With so many choices of ski accommodation. It might not seem simple, as there a many factors to consider, cost, space, catered or self-catered? This guide is designed to give you an insight into the choices and help you pick the best ski holiday accommodation for you.
Accommodation choices and types vary from country to country and so it depends on where in the world you travel, as to what’s on offer.
So lets see what choices there are looking the Best Ski Holiday Accommodation
So to help you widen your choice, we have tried to cover the full range of accommodation types on offer no matter what country you plan to go. However, there is one caveat, this article is only there first in a series we’re writing and focuses on Europe. We intend to cover North America and Japan, in future guides, especially important if you are travelling to the latter being very different to what most skiers are used to.
Types of accommodation
Here is the list of accommodation types we believe covers most of not all ski accommodation available across Europe. We are careful what we say, as we keep discovering new types, as we research for SnowResort , so this list may in time grow.
- Catered chalets
- Self catered chalets
- Ski cabins/houses
As you can see this list offered ten alternatives, far more than those usual mentioned in articles and far more than are generally included in tour operators brochures. If you travel independently understanding this will help you to find the best options and value holidays.
We hope to deal with these in enough detail that hopefully that it will stand you in stead when you using other Snowresort, ski resort guides or booking something through us, you can do so with as better understanding of what each type of accommodation will offer you.
Most people will have as good idea what sort of accommodation apartments are. However we think there are enough variations across the Alps, Pyrenees, Scandinavia and Eastern Europe to justify further explanation and hope that helps if you are considering different countries.
Apartments come in a range of sizes, studio, 1, 2 and even 3 bedroom. They come from budget all the way through to luxury. So ski apartments can be basic or with huge numbers of facilities such as spas, swimming pools and more. Importantly they also usually come with a ski room in most apartment buildings, allowing for easy storage and access to your equipment. Apartment building do not allow you to walk through with ski boots on, snowboarders avoid that hassle. This is purely to avoid damage to carpets and other flooring that ski boots can easily inflict. Obviously, ski apartments come as a self-catering option.
There are many ways to book an apartment, either through a tour operator or you can book independently including through are booking system on our Resort Guides.
Ski Chalets are often ideal for families offering a range of options. Usually the catering is breakfast, afternoon tea and dinner for 6 nights leaving one free for guests to try out local restaurants in the resort village. This is also a good fit with group of skiers, where they can take over the whole ski chalet if there are enough of them. Tour operators will often offer chalets specifically aimed at groups.
If you’re not taking over the chalet over, an important factor to think about, is that you will need to get on with other guests or sometimes just put up with them. So it is important to take account of this, if you like your privacy, if you are considering a catered ski chalet.
In 2020/21, the effect of Corvid 19, has had a serious impact on catered chalets. However, they are still available.
Self Catered Chalets
Similar to catered chalets, self-catered ski chalets usually come with loads of charm, ambiance and a reasonable level of comfort. That obviously requires you to book the entire chalet, but with chalets starting as small as sleeping 6 it can be reasonable value for money. Particularly if two families book together. You do need to check carefully for the location of chalets, as unlike apartment building, they can often be on the edge of villages or far from the lifts and main facilities.
Chalet-hotels have similar charm and ambiance of staying in a chalet. However, they are much larger making some of them similar in size to ski hotels. Some are larger enough for 180 to 200 guests.
There dining arrangements are a little more flexible with more tables and often you don’t have to stick to set meal times, as you do with a chalet. Additionally, there is generally a bar in a chalet-hotel and often more than one common area, where chalets often have only one.
Chalet-hotels are suited to guests who prefer:
- A friendlier less formal atmosphere than an hotel.
- You like to socialise at your accommodation, so the bar is a great benefit.
- Going in a group which benefits from as more hotel like experience.
Like with chalet-hotels, aparthotels bring together the benefits of existing accommodation types and the options of shorter booking periods than often available with apartments, having more like the flexibility of hotels. Also they bring the more flexible hotel check in check out timings, while having the floor space and facilities of an apartment.
This makes them a flexible alternative to consider for short ski breaks and mid-week arrival and departure ski holidays.
And finally, they can be a cost effective option because of being self-catering for your ski holiday.
Unfortunately, at the moment is that they are not universally available across the ski world. Being most popular at currently in France.
Ski Cabins and Houses
Chalets are main accommodation choice of tour operators, but are not available in all ski countries or at the very least are in the minority in many in Scandinavian resorts.
In Scandinavia you will see ski cabins as one of the main form of accommodation. Similar to chalets they are wooden buildings, but are plainer in their design and essentially they are often houses that are used for ski holidays, as in Norway and Sweden, houses are built for winter conditions. Some of the larger ones are catered although more often they are for self catering. They are usually very close to the ski lifts or are actually ski in ski out.
Ski hotels claim to be the most relaxing option to have a ski holiday but then option to have as ski holiday but then so do catered chalets. In reality hotels in ski resorts vary in standard just as they do anywhere. Most offer the flexibility essential for short break ski trips. They equally offer as simple solution to two centered ski holidays and for standard trips too
Pensions are a type of guest house in certain parts of Europe including Austria’s and Switzerland.
Unlike bed and breakfast, a pension will usually offer breakfast and dinner. In some instances they may include lunch just like some catered ski chalets. Also some will offer an afternoon tea option at the end of the ski day,
You will find ski pensions in Austria’s and Switzerland particularly although they can be a number of central European countries, like Solvenia.
Lots to think about?
So as you see, there are many types of accommodation on offer, when planning your ski holiday. In future Snowresort guides, we will go in more detail at each of the accommodation categories. If you look at our ski resort guides they will also give you an idea of what is available in each resort, which will often run to hundreds of options to choose from.