A luxury ski chalet in Meribel embodies the quintessential winter sports holiday, who hasn't dreamt of staying in the perfect chocolate-box chalet after a day on the slopes? Even better if there's a plush sofa you can snuggle up on in front of a roaring fire or an outdoor hot tub to unwind in while surrounded by deep powder fields and high snow-capped peaks. That’s exactly what staying in a chalet is all about.
There are hundreds of chalets available in Meribel offering a range of services from high-end, fully-catered luxury holidays to self-catering accommodation for short breaks. Whether it's a traditional Savoyard-style converted farmhouse or a contemporary Alpine abode, they're the perfect home away from home on your winter holiday or your summer escape to the mountains.
This guide will help you choose the perfect chalet for your holiday. Let's dive right in.
Things to consider when booking a chalet in Meribel
When planning your break away to a chalet in the mountains, here are a few things worth thinking about before you decide what to go for.
We recommend you book your chalet as soon as possible. Chalets usually sell out quite quickly and a lot of people book as early as January for the next winter season. Book your accommodation before buying your flights or train ticket, the reason being that availability may be limited and chalet start/end dates are not always as flexible as travel options.
As for the best time to stay in a chalet, they're usually open for bookings during the winter and summer high seasons – from December to April and from June to September. However, some chalet companies may offer their chalets up for interseason rentals, especially for large parties such as company retreats or events.
How long you want to stay
Most ski chalets in Meribel are rented on a weekly basis only. You’ll find that Saturday to Saturday rentals are most common, but increasingly with the times being as they are, dates can be flexible and some chalet companies may provide a mix of Saturday and Sunday changeovers.
Plus shorter and longer ski breaks are becoming more and more popular, so some chalet companies may be flexible on their rental dates on request. Summer chalet bookings in Meribel are generally much more flexible on dates and length of stay, especially outside the peak months of July and August. This means that you can come for a long weekend, for ten days or for a few days mid-week more easily.
Chalet holidays are suitable for all sorts of group sizes: couples looking for a romantic escapade, families, groups of friends and even large corporate retreats, as they usually have at least two bedrooms with some offering space for up to 15 people and more. Solo travellers and couples can opt for a room in a larger catered chalet while couples looking for independence can check out the charming one-bedroom converted mazots (small wooden huts traditionally used to store valuables and food) on offer in Meribel. However big or small your group is, you’ll need to know the exact number of people and the ages of the children coming with you on your holiday before booking.
Go shared or rent the whole thing
Many chalets in Meribel can either be booked by the room or as a whole property. Catered chalets are more often than not rented by the room, meaning that you share the chalet and its facilities with other guests, while self-catered chalets are rented out as a whole property, exclusively for your party. Booking rooms in a shared catered chalet is a great option for small families, groups of friends and couples. Some catered chalets can also be rented out on a whole property basis for larger groups, or even if you'd just prefer private use of the chalet without using the full occupancy. To learn more about whether to choose a catered or a self-catered chalet, read below.
Know your wants and needs
There are hundreds of chalets on offer in Meribel, some providing simple accommodation at the foot of the slopes and others boasting five-star luxury facilities. Most come with WiFi as standard, but check before you book if it's important, some have ski-to-door access and state-of-the-art boot warmers, some don't, and if you need a large terrace with breathtaking views, a cinema room, designer décor or a pet-friendly property, make sure you book as early as possible.
You'll also find that many high-end chalet companies offer concierge services who’ll take care of everything, from your ski passes to your lessons, your equipment hire, chauffeur services to take you to and from the slopes or drive you around resort, private chefs and spas with massages on demand. You're spoiled for choice in Meribel!
Catered vs self-catered chalets in Meribel
When booking your chalet in Meribel, you’ll find that there are two main options: catered or self-catered. Essentially your meals are included in the price of your chalet rental or they're not.
Catered chalets in Meribel
Catered chalets include accommodation and meals under the same roof. Generally managed by one or more chalet hosts who take care of cooking, serving and cleaning, the chalets are usually half-board and include at least breakfast and dinner in the price of your accommodation. Usually rented by the room and priced per person, they suit small families and groups of friends, as well as couples and solo travellers who want an easy, effortless holiday with no cooking or washing up involved. Some chalets have triple or family (quad) rooms available and sometimes the chalet company may rent out a catered chalet as a whole property for large groups.
- Catered chalets are the best option for those searching for a hassle-free holiday, as there’s nothing much you need to do other than enjoy your stay.
- You’ll wake up to the smell of freshly cooked breakfast, come back from skiing to homemade cake and tea, and sit down to a three or four-course dinner in the evenings.
- Chalet hosts will also clean rooms and common areas.
- The price per person of catered chalets is usually higher than that of self-catered chalets. However, you also get more bang for your buck since chalet hosts will cook your meals and clean after you.
- You will be sharing your accommodation with other people you haven't met before.
Worth noting: Chalet staff usually have one, sometimes two, evenings off during the week. When this happens, you’ll get a continental, self-service breakfast left out for you by your host, as well as afternoon tea and cake. For dinner, you’ll get the chance to sample the local restaurants. Alternatively, some companies provide self-service dinner, carefully prepared and left out for you, often in the form of a traditional Savoyarde fondue or raclette.
Self-catered chalets in Meribel
Self-catered chalets include only the rental of the accommodation, so you need to take care of your own meals. They are ideal for those who want the chalet all to themselves, don’t mind/like cooking and ordering take away, and are happy cleaning up after themselves throughout their stay.
- Self-catered chalets are rented out as a whole property, so you get the chalet all to yourself.
- They are generally cheaper than catered chalets, which means that you'll have more cash to splash on Meribel's great selection of restaurants.
- If you have children, fussy eaters or those with specific dietary requirements in your group, it can be easier to cater for them in the comfort of your own kitchen.
- You'll need to sort out your meals and clean up after yourself.
Worth noting: Many companies can arrange mid-stay cleans and linen/towel changes if booked in advance, and self-catering nowadays is much easier than ever thanks to the array of catering options available. Some chalet companies provide welcome packs or can arrange shopping deliveries and private chef services. And in the post-Covid world, food and drink delivery services are springing up in resorts making flexible self-catering much more of an option. Gone are the days when self-catering meant someone cooking every night of their holiday (however, someone definitely still has to load the dishwasher I'm afraid!)
Luxury chalets in Meribel
Luxury is in the eye of the beholder. What someone may find opulent, someone else may deem simple. However, Meribel does have a great selection of chalets on the higher end of the spectrum.
What's included in a luxury chalet?
When we talk about luxury chalets in Meribel, we refer to chalets boasting five-star facilities: large ski rooms with boot warmers, cinema rooms, stunning central-piece fireplaces, playstations, large chef-style kitchens, spa rooms and, of course, floor to ceiling windows so that you can soak in the views from the warmth of your living room. Luxury chalets usually come with concierge services that'll take care of everything for you, from ski passes to lessons, equipment hire, airport transfers, shuttle service to the lifts, etc. A private chef or a 24hr chauffeur can usually also be added as options.
Where can you find luxury chalets in Meribel?
If you’re looking for luxury chalets right on the slopes, the appropriately-named 'Les Chalets' neighbourhood in Méribel is a good place to start. Midway up the resort and right by the main piste, this area contains many luxury chalets offering spacious ensuite rooms, Jacuzzis, saunas and the type of service you expect from top-level hotels.
Near the top of Méribel, lies an exclusive gated area, Le Domaine de Burgin. This, and the nearby equally chic area of Le Belvédère, offer large luxury chalets with ski-in ski-out accommodation in a quiet and wooded environment. Finally, the smartest area of all is Les Brames, midway between Méribel and Mottaret. This gated community is home to various celebrities and offers the ultimate in private luxury, far from the hustle and bustle of the resort centre.
Group chalets in Meribel
If you’re looking to organise a group or corporate ski trip, Meribel is the perfect place to host it. A charming Alpine village with great nightlife and loads of choice when it comes to group accommodation, Meribel has lots going on and it’s situated in one of the biggest ski areas in the world.
What should you look out for when booking a chalet for a big group in Meribel?
Many ski chalet operators in Meribel offer large chalets that can accommodate big groups with huge communal spaces. These are located near the resort's main action hot spots, including local bars, restaurants and, of course, the slopes. However, even if they're not, dedicated transport will whisk you around.
Family chalets in Meribel
Meribel is really well set up for mountain-loving families, with plenty of activities for all ages and a host of family-friendly chalets.
What should you look out for when booking a chalet for your family in Meribel?
Ease of access to the pistes and ski schools will undoubtedly be a priority if you are coming to Méribel for a family ski holiday. The Chaudanne area and Méribel town centre are ideal places for a family to stay, with quick access to the ski area and ski schools and child-friendly facilities such as a swimming pool and ice rink. Another good option is to choose a chalet that offers free minibus transfers to and from the slopes. Whether you opt for a chalet in the centre of town or in one of Méribel’s quieter locations, it is worth checking with your chalet owner/operator whether they offer childcare, child-specific menus and any relevant baby equipment.
Budget chalets in Meribel
Méribel is a resort with a particularly high number of catered chalets, so there is a vast variety of mid-range chalets on offer. Standards today are generally high as the chalet market is moving upwards, more services are on offer than before and many modestly-priced chalets have spas or hot tubs.
How can you save money on your Meribel chalet?
The villages below Méribel generally offer great value for money, including the authentic hamlets of Chandon, Nantgerel, Le Cruet and Vanthier, and the larger village of Les Allues, which have both modern and traditional chalets. The slopes are reached by a short bus ride or via the Olympe gondola lift (from Les Allues or Le Raffort only). Snow-permitting, you can ski back to these villages at the end of your day, though many operators also run free shuttle-bus services to and from their chalets.
Ski-in & ski-out chalets in Meribel
The huge advantage of high mountain resorts is the ability to ski-in and ski-out of your chalet thereby avoiding the twice-daily trudge across town in ski boots. However, there are relatively few chalets in Méribel which allow you to ski to and from the door.
Where can you find ski-in & ski-out chalets in Meribel?
These sought-after chalets, located literally on the piste, are mostly situated on the main Doron run through town and include the area of Les Chalets, La Renarde, Le Belvédère and the main lift area at the bottom of the resort: La Chaudanne.
Morel and Méribel Village also offer some ski-to-the-door chalets. Morel is located a 10-minute walk above the centre of town and has its own chairlift. Méribel Village, a five-minute drive from Méribel, is becoming very popular for its ski-in ski-out chalet accommodation and village charm. Bear in mind, however, that chalets further from the slopes often offer a minibus service and that Méribel also runs an excellent free bus service, the Meribus, which runs regularly throughout the day and evening.
Our guide on Where to Stay in Meribel will help give you an indication of the character and feel of the different resorts. Meribel also has plenty of self-catered apartments available to rent, take a look at our Holiday Rentals page to see what's on offer and read our guide on the best self-catered ski apartments for more information.