What is a Ski Chalet?

Posted on 26 March 2022

When buying property in the alps of France or Switzerland, it helps to know what is a ski chalet and the differences compared to apartments. Not only that, since many clients buy a ski chalet to rent out, in this article, we will also discuss ski chalet holidays so potential owners know how to maximise occupancy and market rates.

Buying a ski chalet is a massive investment, and since chalets are an exclusive real estate niche, some buyers have apprehension. We’ve walked many clients through the process and are just at the end of a telephone if you want to chat with an agent. First, let us look at what you need to know about owning a ski chalet and ski chalet holidays for those looking for a buy-to-let holiday investment.

What is a Ski Chalet?

what is a ski chalet

Essentially, a ski chalet is a house, just with adapted architecture and use to suit alpine lifestyles, from which their cultural heritage stems. The term chalet originates from the Swiss and French alps, though these days, chalets appear worldwide. Historically, herders used chalets when bringing their livestock up plateaus to graze on fields when winter finished. But these days, chalets are luxurious real estate in Switzerland and France and globally. Locals usually constructed chalets from wood, although some also incorporated stone, depending on local resources.

All chalets had large sloping roofs to cope with colossal snowfall that would settle away from exterior walls. Cattle grazed in fields during spring to autumn, and herders stored dairy products on the chalet’s balconies. When winter arrived, herders descended the plateaus. Once tourism arrived in the 20th century, the chalet transformed into modern accommodation. Given the remote destination and type of private housing, holiday rental and real estate prices for chalets are in the higher bracket of property markets.

Features of a Modern Ski Chalet

The ideal ski chalet combines traditional alpine architecture with modern comforts. Most accommodate 6 to 8 people, with tall and expansive windows to maximise mountain views, and include an open log fire. In luxurious chalets, kitchens typically come with a wine cellar, hot tub, which feature an indoor spa, sauna, and swimming pool. A special touch is a separate ski room to store equipment. Bedrooms commonly feature en-suite bathrooms and come with fitted wardrobes.

chalet living

What is a Ski in Ski Out Chalet?

Exactly what it says, think of beachfront property. You step out of your home onto the beach. Ski-in and ski-out chalets sit near the slopes, so you just put on your skis and go. There is no need to worry about ski lifts, passes, transport or getting up and down the slopes. So naturally, given the popular convenience that ski in ski out chalets offer, expect to spend a higher price for their great position because they are the creme de la creme of a ski holiday.

Difference between a Chalet and Cabin

There are vast differences between ski chalets and cabins. Firstly, cabins are primarily woodland accommodation. Cabins are also basic that emphasise getting in touch with nature. Finally, cabins are typically not meant for long-term housing, but ski chalets allow you to enjoy alpine meadows for 12 months of the year.

property for sale in Switzerland

Experience of Renting Our Your Ski Chalet

Taking Holiday Bookings: With many Swiss and French resorts now operating all year round as hotel and tourism destinations, chalet owners can maximise their occupancy rate. However, the key here is to maximise guest occupancy during hotel peak season. Ski seasons vary depending on resort altitudes. Lower sitting ski resorts generally offer shorter ski season and service unless they invest in snow machines. Some high sitting ski resorts may even offer summer skiing. Therefore, peak season is essential to achieve the highest rental yields.

swiss alps home

Ski Holiday Options: You have three options when renting out your chalet. The first is self-catering, in which the occupants sort out their meals, including breakfast, which is ideal for any family. The second, which is utmost luxury, is catered by private chefs, ski instructors, childcare, and cleaners. These are often optional choices. Some chalets owners also go through companies that sell shared chalet holidays. They rent out the rooms to different parties, whom all share communal spaces.

Example Ski Chalet Number 1

This ski chalet, reference number 454, sits in the Cornuts district of family-friendly Les Gets, a French resort. Shuttle services run into the village centre and to ski slopes. There are local shops and places to eat and drink within walking distance, and expect stunning mountain views. They are only a short drive from ski lifts, and they are less than an hour’s drive away from Geneva airport. These traditional Savoyard chalets enhance the region’s charm and blend perfectly with natural materials and careful design elements.

All new chalets feature fully equipped kitchens, fitted bathrooms, spacious bedrooms, open plan living and dining areas, balconies, elevators, basement garages for parking, private ski lockers, access protection via video entry phones, safety systems and 24-hour security. These ski chalets sit in a tranquil location, offering high-quality standards in a fantastic dual season resort. They are perfect for enjoying a year-round holiday residence or renting out as an investment property.

Example of a Luxury Ski Chalet

Verbier is in the Valais Alps’ heart, on a large south-facing plateau, open to the Combins and Mont-Blanc ranges, benefiting from exceptional views and sunshine. The high-end resort enjoys an international reputation thanks to recognised establishments, renowned chefs, and prestigious events. Verbier also keeps a dynamic and sporting soul in summer. Nightlife is lively with après-skis and numerous festivals. This chalet is in a ski-in ski-out location and offers breath-taking village and mountain panoramas.

It is only a short distance from the village centre, with local amenities like supermarkets, pharmacy, restaurants, bars, and shops. You can reach the Medran ski lifts within a three-minute walk. Finally, Geneva Airport is a 1 hour 45 minutes’ drive away. Two chalets were converted into one grand three-floor residence, offering 578.33 square metres of living space with a large sweeping balcony and fantastic views. The chalet has seven spacious bedrooms, seven fitted bathrooms, an open plan living and dining area, a fully-equipped wooden kitchen, fireplace, double glazing, wine cellar, and fitness room with Hamman and Jacuzzi. (Reference number 394)

Also, about Ski Chalets

Ski Chalets for Sale: Finding a ski chalet in your budget is an adventure with us. We help buyers find the perfect investment chalet at the best price. Start your search by browsing our ski chalets for sale. Each listing contains price, location, home features, and email and telephone details for more information or to arrange a viewing.

Is a Ski Chalet a Good Investment? Sometimes, clients ask us if a ski chalet is a good investment, especially when compared to renting one for holidays. Of course, settling down in a luxury ski chalet for the week is a dream. Owning property means arriving anytime you want rather than working around booking agents. So, this article discusses benefits of owning, buying tips, and rental investment markets.