Ski France

Chamonix Resort Reviews

Ski France

Chamonix Resort Reviews

Visitor reviews for Chamonix Ski Resort

Chamonix Ratings

Overall: 4.0. Based on 45 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: 3.1

(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.

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: 3.9

(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: 3.1

(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 07, 2009
Clare from Ski United Kingdom United Kingdom
I went to Chamonix for the skiing and wasn't disappointed. Fabulous pistes - unsurpassed views - breathtaking glaciers. We had fresh snow and blues skies. Getting between areas needs planning - but I went to Chamonix in the half-term week and although it was busy I had no problems with queues. Lifts are dated but they still get you up the mountain. I have been skiing for 30 years and can easily say one of my best weeks skiing. Not really a beginners resort, but Chamonix has plenty for improvers and the more daring skiier.
March 06, 2009
SAN from Ski South Africa South Africa
The real issue here at Chamonix is the same as in the Med:too many lager louts misbehaving, drinking, urinating and vomiting. The town is fun otherwise; friendly restaurants and not too pricey. Slopes are pretty but the area is small. Would recommend Megeve as it is not busy.
February 02, 2009
dawn white from Ski United Kingdom United Kingdom
Chamonix does not have such bad weather, crap buses and expensive restaurants. With regard to the snow quality, I could go on. Can anyone can tell me about a ski resort that has blue-bird powder days, a lift system which has no one on it and I can get a beer and a burger for under a fiver? It just doesn't happen. The ski areas at Chamonix are not linked and this was a bit of a shock, so do be prepared to spend a little time travelling and, to be fair, it isn't bad at all. The buses run all the time and if you do have a car you can park in a huge car park next to the base lifts in all ski areas. All the ski areas have some great wide runs with breathtaking scenery. I was lucky enough to have nearly a meter of fresh snow, so the off-piste was amazing and the pistes where simple perfect. One day we were limited to only 3 or 4 runs because of the heavy snow fall but were making fresh tracks over and over again; I didn't care one bit. Pros and cons: -need a car or be ready to use public transport -buses run all the time, wasn't busy at all when I went but that was January -loads of restaurants to suit all prices and cuisine -if you're a good skier/boarder and want different runs day in and day out go to the 3 valleys, unless you don't mind jumping to another ski area. This can be a bit of a pain though -if you want chilled relaxing days, lovely wide runs and some breathtaking scenery Chamonix is the place. -off-piste is amazing (depending on snow of course) -if you have none skiers in your party, Chamonix town is ideal.
January 28, 2009
AP 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 19, 2009
Sandra from Ski United Kingdom United Kingdom
Just returned from a week's skiing in Chamonix on 17th Jan. There has not been any fresh snow since before Christmas, but the skiing was fantastic & the pistes appeared in superb condition. They were expecting a "large dump of snow in the next few days", which I believe will only be of benefit to those lower slopes. 2 things of note: Skiing in January is highly recommended - not only does it help to get over those post Christmas, winter blues but one does benefit from the empty slopes. On questioning the lift attendant about "tres tranquil" the reply was simply, "mais oui, le deuxieme semaine de janvier" - so the 2nd week of January can be highly recommended. The very poor exchange rate with the euro & the GBP is a problem. It was most certainly noticeable this year compared to last year. The prices are £6 per bottle of beer, £5-6 for a glass of house wine (bear in mind they are very small servings), so I would recommend the bottle of wine at a minimum of £20, because this invariably means you get far better value for money. In our hotel, the price for a J&B rare was £9. The food prices in the mountain restaurants vary according to where you are skiing - approx £8-£10 for tea/coffee with a baguette. I would recommend purchasing your sandwich from one of the numerous cafe/snack bars in the town centre prior to venturing up the mountains. Despite this, bite the bullet & go for it. We did and had the most fantastic holiday & will be returning there in the near future.
January 01, 2009
Wellster from Ski United Kingdom United Kingdom
December 18th 2008 I have recently returned from a trip to Chamonix with a small group of intermediate skiers and felt moved to provide a report of our experiences. This was our third trip to Chamonix together in the week leading up to Christmas and it was, by a 'long way' the best ever. The conditions this year could only be described as awesome. However, I should point out that if you are a visitor from the UK, skiing in Chamonix just now (or any resort in Europe for that matter) is a double-edged sword. First - the resort. Le Compagnie du Mont Blanc has started to invest heavily in the resort and we benefited from the new gondolas and chairs in La Flegere, Brevent and Les Grandes Montets. They really have made a difference and it was good to see the pistes in excellent condition and well marked. We're not yet up to the off-piste Chamonix experience, but given the early season conditions, I'm sure there was plenty of fun to be had by all. However, we did find enormous disparity between the resorts regarding the costs of food, drink etc and information. Prices at Les Houches (no longer part of the Mont Blanc ski pass) were off the scale although Gnd Montets was perfectly acceptable. We decided to visit Courmayeur via the Mont Blanc tunnel as we were encouraged to do so, but found that our ski passes were not acceptable at the tunnel toll to get the (significant) discount for the journey. We also encountered an unexpected delay of 45 mins going through the tunnel due to 'maintenance'. Also, once at Courmayeur we had to upgrade our passes at the ticket office to gain access to the pistes that took a further 40 minutes. This all seemed inappropriate as the whole point (surely?) of getting the full Mont Blanc pass would be to provide unhindered access the pistes. One of our party had bought his Mont Blanc Unlimited ski pass online before our trip but found that it wasn’t valid at Courmayeur without the receipt! All very painful. The big thing we all must deal with just now is the GBP - EURO exchange rate. The prices in Chamonix were so much higher than any of us had anticipated or experienced before that we were left with a limit on our enjoyment simply because we could neither afford, or justify the horrific prices for food and drink when out and about in the evenings. Try going out for a night and shelling out £6.00 for a pint (£10.00 in 1 venue) £8.00 for a shot, £8.00 for a starter and see how long your money lasts? So, in summary - Chamonix remains, as always, a very special resort with truly breathtaking scenery, awe inspiring descents and a varied skiing experience. Just expect, for this season at least, to have to pay for it.
December 21, 2008
Anton from Ski South Africa South Africa
I visited Chamonix for an early season break and was fortunate to benefit from the best early season snow falls for several decades. As a strong intermediate to advanced skier I found it to be a challenging and enjoyable resort. Not being a very accomplished off-piste skier (and having brought my 63mm slalom skis with me) I was not really able to take full advantage of the off-piste opportunities, but I could appreciate that they were impressive. The pistes themselves were good and pretty well groomed considering the amount of snow, but not the best I have ever seen. Grading of the pistes was definitely understated, and many of the blue slopes would pass for reds elsewhere. Also I must say that the pistes were not particularly well marked or signposted and it was not difficult to find yourself skiing down the wrong piste, or even skiing off it in low vis. Scenery was fantastic (that is, when the clouds weren't obscuring it) and I liked the town. Although not cheap (especially when paying in Rand) I didn't find it much more expensive than comparable resorts in Switzerland or even Austria. I have to agree that many of the lifts are due for upgrading, but am happy to say that there are encouraging signs. The new 3000 person/hour gondola from Chamonix to Brevent opened on my last day and should make a big difference for access to this mountain. A lot of the so-called "high-speed" chairlifts were, however, unfortunately anything but. My biggest gripe, however, is the disjointed nature of the resort and the time taken to get to the slopes using public transport. Long walks, long waits and packed buses seem to be the order of the day (especially painful if you are breaking in new boots). My summary - if you are in to wild and challenging off-piste skiing, thrive on adrenaline and are prepared to suffer some inconvenience to get it, or if you have your own transport, this is the resort for you. If you are looking for mainly on-piste skiing with easy access, convenience and nice wide open pistes, there are better resorts out there. Thumbs up to the guys at Fall-line for their excellent service in customising my new boots (highly recommended) and the girls at Hotel Cretes Blanche for looking after me.
December 03, 2008
Joni Mac from Ski United Kingdom United Kingdom
Re: Orshi comments. "Your boyfriend swapped his snowboard and went up the Aiguille du Midi - after a death walk he got separated from his friends, nearly fell down a crevasse and slept in a ice cave on the Mer de Glace". Sounds like: 1. He didn't bother to get a guide - being one of the highest off-piste glacial runs in the world with massive crevasses that are covered by snow - getting a guide is pretty much a must. 2. He got separated from his friends - off-piste you never leave your friends. It's rule no. 1. Always plan where you are going to ski and where you are going to meet. Always carry a transponder (and know how to use it) especially if you are somewhere like the Aiguille du Midi. This is basic off-piste stuff. 3. Didn't he take a mobile phone with him or radio, may of been an idea... there's loads of other stuff to mention. However, all I wanted to say is, the rest of Chamonix, Le Tour, Brevant, Flegere, Grand Montet is like any other resort and safe for families and groups to ski/board and have a brilliant time. If you are going up the Aiguille Du Midi, do yourself a favour and get and guide and make sure your level is good enough to do it. The scenery up there is amazing and breathtaking plus it's a brilliant run to do if you go with a guide and are experienced enough. Just use some common sense...
December 02, 2008
anthony from Ski United Kingdom United Kingdom
I couldn't agree more with Tom. The lifts do require upgrading and this process is underway and there are queues on weekends but that's to be expected given the proximity to Geneva and, more importantly, its sheer magnificence as a ski resort. It's unparalleled in Europe and only Zermatt ranks close. The ski area is vast, varied and the scenery is breathtaking. The town has witnessed a significant improvement in recent years and has transformed itself from a dull and dreary working town into a lively and bustling resort which suits all tastes and budgets. It embodies all the ingredients of what is so great about skiing.
December 01, 2008
dan from Ski United Kingdom United Kingdom
"Rest of the nightlife is 100% tatty pubs full of drunk, unshaven blokes on lads trips to the mountains or chavvy kids "doing a season". Town itself is full of horrendous concrete blocks out of a communist country and full of mid to low-class English blokes and French families on a tight budget i.e. zero style or class whatsoever. Go to Verbier instead then. [Comment by editor: I have changed some 'emotive' text so that the review is suitable for 'family viewing'.]