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 08, 2011
Ian C 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.
January 28, 2011
Martin read 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.
March 27, 2008
Ski lover from Ski United Kingdom United Kingdom
Negatives: Weather conditions are permanently awful - zero sun and lots of mist and fog (proof is if you go over to Courmayeur it's immediately much better!) Lift system antiquated, slow and dirty - well behind most decent resorts - every cable car I went on belonged in a museum. Runs are completely ungroomed & horrible - again, well behind most decent resorts - poor mountain infrastructure and signing etc, make the mountain feel dangerous and unpatrolled with the result that the entire resort may as well be designated off-piste. You can hardly ever ski down anywhere with resulting enormous queues caused by small antiquated cable cars and second cars often not being used - arrogant lift staff don't seem to care and the concept of customer service is clearly a complete mystery to them. Mountain restaurants are awful - often far worse than low-end motorway service stations. Public transport and availability of taxis in town is dreadful meaning you are forced to drink/drive all the time. Decent nightlife is zero - one grotty club, two moderately upmarket bars where you can't even get table service (or have any ventilation...) and can't even buy a bottle of vodka. 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. Shops are all low class and seem to cater only to "outdoor types" with no style and on a very limited budget. You have to drive everywhere, the car parks at the ski areas are always full and the ski areas are disjointed and limited. At €30 a day, the lift pass is almost as much as Courchevel for a resort with runs and lifts in 10x less good condition and 10x less terrain. Useless place to take family or beginners unlike many other challenging resorts which offer something for everyone. Positives: Some good scenery which you can enjoy on the rare occasions when the entire mountain isn't shrouded in mist and fog. Some good access to off-piste terrain. Stunning Aigle du Midi and Vallee Blanche which the town trades on yet you hear of fatalities on it all the time, again reinforcing the impression that this is a dangerous and poorly managed place to ski. Proximity to Geneva airport is a real bonus.
March 28, 2008
matt from Ski United Kingdom United Kingdom
Reading these reviews of Chamonix makes confusing reading - Chamonix appears to be the Marmite ski resort !! I went for the first time over Easter 2008 where I was treated to 80cm new snow and sunshine. I had two very very good days which helped me forget about the prices, poor service and queues. I think you have to be there at the right time and have a bit of local knowledge - otherwise you could end up leaving some of the negative comments here. I rode at Le Tour / Grand Montet and there was plenty to do. Compared to most other French resorts I find the shonkyness charming. If you want motorway pistes, fast lifts - better look elsewhere. The mix of customers is also a plus - I must have heard 10 different languages the first day. I will remember charging down the ( bottomless ) Bochard black run in the sunshine, looking uphill to see massive rooster tail contrast against the blue sky and majestic peaks. Those days don't happen often !!
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.
January 04, 2011
valley chimp 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.
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...
January 02, 2006
Tom Travis from Ski United States United States
Chamonix is one of my favorite global ski areas and I have skied there ten times. The scenery is just awesome, the best in Europe, other perhaps than Zermatt. The town provides a taste of France, with some lovely architecture, squares and sculptures, split by a fast flowing river, and it has a wide variety of hotels and restaurants. The skiing is varied since there are five major ski stations along the valley. The best ski station by far is Le Grand Montet, with its 6,700 foot vertical drop, although most of the skiing is on vertical drops of 2100'-4200' from the mid-station. The runs, some of them over glaciers, are endlessly interesting and challenging. The pistes there are mainly advanced intermediate and expert. The Grand Montet is my single favorite ski station in the world. In a week, I ski there five days, and the other two at the interlinked La Flejere and Le Brevent. I particularly like La Flejere for its incredible views of the entire Mont Blanc range and romantic view right up the Mer de Glace, and for its great bowls. I find the skiing at Le Tour to be too easy, although the new runs down the north side are longer and more interesting. Of course, one should ski the Vallee Blanche, with its 9200' drop and 12 mile run. Later in the season or whenever the snow is plentiful, one can follow the obvious tracks down and not use a guide. The only drawback is the access to the ski stations. If you do not have a car, you have to take the bus to most of them (one can walk from town to Le Brevent), and I have waited as long as 25 minutes at times to get the bus.
April 18, 2011
David from Ski United Kingdom United Kingdom
My wife (skier) and I (boarder) went for the last (long) weekend in March and had a brilliant time. Chamonix is different from other resorts I have been to in that it is a proper functioning mountain town and access to some of the slopes is via a free local bus. There are slopes close to the centre - Brevent - with access to Flegere, and the Aiguille du Midi but to make use of the other slopes - La Tour, Grand Montets, Les Houches and even Courmayeur, in Italy, you hop onto a free local bus, which we found to be very frequent and no problem at all. We skied / boarded at La Tour, Grand Montets and Courmeyeur during this visit and found the slopes to be excellent and varied and some of the best off-piste I have known. The town itself is beautiful with many period buildings and the Mont Blanc massif setting is quite stunning. There is also lots to do away from the slopes - the cinema shows films with English subtitles and the ice rink was great - we hope to catch an ice hockey match next time we visit. There are lots of bars and restaurants in town and we found the prices to be surprisingly reasonable if you look off the main high street. All in all, we had a great time and feel like there is so much more for us to explore in the valley - we will definitely be back and are planning for a week's visit next year.
February 19, 2017
Derion from Ski Greece Greece
I skied in Chamonix on Saturday, 18 Feb. 2017. It is a short day trip from Geneva. I took the bus from Geneva bus station at 08:30 skied until 15:30, then took a rest and took the bus back to Geneva at 18:30. Return bus ticket 50 Euro. I chose to ski at Brevent and Flegere, which are the ski centers closer to Chamonix center. You must take a free bus to get to the gondola. The bad thing is that you have to carry equipment from the city, as there is no place to rent at the mountain. This is bad because when getting back the bus was late and became too crowded with people carrying their skis. Lift ticket is expensive at 50 Euro per day. However, in my opinion, it deserves the money. Brevent and Flegere are, in my opinion, best for intermediate skiers. There are mostly reds and blues. The two black pistes leading down to the city (Nants, La Praz) were closed due to a lack of snow. There was generally quite a lot of snow. However, there were many places with stones, especially the pistes exposed to the sun. Generally speaking, Brevent had harder, even icy, snow whereas Flegere had softer more forgiving snow. I enjoyed the red Cornu in Brevent and the black in Floria Flegere. Also, the red Crochues and Pylones. The background is beautiful, as you can see the Chamonix valley and on the other side Aiguille du Midi and Mont Blanc. There is a frequent lift linking the two ski centers. Chamonix is a nice city, not so much charming but for sure there are many things to do, always full with people and nice to stroll over there. Food was not good, very touristic.