Renting An Apartment In Champéry, Switzerland - A European Alpine Ski Vacation
A European Alpine Ski Vacation - Renting An Apartment In Champéry, Switzerland
After lodging in hotels on several ski vacations in the European Alps, I decided that during my next trip I would look to stay in an apartment - the most popular type of alpine accommodations. I say the most popular because Europeans and British have long ago discovered alpine ski resort apartments provide, by far, the best value in ski resort lodging.
There are many more beds in apartments or flats throughout the Alps than there are in hotels and it's not hard to find a suitable apartment for a week vacation - or Ski Holiday. Calling the Tourist Office in the resort you wish to visit and explaining your lodging needs and price range has been, and still is for many, the tried and true method of finding any type of lodging available at the particular resort.
You can also get most of the same general information regarding available apartments from the resort and/or the tourist office website and then contact the website of various accommodations that interest you. Note that the Office of Tourism may also be able to refer you to the very small selection of lodging establishments that do not have websites.
Renting An Apartment In Champéry, Switzerland
I wanted to ski the vast Portes du Soleil ski area which covers 12 resorts in both Switzerland and France and I wanted to stay in a traditional Swiss village. Champéry, Switzerland was the perfect choice with a number of apartment dwellings available on the Champéry web site.
Searching through the available listings I found The Lodge Champéry, nestled at the bottom of the Dents du Midi mountains. The Lodge Champéry is owned and operated by Mrs. Miggins Luxury Chalet Services. The apartment units do rise to a level of European apartment luxury yet are still much more affordable than a week in a comparable hotel suite anywhere in the Alps.
The Lodge Champéry is modern, recently built with spacious floor plans and an exterior chalet style that fits in very well with the centuries old village architecture. Underground parking with assigned spaces, a ski locker with heated boot rack, laundry room, and a daytime managed concierge desk are on the lower level with stairs and an elevator accessing the three apartment floors.
The apartment unit I rented was 1022sqft with a large open dining, kitchen, seating area with wood burning fireplace couch and chairs, a large eating table, as well as 250sqft of balcony. Two bedrooms with a twin/double bed (get used to this in the Alps) in the master and a bunk bed set-up in the other bedroom. I've found that bedrooms throughout Europe are, on average, smaller than American standard and even in the most modern buildings this still holds true.
Hardwood flooring throughout the apartment was highlighted with a delightfully quiet underfloor radient heat system that provided an even and comfortable temperature throughout. Appliances were modern and easily operated, and the fireplace was a straight up vent system that took a little tinkering with the drafting vents to get right. A wall-mounted flat screen TV provided a variety of channels including real-time World Cup skiing live every day that that races were scheduled.
As a high end-apartment dwelling, The Lodge Champéry offered a variety of services you should not expect to find at lesser priced apartments. The list of available services here included: Shopping Delivery, Weekly Breakfast Box Delivery, Evening Meal Delivery, Fondue Preparation Service and my favorite - daily fresh bread delivered to your door each morning.
Transportation can be arranged to and from Geneva, and your ski rental and lift passes and lessons can all be set up pre-arrival.
Do It Yourself
The fun part of renting an apartment in Champéry, Switzerland or any other ski resort in the Alps is getting into a week of daily living on the economy: i.e., shopping like you would at home. Yes, you can eat out every night, but when you have a fully equipped kitchen and fully stocked grocery stores, cooking a Swiss meal can be a fun activity on its own!
To lessen our isolated American burden of not being commonly bi-or-multilingual most grocery store and pharmacy clerks speak at least a little English and will help you with your little phrase book, or just point! Honesty is time-honored in the stores and many have cash register readouts in Euros. It's fun shopping, but remember weights are metric so look at how much of the expensive meat you ask the butcher for.
And You Will Do It Again
What I described at The Lodge Champéry may sound like a lot of luxury, and it is on the high end of apartments available throughout the Alps. However, compare the cost of a week at The Lodge Champéry or any similar apartment dwelling with cost of a week at a European Alpine resort hotel of comparable quality and you will be pleasantly shocked at the savings.
There are, of course, apartments that offer less and will cost less. Shop around until you find an apartment that fits your needs regarding number of beds and services available, and be assured that is the best value vacation lodging you can find at European Alpine ski resorts.
As is common in the travel industry, the writer was provided with complimentary passes for the purpose of reviewing those services. While it has not influenced this review, About.com believes in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest. For more information, see our ethics policy.