Your complete guide to ski holiday accommodation including the differences between apartments, chalets and hotels.

“I want to go on a ski holiday but what type of accommodation should I pick?"

La Clusaz

Let’s start with the basics: What are your options?

What’s a ski apartment?

A self-catered apartment is a set of rooms normally including a living area, kitchen with cooking facilities, bathroom and from 1 to 7 bedrooms - it feels like owning your own Alpine apartment for the week! Many provide facilities traditionally associated with a hotel, for example receptions, swimming pools and gyms. Differences between ski apartments include bread delivery services, spa facilities, laundry areas and car parks.

What’s a ski chalet?

A self-catered French chalet is a traditional, Alpine wooden house set in its own ground – a cosy home away from home for your holiday. Again, there’s a living/dining area, kitchen with cooking facilities, bathroom and from 1 to 7 bedrooms. Some come with fireplaces or wood burners, some have their own saunas and Jacuzzis.

What’s a hotel?

Our hotels in the Alps have been carefully selected for their true Alpine hospitality. They come as either half board or B&B. Most hotels have lounge areas, some have indoor leisure facilities and restaurants serving local cuisine.

What’s the difference?

Self-Catered Apartments are good for….

  • Getting out and trying the local cuisine 
  • Saving money by cooking dinner 
  • Privacy within the apartment as bedrooms are separate from the living space
  • Access to lounge areas, ski lockers, spas and fitness rooms
  • Families, groups, independent skiers
  • Those wanting a home from home
  • Flexibility and convenience


  • You may not want to cook or eat out

Le Grenier Apartments in Vaujany

Self-Catered Chalets are good for….

  • Space
  • Privacy within the apartment as bedrooms are separate from the living space
  • If you want accommodation set in its own ground
  • Big groups of friends or big families
  • Those wanting a home away from home


  • You may not want to cook or eat out
  • No access to facilities such as gyms and spas

Chalet Mary in Vaujany

Ski Hotels are good for….

  • Onsite facilities and après-ski
  • If you don’t want to cook or eat out often
  • Meeting other people as often evening entertainment is provided


  • Lack of private communal space, such as a lounge

Hotel La Marmotte in Les Gets


How do you decide?

Assuming you’ve chosen your ski resort, there are several factors to consider:

Haven’t chosen a ski resort yet? Be inspired by the resort selector page.

Who is going?

  • How many bedrooms will you require?
  • What level of skiing are you and your group at? 
  • Would you rather be near the ski school or off-track areas?
  • Are you looking for family-friendly or après-ski-adjacent?

Calculate your budget

  • Will you be looking to save money by going self-catered?

Look through accommodation options in your ski resort

  • What facilities do they have vs what facilities do you want? For example, some self-catered apartments have access to spas.
  • Where do you want to be located? For example, some are near restaurants and some are next to the ski schools.
  • Do you want accommodation with areas for children?

How will you be travelling?


What do you want from your ski accommodation?

There are many options to consider for the perfect ski holiday depending on who is going, what atmosphere you’re after, and what extra facilities would benefit your trip. The best option is to plan what you want from your accommodation before looking into your options. The Peak Retreats accommodation pages have both details of the facilities, and photographs to help inform your decision.

If you’d like to discuss your options, please don’t hesitate to call our friendly, knowledgeable team who are on hand to help find the right resort and accommodation for you.