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 24, 2008
Paul from Ski United Kingdom United Kingdom
A quick post to address a few points made by Dan of France in his 20 March entry. I have spent the last couple of months in the Chamonix valley and sadly have to leave soon. First, I agree with some of Dans points. The lift system generally needs some improvement, especially the cable car up to Flegere, though I do not agree that the the Argentiere / Grands Montets lifts are generally "old / slow": queue times here are generally fine given its popularity (there's a choice of fast chair or cable car up from Argentiere). I also agree that Chamonix is geared to strong intermediates / advanced skiers and there is a big step-up from the valley-floor nursery areas to the blues and reds on the mountains. A number of beginners visited me this season, however, and were won over by the spectacular scenery, old-town charm and excellent nightlife. Picking up on a few of Dans negative comments: - I don't agree that Chamonix is "very expensive": there are plenty of cheap options for eating, drinking and sleeping in Chamonix, which, being a year-round normal French town, has plenty of standard-priced supermarkets, fast food chains, 'happy hours' and competition between the 100 plus eating and drinking venues. - Dan said that (at the time of his visit) "very few runs to the villages were open": there are 4 main ski areas in the Chamonix valley (Le Tour, Argentiere, Brevent-Flegere, Les Houches). At the time of Dans post (20 March) runs to the resorts were open in 3 of the 4 main areas. Only Brevent-Flegere's home runs were closed. - "If you are not in Chamonix there is literally no nightlife in the other villages". This is simply not true. In Argentiere alone there are 11 bars, 1 nightclub and at least as many restaurants. Bars are generally open til 2am, the nightclub later. - "The pistes are unkempt...". Piste bashers operate in all ski areas every night. A minority of pistes are intentionally left unbashed; these are clearly signed. - "Poor selection of mountain restaurants - all very expensive..." The standard price for a ham baguette in most restaurants is EUR 4.00 (ie. cheaper than London) and some restaurants do excellent hot meals (main course and dessert) for EUR 12.00. The majority of restaurants offer astonishing views of the Chamonix valley and its amazing mountain ranges. Overall, I think the skiing in the Chamonix is excellent, particularly for advanced skiers. Grands Montets deserves its reputation as one of the great off-piste mountains in the world due to its height (1200-3300m), aspect (north facing), contours (huge natural bowls, countless gullies) and gradient (consistently 20-30 degrees: perfect red - black pitches) and quality of snow (currently 500cm at the top: keeps powder snow even when 15C in the valley). Right now, the majority of its huge surface can be skied by strong intermediates: it is not a mountain reserved for daredevils - the joy is that off-piste here is accessible to many. The Chamonix valley is not, however, a single purpose built resort so lacks the convenience of many other resorts. This is a product of its history (real living town and villages) and its remarkable geography in surely the most picturesque and extraordinary location in the Alps.
March 06, 2011
Mark 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.
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.
November 11, 2005
Karlious from Ski United Kingdom United Kingdom
Dont listen to any idiot that says chamo is rubbish! They only think its rubbish because they obviously can't ski or board (or maybe just trying to keep the numbers down by misleading those who don't know better? - ed.) - it is the best resort around! There is so much to do there and the apres ski is mint! Courmayeur is even included on the lift pass n its well worth a visit not only for the food and the hospitality but for the great runs (although it is quite limited) and a bit of advice don't ski in to the valley there because u end up in a constrction site with a long walk to get over the river on the only bridge around! When in chamo i well recomend taking a day off from skiing n head up aguil du midi for the amazin views! (thats if ur not skiing the vb run) just get to chamo u wont regret it!
March 07, 2011
Bryan 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!!.
January 30, 2006
Simon Heath from Ski United Kingdom United Kingdom
Chamonix 15-22 Jan 2006. Awesome conditions following 80cm of snow on the Tuesday and Wednesday and then beautiful blue skies and sunshine. The resort is large with a range of apres-ski activities for all. Grand Montets is definitely the best mountain with challenging pistes and excellent off-piste. Stayed at a private chalet for 8 which was excellent and affordable. Visit their website for my recommendation My only quibble with Chamonix is that it is far from a ski in - ski out resort. To reach any of the slopes it is a 20-30 minute bus ride which is frustrating both in the morning and after skiing. Overall, 8 out of 10 for the skiing and resort.
December 01, 2008
JonnyH from Ski United Kingdom United Kingdom
Whoah, is "Ski Lover" talking about the same Chamonix I know? I've been to Chamonix about a dozen times over the past six years, mainly because I have family there, but also because it is an awesome place. You cannot help but be won over by the scenery, working town atmosphere and many impressive traditional style buildings and architecture in the town centre and surrounding areas. If you go to Chamonix Sud yes, there are a few appartment blocks, but Ski Lover makes it sound like Central Moscow Housing estates from the 80s, which Chamonix is nothing like. Regarding the shops - there is a real variety from top designer outlets to local ski/snowboarding shops, obviously not London - but you came to ski, right? The bars are good, you just need to look around and ask where's good to go. As for the weather I have encountered some of the best days snowboarding here ever. With big dumps of snow at night and blue bird days. Chamonix is a great place to ski and snowboard. Yes if the weather sets in you can be limited as a lot of the skiing is above the tree line (like most is in the Alps), however, find the tree runs over at La Tour or use your free day away to ski at Courmayeur, which, on the other side of Mont Blanc, will generally be sheltered as the weather is dropping in Chamonix. If not, chill out and have a spa day or go snow shoeing or cross country skiing - you're on holiday - use your imagination. As for the ski lifts, Chamonix is going through serious modernization of all its lift system. Brevent has been done for this season, (yes Flegere is older but you can ski over their from Brevant - a great warm up in the morning!). Grand Montet is alway gonna be busy (it's some of the highest skiing in the Alps), but there are two lift systems going up there and it's quick to get up, La Tour has been re-done from Valocine and the front lift is always quick. The bottom line is, if you want to ski/board enjoy amazing scenery (the best I have ever seen in Europe), good eating, lively bars and great little town centre, go to Chamonix. If you want to party, get up late, everyone speaking English, sunny weather - go to the Canary Isles.....
January 20, 2014
corm from Ski Switzerland Switzerland
I live in Geneva and have a huge choice of ski slopes 2 hrs from my door. I like Chamonix the best (actually more in summer). In winter, there is something for everyone. True, it suits better the intermediate/expert skier but I have 2 young kids learning now and they fit in just fine. Yes, it's marginally more expensive than other resorts but it offers a lot more. Also, true that the major areas are not linked but each provides sufficient skiing for an entire day for piste only skiers. For those willing and able to ski off-piste there are no limits. The locals are not friendly, I hear you say, well it's 90 pct probable you've been served by a Brit, a Swede or a non local French. The French, generally, are surly so get over it. You're here to ski, not make new friends with bar and restauarant staff. Learn the language, at least the basics, it may actually break down some barriers! :-)
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'.]
November 14, 2005
David Allen from Ski United Kingdom United Kingdom
A truly great resort, the runs (although more geared towards skiers than boarders like me) were challenging and some are very steep. Black means Black in Chamonix, and even some of the reds will give you a fright. Skiers will love Grand Montets, very steep very fast. There’s a vast array of off piste, for example, round the back of Montets from the top lift there is a glacier off piste run, roped off, which many people use, boarders beware however, some parts are difficult to traverse and there are flat sections to it with many hidden crevasses, some huge. Take a guide! The lifts were generally fast moving, and the buses between the stations frequent. The town is great with good food and drink. Go there, Chamonix will not disappoint.