As the summer holidays come to an end and the first lot of snow starts falling in the French Alps, you know it is time to think about booking your winter holiday (if, you haven’t already). The cross-border ski resort of Chatel, France is definitely one of those places you should consider looking into for your next winter holiday skiing as it is a resort on the up.
Table of Contents
- 1 About Chatel Ski Resort
- 2 Hire a Ski Guide for half day
- 2.1 Rock the Pistes Festival
- 2.2 Accommodation in Chatel
- 2.3 Mountain Food
- 2.4 Where to eat off the Mountain
- 2.5 Where to eat on the Mountain
- 2.6 Getting to Chatel
- 2.7 Top Tips for Chatel Ski Resort
- 2.8 Would I Recommend Chatel Ski Resort
- 3 Other Resorts in Portes du Soleil
About Chatel Ski Resort
Pretty and relatively unspoiled, the Chatel Ski Resort definitely has a very French feel about it, especially with the chalet style hotels dotted around the resort. It has so much to offer, from skiing in two countries experiencing different terrain, zip lining across the Alps, to having free wifi in most of the resort. This is great to share your trip on social media and make your friends envious!
If that doesn’t convince you, Chatel Ski Resort France also forms part of the Portes Du Soleil ski area, interlinking 12 resorts across France and Switzerland giving you access to over 600kms of ski runs. It is considered to be one of the biggest ski areas in the world, meaning there is something for everyone, from a complete beginner to seasoned skiers.
Chatel Ski Resort was my last stop on my ski safari on the French side of Portes du Soleil’s vast and varied ski area.
Ski Runs & Pass Area
With the Chatel Ski Resort being right on the French-Swiss border the ski passes can be really flexible, depending on your experience, comfort and budget. You can get a lift pass for the Chatel, France & Torgon / Morgins Switzerland area or the whole Portes Du Soleil.
The Chatel Ski Resort Pass also covers Châtel (Barbossine, Super-Châtel, Linga and Pre-la-Joux), La Chapelle abondance Switzerland and some of the Morgins in Switzerland too (Corbeaeu sector)
- Please note though if you want to ski over to the Avoriaz Ski Resort, you will need to get the Portes du Soleil pass.
Overview of only the Chatel Ski Resort Area
- Chatel has two separate parts, Super-Châtel/Barbossine and Linga/Pré-La-Joux / Plaine Dranse
- 61 Ski lifts & 73 ski runs
- Plenty of on and off-piste skiing, especially through the forest after a fresh dump of snow
- 2 Snowparks
- Night skiing every Thursday from 7.30pm-9.30pm at Linga slope
Fantasticable (Zip lining across the Alps)
I am not going to lie, when I was first informed that Chatel Tourism wanted me to try the Fantasticable (similar to a zip line), I thought what is that? it sounds fun. When I looked it up, I thought wow that looks scary, exciting and insane, all at the same time. I also thought any adventurous person like my husband would love to do this.
Strapped into a harness in a laying position you fly like a bird with speeds of between 8o to 100kmh along a line up at 240m above the hamlet of Paine-Dranse Portes Du Soleil. Now, you may be wondering how can you do this with skis and snowboards? Well, you do not have to worry, as they will follow you on the line in a transportation carrier.
- It is also open in the Summer and it involves two lines for double the fun.
Hire a Ski Guide for half day
One of the things I love about being on a press trip is that you get the opportunity to ski with some great local skiers. They are usually happy to show you some of the hidden gems and the best the resort has to offer. If you are anything like me, you also get to learn new techniques too which is just an added bonus.
Whether you are an experienced skier, a complete beginner, a group or a family, getting a guide can be a great idea for everyone. My guide in Chatel Ski Resort was Paul who was an instructor from ESF, a company that is based all over the French Alps.
We had a great day together, he took me to areas that I had not skied before, helped me polished my skiing skills and overall made me an even more confident skier.
Rock the Pistes Festival
If you only ever attend one ski festival in your lifetime, then it will have to be Rock the Pistes. It is an annual music festival spread across the entire Portes Du Soleil ski area, held over a period of a week. Each resort hosts a series of both indoor and outdoor events, with the draw card being the on-piste concerts.
The festival provides the perfect opportunity to ski or snowboard while enjoying music from international acts from around the world, like Rag’n’Bone man. The best bit is the concerts are absolutely FREE and are included in your ski pass.
Some of the line-ups for this season were
- Alice Merton – Champéry Les Crosets
- The Horrors – Morzine Les Gets
- Oscar and the Wild – Avoriaz
- FFF – Morgins
I was lucky enough to attend Rock the Pistes this year for a few days and to experience exactly what it is like to attend a concert at high altitude in Portes Du Soleil. I had such a wonderful time, the atmosphere was electric, the bands were great and the views across the Alps as the backdrop were stunning. There is no doubt in my mind that this one of the best ski festivals in Europe.
- Most of the concerts start in the afternoon after lunch. So if you don’t want to miss out on skiing, get up for the first run of the morning. Then you get the best of both worlds, skiing and music.
Having fun trying to create a 360 in the VIP area at Rock the Pistes Festival
Accommodation in Chatel
Chatel Ski Resort has a variety of accommodation spread out in the village from a hostel to luxury chalets. Most of the main hotels are situated in the centre but don’t be discouraged to stay further out especially up the mountain. There is a regular bus service that covers the whole of Chatel Ski Resort that is FREE and they depart near the Super Chatel Gondola.
If want to stretch your legs it should only take you about a 15-25min walk to get to most accomm
Logis Hotel Les Triolets – I stayed at the cosy Logis Hôtel les Triolets well located in between the Super-Chatel gondola and Petit Chatel lift and only a 10minute walk up the hill from the centre of town. If you didn’t want to walk from the village, then there is an FREE local bus that stops outside the hotel.
It was a really lovely family run hotel with an indoor pool and views across the village from the front of the hotel. The owners were super nice to me and even though I struggled with my French and their English, we were still able to work everything out.
I had a comfy room with a small balcony that overlooked chalets on the mountain behind the hotel. It was a half board hotel and the views from the restaurant overlooking the village were beautiful.
It is not a trip to French Ski Resort without sampling some of the local fresh food. I was on half board, so I only ate a couple of times but, as I have said, I have been to Chatel Ski Resort a few times before. Below is my pick for Dinner off the mountain and lunch on the mountain
Where to eat off the Mountain
Restaurant le Vieux Four
If you love traditional French food and cheese specialities like Raclette and Tartiflette, this place is definitely for you. Located in the centre of town and only a 2 minute walk away from the Super Chatel gondola is le Vieux Four. It’s a cosy, rustic family run restaurant with an interesting interior to match. This place was definitely a gem, with its great food and really lovely service.
- Try the Fromage abundance cheese melted for the main meal. It is cheese heaven.
Where to eat on the Mountain
La ferme des Pistes
Situated near the top of the TC du linga gondola in the Linga / Pré-La-Joux area is the la ferme des pistes. It is a great spot for lunch or a drink, especially in the spring sun with the views down the valley and overlooking the ski slope.
The first time I went to la ferme des pistes was a couple of years ago when the two new chairlifts opened up and linked all the ski area. We only stopped for a few drinks but since then I have been back a couple of times for local lunch specialities. The food is good, the prices are reasonable and the kir royal really good.
- It gets really busy for lunch, so try to get there early to get a seat.
Getting to Chatel
Airport – The closest international airport is Geneva which is roughly an hour and a half away from Chatel Ski Resort. Making it super easy to get to and great if you want to go for a weekend trip.
Due to this, there are numerous ways of getting to Chatel Ski Resort, buses, trains, private transfer, shared transfer all vary in price depending on what you can afford.
Car hire – You can also hire a car on either the French or Swiss Side at Geneva airport.
I have been to the resort a few times and I had previously used the following company Alpybus. You can also check out the ‘Getting Here’ on the tourism website which has great information.
Top Tips for Chatel Ski Resort
- We all need WIFI and if you can’t find any, you can go to the tourism office and use the wireless access for FREE.
- Check out the Aquatic centre if you want to take a break from Skiing or want to do something different with the kids.
- You can buy your lift pass online to miss the queue and pick it up from the ski office or they can send it to you.
- You can also recharge your lift pass online too.
- Children under the age of 5 can ski for FREE
- Chatel is right on the French-Swiss border, pop over to Morgins Switzerland if you have the time
Would I Recommend Chatel Ski Resort
Chatel Ski Resort is a pretty, traditional French ski resort with beautiful chalet style hotels. I will definitely keep going back time and time again. The atmosphere is relaxed, I love that you can ski in two countries and there are plenty of places to eat and things to do.
It is also easy to get around especially now with the two new chairlifts interlinking the resort and the free bus. Also, it is only just over an hour to Geneva airport, which means it is great for a long weekend with family or a group of friends.
Other Resorts in Portes du Soleil
Thank you for reading my article ‘Chatel Ski Resort France – A Resort On the Up’, I hope that it helps you decided on where to ski this season.
If you are looking for other resorts in the Portes Du Soleil ski area, then feel free to check out my articles on Les Gets Ski Resort, Morzine Ski Resort and Champéry Ski Resort Switzerland. All are great options for a ski weekend trip with friends or with family.
Have you been to Chatel Ski Resort or Portes du Soleil before? I would love to hear your experiences in the comments below.
Disclaimer: Even though I was invited by the Chatel Tourism office All views are my own and based on my own experience.
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