Renowned the world over for its flawless ski runs, epic scenery and inspiring alpine vibes, the Chamonix-Mont Blanc valley is a premium choice for winter-loving couples seeking a snowy getaway.
Arguably its most famous town, Chamonix is a charming alpine village brimming with designer boutiques, trendy eateries, and picturesque points of interest including museums, quaint churches and village squares complete with farmers and seasonal winter markets.
Easily accessible, this mountain hideaway can be reached by flying into neighbouring Geneva, Switzerland and then taking a private or group transfer directly to the Chamonix Valley, just over an hour’s drive away.
As is the case for many European ski resorts, Chamonix is a pretty pricey place to stay. And, when you factor in airport transfers, ski rental, lift passes and maybe a ski lesson or two, you may be considering more cost-effective options than a five-star hotel.
Enter Hotel Le Prieuré Chamonix: a hip alpine haven just a brief stroll from the heart of town and a 10 minute walk from the Brévent ski lift. Each room is suitably ‘peak chic’, with chalet-inspired wall cladding, modern ensuites and adequate space to stow your winter gear. With a restaurant, bar and lounge complete with log fire, it’s a cosy and contemporary place to stay. Plus, it has the added bonus of a ski storage room and onsite ski rental, so selecting and stowing your gear will be a breeze.
Surrounded by snowy peaks, Chamonix boasts a multitude of options for both experienced and beginner skiers alike. Just steps away from the town centre, Brévent is equally perfect for green run novices and black run pros. With a combo of both shorter and longer runs, restaurants, bars, and access to neighbouring mountain Flégère, there are enough options to keep you occupied for days!
For a magical and unforgettable experience, buy two tickets for the little red Montenvers train and take the winding journey up to the Montenvers site, at a breath-taking altitude of 1913m. Then, descend by gondola into the mysterious Mer de Glace, a spectacular glacier complete with an ice cave which is freshly tunnelled out every season!
After marvelling at the vast frozen vistas, make the ascent back up to the main site and continue your glacier discovery at the Glaciorium before stepping into the Crystal Gallery – a selection of some of the sparkling specimens unearthed nearby.
For an après ski session with optimum rejuvenation factor, check into the Park Suisse Hotel & Spa rooftop spa and indulge in several hours of post-piste bliss. Comprising a Turkish steam room, two saunas with village views, a jacuzzi and an outdoor heated pool, it’s a rejuvenating haven, perfect for whiling away a snowy afternoon. Time your visit for late in the day to enjoy the gorgeous golden-hour views, and see the sun sink below the snow-capped peaks – stunning!
Kick-start your day with a visit to Café Alpin, a delightful retro coffee van often stationed at the base of Brévent. Choose from an array of hot beverages including signature creation Café Mont Blanc – a dreamy blend of chocolate and espresso topped off with a whipped cream ‘mountain peak’.
After working up an appetite on the slopes, make a well-earned ‘piste’ stop at one of the many alpine dining options on offer. If you’re at Brévent, try La Bergerie de Planpraz, a traditional log chalet style venue serving up a hearty array of French dishes – perfect for refuelling during the day. Or, for an extra scenic stop, ascend to the summit of Brévent and visit Le Panoramic – a restaurant and bar perched at the very peak offering sweeping vistas of Mont Blanc. Here you’ll also find a cute cabin serving up drinks and snacks alongside neat rows of deck chairs – a sublime spot to soak up that alpine sunshine.
All images by Anika and Mitch Reynolds.
For a memorable meal, reserve an intimate table for two at La Maison Carrier, a French farmhouse style establishment set within a luxe mountain resort. Just a short stroll from the centre of town, it’s a white linen, wood-fired and copper pots affair, complete with an abundant cheese trolley and three tiers of desserts to choose from!
Ms Zigzag says: I’d be following this super chic Chamonix guide to a tee if I was off to these picturesque mountains! Thanks Anika.
About the author Anika Reynolds: I’m a freelance writer with a love of weddings and creatively styled events. I have a penchant for pretty stationery and perfectly put together cheese plates, and a never-ending sense of wanderlust!