the hotel louvre in chamonix is a typical old fashioned french budget hotel in the center of town.
the room i had was old but had a lot of charm to it and the reception was freindly, helpful and english speaking.
the hotel louvre is very french style and i much prefer a hotel like louvre to a lot of the cheap chain hotels where you can't feel what country you are in.
Chamonix is not a cheap place to stay, but more reasonble accommodation prices can be obtained, in summer, if you spend there a few days avoiding the weekend. The 2008 summer rates (per person, including breakfast) are the following:
EUR 35 in a 2-stars hotel;
EUR 49 in a 3-stars hotel;
EUR 75 in a 4-stars hotel.
The conditions are:
a) Arrival mst be from Sunday to Thursday;
b) The duration of stay must be between 2 and 5 nights;
c) Reservation must be done through Chamonix Reservation Centre.
We rented a chalet through the british ski company Barelliski. It was fabulous! There was a fantastic view of Mont Blanc. If you are going as a group you will need transport as the chalet is a bit remote. It takes about 5 minutes to drive to the nearest village. I like the idea of a chalet that is away from the main town/village but it would not suit people who want to go to the local pubs every night. There was room for 6 of us to stay. I liked the decor in the house and the warm fires that we drank plenty of french wine in front of.
Outdoor hot tub! Had to get the wood chopping skills going for this. I would set the fire in the morning and the water was always piping hot when we got home in the evening after a hard days skiing. There were some stunning photographs in the chalet, I hope to make my way back there again.
Confortable and they give you a nice typical French breakfast with cafe au lait and baguette.
Nothing fancy. You sleep and wake up ok. Go downstairs and take breakfast before you start you ski day.
Many of the Immobiliers (estate agents) in town offer self-catered apartments which can be rented by the week or by the month. The internet also offers many private parties who rent their apartments (many are residents of the UK who maintain a vacation apartment in Chamonix and let it out during the times they are not in town). For a week especially in off-season you should be able to find accomodations for around $250 US per week. In winter season this is more difficult to find, so book early if you want to try this for skiing and expect to pay much more ($800 or more per week).
We rented an apartment for 2 weeks when we first arrived here and it was great.
These can be cheaper than hotels and more interesting to stay in. You have more privacy and can save some money by having meals at home, having a refridgerator to store those hiking snacks and drinks etc..
Some individuals leave helpful guide books and magaizines in their apartments, which is a good bonus.
A couple of 'gotchas' to watch out for:
Be sure to check if linens are provided in the price (normally they are not). If arriving late or on a Sunday in low season, bring essentails (including toilet paper) that you will need if shops are shut.
Ask for the location of the apartment (area of town) before agreeing to rent. I suggest you avoid the 'Cham Sud' neighborhood at all costs. It is ugly as sin (1960s block style high-rise flats). Most of the apartments in this area are run-down, tiny (starting at 18m square!!) and lacking good views and are built around central courtyards of cement (with their accompanying echos of noise). It is close to the Aiguille du Midi lift station, so that is the only nice thing I can say about the area - in general it lacks charm of any sort.
The center of town is safe and close to all necessities, but will be pricier. Also if the bedrooms have street views, expect to be woken up at 1am by drunken revellers getting out of bars in high season.
Les Pecles, Les Bossons, Les Praz, Les Tines and Les Bois areas are all very nice and quiet neighborhoods in Chamonix. Argentiere, Le Tour, Montroc, Le Planet and Vallorcine are all towns further up the valley (higher altitude) with their own smaller village scene and charm. Bus service connects them to Chamonix (free service in high season). Les Houches is the next town down the valley and there is bus and train service to Chamonix, though the train station is not at all central to the town..
And many others!! (use Google search)
Ive never in the history of my travels ever felt the need to complain about a hotel, and i have stayed in countless flea pits and cesspools of the world.
However, this place, STEER CLEAR, the owners are nothing but liers and money grabbers. DO NOT TRUST THEM. Do not believe a word they say, check and recheck your booking, and then only stay there if you really have to. The hotel owners CANNOT be trusted.
Lovely, in a pink building right in the centre of Chamonix - by the river - and off the main square. Right in the heart of everything: bars, shops, restaurant..and within minutes walking distance of ski-lifts and the train station.
a cool irish pub on the premises. What more would one want ?
There are plenty of campgrounds in Chamonix. The one I stayed in was just 10 minutes walk from the city centre and you could see the glacier when peeping out of your tent.
We had a good stay in this hotel. Although the second floor might be beter because of the music of the restaurant (until about midnight) that can be heard on the first floor. The bar is in the cellar, and give no problem regarding to loud music in the rooms.
Good Budget hotel, with full breakfast buffet available (6 EUR), and internet connection.
It's a chain (Novotel) hotel, we have got a suite which is spacious, clean and cozy. A large balcony with potted plants, chairs to enjoy beautiful mountain view. It's about 2 minutes drive to the cable car station. 1 minute walk to the village centre. Very affordable price, a double occupancy was about euro 55.
When I was in Chamonix, I was muuuuch younger then I am now, and perhaps that had to with why I was so badly treated by the hotel people. So my warning to young travellers to Chamonix is to double check and triple check your bill. Do not let them charge you for stuff that you didn't do (or break, in my case).
As Don Cherry says (oh, cripes, I feel so canadian by quoting Don Cherry!) "Keep your head up!"
Nice place, but don't let the thin air short circuit your brains!
Well, prior to getting to Chamonix we had been to many HI hostels and were really looking forward to this one, when we got there we had just been on the road for a really really long time, longing for a shower and some food was the only thing that got us up the hill to the hostel. When we get there we realize that the reception is closed and will be for another 5 hours! So we decided to search for food if we couldnt get the shower. Well, the entire town was closed ...SIESTA...it took tons of patience that was well rewarded.
I highly recomend this HI hostel, it has a good breakfast, really cheap prices, excellent clean accomodations, a bar, pool, fooze ball, dinner, indoor and outdoor games, provides a free bus pass for the length of your stay and is located at the foot of Mont Blanc, incredible view
This was a perfect little self catering apartment located in the pedestrian city centre of Chamonix. The apartment was managed by My French Chalets and included a bunk bed, tv, free internet access, washing machine and dryer, dishwasher, oven, stove, utensils and fully equipped bathroom. We cooked a few meals very easily. French doors opened onto the balcony exposing a stunning view of the Mont Blanc and river. Leave the doors open and you can hear the river.
A very comfortable stay after a day of skiing and exploring the mountains. Restaurants, shops, bars and supermarkets are all downstairs.
Renovated in 2010. The shower was hot and had wall sprays. Dishwasher and washer/dryer. The location was magic, never had to travel too far at all. The city centre is very pretty and has an old town feel to it, it was always nice to walk downstairs right into the area where everything is happening. The burger place downstairs was open well past midnight.
Mountain Base have looked after me most times I've stayed in Chamonix and so I wanted to let everyone know that they give the best service and best value of anyone I've found in the whole Chamonix valley (Argentiere, Les Houches, Chamonix, Le Tour)
They have a huge range of self catered apartments and chalets and, unlike most accommodation agents, don't try to increase the price they advertise by adding linen and/or cleaning on later.
A good bunch!
honest, professional, diligent, courteous & extremely good value for money
It is becoming a real problem with certain routes such as climbing Mont Blanc and the Tour du Mont Blanc that huts are over-crowded. This is most often caused by people who do not call ahead to make reservations or even hear the hut is full, but turn up anyhow unannounced. This is rude and also a bit dangerous in high season as you risk sleeping on a table or even being denied a place altogether and being told to walk on if another hut is nearby.
However, if you call ahead and book your space then you will have a guaranteed place up to a certain time of day. If you are going to be late enough to miss dinner time or will miss your reservation entirely due to a calculation error about how fast you would travel, call the hut so they can either take on more people or save your place.
Store their numbers in your phone before you start the walk (some areas won't have reception but many areas of the walk do). A page with all the hut telephone numbers for the Chamonix mountain region is maintained by the Office of Haute Montagne in Chamonix and is here : http://www.ohm-chamonix.com/fiche.php?id=62&ling=En . They also list some of the nearby Swiss and Italian huts that connect to the Mont Blanc massif and for many of the popular hiking tours and mountaineering locations. You can find the opening and closing dates as well as the phone numbers to call for reservations.
If you are reserving for climbing Mont Blanc you will need to reserve your summer place several months ahead of time. The other way to do it is more risky but you can always call on the night before or the morning of your departure for the hut, even if they were previously booked up and see if there were any cancellations that you can take. Some tour operators make a habit of reserving blocks of spaces in the hopes that they will have a group coming in that week, but if there are no bookings they will cancel their reservations. If you are vegetarian mention it at the time of booking. Some huts ask that you remind them of this when you arrive. Don't expect amazing vegetarian food by the way ...
Huts vary in quality of food and bedding however the same general 'rules' apply to all mountain huts. If you are a first time hut goer, the 'unique qualities' shows what to expect. Note that the higher the altitude or more remote the hut, the more basic it will be. More popular huts may be better stocked but will be more crowded as well. The closer to a town often means more creature comforts.
1. No boots or ice axes in the hut - you will find sandals in the hut entrance and put your boots on a shelf.
2. Most huts have some type of drying area for wet gear near the wood stove which is often in the dining area. Some have outdoor lines as well.
3. Blankets and pillows are provided but bring your own sleeping bag liner for hygienic reasons as the sheets are not changed daily ... silk is lightest weight and does not hold smell.
4. Dinner time is generally one serving for all at a fixed time. If you will arrive after this time, often if you call ahead you can arrange for the kitchen to save you a meal. The kitchen is closed after dessert is served and the staff will be off to bed!
5. Breakfasts are usually light European style - coffee or tea with some bread and jam, possibly yogurt or muesli if you are in Switzerland. If this is not enough, you may want to bring protein bars.
6. Often you can purchase candy bars, bottled water, beer or wine in the huts. Some but not all can make you a pack lunch, so if this is important to you call ahead to ask.
7. Most huts do not have showers and have a cold water area to wash up and brush teeth. Some have inside toilets and some have toilets outdoors. If this is important to you, call to inquire and plan your walk accordingly.
8. At huts you can choose to buy dinner, bed and breakfast (demi-pension), only a bed if you have your own food (you will need to cook it outside) or just a meal (if you have your own tent and will sleep outside). If you sleep outside be certain to NOT contaminate the hut's outside sourced water supply with your urine or poo ... use their toilet facilities !
9. If you are light sleeper ear plugs are recommended.
10. Do not turn on the group room lights after dark as others might already be asleep in the room. Bring and use a small headlamp.
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