Best Places to Stay in Portes du Soleil

http://www.powderhounds.com/site/DefaultSite/filesystem/images/Europe/France/PortesduSoleil/accom/01.jpg
Châtel village is one of the best in Portes du Soliel
Châtel village is one of the best in Portes du Soliel
Morgins in Swizterland has surprisingly good value accommodations in the Portes du Soleil
Morgins in Swizterland has surprisingly good value accommodations in the Portes du Soleil
Les Crosets has some fantastic ski-in ski-out Portes du Soleil lodgings
Les Crosets has some fantastic ski-in ski-out Portes du Soleil lodgings
Avoraiz is les Portes du Soleil ski area
Avoraiz is les Portes du Soleil ski area's most striking village
Torgon in Switzerland has some of Portes du Soleil
Torgon in Switzerland has some of Portes du Soleil's most affordable accommodations
Châtel village on the French side of Portes du Soleil
Châtel village on the French side of Portes du Soleil
Les Crosets village in the Swiss sector of Portes du Soleil
Les Crosets village in the Swiss sector of Portes du Soleil
Champoussin village looks out over the Rhone valley in the Portes du Soleil
Champoussin village looks out over the Rhone valley in the Portes du Soleil
Châtel village in the French sector of the Portes du Soleil
Châtel village in the French sector of the Portes du Soleil
Ski-in ski-out accommodation in Portes du Soleil
Ski-in ski-out accommodation in Portes du Soleil
Avoriaz ski village
Avoriaz ski village
Torgon village
Torgon village
Gondola above Châtel village
Gondola above Châtel village
The French ski village of Avoriaz
The French ski village of Avoriaz
Champoussin village in the Swiss sector of Portes du Soleil
Champoussin village in the Swiss sector of Portes du Soleil
Châtel village - Portes du Soleil most authentic
Châtel village - Portes du Soleil most authentic
Morgins town centre in Switzerland
Morgins town centre in Switzerland
There
There's nothing in the world like Avoriaz!
Accommodation at Petit Chatel in the French sector
Accommodation at Petit Chatel in the French sector
Something for everyone at Portes du Soleil
Something for everyone at Portes du Soleil

Best Places to Stay in Portes du Soleil

Racha Backcountry Ski Tour Georgia Snow Vigil

Village Locations Map

    Portes du Soleil Ski Trail Map
  • Portes du Soleil Ski Trail Map

Where to Stay in Les Portes Du Soleil

A ski resort as monstrous as Portes du Soleil also comes with a confusing & equally vast amount of accommodation options. So where is the best place to stay? Things to consider include:

  • The French villages are larger & busier than the Swiss alternatives.
  • Aside from Avoriaz, the French villages are more aesthetically pleasing too, which is unusual in the Alps!
  • Aside from Champery, the French side has better quality lodging options, which again, is unusual in the Alps.
  • The Swiss villages get all the morning sun, are surprisingly affordable & definitely less over-run by humanity than their neighbours across the frontier.
  • Champery is the easiest to travel too. It has a train station right below the town & next to the cable car.
  • The best located villages to ski the entire region are Avoriaz, Chatel & Les Crosets.

On the French side, the highest ski resort village is Avoriaz & it provides the best snow, ski-in ski-out options plus fantastic links to the best terrain in France & Switzerland. A caveat though that it is an architecturally challenging collection of mainly high-rise apartments, albeit in a spectacular location. We enjoyed the Avoriaz village, but it may not be to everyone’s taste.

The easiest villages to access by road are Morzine (the area’s largest, & some say, prettiest village), Les Gets, Montriond (requires a bus to get to the slopes) & St-Jean d'Aulps. The thriving village of Châtel is one of the more isolated (a relative term!) but has good lift links to the quieter Swiss resorts of Torgon & Morgins plus has a wonderful atmosphere in a traditional setting. Down valley from Chatel are numerous options in La Chapelle-d'Abondance and Abondance.

In Switzerland, several villages including Morgins & Torgon provide surprisingly good value for money accommodation. The caveat being the lift links to the rest of the Portes network are not great! Champery is the most convenient to reach via public transport & has swift access to the best terrain in the region. Les Crosets is the perfect ski-in ski-out location & one of our picks to stay. Champoussin is the smallest & cutest of the ski resorts’ villages, & also, the hardest in which to find accommodation.

Portes du Soleil Village Accommodations

Starting at Avoriaz & working anti-clockwise, the region’s main ski resort villages are described below, together with some suggestions as to where to stay.

Avoriaz

The amazing Avoriaz village dominates a high plateau above Morzine. Perched spectacularly on a clifftop, it is an architectural marvel, particularly at a distance! At first glance, it may appear out of step with the natural environment, but upon further investigation, one may conclude it is in fact brilliant. Similarly, you may conclude that you don’t like it all – just another in a long list of polarising ski village designs in the French Alps. (Everything looks better in winter😊). Whilst a stay in the alpine village is super convenient from a ski-in ski-out point of view, we recommend also looking at quality alternative lodging options in the quiet hamlets at the lift bases of Ardent or Les Prodains; or slightly further afield in the towns of Montriond & Morzine.

As with most French Alps ski resort developments, most accommodation in Avoriaz is simple, smallish, self-contained apartments & chalets (with options for full catering!). There are relatively few hotels or high-end accommodations. As with everything, there are always exceptions to the rule, but they come at a price! Some excellent 5-star apartments are at the Residence Pierre & Vacanes Premium L'Amara. They come complete with a horse-drawn sleigh to help you get around the village. The 4-star Hôtel MiL8 provides some of the best hotel rooms in the village.

Search & book here for all Avoriaz ski accommodation.

Champery

Champéry is a vibrant well-established resort town that has been catering for the wants & needs of tourists for many years & is the easiest entry point into the region. With the jagged Dents du Midi peaks as a backdrop, the only quibble is its relatively low elevation of 1,030m & subsequent lack of a valley trail back into town. There are a full range of services available & accommodation options cover the full spectrum of budgets. The cable car station is only 200m from the centre of town, right next to the train station & opposite a supermarket (just in case you need one!). The best places to stay in the village are the Hotel National Resort & Spa, the boutique Hotel Beau-Séjour Champéry or the centrally located Hotel Suisse. Several excellent hostels near the train & cable car station provide fabulous affordable lodgings, particularly for families & groups. Try either the Palladium de Champéry or Backpacker Le Petit Baroudeur.

Away from the village, up the valley next to the Grand Paradis chairlift, Guest House du Grand Paradis feels like splendid isolation but is still close to everything. Above Champery at the top of the cable car, Hotel Le Plein Ciel has wonderful views of the region & awesome access to the slopes. Further along toward Les Crosets, the ski-in ski-out Hotel Le Marcheuson provides a classic Swiss alpine stay.

Search & book here for all Champery ski accommodation.

Les Crosets

Les Corsets is the Portes du Soleil’s best located village, snug in the high alpine and providing the perfect place to make the most of a Portes du Soleil ski holiday. Set at 1670m, services may be limited but the direct access to the lifts & ski slopes from the ski-in ski-out accommodation is unparalleled in the region (even better than Avoriaz). As a bonus, it gets the morning sun too! Prices are comparative to Champéry, but one gets what one pays for & in this case its location, location, location…….! As it happens, some of the most affordable lodgings in the region are in Les Crosets at the Freeride Hostel. For the best hotel in the village, try Hotel L'Etable.

Search & book here for all Les Crosets ski accommodation.

Champoussin

Next along from Les Crosets, the petite alpine village of Champoussin is perched on a sunny east-facing ridge overlooking the Rhone River valley and the peaks of the Dents du Midi & Dents Blanches at an altitude above 1580m. Whilst accommodation can be tough to get here, we recommend trying. It will provide the simple pleasures & feel of a traditional small Swiss Alps ski resort village that is so lacking in many other Portes du Soleil locations. For extended stays try the ski-in Hotel Champoussin Lodge. Alternatively, a wonderful overnight experience can be had at the ski-in ski-out Chez Gaby Inn. A range of apartments & chalets can also be rented.

Search & book here for all Champoussin ski accommodation.

Val d’Illiez

Down in the valley, Val d’Illiez has the super-convenient Hotel Communal on the town square & next to the train station. The restaurant gets rave reviews. Make sure to ask for a quiet room with a mountain view. Trips up to the mountain at Champoussin or Les Crosets can be made by bus (or your own car of course!), or to the cable car at Champery by train.

Morgins

Morgins is a typical Swiss mountain resort village, sitting snugly in a forested alpine valley. Geared toward tourism, but not as busy as it may have been in the past, it is surprisingly affordable. Accommodations tend to be more chalet-apartments than hotels. With a full range of services, two chair lifts leaving from either end of town & multiple valley trails leading to it, Morgins is a comfortable & convenient place from which to launch forays into the fabulous Portes du Soleil. Just make sure you buy the right lift pass! if you enjoy the sun, look at accommodation closer to the Corbeau chair, as the northern part of the village can be in the shade for long periods during winter.

Search & book here for all Morgins ski accommodation.

Torgon

Torgon provides great value accommodation and a quiet place from which to make forays into the wider Portes du Soleil or just to stay nearby and enjoy the local family friendly skiing. The old Torgon village is down the road a few km from the ski resort base which is called Torgon La Jorette. The chairlifts that once linked the resort village of Torgon La Jorette to the main ski area at Plan du Croix have recently been decommissioned, leaving the seven monstrous apartment complexes & the awesome Torgon Alpine Centre disconnected except for two beginner lifts. In old Torgon, the Hotel de Torgon is a good place to rest your head, particularly after sampling their interesting beer selection. A free ski bus links the resort village to the Plan du Croix ski lifts, but the original village of Torgon is only connected by public bus a few times a day. If intending to stay in the old Torgon, your own transport or taxi rides are required to get to the skiing in a time efficient manner!

Search & book here for all Torgon ski accommodation.

Châtel

Châtel is one of the most authentic villages in the Portes du Soleil. Indeed, it is one of the more pleasant ski resort villages in the entire French Alps. The main village centre is hive of activity during winter & has extensive bus & ski lift links within a few steps of the shops. To the north, connected by local bus is an outlying hamlet of Le Petit Châtel which comes complete with its own shops, bars & chairlift which connects to Torgon & Morgins in Switzerland. Between the two ends of Châtel, a host of hotels, guesthouses, apartments & chalet line the mountainside.

Search & book here for all Châtel ski accommodation.

Abondance

Down valley from Chatel are numerous lodging options in La Chapelle-d'Abondance and Abondance. La Chapelle-d'Abondance has direct ski lift links into the Portes du Soleil via Torgon. Abondance has its own small ski area that is not lift or piste connected to the rest of the network & requires a free local bus ride to access it.

Les Gets

Accessed via a totally different valley than Chatel, Les Gets is a pleasant village, nestled comfortably in a broad, shallow valley at 1170m altitude that receives a nice dose of winter sun through the day. The village is low-rise (3-4 storey maximum) & structured along traditional lines with timber clad buildings in the local style lining the lively main street. With ski lifts emanating directly from much of the accommodation, Les Gets is wonderful for families heading out on their first French Alps ski adventure. Try the superb & highly rated Hotel Alpina.

Search & book here for all Les Gets ski accommodation.

Away from the centre the centre of the village, the many chalets dotted across the valley are interconnected to the ski lifts by 5 free ski-bus lines that run throughout the day.

Morzine

Between Les Gets & Avoriaz, the village of Morzine is the area’s largest, & some say, prettiest place to stay. Easy to drive to from Geneva, Morzine has the full range of services & lodging options expected of a quality ski resort. Its relatively low altitude of less than 1,000m may mean it lacks the luscious mantle of snow in the village that we so love on our ski holiday jaunts. Modern gondola lifts depart from the centre of town heading up to the Morzine ski slopes on one side, and the Avoriaz slopes on the other. Ski trails from the Morzine side end on the fringe of town. A download or ski bus ride is required to return from Avoriaz.

Search & book here for all Morzine ski accommodation.

Montriond & St Jean d’Aulps

Alternative accommodations to Morzine (or Avoriaz & Les Gets) are further down valley at Montriond & St-Jean d'Aulps. Both require a car or free ski-bus to get to the main Portes du Soleil lifts & slopes. St Jean has its own small ski area too.

150