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Visitor reviews for Chamonix Ski Resort

Chamonix Ratings

Overall: 4.0. Based on 49 votes and 87 reviews. Vote

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.

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.

Off-piste: 4.9

(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.

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.

Access: 4.6

(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: 4.0

(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.

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: 3.1

(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.

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: 3.7

(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.

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: 3.4

(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.

Cross-country: 3.8

(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: 4.5

(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: 4.3

(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): 3.7

(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): 3.6

(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

June 05, 2010
James 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.
March 22, 2010
Dan from Ski United Kingdom United Kingdom
Having spent two seasons plus in Chamonix and visited many, many other top class resorts throughout Europe all I would say is, Chamonix is amazing, special and unique but you will only get the best out of it if you are there for a month or more. If you're planning on a one week holiday and don't know Chamonix well, then I wouldn't even consider Chamonix. As I said the place is amazing, but I think you'll have a far better time going to another resort, i.e, Tignes/ Val d' Isere, Serre Chevelier, the Three Valleys, etc etc.
March 21, 2010
Dave from Ski United Kingdom United Kingdom
We have skied all over Europe and graduated to Chamonix 10 years ago, but still visit other resorts. The main problem is that too many people will decide it has the best skiing in Europe and is a real town, so thank goodness for others. The more the better as far as we are concerned.
March 01, 2010
Dan Johnson 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!
February 14, 2010
dgz from Ski United Kingdom United Kingdom
Having spent a season here at Chamonix, I think: The valley ski pass is about EUR 260 for 6 days: given the price, you would expect something pretty amazing. Well, the lifts are mainly old and slow. The pistes are pretty limited in their scope. The valley ski bus is ok, but not amazing. You have to remember that Chamonix pistes are all on the same aspect - no multi valley skiing here. Bottom line. Don't waste your money coming to Chamonix if you are a beginner, intermediate or advanced piste skier. There are far better resorts for your requirements out there. However, if you are an experienced off-piste skier with ski mountaineering experience, then this place is amazing! A good guide is recommended for a couple of days to really get the most out of a week here. The lines are stunning. I would like to point out that even if you like off-piste, unless you don't mind exposed routes/ski touring, all the easy access off-piste is tracked out within a day or two in Chamonix. You are far better going to the quieter Portes du Soleil resorts for off-piste that is easy to access and is not trashed. Some people comment that the weather is poor. Possibly true, but it is at the bottom of the Mont Blanc Massif!!! What do you expect? Of course, it will probably have worse weather.
January 20, 2010
oliver from Ski Ireland Ireland
I have been to Chamonix 4 times and I love it. The off-piste in Grand Montet is excellent. Loads of powder bowls to ski in and out of very near the piste. Brevent also has some good runs. The views from everywhere are spectacular. The buses are awkward (just get early and you'll be fine). The nightlife is ok but has anybody else noticed it's mostly blokes who go skiing.
January 12, 2010
J from Ski Ireland Ireland
Been to Chamonix a few times & heading again this year. Some great skiing/boarding available but not suitable for rookies, kids, or anyone not willing to tackle some steep, tough slopes. Make sure you stay in Cham itself in order to have any sort of night life and car hire is a must (or else face needless queues for buses, gondolas etc). Also Vallee Blanche is well worth doing. Do hire a guide - it's pricey but will keep you from falling off the Arete or into a Crevasse on the way down, so money well spent in my book. Grand Montets is also good, especially when there's plenty of powder.
January 05, 2010
Martin from Ski United Kingdom United Kingdom
Put simply, Chamonix is not great for: * Novices, families with small children etc. There are plenty of places to ski, but there are better resorts for this, which are more convenient and better set up. * "Beautiful people" apres-ski. Apres-ski is great in Cham, just a bit more grungey. It is a top resort, but does not have the same "scene" as say Verbier or St Anton. * Endless blue and red groomed pistes - go elsewhere for this, say 3 Vallees or La Plagne. * Endless linked pistes - you need a car or be prepared to put up with the buses. It is 8 miles from Cham up to La Tour and 5 to Grands Montets. So if you want a trip with lots of cruising around and ski-in ski-out, Chamonix is not the place for you. Certainly I took two kids under 5 once, and it was a poor choice. BUT BUT BUT... Chamonix is unique. It has the biggest vertical drops, a huge variety of difficult, challenging runs, fantastic off-piste, unique views. La Vallee Blanche - 13 miles down a glacier and the highest vertical of any run in the world. Les Grands Montets is a skiing Mecca. Some of those runs from the top lift are simply incomparable - leg burning, lung bursting drops of 1500m in 4.5km of trail. For decent skiers who fancy a challenge, Chamonix is fantastic. It also has the Midnight Express late night snack bar, with the Super Double Midnight Burger - unique, amazing, challenging, incomparable. Sums up Chamonix really.
December 22, 2009
dusan from Ski United States United States
"if you want to ski then go elsewhere. No ski areas are linked and you spend most of the day doing the same runs. " Tim, UK. If you want to ski "groomers" go elsewhere. Chamonix is by far THE BEST free-ski resort in the world. Nothing could compare to it aside from heliski in Alaska. Even Whistler B.C. doesn't compare to it. In the same day you could ski a Rectiligne or Poubelle or Pas de Chevre to a Cosmic and a Rond. That's 7000 vertical meters of insane untracked terrain. All lift accessible . No other resort can give that. That's without counting the Brevant ensa and all the couloirs next to it. + all the short hikes you can do to even more insane lines an infinity of them. The 3 valley is great for piste skiing and posing. VERY VERY flat otherwise. Chamonix IS the free-ski capital of the world....
November 06, 2009
tim from Ski United Kingdom United Kingdom
Went to Chamonix this year and if you're looking for great nights out and plenty of places to eat than you will love it. If you want to ski then go elsewhere. No ski areas are linked and you spend most of the day doing the same runs. People say the off-piste at Chamonix is "the best ever" but I do not agree. Try the 3 valleys. So, a round up: go if you like food, dont go if you like skiing, or unless you like doing the same run time after time.