Vallorcine Mont-Blanc – perfect accommodation in Chamonix
The Résidence & Spa Vallorcine Mont-Blanc is a perfect self-catering option if you are looking for high quality, spacious, accommodation, at a reasonable price in the Chamonix Mont Blanc Valley. The picturesque village of Vallorcine (meaning valley of bears!) is situated at the end of the Chamonix valley a few kilometres from the border with Switzerland.
I arrived on a snowy April evening later than planned due to travel delays. I received a very warm welcome and was shown to my apartment before heading out for supper. I’ve stayed in a lot of different accommodation in the Alps and know that the French resorts tend to have tiny, cramped, apartments with no storage space, I was very impressed with my home for the next few days.
There are fifty apartments in three interconnected buildings, with different sized apartments, one, two or three bedrooms each with sofas that can be used as extra beds. This makes for flexible accommodation that is ideal for couples, families or larger groups. I was staying in apartment 41, an apartment for two to three people; with a double bedroom, a decent sized bathroom with bath, sink and toilet. The lounge area had a sofa and chair, TV, table and chairs, my kitchen was equipped with all the essentials including a dishwasher and microwave oven. There is free wi-fi with a good connection, very handy as I used it daily to check the webcams before heading out to ski. A nice touch is a welcome bag in the kitchen with a scourer, dishwasher tablets, spare bin bag and washing up cloth. Complimentary soap and shower gel/shampoo, as well as a dressing gown and plenty of towels, made it feel more like a hotel than a self-catered flat.
There was ample space for me to unpack my suitcases, I had all my ski kit with me too so I had more luggage than I would take on an average holiday.
I felt very cosy and content and even happier to have a view out over the mountains from my balcony. The view first thing in the morning with the sun gleaming on the peaks was stunningly beautiful.
The following morning I took the opportunity to properly explore the Residence and the surrounding village of Vallorcine. There is a small shop, café, Les Aiguillettes salon de thé, within the building serving freshly baked bread and pastries in the mornings, as well as basic supplies and Savoyarde specialities. I had breakfast there one morning, a coffee and pain au raisin cost me a very reasonable three euros. Just a few doors along is the village Boucherie which stocks a bigger range of provisions. For larger shops, there is a supermarket in Argentière or the option to order an online grocery delivery from Super U. As I was planning to be out either skiing or sightseeing during the day and eating my main mean around lunchtime I stocked up with a few essentials.
I have my own ski boots, being a keen skier, and was loaned Dynastar skis from the Chamonix Office du Tourism. Getting my bindings adjusted to fit my boots and hiring some ski poles was really easy as there is a sports shop within the complex. Each apartment has its own ski locker with the exit from the boot room taking you straight out to the road. The Vallorcine Gondola which goes up the mountain to the Balme ski area is a few minutes away by foot, ideal if, like me, you don’t like to walk far in ski boots.
Although Vallorcine is situated at the end of the Chamonix Valley, getting around by train to other places in the valley is very straightforward. The station is less than five minutes away, the train stops at all the stations on the way to Chamonix Centre, around half an hour from Vallorcine. You get a guest train pass with your keys from the reception entitling you to free travel on the trains between Vallorcine and Chamonix. By the end of my stay, I’d made great use of this as I spent two days in Chamonix and also went to Argentière to ski the Grands Montets and Les Praz to go up the cable car to ski in Flégère.
I was keen to sample the spa during my visit – who doesn’t love a good spa treatment.? There is a spa area, complete with treatment rooms, a relaxation area, hammam and a Japanese bath as well as a sauna and decent sized indoor swimming pool. I was offered the opportunity to have some spa treatments, just what I needed at the end of winter.
My first treatment was a Bali fruit and flowers skin renewal facial; to lighten and enhance my complexion which desperately needed it after having worked in the mountains for three months. This treatment is designed to thoroughly cleanse and hydrate the skin. It was an extremely relaxing experience with my skin feeling noticeably plumper afterwards.
What could be better after a day on the slopes than a massage? After a few days of skiing, I definitely benefited from a toning Indian Ayurvedic hot oil body massage. The oil smelled of vanilla and cardamom a divine fragrance, my tiredness vanished, at the end of the massage, my skin felt soft and smooth. The Spa is a Cinq Mondes Spa, using treatments taken from research into beauty rituals throughout the world. There is an extensive list of treatments, the products used can also be purchased from the spa. There is even a range with bright, fun, packaging designed for children. The Cinq Mondes Spa is popular with both guests at the residence and people not staying at the complex.
I had a fabulous stay – if you are looking for spacious, quiet, accommodation with easy access to all the areas in the Chamonix Valley I would definitely recommend the Résidence & Spa Vallorcine Mont-Blanc.
Other facilities within the residence include a fitness room, laundry, luggage area, lounge and during winter an outside ice rink (just closed for the season when I arrived at the beginning of April).
For more details and the best prices visit Résidence & Spa Vallorcine Mont-Blanc, Telephone: 0033 (0)4 50 54 75 20. The address for the residence is 44 Route des Confins du Valais, 74660 Vallorcine, France. Accommodation is available all year round with longer stays as well as weekends and short breaks. I was a guest at the Résidence & Spa Vallorcine Mont-Blanc at the end of the ski season. Chamonix as a destination has a lot to offer in the summer too, Vallorcine would certainly be an ideal place to stay at any time of the year.
If you are looking to eat out the village has a few restaurants, Le Café Comptoir, La Ferme de 3 Ours, L’Ours Bleu and the L’Arrêt Bougnette (the bistro at the railway station). Travelling further afield there are more restaurants and bars in either Argentière or the centre of Chamonix. I was provided with a five-day lift pass for my stay from The Mont-Blanc Natural Resort, this gave me access to all the lifts in the Chamonix valley including the Aiguille du Midi cable car. More details of the areas I visited will follow in a further post.
The transfer time from Geneva airport to Vallorcine is approximately an hour and twenty minutes. My transfer was with Mountain Drop-offs, Tel: 0207 0434 874. Each apartment has its own parking space in the underground car park for those choosing to drive there.
Check my feature for more about things to do in Chamonix Mont Blanc in the summer.
Diclosure: This review is from a press trip to Chamonix Mont Blanc – my accommodation was provided free of charge by the local tourist board.