Ski France

Chamonix Resort Reviews

Ski France

Chamonix Resort Reviews

Visitor reviews for Chamonix Ski Resort

Chamonix Ratings

Overall: 4.0. Based on 44 votes and 86 reviews. Vote

Access: 4.5

(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 Chamonix.

Public Transport: 4.1

(1) There are no buses or taxis to Chamonix, (3) there are slow or infrequent buses / trains available, (5) getting to the resort is easy with frequent bus / train connections.

Scenery: 4.7

(1) An ugly resort in a bland setting, (3) average mountain views and resort, (5) a spectacular setting and a beautiful / historic resort town.

Accommodation: 4.6

(1) No places to stay in/near Chamonix, (3) a few places to stay in the resort, (5) a wide variety of accommodation suitable to suit all budgets.

Cheap Rooms: 3.9

(1) No budget accommodation available, (3) just one or two hostels so book ahead, (5) several cheap hostels and pensions available.

Luxury Hotels: 4.6

(1) No luxury accommodation available, (3) just one or two luxury hotels so book ahead, (5) several up-market hotels in Chamonix.

Ski in/Ski out: 3.2

(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.

Childcare: 3.9

(1) There are no child care facilities at Chamonix, (5) the resort has excellent child-care facilities including at least one reasonably priced creche.

Snowsure: 4.0

(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) Chamonix is snowsure even in the poorest seasons.

Snowmaking: 3.3

(1) Chamonix relies entirely on natural snow, (3) there are just a few snow cannons, (5) there are snowmaking facilities on all pistes.

Snow Grooming: 3.8

(1) There are no snow groomers at Chamonix, (3) occasionally some pistes are left ungroomed and in a poor state, (5) all the runs at Chamonix are groomed daily.

Shelter: 3.3

(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) Chamonix is mostly in forest where you can ski in flat-light and windy days, lifts rarely close.

Nearby options: 3.9

(1) If snow conditions are poor at Chamonix, 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: 4.0

(1) Chamonix 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: 3.8

(1) The staff at Chamonix are rude or unhelpful, (5) lift staff at Chamonix are pleasant, cheerful and eager to help.

Crowds/Queues: 3.2

(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: 4.3

(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: 4.7

(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: 4.5

(1) The ski runs are featureless and unvaried, (3) the ski runs are varied but not extensive enough for a week, (5) Chamonix has diverse and interesting pistes including forests and high alpine terrain.

Beginners: 3.1

(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.

Intermediates: 4.0

(1) No intermediate terrain at Chamonix, (3) intermediate skiers will get bored after a few days, (5) vast areas of cruising runs.

Advanced: 4.7

(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: 3.3

(1) Not even a kicker at Chamonix, (3) average sized park quite well looked after, (5) huge park area and expertly crafted pipes, jumps and boardercross trails.

Off-piste: 4.8

(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.

Cross-country: 3.7

(1) There is nowhere to go for cross-country skiing around Chamonix, (3) there are some cross country trails available, (5) the area features many spectacular and well maintained cross-country trails.

Luge/Toboggan: 3.0

(1) No designated luge or toboggan runs, (3) there are toboggan runs that open quite often, (5) Chamonix has long and well maintained luge / toboggan facilities suitable for all ages.

Mountain Dining: 3.4

(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.

Eating: 4.5

(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.

Apres-Ski: 4.4

(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: 4.6

(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.

Entertainment: 4.5

(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: 4.2

(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: 3.6

(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): 3.6

(1) Overall, Chamonix 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): 3.7

(1) Overall, Chamonix 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.

Show all 35 ratings

February 07, 2016
from Ski United Kingdom United Kingdom
Quality before quantity. Chamonix, how I love and hate it. In some ways, it's simply the best place to ski; ever. In other ways, it's like a high maintenance beauty that's emotionally unstable. The Aguille Du Midi and the Vallee Blanche are stunning, also Grand Montets is an amazing ski area too. Any advanced or expert skier could live here forever and die happy. However, oddly for many others it really should never be recommended. Let me explain. Mont Blanc is on the western side of the Alps and is the highest peak, so it attracts the most unstable weather. This can be good because it will probably get some of the best snow, but then can also be bad because fog, rain and high winds are more likely. Cham is at an altitude of only 1000 meters meaning many of the lower runs will be unskiable most of the year. The locals seem slightly laissez-faire: the first lift doesn't open until 8.45 or 9 and you could be hanging around with no information. Then the lifts shut at 3.30. The town is massively popular so the big cable cars on Montets and Aguille Du Midi have to be pre booked. Some of the ski areas are at a stupidly low altitude and are far apart needing long bus journeys. If you ski the Valley Blach you're unlikely to ski for more than 1.5 hours the whole day over a 1600 meter vertical drop. So for the improving intermediate or low advanced skier, on a six day ski holiday, Chamonix is a bit of a disaster area. You spend more time queuing, sitting on buses or on slow antiquated chair lifts than you ever will skiing. In this case, it would be better to find a ski area less crowded, better situated and open for longer to get the most from your precious short time on the snow and paying 5 Euros for a can of cola. However, if you are an expert skier looking for a place to live Chamonix would be a great choice. If you have a season pass and just ski those blue-bird days after a snowfall it couldn't be better. Or maybe you've fully mastered the gnarliest, steepest black runs, and are bored of regular resorts and need some insane ice-climbing/mountaineering skiing. I'm not saying Chamonix isn't amazing or shouldn't be on every skiers bucket list, but it is something to work toward, especially if you have already had at least 10 days on snow that year.
January 28, 2009
from Ski Australia Australia
I can thoroughly recommend Chamonix to anyone who is contemplating a visit. I have been skiing for 30 odd years and this was my first trip to Cham (Chamonix) and loved it. If anyone goes and needs a good/excellent guide to ski the Vallee Blanche or anywhere else for that matter make sure you do yourself a favour and hook up with Kenton Cool, AKA Coolman, from Dream Guides based in Chamonix. He is passionate about climbing and the mountains, and his positive attitude to his job as a guide is infectious. He certainly knows the mountains; then again I suppose you would after climbing Everest 6 times. Get on board with him; you'll love it. Make sure you head to the the Neuf...Chambre Neuf for a good apres session at Chamonix. It is located opposite the bus station. Happy Crankin...AP
January 05, 2015
from Ski United Kingdom United Kingdom
Fantastic scenery but inadequate infrastructure. The key lifts [e.g. Parsa at Brevent] and Grand Montet are woeful. Huge crowds/very slow/too expensive. I will never fail to be be captivated by the beauty of the place but after ten years of going three or four times a year I have realised that the customers are being taken for mugs. Definitely visit if you can get there, but only in a quiet period; avoid if it's a busy one!
March 21, 2007
from Ski United Kingdom United Kingdom
Went self catered to Chamonix through PrimaryRentals.com. Would recommend self catered to anyone for the freedom you have in your own place. Skiing is, in my opinion, the best in Europe and I have been to most of them! For really difficult skiing Argentiere is a must, whilst Les Houches is great for families and beginners. I guess the only downside of Chamonix town itself is that you end up getting a bus most days to one of the other resorts, but the nightlife is brilliant. Go there!
January 11, 2018
from Ski United Kingdom United Kingdom
My nephew & I got invited on a 30th birthday long weekend at the end of Jan 2017. The 7 of us got into town just after 12pm. The hire shops were closed from 12-2pm . What's that all about? After an hour or so in a "steady" bar we headed back to the hire shop for gear, hoping to catch the last 2 hours on the slopes; the hire shop wouldn't allow us to leave our footwear there. Fair enough! Next morning we hiked up the road to the gondola from town, not impressed by the local mountain. Buses next day to the other mountains, no snow-making to top up through lack of snowfall. Les Houches was probably the best area. Nothing challenging but quieter than Argentiere. More nightlife at a whist drive, you can keep Chamonix. I'm struggling to find something good to say, it's back to good old Austria for me. I'd rather take up indoor bowls than be paid to come back here, not impressed.
April 21, 2008
from Ski United States United States
I want to counter some of the very surprising negative comments about Chamonix. The cable cars may be old, but they get the job done, and efficiently and quickly transport skiers up to the mid station or summits. The gondola at Bochard on the Grand Montet is new and rapid, and La Herse chairlift is a new, six person speedy lift. Also, Le Brevent has three quite new, speedy chairlifts, and a new high speed six person chairlift whisks skiers up the main slope of La Flegere. The chairlifts on the Vallorcine side of Le Tour are also new. So Chamonix has made a major effort to upgrade and improve its lift system. The biggest problem with lifts, is that when there is insufficient snow to ski from the mid-stations down into the valley, the wait to access the lift back to the valley can be long at Le Brevent and La Flegere. The way to avoid the wait, is to return to the valley before 3:15 PM, but not everyone wants to depart this early. At the Grand Montet this is rarely a problem because the Rierre a Ric trail down the mountain has snow-making. One commentator said the weather is permanently bad. This is a ridiculous statement. The weather is no better or worse than most of the Alps resorts. Indeed, the weather has been clear and rather mild on the majority of the many days over 25 years that I have skied at Chamonix. This April it was sunny for four days and cloudy and sometimes snowy for three days when I was there. The bad thing is that when the weather is cloudy, foggy or snowy, visibility can be difficult since most of the skiing is above tree line. But many ski stations in the Alps are above tree line. Chamonix has a reputation for difficult slopes. However, the majority of the slopes at Le Tour, La Flegere, Le Brevent and Les Houches are blue and red in difficulty. The most difficult area is the Grand Montet, but even there the groomed pistes are mostly reds and easy for an intermediate skier to do. For excellent skiers the slopes at the Grand Montet are an endlessly challenging and exciting. A reviewer said that none of the slopes are groomed, which is false. Every area, including the Grand Montet, cuts pistes into the snowfields and grooms them well. At the Grand Montet, for example. one can ski groomed pistes down verticals of 2072, 2428, 2564, and 3345 feet. A reviewer said a positive is that there are "some good" views. I have skied all over the world and regard the views at Chamonix to be unsurpassed in beauty and splendor. Nowhere else in France or Austria are the views so spectacular. In Switzerland, at Saas Fee and Zermatt, and maybe Grindelwald the views come close, but I still prefer them at Chamonix. A reviewer says the town of Chamonix is filled with Soviet style concrete bloc architecture. Yes, there are a few unfortunate concrete apartment buildings above the main street, but overall, Chamonix retains its architectural tradition and charm. It is a lived-in French town, with far more architectural interest than the modern ski towns of Les Trois Vallees, Val d'Isere or Verbier. Also, along the valley are small traditional towns that, largely, retain their original architecture. Chamonix is full of excellent restaurants--French, Italian, Thai, and even Indian. I can't comment about the night-life but there are plenty of bars. One reviewer stayed in Les Houches and said access was difficult to a supermarket or to bars. Why would anyone without a car want to stay at Les Houches, which is far from the center of Chamonix, and an inferior ski area to boot. A reviewer says that one has to drive or take a bus to every ski station. If one stays in town, one can walk easily (but up a hill) to Le Brevent. Otherwise, it's true that one needs transportation to the ski stations in the valley and that is unfortunate. The Chamonix bus system shuttles regularly between the ski areas and is free, but at peak times, the buses get crowded, and that can be uncomfortable. However, I found this year that the buses run more often than in the past and never had to wait more than 10 minutes for a bus. A reviewer says the ski ticket is expensive. For an American the multi-day ticket is cheap in comparison to the ridiculous prices charged at US ski areas. I regard the Grand Montet as the single best ski station in the world for its variety of runs down vast bowls, the pistes from the summit, the slopes over glaciers, and the limitless off-piste opportunities. I also love the runs at La Flegere, especially the Lachenal bowl, my favorite run in the world for scenery and an exciting, moderately challenging, curving advanced intermediate down hill, and La Floria is not far behind.
June 02, 2012
from Ski France France
This is really funny to read so many British people expecting to find more French "English speakers". In lot of Chamonix restaurants, you need to speak English. If not, no chance to place your order... I went several time in UK and I have not cross many people speaking French....English is still not the native world language...
December 26, 2016
from Ski Belgium Belgium
Yes, indeed, Chamonix for skiing is a king without a crown. Year after year the quality and amount of snow on the ski slopes is dropping, the preparation is neglected and way under average if you see what Austrians and Italians do to keep their slopes in good condition. And yes, indeed, it is way overpriced: 50€ for a day. And no, the ski elevators are not connecting this ski area to one area. It is still a would be ski area that is just a collection of three separate very small ski regions. Again last week no snow on the Chamonix side of the Mt Blanc. The Italian side: Courmayeur, is better served by snow and especially they do a very good maintenance and piste preparation and the ski area is well connected. Yes, in Chamonix, you have the special views from the Aiguille du Midi but that highest European ski elevator is closed a lot. Chamonix is no king anymore; it is an expensive "name" ticket you buy so you can tell everyone you've been there. We know it's a no go for a ski holiday. The chance to have an acceptable descent of the Valle Blanche is limited, the glacier is melting, even the end elevator (a must take if you could ski the Vallee Blanche) is becoming each year a longer walk because the lack of snow and melting glacier. Courmayeur is a fair alternative if you would like to set foot on the Mt Blanc area. If you want off-piste just go to La Grave or Tignes or Gressoney. Chamonix is no king, just an expensively dressed old queen....
March 01, 2010
from Ski United Kingdom United Kingdom
It's great that folk are leaving negative reviews about Cham (Chamonix) - leaves more space on the mountain for those of us that appreciate what a special place the Chamonix Valley is. For those who don't the answer is simple - don't come back!
June 14, 2011
from Ski Greece Greece
I believe "Le Grand Montet" resort is the best of Chamonix. Great for off-piste skiers!