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What is a chalet?

A chalet hotel (pronounced "shal-ey") is typically a wooden house with overhanging eaves, and is a mainstay of the accommodation scene in ski resorts everywhere. These property types started life as humble Swiss chalets, which can still be found peppering the rugged mountain valleys around Bern and Geneva. These days, the design has spread to ski resorts from Austria to France, Argentina to North America.

Why should I stay at a chalet?

Chalet rentals are one of the top choices for family holidaymakers looking to hit the slopes. Rent out 1, 2, 3 bedroom suites in most ski areas, rent out whole chalets for larger groups.

Comfortable and convenient, chalets often have ski-in, ski-out access, ski rooms for equipment storage, and even welcoming post-slope extras like crackling log fires and saunas.

You can make the most out of your resort while still enjoying a little alpine relaxation.


Where do you find chalets?

The mountains are where you find the traditional ski chalet hotel. From the Rockies to the Carpathians, it's possible to discover timber-framed homes nestled under summits.

However, the Alps are the veritable home of this sort of accommodation. Everywhere you look there, from St Moritz to charming Saalbach, you can catch a glimpse of their wood-carved frontispieces and overhanging balconies.


How much does it cost to stay in a chalet?

Skiing might be an expensive hobby but it's actually possible to reserve cheap chalets in many resorts, especially in Poland and Bulgaria.

That said, luxury chalet choices can see rates skyrocket to jet-setter proportions. You can pay thousands a night per person for a stay in some of the fanciest, but heated outdoor pools, bubbling hot tubs, sauna rooms, and delicious pre-ski breakfast might make up for it.

What do chalets offer?

Chalet hotels offer a cozy, comfortable place to bed down in the middle of the mountains. They are usually connected to ski resorts, which means proximity to lifts, rental equipment, and ski shuttle buses. Some of the more stylish chalets also have pools, gyms, steam rooms and saunas, which are perfect relaxing after a day on the slopes.


Chalets vs cabins

What's the difference between chalets and cabins?

While you may consider cabins as an alternative choice when it comes to going into the wilds of the mountains, there's a reason that chalets remain more popular among skiers.

chalets are usually tailor-made for those looking to ski, with heated equipment rooms that small cabins simply don't have. Then there's the chance to have catered packages, which can mean whizzing off the ice for a home-prepared feast of local cuisine each evening – no self-catering required.


How to book a chalet

You can go about booking that wintertime – or summertime – chalet in your favorite resort exactly the same way you'd seek out a conventional hotel.

Just enter the destination you're eager to explore into Expedia and sort your results by accommodation type. That way, you can pinpoint the Swiss-style lodge that catches your fancy, and even get great deals on flight and hotel combos.