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What is a chalet?

Chalets are a common part of the accommodation landscape in ski resorts around the world. This type of lodging has its roots in the humble traditional chalets of Switzerland, many of which can still be found in the rugged valleys around Bern (this chalet has great views) and Geneva. These days, you'll find chalets with their overhanging eaves in ski resorts in France and Austria, and even as far afield as North America (think Banff) and Argentina.

Why should I stay at a chalet?

Chalets are a great choice for families looking to hit the slopes together. Many of these accommodations come with spacious family rooms, or even 1- to 3-bedroom suites.

Others can be rented whole, making them ideal for large groups. Some chalets provide ski-in, ski-out access, along with ski rooms for storing equipment. There are even some with post-skiing facilities such as lounges with fireplaces, and wellness areas with saunas and hot tubs, making it possible for guests to cap their adventure-filled days with some relaxation time.

Where do you find chalets?

You're bound to spot a traditional chalet up in the mountains in Europe and North America, from the Carpathians to the Canadian Rockies. The Alps are, of course, where you'll find an abundance of these accommodations. From charming Saal Bach to ritzy St. Moritz, you'll be able to catch a glimpse of these woodsy structures with quaint frontispieces and balconies.

How much does it cost to stay in a chalet?

A ski vacation can be expensive, but when it comes to lodging, it's possible to book a cheap chalet in many resorts, especially those in low-key destinations in countries like Poland and Bulgaria. Luxury chalets, on the other hand, come with steep rates; it's not rare for guests to pay thousands of dollars to stay in a swanky pick, but they do get the benefit of a heated outdoor pool, hot tubs, saunas, and a pre-ski breakfast buffet.

How to book a chalet

If you'd like to book a chalet for your winter (or summer) vacation, all you need to do is search the Expedia site the way you would for a conventional hotel. Enter the destination you'll be travelling to and sort your results by accommodation type. You can also rack up even more discounts by booking your flights and/or car rentals at the same time.

What do chalets offer?

Chalets provide you with comfortable lodging when you're up in the mountains. Because they're often connected to or inside ski resorts, you'll enjoy proximity to ski lifts and access to ski shuttle services. You're also likely to have storage for your equipment. High-end chalets come with heated pools, gyms, steam rooms, and saunas, and some also have on-site dining facilities, which makes them perfect relaxation spots after a hard day on the slopes.

Chalets vs cabins

How can you tell the difference between chalets and cabins? It's true that both types of lodging are usually up in the mountains, but what sets them apart is the fact that chalets are especially designed to cater to skiers. Most have ski storage rooms with boot warmers, something that you won't find in cabins. A good number of chalet stays also offer lodging and dining packages, which means you can enjoy a hot evening meal after spending your day on the slopes.

Chalets close to me

You can search for a chalet nearby by using Expedia's search tool. You can narrow your choices down to the chalet that suits your needs and budget perfectly, whether you're heading to a vacation in the Canadian Rockies or travelling across the pond to hit the slopes in Switzerland, Austria, or France.