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Visitor reviews for Chatel Ski Resort
March 31, 2017
Vicky from United Kingdom
Chatel is great, even when the weather is not in its favour. The pistes are well groomed and all the pisteurs etc so friendly.
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Overall: 4.3. Based on 41 votes and 61 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: 4.2
(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: 4.3
(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: 4.3
(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: 4.2
(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.
March 22, 2017
Dave from United Kingdom
Thank you to the very nice lady running the Rochasson lift who took down the barriers to let us on, even though we had turned up 5 minutes late to get back to Avoriaz.
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January 12, 2017
Madeleine Winnett from United Kingdom
I have no idea what another reviewer is talking about. I have been in Chatel for the last 9 days. The pistes are superbly prepared under what has been very difficult conditions. When you consider how little has been open in Les Crosets, Morzine, Les Gets, etc, Chatel has done brilliantly to have so much open. I have been coming here twice a year for nearly 20 years now, and seen year on year improvements. I have skied Verbier, St Anton, Cervinia, and Val d'Isere many times and Chatel is my first choice resort every time.
January 11, 2017
Alistair Webster from United Kingdom
Why has this negative comment been displayed for so long? It is miles from the reality. I ski in the area several times a year and so know it well. The job done by the pisteurs over Christmas/New Year 2016-7 has been quite miraculous. Despite the lack of snow, they have maintained a significant number of slopes in good condition. I skied every day for a week over New Year. I was amazed by what they had managed to achieve.
The area is well linked and much money has been invested i improving the lift system, which is unrecognisable from 20 years ago. Prices are very reasonable. The pistes are well maintained. There is a good range of restaurants on the slopes.
By way of comparison, Morzine is far less snow sure and Les Gets has really struggled with lack of snow so far.
January 04, 2017
Adam from United Kingdom
I agree with the majority. I have been the past 2 years and I am off there in 2 weeks, again. I have no intention of looking for another resort; the people are great and friendly, they are already getting to know me and my family and everything is close, so no major hikes in the evenings!
Ski hire is easily accessible and the twoddle about lifts is hilarious: lifts break, people, that happens anywhere. It happened last year for me and in under 2 hours they had a new electric motor fitted, no mean feat and I am an engineer. If you go every year there is a 10% discount for online passes, so I think that is loyalty reward enough.
Love the place and I'm buzzing for getting there this year!
The drive is spectacular, by the way, if you're brave enough!! ;-)
Cheers - Vin Chaud with my name on it shortly
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.
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.