James Bond and Mont Blanc. Chamonix is likely to make you think of one or the other. They go together - the thrills of climbing the icy ravines of Mont Blanc, hurtling down La Vallée Blanche, or sipping your drink with an epic backdrop are all very Bond. If you're serious about skiing Chamonix go straight to our Guru's list of the best places to stay in Chamonix.
If you still need convincing that Chamonix is the perfect destination for you, here are some good reasons to visit.
Beloved by winter sports enthusiasts from Olympic standard downwards, the best places to stay in Chamonix provide the opportunity to enjoy some of the world's most dramatic, and scarcely believable, challenges. You've seen 007's stunt-tastic descent in 'The World Is Not Enough' - that's what it's like. And if you prefer to take your ski chase off piste there are plenty of really thrilling rides, though for some of them you'll need to get yourself a guide (read local agent), as there's a real threat of crevasses.
As far as the après-ski is concerned, like Bond, you'll need to know where to go. But this is where your local 'contact' will be able to point you in the right direction. And there are plenty of Brits and Scandis here to cast as agents of your megalomaniac nemesis.
For many people the highlight of a visit to Chamonix is the view from the Aiguille du Midi cable car, as you head towards perpendicular cliffs. For some it's the view from the top of Mont Blanc, a breathtaking vista of Alps. Another favourite is the chocolate box view of Mont Blanc as it towers above… as you sip hot chocolate in a cosy Chamonix cafe? The highest mountain in the Alps she, and her attendant glaciers, both crown and dwarf Chamonix.
From the best places to stay in Chamonix you can find the more active end of the Blanc fan club as Chamonix is the 'home' of Apline climbing. Mont Blanc takes two to three days to climb. It's snowy but not steep, but you do need crampon experience. Nights are spent in huts and it's pretty busy in summer. There's also plenty of rock climbing and mountain biking.
Les Praz de Chamonix
Simple modern bedrooms and family suites plus six self catering apartments just 100m from the Flegere cable car. Michelin recommended restaurant offering contemporary and classic french cuisine. A great choice for families.
Recently renovated ski hotel just a few steps from the Flégère cable car offering exceptional hospitality at a reasonable price. Choose between 15 cosy renovated rooms and 8 superior rooms in the modern extension. Service is outstanding, the vibe informal and the food local and excellent.
A simple hotel in a great location. Contemporary and comfortable rooms with TVs and wifi. Cosy bar and lounge. Great for those who want to spend all day on the slopes.
A contemporary hotel with an excellent Michelin starred restaurant and spa. All rooms and suites have private terraces with wonderful views. The rooms are cosy with light wood and subtle lighting. An understated ski hotel with delicious food.
Les Praz de Chamonix
Located right on the golf course, the Labrador works for both summer and winter stays. The wooden building is an attractive mix of alpine and Scandanavian with ample spa facilities for the less energetic.
A charmingly traditional hotel. Rooms and suites with a mountain chalet feel - all wooden walls and beds with lovely sunny terraces. A cosy sitting room bar with fireplace, outdoor swimming pool for the summer, and during the winter a sauna and hot tub.
Chamonix (Le Lavancher)
Traditionnally decorated with wood galore yet all modern comforts plus extras including swimming pool, sauna and hammam. Great views both up to Argentiere and down to Chamonix and ideally situated for skiers being midway between the two. Well respected "Le Rosebud" restaurant.
A gorgeous hotel with two separate chalets in an excellent location. Breathtaking views just steps from the town centre. Luxurious chalet rooms with wooden beams, elegant furniture, sumptuous bedding, and huge private terraces. Great for families or groups of friends.
Unpretentious traditional hotel in a hillside position overlooking Chamonix with outstanding views from each of the 10 bedrooms over Mont Blanc. Michelin starred dining specialising in organic produce from the garden. Only 300m from the Brevent-Flegere pistes.
Chamonix (118 Place de l'Église)
Chic and cosy interiors create a unique balance between a traditional home and a modern guest house. Rooms feature stylish furniture, comfortable beds and are designed to be super functional even in a small space. A duplex room, bunk beds and board games make it an ideal choice for families.
The ultimate hotel for mountain mad foodies! Two Michelin starred dining, along with both contemporary and classic style accommodation in the centre of Chamonix. In addition top notch spa facilities to ease those aching muscles after a day on the slopes.
A grand 19th century hotel renovation with Five Stars, a gourmet restaurant, and luxurious spa. Traditional elements - black and white chequered floors, and high ceilings with huge windows - blend with contemporary design for classic chic effect. A spoiling hotel for a ski holiday.