just a small public swimming pool, (5) resort has all kinds of sports facilities, including a full-size swimming pool.
(1) Besides the snow and walking there is nothing to do here, (3) the non-skier will find things to do for few days but may become bored after a week, (5) the resort area is a fascinating place to visit, regardless of winter sports.
Winter Walks: 4.1
(1) Very limited walking and no snowshoe trails, (3) a couple of designated scenic walking/snowshoe trails, (5) extensive and diverse winter walking trails for all abilities.
Ski Pass Value: 4.5
(1) A 1 week ski pass is overpriced compared to the number of lifts available, (3) the ski pass is averagely priced and covers a reasonable number of lifts, (5) ski passes are excellent value for money and cover a lot of lifts spanning a big area.
Value (National): 4.3
(1) Overall, Chatel is one of the most expensive ski resorts in the country and not worth the money, (3) overall represents average value for money, (5) overall offers the best value resort in the country.
Value (Global): 4.4
(1) Overall, Chatel is one of the most expensive ski resorts in the world, (3) overall it offers pretty average value for money compared to resorts from other countries, (5) internationally the resort offers excellent value for money.
May 28, 2016
Lee from United Kingdom
Love Chatel. The town is still authentically French. It's cheaper lift passes make it competitive against more famous ski areas and once you have been there for a week you will return! The locals are friendly and polite as are the lift attendants barking English at restaurant staff and shop assistants will probably be greeted with like minded rudeness where as a smile and a bonjour or pardon will go down well.
In fact, you won't like it, it's not for you so don't go ;0)
February 19, 2016
David from United Kingdom
We have been to Chatel several times over the last few years and own an apartment in the village, however, I hope this review is objective!
Chatel has certainly become busier, it is particularly noticeable this year. The resort does need to invest in the infrastructure needed to support the increasing numbers staying in the area, the lines waiting to pay in the Casino supermarket are now almost as long as those on some of the lifts. The Pre La Joux area is great, very good lifts, some lovely runs and some great places to eat throughout the area. Access to Avoriaz and beyond is easy. The Super Chatel area also has some lovely tree lined runs. However, it has obvious issues, with the new link from Vonnes and the gondola lift up from the town it is now easy to shift people up to Super Chatel. However, once the shifting people around is more problematic, it relies on two old slow chair lifts and numerous button lifts which creates large bottle necks at busy times. Exploring further across towards Torgon is fine on the buttons but getting back is a nightmare; I stood for 45 minutes yesterday while what seemed like hundreds of people funnelled into the single Tour Le Don button. It seems this bottleneck collects skiers from Petit Chatel, Torgon and Chapelle making their way across to the rest of Portes du Soleil. The lift system in this area needs upgrading.
Overall, it is a lovely resort, we find the people who work here very friendly and would recommend the place to anyone. However, Chatel needs to continue to invest to keep up with its increasing popularity.
December 13, 2015
Darren from France
Chatel, in recent years, has become a victim of it's own success. With its recent €12million investment in snow cannons making it a snow sure resort, the superb new lifts linking Super Chatel to Linga and the improvement in restaurants and accommodation, I am not sure why some people take such a negative view. Unfortunately, when there is no snow in the rest of the Alps, there is always snow in Chatel, hence the overcrowding. Please aim your negativity elsewhere! Having been here for 11 years, the slopes have only been closed for 1.5 days in that time. Compare that to higher resorts for example where there is no alpine cover and winds are stronger. Chatel village and the ski area is a classic alpine resort and there are not many more beautiful. Following a major incident on the chairlift a few years ago, I think staff may have to enforce regulation a little tighter now. Coupled with a language barrier, it may not always come across as polite. I am sure as this is possibly the largest ski area in the world with 650kms of piste and whole bundle more of off-piste, you will find slopes and areas to suit your ability.
February 27, 2015
David from United Kingdom
I feel a bit sorry for other reviewers who recently wrote about Chatel. Holidaying over New Year 2014/15 was challenging to say the least. However, nine tenths of what they experienced (I’ll come back to the last 10th later) was down to the weather, specifically the lack of snow, which affected the whole region. To be honest, without the modest snowfall the week after Christmas the result would have been absolute carnage; resort operators were more than a little worried.
Chatel, because of its north facing slopes and significant investment in snow making, actually had some albeit not as much as normal. Many nearby resorts were basically unskiable with resultant overcrowding as skiers came in from elsewhere. On the cost front, a further attraction of Chatel, is the relatively low prices with prices for food, drink, accommodation and lift passes substantially less than most stations with similar skiing. Anyone who doesn’t see this has clearly never skied in Verbier or Trois Vallees.
Comments that the resort lacks investment are simply wrong, but where I do agree with others is that there is an issue with the behaviour of some (by no means all) lift staff. Personally, I find that a simple “bonjour” actually makes a difference but it is something that all European ski resorts should look to North America for best practice.
Chatel is a great resort with fabulous skiing and friendly natives. Don’t let others put you off.
January 11, 2015
Jon from France from France
Chatel ski area is over priced and a rip-off. They hiked their prices this year but, by January 11th, are still not fully functional but offer only a small reduction in prices; the children's tariffs are only 4 euros cheaper than the adult prices. In addition, three of the main lifts were not running in the morning, resulting in huge queues for a one-man button lift.
There is over-crowding on the pistes which results in dangerous situations as people come close to collision out of frustration to maintain their speed at all costs. There appears to be no piste security policing this.
Pistes are poorly prepared and the lift staff are ignorant and badly trained. One chair lift operator continued to brush ice high up off the canopy of the loading area as we slid forward onto the moving conveyor belt, resulting in everyone getting covered in small sharp pieces of ice - nice one Chatel, top marks there for customer care then! There is evidently an attitude problem towards the heavily paying customer. The whole experience makes you feel bad and with children in tow it is not enjoyable.
My advice: go elsewhere, try one of the smaller family orientated resorts nearby where they are glad of the custom and prices are more realistic to what you are getting.
December 30, 2014
Dave from United Kingdom
Pretty place with lots of potential but ruined by poor organisation and lack of investment. Lifts shown as open when actually closed. Insufficient lifts causing massive queues. People choosing to walk up the mountain, in large numbers, rather than wait forever (not just a short walk but a 40 minute climb). Insufficient buses, massive queues and total lack of crowd control. This causes people to use their cars, causing traffic queues and further slowing the buses. Sort it out please. Advice is not to go to Chatel during school holidays.
September 10, 2014
Steve from United Kingdom
Chatel is a cracking place for people who are interested in hitting the slopes hard and exploring every day of their holiday. Probably not for hardcore clubbers but great for couples/more chilled out groups of mates etc / families.
It doesn't have the huge nightlife of a VT or such like but there are loads of restaurants and bars (and a couple of "clubs"). One of the main negatives of Chatel is that it is split between Linga/Pre la Joux and the village area/Super Chatel/Petit Chatel. It is only a 10 min bus journey but it can put people off. I believe a new lift is being built during the summer to link it all together! If you go...make your way to the Petit Chatel ski area...this is almost deserted most of the time!
Chatel is also a great entrance to the Portes du Soleil. The PDS is massive. It just keeps going. It isn't as well linked up as the 3Vs but its incredibly good fun to go off exploring for the day, in Switzerland, and then come back through Avoriaz.
I've been to Chatel 3 times and definitely will be returning a 4th time.
March 19, 2013
Garry from United Kingdom
Chatel and the Porte de Soleil are great BUT the lift operators need to go on a customer care course in the USA with very few exceptions. They just stand around gormlessly and let the seat whack you in the back of the legs and when it snows they don't sweep the seats clean so consequently you sit in a pool of freezing water. So wake up guys and make a good resort great.
January 17, 2013
jack sanderson from United Kingdom
Chatel is an amazing place! We went for 1 week over new year, we drove from the UK there; it was a quick and easy eight and a half hours much simpler than flying. When we were there the pistes were fantastically groomed, great snow depth, empty open runs for all levels. The town has an array of non snow sport options which one of our party members loved. It was the best ski week ever. The area is so vast you can't imagine it, the Stash at Linderets and the snow park in Avoriaz were amazing. Will be booking return soon.