Investing in a ski chalet in France
Where to look and what to consider
9th April 2021
Whether you’re an avid skier or just looking for an investment opportunity, owning a ski property has many benefits. Excellent rental potential, a home away from home, a place to host friends – we could go on and on!
The writers at The Luxury Ski Show, the UK’s only virtual luxury snow event, explain why ski chalets make a great investment, how to make the most money from your mountain property and the best ski resorts for your budget.
Why ski chalets are a great investment
For those who frequent the slopes, having your own chalet or apartment not only provides a homely base to come back to after a busy day of skiing, but it could save you money too – no more forking out on expensive accommodation! Having your own kitchen also means you don’t have to eat out at the resort’s restaurants every night.
Ski homes are some of the most lettable forms of property, with the potential for an attractive rental yield. The demand for holiday accommodation is expected to surge as international travel resumes, so you could make a healthy profit if you choose to rent out your chalet.
To really make the most of your ski home as a rental property, buy on a resort that caters for both the winter and summer trade. Chamonix is a fantastic example of a resort with dual-seasonality, offering brilliant skiing in the winter and a range of exciting adventure activities in the summer.
Furthermore, the ski market is currently buoyant, with many homeowners looking to sell after losing two consecutive ski seasons. Look out for some bargains!
What makes a memorable ski holiday? For us it’s thrilling runs, top-class apres-ski and plenty of quality time with family and friends.
Here are our favourite ski locations that offer just that, without the hefty price tag.
Val Cenis, French Alps
Bringing the best of the French Alps at an affordable price, Val Cenis is a charming resort in the Haute-Maurienne valley. It is perfect for families with a variety of runs for all abilities, including a nursery zone for newbies, and a top altitude of 2,800 metres.
The resort comprises of five picturesque villages – so there is plenty of opportunity to purchase property. The resort is just 2.5 hours from Geneva airport and the villages are linked by both lifts and buses.
Saint-Lary-Soulan, French Pyrenees
As you head further south in France, you’ll reach the majestic French Pyrenees. Naturally separating France and Spain, the Pyrenees may be smaller than the Alps, but they are a lot more affordable. St-Lary-Soulan resort is the largest on the mountain range with 100 kilometres of slopes and a top altitude of 1,650 metres. Ski passes tend to cost around €42 a day.
The pistes would suit beginners to intermediates, and there are a range of other activities too, including tobogganing, arts and crafts and a tranquil spa.
In the summer, people visit the traditional Pyrenean village of Saint-Lary-Soulan for a rural retreat, as well as cycling, mountain-biking and climbing.
On the other hand, if your perfect resort has a touch of luxury to it, there are many up-market resorts to choose from. Here are our favourite glamourous destinations where if you’re lucky, you might just spot some famous faces behind those ski goggles…
Courchevel, French Alps
With many people referring to Courchevel as the Saint-Tropez of the French Alps, this glitzy resort in the Three Valleys offers world-class gastronomy – with six Michelin star restaurants – designer shopping and outstanding skiing with panoramic views. Visited by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in 2016, the King of Morocco and numerous A-list celebrities, this resort really does have a royal appeal.
There are 600 kilometres of slopes to enjoy with guaranteed snow and runs for all abilities. Off the slopes, the resort has an indoor waterpark, cinema and bowling alley – you’ll never be bored!
Val d’Isère, French Alps
When it comes to ski resorts, few live up to Val d’Isère in terms of reputation and quality skiing; it even won Ski Resort of the Year in 2016. The resort regularly hosts the FIS Alpine Ski World Cup, so it goes without saying that the skiing is excellent!
With a top altitude of 3,450 metres, summer skiing is on the cards, and during the winter months there are 300 kilometres of slopes to explore, as well as exciting off-piste and cross-country opportunities. For beginners, there is a brilliant Ski School.
When it comes to après-ski, Val d’Isère certainly knows how to party, with numerous nightclubs, bustling pubs and trendy bars.