I said goodbye to last year in style with a quick winter weekend in Morzine, France. While I love skiing and had a blast skiing in Chamonix before, I decided to use the time to rest up instead before the holiday mayhem. Instead, there was tons of wintry activities to look forward to, delicious cosy meals, and plenty of bubbles by the hot tub. Yas girl, I was ready.
I strongly suggest you use up a bit of you holiday time to try a snowy weekend this year before the season is over, whether it’s Switzerland or the hills of Massachusetts. While I’m all about dreaming of beaches when it’s chilly out too, there’s a certain magic about snow-filled landscapes and the quiet calm of freshly fallen powder. It’s tranquil and comforting to tuck in for a few days and admire winter’s natural beauty.
So here’s some guidance for booking a ski weekend in Morzine, France – whether you decide to hit the slopes or not!
Utilize that Snow Chalet
This step will make or break your trip to France for winter adventures. Choosing the perfect snow chalet is tough, because there are so many idyllic lodges in France that work wonderfully for a ski weekend.
TG Ski is something special for your weekend in Morzine. This company, run by a tag team of best friends from childhood, is the ultimate in luxurious , fully-catered chalet living. While most things are included, from fresh hot breakfast to the final aperitif, the chalets have the most offering for your budget and are competitive with any well-established hotel. You can take all the guesswork away from meals, rentals, transport and so much more as well, which is priceless if you ask me on a vacation.
I had the pleasure of staying at Chalet Pierry, which accommodates a group of 12 maximum. There’s a large dining area for gathering and meals, open to a living room space with leather couches and roaring fireplace. Outside is a wrap-around deck, complete with big Jacuzzi. There’s even elevators to help you with ski equipment and to reach the various floors. Bedrooms are spacious, although a bit cosier on the upper floors (would be perfect for children in the loft-style space).
Anything you need is provided, which is so welcomed after a long day skiing and being in an unfamiliar town. Breakfast and lunch is served daily, with a here-course affair and cocktail hour in the evening. There’s access to a stocked mini bar and snacks throughout he day. Not having to worry about food was such a perk on a ski weekend! Not to mention, all rental equipment was brought straight to the chalet, as were lift tickets and anything else needed. I could take the driver down to the village any time too. All these perks and more are well worth the investment when planning to rent a ski chalet in France.
Shake It Off: Have Another Glass of Champagne
Sadly, a ton of snow actually posed an issue – I couldn’t do half the activities planned because there was too much of it! The outdoor ice skating rink couldn’t be cleared, the snow sledging conditions were too harsh and the visibility down for snowshoeing made it impossible to try out. I won’t lie, I was pretty bummed about this series of unfortunate events.
But what can you do? I’d made it all the way to Morzine and I was going to enjoy it regardless. If you keep expectations at a minimum and meltdowns obsolete, I guarantee you’ll still have fun in the snow chalet town even if the snow conditions suck.
Keep Warm However Necessary
Besides the coolest ski gear and warm weather attire that heat you up when it’s freezing out, there’s another classic option to beat the chill. I’m talking hot tubs, baby. Chalet Pierry had the prettiest jacuzzi that could fit a bunch of us at once, overlooking the twinkling lights of the village below. There’s nothing like a soak in the hot tub after a tough day of skiing…oh wait, I didn’t ski. Whatever, I still deserved it! This with a cup of mulled wine upon your return indoors, wrapped n robes, is just about heaven.
Offsite away from the chalet are a few spas that offer great ways to heat up too. If looking for something basic, you can purchase a day pass at the local swimming pool, which also has sauna rooms available.
Cheat Your Way to the Top
The highlight of skiing in Europe, compared to the US, is the full-on bars and restaurants you can find scattered throughout the mountains and slopes. Usually there’s one central lodge when skiing on the east coast of the US, so it’s a treat to find a hot drink (or a cold brew) for a break on the side of the peak. If you don’t ski though, you can get a round-trip pass to hang out with the other snow bunnies the easy way. I enjoyed a little gondola ride to Morzine Avoriaz, where I had some of the most decadent hot chocolate ever. The views weren’t too bad either.
Then, Get off the Mountain
Back on the ground, you’ll want to spend some time in the village. Each ski village in France (and Switzerland and beyond) are a little different in size, food and fun. Don’t miss the chance to explore the apres-ski nightlife and restaurants even if you’re in a catered snow chalet. Morzine is a little sleepy compared to others, but there’s plenty of bars, a couple nightclubs, and decadent restaurants to indulge. Shopping is plentiful, and there’s opportunities for fondue around every corner for lunch. I enjoyed some cheesy goodness at Restaurant L’Etale, and a bit of window shopping at Rouge Chili.
Pack Smart for Winter Travel
Layers, layers, layers. My Sweaty Betty base layers were actually wonderful for simply walking around the village, as the weather was forgiving and warranted only the base layer and a puffy vest over the top. But you’ll also want a proper ski jacket and some waterproof boots when you’re not skiing; there’s nothing worse than wet socks and feet. My Decathlon hiking boots worked well in the snow, I was toasty dry the whole weekend. So remember – base layers, warm top coat and extra waterproof protection for your feet.
Don’t Forget a Few Extras
You know how you do personally in cold weather, so plan accordingly. My hands and feet are often colder than the ret of me, so I make extra room for layered gloves and wamr packs that heat up automatically if you knead them.
Something people often forget is sunscreen! The sunlight reflects off white snow strongly, so you can get a bad burn on your face quickly while out and about in town. Get some sunscreen for your suitcase – I like this one that has both face cream and a built in lip balm with SPF.
Have you ever skied before? How about in Europe? Do you like the idea of chalets, or are you keen on hotels? What’s the one thing you pack on a ski weekend no matter what?