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

March 08, 2011
from Ski United Kingdom United Kingdom
Why go to Chamonix? Only go if the following apply - 1. You want a diverse, multicultural skiing experience steeped in mountaineering/skiing history and located in fabulously rugged terrain. 2. You are at least a strong intermediate skier/boarder with a sense of adventure and are willing to get off-piste, even if it's not back-country. 3. You are willing to make a few compromises in the process - unlinked ski areas, busy buses, average lift system. 4. You like a good party but the skiing comes first - it's a party town but the majority of skiers/boarders are there for the mountains not the beer. 5. You are adaptable and can change plans when needed. Most runs are above the trees so when bad weather arrives then local options can be limited. Having a car is a lifesaver as there are many other neighbouring resorts that are more enjoyable when the cloud comes down e.g St Gervais, Courmayeur Given the above criteria, this is one truly epic ski resort. If they don't apply to you then I wouldn't bother because you will be frustrated and disappointed.
March 07, 2011
from Ski United Kingdom United Kingdom
We were in Chamonix for a few days - Feb 15-18 2011. Our intention was to ski off-piste and then the Vallee Blanche, however, the snow was so poor it was not worth skiing anywhere in the Chamonix valley. This was mid season and daytime temperatures were 7-8 degrees! - muddy puddles everywhere! We did go to the Grand Montets area and skied the few runs there which were ok considering the lack of snow. But on the advise of the locals we went through the tunnel (47 euros return) each day to ski in Courmayeur. Here there was good snow and some great off-piste areas, although the pisted area is limited. I'm sure we were unlucky with the snow conditions, but I certainly won't rush back to Chamonix. Is it a ski resort or a mountain town that has a few ski areas around it? You need a car so you can drive to where the snow's good - not a very convenient ski holiday unless you get snow right to the bottom, which I gather does not happen often. The next week we were in Tignes which was brilliant - far bigger linked pistes and great off-piste. I didn't find it especially expensive, nor find anyone unfriendly, but I went there to ski!!.
March 06, 2011
from Ski United Kingdom United Kingdom
If I could sum up Chamonix in one word it would be ‘fantastic!’ I’ve seen a fair number of negative reviews of Chamonix on this site, and my own personal experience is the complete opposite. I found there was lots to see and do even if you weren’t enjoying the slopes, and it made for an unforgettable holiday with long lasting memories! There is a lot of freedom once you get up into the slopes and you are free to go off-piste if you choose, or spend time perfecting your skiing/boarding skills on the great runs there are on offer! Chamonix is not directly marketed at beginners, but that being said there are a good deal of blue and green slopes to be found. Le Tour for example would be a good place for beginners to start. I went with two beginner boarders and I myself am an intermediate skier and we found the slopes at the majority of runs we went to easy to traverse, even slopes signed as reds could easily pass for blues so don’t be worried if you read that Chamonix is strictly NOT for beginners! A big criticism I’ve seen here about Chamonix is expense. Chamonix is no more expensive than any other ski resort in my experience, and in fact compared to Meribel for example, it is considerably cheaper! It would be entirely possible to blow hundreds of Euros if you went out to restaurants night after night, then off drinking afterwards in the main square and the high street, however, there are many bars and restaurants more towards the Chamonix-sud end of town, and down the streets leading away from the high street/tourist trap areas that are substantially cheaper (we found a place where you could get a pint of lager at more or less the same price you would in the UK!). If you want to save money, you could try making packed lunches and taking them up onto the slopes with you as the restaurants there can be very expensive as you’d imagine. When it comes to accommodation, staying in a place away from the town centre, such as Chamonix-sud, will be cheaper and will still be within walking distance to the centre and other points of interest. I think the thing to remember is that ski resorts are generally not cheap holidays, so I think paying a bit more for things than you would normally is justified as you’ll being having such a great time! Another criticism I’ve read is the lack of grooming on slopes, the antiquated lift systems, crime and rude locals. Well, it’s true that slopes are generally ungroomed, I myself didn’t have too much of a problem with this but I guess it’s all down to personal preference. There were a few groomed slopes at some of the sites for example, such as a Brevent, but generally they just let Nature get on with it. The lift systems have, within the last year or so, been replaced with modern counterparts, so therefore no issues there anymore. Personally, we didn’t experience any crime but that’s not to say that there isn’t any there, just use common sense such as locking rooms, not walking around with large amounts of money and not leaving your personal belongings unattended, and you’ll be fine. Remember that travel insurance is your friend! Finally, I found all the locals to be friendly and helpful. Having a D grade in GCSE French, I’m not the best French speaker, however, I did have a go at it and I think the locals appreciated me trying. The majority of people you encounter will speak English to a degree, so as long as you’re polite and try your best then they’ll try in kind! My only gripe with Chamonix would be that you cannot ski directly into town, you will have to drive (or more commonly) get a bus to and from the piste you want to go to. These can often be crowded and you’ll probably have to stand for the duration of your journey, however, if you get your timings right and go early in the morning (before 9am) and return late afternoon (no later than 4pm) you’ll generally avoid the rush and may even be able to secure yourself a seat! Buses are regular, however, and free to use. You may also encounter a few Essex/Londoner ‘lad‘ types, as they seem fairly common there which came as a surprise to me, so be prepared to witness a number of them, generally drunk and not doing the stereotype of the British lager-lout image any favours! So, in summary, be prepared to have a great time, Research the place properly before going to see if it caters for all your needs and go at the off-peak times if you can to get the most for your money - there are loads of deals out there for Chamonix so it’s possible to make huge savings if you just search around online.
March 05, 2011
from Ski Canada Canada
Chamonix is for real skiers, not for showing off. As far as having to speak French once in a while... well, what do you expect? Chinese? One of the best places I have ever been for expert skiing and scenery. Les Grands Montets is a must.
March 03, 2011
from Ski Brazil Brazil
In Chamonix "If you're not French, be prepared to be a second class citizen. Your money is wanted, but you will only be barely tolerated." Sadly totally true. I tried my best to speak all the French basic sentences I know to satisfy the French's snob needs to feel appreciated.... and it still doesn't work. I've been travelling around Europe during the last years and I never had problem to communicate speaking English before (and as you can see, English is not my native language). They never respect arrival order in ski lift lines. Neither supermarket line... anywhere! Well... talking about what matters: Mountains... If you don't care about the lack of direction signs, you will have a lot of fun. My favourites: Le Brevent and Grand Montes.
February 14, 2011
from Ski United Kingdom United Kingdom
This will be our third season in Chamonix and I can honestly say the more you go there, the more you love it. I have seen some of the comments made here and they are not entirely true. Most people do not speak perfect English but they will try to speak your language. I have never had a language problem in Chamonix and once required the Police help to point me out towards the nearest garage to sort out a car problem. They were kind enough to actually drive in front of me. Food is fantastic, ski lifts are absolutely great and the slopes are perfectly maintained. I am an experienced skier but my wife and co are not. We have managed to find slopes to fit all of us, ESF (French Ski School) is great. There are lot of things to do in town especially when the local hockey team (Les Chamois) is playing. I recommend this as a great evening out (tickets are only a few Euros). Never had car problem or hear of thievery, etc.. All in all for a French holiday resort you get what you pay for and in Chamonix is definitely worth it. Hotel Alpina in the centre of the town is absolutely fantastic and their restaurant is also very good. A bit pricey but if you don't want to spend that much on food there are the little bistros where food is basic, cheap and excellent. We'll be there is three days and can't wait.
February 03, 2011
from Ski Germany Germany
Chamonix seems to be full of hoards of British/Irish blokes. Most of the bars appeared to be gay over-30 bars.
January 28, 2011
from Ski United Kingdom United Kingdom
I have my brother living out there (Chamonix) for the past 8 years. What a fantastic place. Le Garage is the night spot to hit. 'Shin bre neaf' probably spelt wrongly was hired by my brother for his 40th and what a party place. Great atmosphere and food. Chamonix for me every time, in Europe. It's a happening place. Expensive but what isn't when you're on a ski holiday! Enjoy.
January 04, 2011
from Ski United Kingdom United Kingdom
Just got back from a New Year break. Bringing in the New Year in the town square is brilliant that is if you don't mind the occasional flying firework. The bus system sucks. Two hours of waiting only to have three turn up at the same time. As far as the variety of skiing goes, don't bother if you are a beginner. If you are intermediate it should be ok just go to a different area each day. Chamonix comes into itself if you look at a resort and spot the lines that are outside the pisted runs and are willing for a little graft to get to the lines. Don't forget your shovel/probe transceiver though. It is France so please learn to speak French, or at least try your best. it will be appreciated by the locals. One last thing. Keep your kids out of MacDonalds. It has no place being in Chamonix.
June 05, 2010
from Ski United Kingdom United Kingdom
I've done three seasons in Cham (Chamonix) and have snowboarded all over Europe and Canada. In my time in Chamonix, I've seen the best and worst it has to offer. Here's the deal. When it goes well, Chamonix can be a great place. The mountains are huge, and steep, varied and beautiful. You're free to roam and stomp in ways most European resorts can't offer. That's providing you are a very good standard skier or boarder who likes hardcore alpine stuff and are prepared to put up with pretty rubbish ski buses, long queues and London rush hour standard travel (the town is in a valley and you can't walk to any of the pistes). When it goes badly, which it can very easily, it is a very bad place to be. Firstly - and people don't talk about this - there's a lot of theft in the town and on the mountain. I've seen a lot of people lose their boards and skis and, worse, luggage. Holiday accommodation is targeted by thieves and some unlucky people have even had their luggage stolen within minutes of arriving. It gets worse because the police do not speak English. The attitude is: you're in France, so speak our language. This also goes for if you've been the victim of a violent crime. Be prepared to pay for an interpreter, who you will have to find and pay for yourself. If you drive an English car, don't be surprised if it gets vandalised or broken into. If you're not French, be prepared to be a second class citizen. Your money is wanted, but you will only be barely tolerated. Put simply, Chamonix has always had a rough reputation (justifiably) and is a proper town. So don't expect a pure cute alpine village designed to cater exclusively for foreign holidaymakers. And just hope you don't get unlucky.