Ski accommodation in Portes du Soleil
Considering a ski holiday in Portes du Soleil?
Congratulations on a wise choice ̶ this expansive ski area straddling the French-Swiss border boasts 650km of pistes, a network of 197 lifts and 12 resorts which are each as distinct and delightful as individual snowflakes. The main resorts here are high-altitude Avoriaz with its modernist architecture, doorstep skiing and fab, family-friendly facilities, and charming Morzine with its traditional chalet-style accommodation, lively après-ski and outstanding on- and off-slope entertainment. However, other Portes du Soleil resorts also have their benefits ̶ Les Gets is great for intermediate skiers, Châtel is serene and stunning, while Champery on the Swiss side of the ski area oozes traditional mountain charm.
Each resort here has its own strengths and some (like Avoriaz for instance) cater capably for mixed ability groups, but the entire area is well connected, therefore it’s easy to tour around and sample the best skiing, snowboarding, family entertainment and après-ski. From ski lessons on nursery slopes to green slopes where you find your feet, and beautiful blue and red runs for improving intermediates to challenging black runs and off-piste paradises for advanced skiers, Portes du Soleil can provide every visitor with a customised mountain experience. Furthermore, snowboarders are satisfied too, with fantastic freestyle areas and superb snowparks.
However, choosing your accommodation carefully can help ensure that you’re able to truly take advantage of all of the delights on offer in Portes du Soleil because, depending on your needs and the nature of your group, features like ski-in/ski-out convenience and pet-friendliness might be priorities. With accommodation that ranges from well-appointed contemporary apartments to traditional chalet-style properties, Erna Low can find accommodation that suits you down to your snow boots ̶ read on for a rundown of what’s on offer.
Ski chalets in Portes du Soleil
The chalet-style accommodation you might spend time in during your Ported du Soleil ski holiday will be comfortable and plush, with comfy beds, sumptuous social spaces, big screen TVs and Wi-Fi as standard, luxuries like spas and pools a short stroll from your door, and ski slopes a snowball’s throw away. But like many long-lasting living space designs, the iconic Alpine chalet style was first developed for a much more rustic, rudimentary purpose ̶ as basic mountain farmhouses where families would live and work nearby. In fact, farming families in this part of the world often built a series of chalets moving from valley floor farms to mountainside pasturelands at increasingly higher altitudes. The reason for this is that as the Alpine snow recedes, dairy cows gradually move up the mountains, grazing on the tasty wildflowers and grass that enhances their milk and adds another gastronomic dimension to famous hard cheeses like Beaufort Chalet d’Alpage. Some features are common across all chalet types, such as the gentle roof pitches which allow just enough snow retention to provide a natural layer of insulation, but the building materials vary from region to region based on the local availability of materials like stone and wood. And while historical chalet interiors weren’t nearly as salubrious as those in modern ski resorts in Portes du Soleil, warmth, comfort and cosiness have remained key priorities. Here’s a fine example of the authentic chalet style adapted to meet the needs of snowsports holidaymakers:
• L’Aiglon de Morzine comprises gorgeous self-catering apartments constructed in the traditional chalet style, with high vaulted ceilings, expansive windows and open-plan areas that maximise light and space. Any time you need a reminder of your amazing location, simply step out on your balcony and you’ll see panoramic views of the snow-capped mountains and powdery pistes around Morzine at any time of day. Apartments here can be 1-3 bedrooms, in various configurations that sleep between two and nine people. Living rooms are roomy and cosy, while all bedrooms have WCs and en suite bath or shower rooms and the sleeping capacity of some apartments is extended further by discreet sofa beds in living areas and cabins which are comfortable but smaller than regular bedrooms.
A central location means that you’re close to the Super Morzine cablecar and a five-minute walk from resort restaurants and bars, but there’s also an onsite fitness and wellbeing centre which is the ideal cathartic space to recharge your batteries. As well as a sauna and steam room, treatments like physiotherapy and massage keep you in tip-top condition for active days on the slopes.
Ski apartments in Portes du Soleil
You’ll find various styles of apartment accommodation across Portes du Soleil, in both contemporary and traditional styles, so if aesthetic appeal is as important as comfort and practicality, you won’t struggle to pick something that suits your sensibilities.
However, Avoriaz might be of particular interest as it’s not only a high-altitude resort offering fabulous fresh powder ̶ it also hosts some unique modernist architecture which was pioneering when it was first envisioned in the 1960s and still looks otherworldly today.
The resort is the brainchild of 1960 Olympic Downhill champion skier Jean Vuarnet, who grew up in nearby Morzine and sketched out a visionary design for a car-free, ski-in/ski-out environmentally-friendly, high altitude ski resort where the buildings would blend in with the natural landscape but still be completely modern. The proposal faced criticism at the time and was regarded as somewhat outlandish, but together with architect Jaques Labro, Vuarnet had the drive and determination to make it reality. Their team of designers completely abandoned all traditional techniques and conventions, creating one-of-a-king blueprints for each building based only on the organic shapes which surrounded them. So while you’ll see familiar materials like concrete, wood, stone and tile on these original Avoriaz buildings, sudden curves, impossible angles and weird and wonderful shapes blow your expectations out the window like a blast of Alpine fresh air. Vuarnet believed that when people go on holiday they want to experience something that’s different from their everyday lives, so the fantasy architecture of Avoriaz was designed to inspire flights of fancy and escapism. If you’ve got an eye for design and are yearning for a magical experience on and off the slopes, Avoriaz might be right up your street, but there are countless examples of chich, stylish and comfortable apartments across Portes du Soleil, as you can see from the following examples:
• The Antarès apartments are nestled above Avoriaz 1800 in the Les Crozats sector and their curvaceous timber facades and angular roofs blend into the surrounding mountains in the spirit of Jean Vuarnet’s vision. This ski-in/ski-out residence in a car-free resort is ideal for families and there are handy lifts connecting the complex to the resort centre, where chic boutiques, artisan delis and off-slope entertainment is on tap. Aquariaz is also close by ̶ this is the biggest waterpark in the Alps and diving into the warm waters here helps you and your children rest and relax in between adrenaline-fuelled sessions on the slopes. Various apartments and studios in Antarès can be configured to sleep 4-6 people and include lovely open-plan living areas with kitchenettes, sofa beds and bunkbeds, separate bedrooms for privacy, well-appointed bathrooms and Wi-Fi throughout.
• Also based in Les Crozats, the Electra apartments are another excellent accommodation choice for families or groups of friends looking for doorstep skiing, comfort and security on a self-catering basis. This apartment complex has an attractive timber façade and the interior suites are tastefully decorated with luxurious soft furnishings in attractive autumnal colours. Apartments here have 1-2 bedrooms of different sizes with self-contained bedrooms as well as open-plan living areas which include kitchenettes as well as pull-out beds, bunkbeds which can sleep up to seven guests in comfort.
As you can see, apartments in Portes du Soleil are spacious, stylish, centrally located and designed to deliver delightful Alpine ski holiday experiences for every type of guest.
Ski hotels in Portes du Soleil
The beauty of staying in a ski hotel in Portes du Soleil is that you have all the privacy and comfort of a ski apartment or chalet along with the convenient option of more facilities onsite, particularly in-house restaurants which are ideal for those times when you don’t want to eat delivery or takeaway deli meals in your apartments but can’t be bothered booking a meal in an eatery further afield either. Here are a couple of prime examples of great hotels in Portes du Soleil:
• L’Amara is a luscious, luxe accommodation option located on the edge of a forest at the foot of a cliff, surrounded by mountains in the majestic Morzine valley. This five-star residence features all the amenities and facilities you expect from a high end hotel, including the Deep Nature Spa, where there’s an outdoor hot tub for relaxing tired muscles while taking in the Alpine scenery, a pool where you can splash around or complete a few leisurely lengths, a sauna for purging any après-ski excesses and a fitness suite which will keep you supple and agile. This ski-in/ski-out residence also has a high-quality onsite restaurant, a play area for children at reception and a kids club. Suites have 1-5 bedrooms and can sleep 4-12 people comfortably, with living areas including kitchenettes for those nights you fancy snacking on shop-bought snacks and goodies, and various sofa bed and day bed configurations. Bedrooms are comfy and stylish, there’s Wi-Fi throughout and baby facilities are also available.
• Saskia Falaise is an awesome Avoriaz accommodation option comprises cosy, light and airy apartments with private balconies offering panoramic Morzine Valley views. In terms of eating arrangements, this residence offers the best of both worlds because apartments include kitchenettes where you can cook your own meals if you’re a keen chef, as well as an onsite resturatt serving tasty French cuisine with fresh local ingredients. Apartments have 1-2 bedrooms and can sleep 4-8 people comfortably, all living rooms have a flat-screen satellite TV as standard, with discreet daybeds and bunkbeds which are inconspicuous when not in use and eminently practical when evening sets in. For an extra fee you can arrange a shopping delivery service and reception is open 24 hours a day during winter season to tend to your needs at any time.
It’s evident that you won’t struggle to find high-quality hotels in Portes du Soleil where a warm welcome and legendary Alpine hospitality are standard.
Facilities and amenities in Portes du Soleil
Portes du Soleil is packed with eclectic attractions for all ages and tastes ̶ from family-friendly children’s activities to adults-only après-ski venues and everything in between.
For example, as well as the all-conquering Aquariaz waterpark, you can splash out on popcorn and settle down to enjoy the latest silver screen releases at the cinema, practice picking up strikes and spares at the ten-pin bowling alley or set your pulse racing with a laser quest session. When you want to snap up souvenirs, head to Snow Palm, while Les Delices D’Antan is the best place to find local delicacies and there’s a wide selection of supermarkets for stocking up on everything from bread and cheese to wine and kids snacks. If you fancy a few beers at a British-style pub, Le Tavaillon fits the bill brilliantly, regularly shows live sports and has a terrific heated terrace, while the Avoriaz branch of La Folie Douce features the trademark high energy jinks, exotic drinks and tabletop dancing.
Meanwhile Parc de Dérêches at Morzine is a marvellous leisure centre complete with swimming pool and ice rink, and kids are kept entertained with fun activities like horse-drawn carriage tours, sledding under the stars and thrilling toboggan runs. And Morzine is no shrinking violet when it comes to vibrant après-ski either ̶ Robinsons Bar (aka ‘Robbos’) has become an institution and parties here are largely fuelled by particularly strong Mutzig brand beer, and The Tibetan Café is another lively venue which serves metres of beer with handy pouring taps that save you returning to the bar repeatedly. Foodies in Morzine will adore the exotic sharing boards available at La Cachette and Le Yeti serves hot baguettes so hearty that they’d satisfy any abominable snowman (or snowwoman).
There are several ski schools across Portes du Soleil, but ESF is one of the most reliable and provides supportive lessons for children aged three years and upwards, as well as for adults, while childcare is also available at both of the above resorts for kids aged three months and older.
Finally, while you’re free to organise your ski hire and passes independently, these components can easily be rolled into your Erna Low ski holiday package and most of our clients find that this is the most economical and convenient choice.
Selecting your ideal Portes du Soleil ski accommodation
At Erna Low, we’re not just in the snowsports business but we’re also passionate skiers and snowboarders ourselves, therefore we always go above and beyond to ensure that all of our customers enjoy their French Alps ski holidays as much as we do, whether that’s in Portes du Soleil or any of the other stunning ski areas we operate in.
So while we provide as much comprehensive and useful information on our website as possible in order to help you weigh up your options, often nothing beats contacting us directly so that we can arrange a friendly chat, understand exactly what you want from a customised ski holiday and use our expertise and contacts to deliver a dynamic holiday you’ll cherish.
All of our Portes du Soleil accommodation options are selected for high levels of convenience, comfort and customer care, but the best choice for you will depend on several factors such as the unique and often diverse needs of your travel group members and whether you’re a mixed ability group or all of a similar standard of skiing or snowboarding. And of course, if you’re travelling with kids in tow, we’ll make sure that you’re close to all the amenities and entertainment they expect.
By listening keenly to all of this information we can recommend the right resort and the ideal accommodation, meaning the only essential ingredient left is for you to embrace your ski holiday wholeheartedly and have the time of your life. By nature, ski holidays involve a few more logistics than the typical beach break, but we take the weight from your shoulders with tailor-made packages where your every wish and whim is taken care of.
For pitch-perfect Portes du Soleil ski holidays where you leave wondering when you can come back for more, trust Erna Low each and every time.
Overview of Ski Accommodation in the Portes du Soleil Ski Area
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