Chalet Guide to Val Thorens
A guide to finding the perfect chalet in Val Thorens
A luxury ski chalet in Val Thorens embodies the quintessential winter sports holiday, who hasn't dreamt of staying in the perfect chocolate-box chalet after a day on the slopes? Even better if there's a plush sofa you can snuggle up on in front of a roaring fire or an outdoor hot tub to unwind in while surrounded by deep powder fields and high snow-capped peaks. That’s exactly what staying in a chalet is all about.
Val Thorens has hundreds of independently-run chalets available, with a range of services from high-end, fully catered luxury holidays to self-catering accommodation for short breaks. Whether it's traditional Savoyard-style converted farmhouses or contemporary Alpine abodes, they're the perfect home away from home on your winter holiday or your summer escape to the mountains.
This guide will help you choose the perfect chalet for your holiday in Val Thorens. Let's dive right in.
Things to consider when booking a chalet in Val Thorens
When planning your break away to a chalet in the mountains, here are a few things worth thinking about before you decide what to go for.
We recommend you book your chalet as soon as possible. Chalets usually sell out quite quickly and a lot of people book as early as January for the next winter season. Book your accommodation before buying your flights or train ticket, the reason being that availability may be limited and chalet start/end dates are not always as flexible as travel options.
As for the best time to stay in a chalet, they're usually open for bookings during the winter and summer high seasons – from December to April and from June to September. However, some chalet companies may offer their chalets up for interseason rentals, especially for large parties such as company retreats or events.
How long you want to stay
Most ski chalets in Val Thorens are rented on a weekly basis only. You’ll find that Saturday to Saturday rentals are most common, but increasingly with the times being as they are, dates can be flexible and some chalet companies may provide a mix of Saturday and Sunday changeovers.
Plus shorter and longer ski breaks are becoming more and more popular, so some chalet companies may be flexible on their rental dates on request. Summer chalet bookings in Val Thorens are generally much more flexible on dates and length of stay, especially outside the peak months of July and August. This means that you can come for a long weekend, for ten days or for a few days mid-week more easily.
Chalet holidays are suitable for all sorts of group sizes: couples looking for a romantic escapade, families, groups of friends and even large corporate retreats, as they usually have at least two bedrooms with some offering space for up to 15 people and more. Solo travellers and couples can opt for a room in a larger catered chalet while couples looking for independence can check out the charming one-bedroom converted mazots (small wooden huts traditionally used to store valuables and food) on offer in Val Thorens. However big or small your group is, you’ll need to know the exact number of people and the ages of the children coming with you on your holiday before booking.
Go shared or rent the whole thing
Many chalets in Val Thorens can either be booked by the room or as a whole property. Catered chalets are more often than not rented by the room, meaning that you share the chalet and its facilities with other guests, while self-catered chalets are rented out as a whole property, exclusively for your party. Booking rooms in a shared catered chalet is a great option for small families, groups of friends and couples. Some catered chalets can also be rented out on a whole property basis for larger groups, or even if you'd just prefer private use of the chalet without using the full occupancy. To learn more about whether to choose a catered or a self-catered chalet, read below.
Know your wants and needs
There are hundreds of chalets on offer in Val Thorens, some providing simple accommodation at the foot of the slopes and others boasting five-star luxury facilities. Most come with WiFi as standard, but check before you book if it's important, some have ski-to-door access and state-of-the-art boot warmers, some don't, and if you need a large terrace with breathtaking views, a cinema room, designer décor or a pet-friendly property, make sure you book as early as possible.
You'll also find that many high-end chalet companies offer concierge services who’ll take care of everything, from your ski passes to your lessons, your equipment hire, chauffeur services to take you to and from the slopes or drive you around resort, private chefs and spas with massages on demand. You're spoiled for choice in Val Thorens!
Catered vs self-catered chalets in Val Thorens
When booking your chalet in Val Thorens, you’ll find that there are two main options: catered or self-catered. Essentially your meals are included in the price of your chalet rental or they're not.
Catered chalets in Val Thorens
Catered chalets include accommodation and meals under the same roof. Generally managed by one or more chalet hosts who take care of cooking, serving and cleaning, the chalets are usually half-board and include at least breakfast and dinner in the price of your accommodation. Usually rented by the room and priced per person, they suit small families and groups of friends, as well as couples and solo travellers who want an easy, effortless holiday with no cooking or washing up involved. Some chalets have triple or family (quad) rooms available and sometimes the chalet company may rent out a catered chalet as a whole property for large groups.
- Catered chalets are the best option for those searching for a hassle-free holiday, as there’s nothing much you need to do other than enjoy your stay.
- You’ll wake up to the smell of freshly cooked breakfast, come back from skiing to homemade cake and tea, and sit down to a three or four-course dinner in the evenings.
- Chalet hosts will also clean rooms and common areas.
- The price per person of catered chalets is usually higher than that of self-catered chalets. However, you also get more bang for your buck since chalet hosts will cook your meals and clean after you.
- You will be sharing your accommodation with other people you haven't met before.
Worth noting: Chalet staff usually have one, sometimes two, evenings off during the week. When this happens, you’ll get a continental, self-service breakfast left out for you by your host, as well as afternoon tea and cake. For dinner, you’ll get the chance to sample the local restaurants. Alternatively, some companies provide self-service dinner, carefully prepared and left out for you, often in the form of a traditional Savoyarde fondue or raclette.
Self-catered chalets in Val Thorens
Self-catered chalets include only the rental of the accommodation, so you need to take care of your own meals. They are ideal for those who want the chalet all to themselves, don’t mind/like cooking and ordering take away, and are happy cleaning up after themselves throughout their stay.
- Self-catered chalets are rented out as a whole property, so you get the chalet all to yourself.
- They are generally cheaper than catered chalets, which means that you'll have more cash to splash on Val Thorens's great selection of restaurants.
- If you have children, fussy eaters or those with specific dietary requirements in your group, it can be easier to cater for them in the comfort of your own kitchen.
- You'll need to sort out your meals and clean up after yourself.
Worth noting: Many companies can arrange mid-stay cleans and linen/towel changes if booked in advance, and self-catering nowadays is much easier than ever thanks to the array of catering options available. Some chalet companies provide welcome packs or can arrange shopping deliveries and private chef services. And in the post-Covid world, food and drink delivery services are springing up in resorts making flexible self-catering much more of an option. Gone are the days when self-catering meant someone cooking every night of their holiday (however, someone definitely still has to load the dishwasher I'm afraid!)
Luxury chalets in Val Thorens
Luxury is in the eye of the beholder. What someone may find opulent, someone else may deem simple. However, finding a luxury chalet in Val Thorens isn't exactly difficult. The highest ski resort in Europe boasts a wide range of five-star accommodation option with state of the art gyms, indoor swimming pools, fully equipped spas and even private chauffeur services.
What's included in a luxury chalet?
When we talk about luxury chalets in Val Thorens, we refer to chalets boasting five-star facilities: large ski rooms with boot warmers, cinema rooms, stunning central-piece fireplaces, playstations, large chef-style kitchens, spa rooms and, of course, floor to ceiling windows so that you can soak in the views from the warmth of your living room. Luxury chalets usually come with concierge services that'll take care of everything for you, from ski passes to lessons, equipment hire, airport transfers, shuttle service to the lifts, etc. A private chef or a 24hr chauffeur can usually also be added as options.
Where can you find luxury chalets in Val Thorens?
Luxury chalets can be found all around Val Thorens. Basing yourself in the heart of resort for your chalet ski holiday means that you are within easy reach of the town centre with its restaurants, bars, boutiques and ski lifts. On the other hand, luxury chalets in St Martin de Belleville and Les Menuires usually offer more peace and quiet, as well as privacy.
Group chalets in Val Thorens
If you’re looking to organise a group or corporate ski trip, Val Thorens is a great place to host it. A charming Alpine village with great nightlife and loads of choice when it comes to group accommodation, Val Thorens has plenty going on and it’s situated in one of the biggest ski areas in the world.
What should you look out for when booking a chalet for a big group in Val Thorens?
When it comes to finding accommodation suited to large groups, our advice is to base yourself in a chalet near the centre of town and the ski lifts. Should you opt to stay out of town, however, just make sure your chalet operators have dedicated transport facilities so that your corporate ski trip runs as smoothly as possible.
Chalets for families in Val Thorens
Val Thorens is really well set up for mountain-loving families, with plenty of activities for all ages and a host of family-friendly chalets.
What should you look out for when booking a chalet for your family in Val Thorens?
Family ski holidays tend to have their own unique requirements, the most import of which is finding a chalet with a big enough garden to build snowmen. Also, proximity to the pistes and ski schools will undoubtedly be a priority if you are coming to Val Thorens for a family ski holiday. Les Menuires is as good a place as any for a family to base themselves. With easy access to the ski area for adults and kids alike, this is also a great place to be for other child-friendly facilities such as the swimming pool and sports centre. Whether you opt for a chalet in the centre of town or in one of Val Thorens’ quieter out-of-town locations, it is worth checking with your chalet owner or operator whether they offer playrooms, cinema rooms, swimming pools, childcare, child-specific menus and any relevant baby equipment.
Budget chalets in Val Thorens
Val Thorens isn't famous for its budget options but there are options for those looking for slightly cheaper chalet accommodation
How can you save money on your Val Thorens chalet?
There are some great-value catered chalet-apartments in the main hub of Val Thorens centre with easy access to the slopes and the local shops, and lively bars and restaurants just a short walk away.
Ski-in & ski-out chalets in Val Thorens
The huge advantage of high mountain resorts is the ability to ski-in and ski-out of your chalet thereby avoiding the twice-daily trudge across town in ski boots.
Where can you find ski-in & ski-out chalets in Val Thorens?
In Val Thorens, many of the chalets offer ski-in/ski-out accommodation or, at least, ski to the door as plenty of them are conveniently located near the pistes. Chalets in Les Menuires and St Martin de Belleville tend to be a bit further away from the lifts, thereby providing more privacy, but many offer transfer or chauffeur services to and from the slopes.
Our guide on Where to Stay in Val Thorens will help give you an indication of the character and feel of the different resorts. Val Thorens also has plenty of self-catered apartments available to rent, take a look at our Holiday Rentals page to see what's on offer and read our guide on the best self-catered ski apartments for more information.