There are few vacations that can compare to a family ski holiday where full days are spent outdoors being active together. Throw in some blue skies, sunshine, fresh mountain air and epic snow conditions – not to mention incredible views – and a ski holiday is simply the best experience.
Actually, that’s not entirely true. There is one thing that can really make a ski holiday stand out and that’s accommodation. Rent a small, boxy apartment miles from the ski slopes and you’re going to have a very different holiday to if you were in a luxury ski chalet with direct access to the pistes and ski lifts.
This is why I was delighted to discover AliKats Mountain Holidays, a company that boasts luxury ski chalets – both catered and self-catered – in the heart of Morzine in the French Alps. This collection of Morzine chalets is a delight and a great option for families and friends looking to book a ski holiday together.
Don’t think that these chalets are just for luxury ski holidays, I was both surprised and delighted to find that AliKats offers great value – and that you can have a private hot tub without spending a fortune!
Read on to discover why the ski resort of Morzine in France is a wonderful place to ski, what to expect from AliKats’ ski chalets and how they stand out from other chalets in town.
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Skiing in Morzine
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The French Alpine village of Morzine sits in the heart of the Portes du Soleil ski area, an area that covers 12 resorts located between Mont Blanc in France and Lake Geneva in Switzerland.
It’s hugely popular during the winter months for family ski holidays but Morzine, along with neighbouring Les Gets, is becoming increasingly well-known as a place for a summer holiday too. Some families opt for a week’s holiday and a week learning French at the Alpine French School.
Located just 1.5 hours drive from Geneva airport, it’s very easily accessible.
Morzine offers a variety of skiing terrain that caters to experienced skiers as well as beginners. There are some 600km of ski slopes too, meaning that no two days are the same. You can even ski over into Switzerland – dropping over the notorious Swiss Wall.
Morzine itself is a charming old Savoyard town full of character. The old part of town is still there, filled with rustic chalets and old farmhouses. There are lots of very good restaurants and a lively apres scene. A colourful weekly market takes place in the Post Office square.
Mostly, however, Morzine is a great place for a ski holiday because the town itself is so full of character. This is an old farming village that transformed into a ski resort with a living, breathing community that lives and works here year-round.
This post has more information on what to expect from Morzine ski holidays.
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- The 10 best sustainable ski brands you need to check out
- Why we love the ski rental company EcoSki
AliKats Mountain Holidays Chalets in Morzine
There are lots of Morzine ski chalets to choose from but I was genuinely thrilled to discover AliKats. This is a company that provides chalet holidays with a difference.
AliKats was established by husband and wife team Al and Kat Judge in December 2011. The company started off with one large chalet, La Ferme a Jules, which Al says is still the company’s “spiritual home”. Originally built in 1808, the converted farmhouse sleeps up to 26 people in 10 spacious ensuite rooms and has a huge living and dining area but still maintains a cosy feel. This is the ideal chalet to book if you are travelling with friends.
Since then the AliKats team have added a further 10 luxury chalets to their portfolio and they now offer four catered chalets and six self-catered chalets. These sleep anywhere from six people to 26.
The emphasis at AliKats is on great food and fantastic service and Al and Kat work hard to ensure that they have a harmonious team in place to look after their guests, no matter whether they’re staying in a catered or self-catered chalet.
The chalets are truly lovely. I visited a handful when I was in Morzine and was very impressed. The rooms, many of them are ensuite bedrooms, are spacious and with good storage; ensuite bathrooms are large with generous showers; there’s high quality artwork on the walls and cool and comfortable furniture. Many of the chalets have their own outdoor hot tub some have a cinema room and others enjoy spectacular views.
Some of the chalets, such as Chalet Melodie and Chalet Harmonie, are located in the very centre of Morzine just a minute walk from Intersport and Carrefour. This central location is ideal for being the first in line for the Super Morzine lift in the morning or the first to carve up the slopes on the Pleney piste.
Other chalets are located out of the town centre in Montriond instead. Guests staying in AliKats’ catered chalets have the use of a private chauffeur service from 8am to 10pm.
Food at AliKats
Each catered chalet has a host who overseas guests’ stay and ensures that everything runs smoothly. If you’re staying in one of the catered chalets then rates include a cooked breakfast, afternoon tea with cakes and five evenings with a four-course meal (the other two nights of a typical seven-night stay are when the staff have their nights off). Rates also include unlimited wine.
Guests staying in one of the self-catered chalets also have the option to book a semi-catered stay whereby meals are delivered to you and you then reheat and serve them.
Kat is in charge of food and all meals are prepared by the company’s professional chef in the AliKats’ prep kitchen. These meals are then delivered to the chalets for the final touches before serving. Kat is a passionate cook and is constantly challenging herself to create new dishes making the most of local and seasonal ingredients, which has won the company a place in The Telegraph’s top 5 ski holidays for food lovers two years running, along with ‘Favourite Food in Morzine’ for three years in a row at the Morzine Source Awards.
AliKats Catered Chalets
- Chalet Bizet, sleeps 6-9 in 3 suites / rooms
- Chalet Debussy, sleeps 8-15 in 4 suites / rooms
- Chalet De L’Ange, sleeps 14 in 7 ensuite rooms
- Ferme a Jules, sleeps 20-26 in 10 ensuite rooms
You can see full descriptions of the AliKats catered chalets here.
AliKats Self-Catered Chalets
- Chalet Vogue, sleeps 12 in 6 rooms
- Chalet Harmonie, sleeps 12 in 5 rooms
- Chalet Melodie, sleeps 13 in 6 rooms
- Chalet La Grande Ourse, sleeps 12 in 4 rooms
- Chalet La Petite Ourse – this is an apartment adjoining La Grande Ourse available separately or with the larger chalet for groups up to 18 people. It sleeps 6 in 2 rooms
- Chalet Soleil D’Or, sleeps 8 in 4 rooms
- Chalet Lumina, sleeps 10-12 in 5 rooms
- Petit Lumina – this is a self-contained mini-chalet adjacent to Chalet Lumina ideal for a couple or small family. It can be booked with Chalet Lumina for large groups up to 16 people.
You can see full descriptions of the AliKats self-catered chalets here.
There’s no denying that AliKats’ chalets can help ensure that you have a wonderful ski holiday but there’s more to these chalets – and this company – than simply good looks and great service. What is really impressive about AliKats is their commitment to being a sustainable force for good.
Skiing is not the most eco-friendly of holidays but Al and Kat are determined to show that you can reduce your carbon footprint and still enjoy your holiday. To do this, they are committed to becoming carbon neutral this year. Yes, they have set themselves the goal of becoming carbon neutral by mid-2022.
To do this they have implemented a number of really impressive initiatives. Some of these include:
- Making sure that all of their chalets are powered by renewable energy.
- AliKats sorts and weighs all the waste from their chalets every day. By tracking waste habits they can set targets for reducing waste that ends up in incinerators and landfill.
- They grow organic vegetables and fruit that are used in the chalet menus.
- They also have free range chickens, which produce the eggs used in the afternoon tea cakes as well as the guests’ breakfasts.
- AliKats combine traditional and Bokashi composting methods in order to be able to compost almost all their food waste. This includes meat, dairy and fish.
- Tin water flasks are available in the chalets for guests to borrow for the duration of their stay thereby eliminating the need for plastic bottles.
Al and Kat were also instrumental in establishing Montagne Verte, a non-profit community association that was set up to help develop solutions for the region to reduce its environmental impact.
One of the many ideas they are exploring is a discount across the resort – for example ski hire, accommodation and lift passes – for visitors that arrive by train. As Al explained, 75 per cent of the carbon footprint of a ski holiday comes from air travel. If the resort can help to incentivise skiers to find alternative, more eco-friendly ways to travel, then this would go a long way to help fight climate change.
The AliKats website has all the rates for their chalets but here is an idea of how much it would cost to stay in one of their properties. If you were to book La Ferme des Jules, the largest property in their portfolio, for a peak week in the Winter 2022/2023 season (for example New Year’s week or February half-term) then the cost for the fully-catered chalet would be just under £24,000.
If you had 26 people in the chalet then this works out at less than £1,000 a head which, considering everything that it includes (luxury accommodation, breakfast, afternoon tea, dinner and drinks for one week) seems like a pretty good deal to me.