Visitor reviews for Les Houches Ski Resort
December 16, 2018
Peter from France
As the Resort Manager for Les Houches (working without pay for the world renowned snow-forecast.com) you might expect me to be biased. Fear not, while I am certainly corruptible the sad fact is that I have received no offers at all. Therefore my own opinions remain utterly objective. I write as someone who loves this place, is not blind to its shortcomings, but choose to spend the whole winter here as well as some of the summer.
It's absolutely great, and I hope you come when the slopes are empty, the snow is in superb condition, and the weather perfect. But no promises; this is the mountains folks, and anything could happen.
But, if you see a lonely old bloke nursing a coffee and a pastry at the Jacquier patisserie under the Prarion lift, say hello and make my day. And read my resort news. Which is really a snow report in disguise.
[note from the ed: we do appreciate our RMs and all that they submit.]
Les Houches Ratings
Overall: 3.8. Based on 11 votes and 20 reviews. Vote
(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 Les Houches.
Public Transport: 4.2
(1) There are no buses or taxis to Les Houches, (3) there are slow or infrequent buses / trains available, (5) getting to the resort is easy with frequent bus / train connections.
(1) An ugly resort in a bland setting, (3) average mountain views and resort, (5) a spectacular setting and a beautiful / historic resort town.
(1) No places to stay in/near Les Houches, (3) a few places to stay in the resort, (5) a wide variety of accommodation suitable to suit all budgets.
Cheap Rooms: 3.5
(1) No budget accommodation available, (3) just one or two hostels so book ahead, (5) several cheap hostels and pensions available.
Luxury Hotels: 4.0
(1) No luxury accommodation available, (3) just one or two luxury hotels so book ahead, (5) several up-market hotels in Les Houches.
Ski in/Ski out: 3.7
(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.
(1) There are no child care facilities at Les Houches, (5) the resort has excellent child-care facilities including at least one reasonably priced creche.
(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) Les Houches is snowsure even in the poorest seasons.
(1) Les Houches relies entirely on natural snow, (3) there are just a few snow cannons, (5) there are snowmaking facilities on all pistes.
Snow Grooming: 4.3
(1) There are no snow groomers at Les Houches, (3) occasionally some pistes are left ungroomed and in a poor state, (5) all the runs at Les Houches are groomed daily.
(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) Les Houches is mostly in forest where you can ski in flat-light and windy days, lifts rarely close.
Nearby options: 4.4
(1) If snow conditions are poor at Les Houches, 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: 4.3
(1) Les Houches 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 Les Houches are rude or unhelpful, (5) lift staff at Les Houches are pleasant, cheerful and eager to help.
(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: 4.4
(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: 4.6
(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: 4.1
(1) The ski runs are featureless and unvaried, (3) the ski runs are varied but not extensive enough for a week, (5) Les Houches has diverse and interesting pistes including forests and high alpine terrain.
(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.
(1) No intermediate terrain at Les Houches, (3) intermediate skiers will get bored after a few days, (5) vast areas of cruising runs.
(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: 2.7
(1) Not even a kicker at Les Houches, (3) average sized park quite well looked after, (5) huge park area and expertly crafted pipes, jumps and boardercross trails.
(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.
(1) There is nowhere to go for cross-country skiing around Les Houches, (3) there are some cross country trails available, (5) the area features many spectacular and well maintained cross-country trails.
(1) No designated luge or toboggan runs, (3) there are toboggan runs that open quite often, (5) Les Houches has long and well maintained luge / toboggan facilities suitable for all ages.
Mountain Dining: 4.2
(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.
(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.
(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: 2.7
(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.
(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: 3.6
(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): 3.8
(1) Overall, Les Houches 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, Les Houches 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.
January 03, 2015
mary from Ireland
Second time to Les Houches. Really long queues to get up the mountain and many hundreds of children given priority so we had to wait nearly an hour, on 2 separate days, to get on the gondola. Also had to wait another hour to get the lift passes so it was 2 hours to get up the mountain on our first day. Trails down were ice rock and grass yet remained open. Would not recommend this resort.
December 03, 2012
Kylie McIntyre from France
Picturesque Les Houches. Very pretty skiing amongst the trees with magnificent views of the Mont Blanc chain. Great choice of on-piste eateries for all budgets. For a treat Les Vieilles Luges restaurant: a charming old alpine farm is a must. Delicious home cooked dishes, yummy desserts and heartwarming spiced wine simmering on the wood fire. Bookings a must. Whilst skiing the Chamonix valley it is worth skiing in Les Houches a day just for Vieilles Luges! It's included in the Mont Blanc unlimited pass and just a bus ride from Chamonix. Can be accessed by snowshoes too (20 mins walk). New sledge track this season at top of Prarion telecabine. Have fun snowbunnies.
March 20, 2012
Howard Lewis from United Kingdom
Was planning to take my son for the weekend to Les Houches to celebrate his sixteenth. He was too sick to go (better now) so I decided to go it alone Thursday. Two great days of skiing. Spring skiing Saturday, great big floaty snow and thirty cm Sunday. A great little self contained resort for family, only a days worth of piste locally for an inter skier, but one is the world famous verte downhill (named after the Afghan city of Kandahar). Easy driving to the rest of the Chamomix valley, buses are great (although always late unless they leave early, either way a little annoying!). Stayed in the Melezes. Basic, but clean, friendly and flexible. Nice people. 'No mates' eating alone was fine in the very friendly and great value Kitchinn and Delice. On the mountain, the Ferme is great value and well located, try the old Luges great character and food and interesting signs on the way in. So is it worth over a thousand miles of driving for two days solitary skiing and middle aged ski bum time? Very much so, and Les Houches is a stone's throw from the two lane highway. Literally. Doesn't suffer for that though.
December 22, 2011
lindy loo from United Kingdom
Just returned from four days in Les Houches, staying at the Hotel du Bois. It snowed so much while we were there! Didn't want to come home and looking forward to next year!
March 30, 2011
Giggsy42 from United Kingdom
Les Houches is a good location for skiing if you have a car as you can get to Chamonix and Courmayeur (somewhat expensively through the MB tunnel) in about 30 mins. Skiing in Les Houches itself is limited but you can do some good snow shoes walks from the tops of the cable cars (e.g. to Mont Lachat). However, the snow this year (we were there 18-21 March) has not been good in France so we spent a couple of days in Italy where conditions (in all senses) were better.
However, we have a general feeling that French resorts are slowly deteriorating and prices increasing. We had to queue for an hour to buy a ski pass at Argentiere and the staff seemed not remotely bothered. Food is expensive for mediocre quality. Wine lists are disappointing. The overall experience was far better in Italy, with coffees on the piste a 1.60 Euro each etc...
February 24, 2011
michael harrower from United Kingdom
We have just come back from Les Houches. We were there over the Scottish half-term break. The resort was quiet but the runs were well managed even though there had been no snow since December. Les Houches is great from beginner upwards, which suited my wife and the rest of the family. It also had the DC area 43 terrain park which kept one of my boys occupied for most of the holiday.
You can ski/snowboard from the top of the mountain to the valley floor which can include a black, red or blue run which I did with my 2 boys (16 and 14) and girl (10).
I would recommend this resort.
The only down side about Les Houches and the Chamonix valley, in general, is the expensive restaurants which seem to give you nothing of a UK nature apart from pizza or pizza and the local supermarkets are so expensive ,
This valley could take a leaf out of the UK and get a Tescos. They would really not know what hit them. They can't even say it's remote so that's why it costs more as it is easily accessible by road.
Despite my moaning , I would definitely go back to Les Houches, just take more cash (lol).
January 17, 2010
Chris Leeks from United Kingdom
I have just returned from Les houches with a party of 9 from beginner to intermediate/advanced. The Les Houches resort really only occupied the more advanced skiers for about a day and a half. This was compounded by a lack of investment in the ski area. Apparently a dispute between the owners of the various ski lifts in Les Houches and the Mont Blanc/Chamonix areas has led to a degree of neglect. At one end of the valley are a few "Black" class drags at the bottom of some pleasant blues and the other end lies the Bellevue cable car where we sometimes stood for 20 minutes waiting for it to go. Having said that our beginners very much enjoyed the blues and greens at the top of the Prairion gondola.
The more experienced skiers enjoyed some of the other resorts in the valley and almost had a "taster" feel to the week. Many of them are not huge and offer a days ski each but give you some different experiences. It allows the skier to chase the sun or ski in 3 countries. Do not be put off by the drive to Verbier either, as it gave us a look at a much larger Swiss resort with a great variety of pistes.
Care needs to be taken over the ski pass. We had the Mont Blanc Unlimited pass which did not give us access to St Gervais (15 minutes away) but did to Verbier - an hour and half away. Another dispute between lift operators. You can get a pass to cover St Gervais but only covers the Prarion gondola in Les Houches. The owners really need to thrash out their differences to create a great area.
Les Houches was rather quiet with a few apres-ski bars and restaurants. One of our favourites was La Delice
December 11, 2008
Alex from United Kingdom
I have skied Les Houches several times over the last couple of years. It has some fantastic runs and I have always found it very quiet with virtually no queues. Used in conjunction with the other resorts in the valley it perfectly complements a varied and challenging ski holiday if you are an intermediate or advanced skier. If you are a beginner then Les Houches is a great place to spend the week and learn.
I have always had a car, whether hired at Geneva, or having driven from the UK, therefore I cannot comment on the ski bus, but the night bus makes it very easy to go into Chamonix for a meal and some drinks in the evening. Fred's bar in Les Houches is a great place to chill out and I look forward to being there next weekend, although, sadly, it won't be Fred's in the new year as he has sold up (although ownership should be the only change).
December 08, 2008
Colin George from United Kingdom
Not been out personally this season yet, but will be in Les Houches on 3rd Jan for the Anglo Scottish cup (races). My daughter was in Les Houches on Saturday for a few hours skiing on the way to Tignes for a few days, then back to Les Houches. Her comments were "awesome, beats Hintertux (Austria) six weeks ago by god knows..", then she put the phone down. My guess is, as a British racer, she is glad to back in a fab place to ski and train. See you in Le Relax D'Esprite (Freds Bar for the English) in four weeks time.