If you want the vast Portes du Soleil ski area and alpine charm, choose Morzine in France. Then book a stay at Chilly Powder Hotel where everything from perfect-fit-ski-kit to lavish breakfasts is designed to delight families, as 15 year old Ellie Dent and her family recently found out.
Chilly Powder Hotel in Morzine is a perfect fit for families in every way
“No more pencils, no more books, no more teachers’ dirty looks”…school was out, and better yet, me and my family were off for a long weekend skiing in Morzine in the French Alps.
Morzine is just over an hour from Geneva airport, an easy transfer which we all appreciated. Relieved to have the travel behind us we arrived at the aptly named Chilly Powder Hotel to be greeted by piles of snow. But that’s where the frostiness ended, as the warm welcome from hotel manager Nick made us feel right at home.
A quick tour showed us this was exactly the cosy Alpine chalet hotel we had in mind. Each room was decorated with a specific theme and ours even had a cool loft with two single beds where myself and my sister Charlotte bunked down. In fact, several of the Chilly Powder Hotel rooms are perfectly suited to families, so it’s a really good choice for Morzine ski holidays with kids.
Pack light as you like for this ski break
After we’d settled in, our thoughts quickly turned to getting the ski kit sorted in anticipation for our first run the next morning.
It turned out there wasn’t a lot for us to do as Chilly Powder had organised for our equipment to be delivered to the chalet so everything was ready and waiting when we arrived. This was the first time I had seen that. Plus, the guys from Doorstep Skis had even neatly laid out our boots and skis for us in the boot room. The small effort of sending our measurements ahead of time paid off with a perfect fit on the first try. What a great way to start our weekend in Morzine.
Fantastic food and fun dinner companions
Then it was time for dinner, for which the hotel has two sittings: an earlier one with a children’s menu for younger kids, and an adult sitting at 8pm. As we were tired from travelling and keen to get some sleep, we opted for a table in the bar and ordered up fish and chips, as well as salmon and mango chutney. An added bonus was a friendly chat with the bartender Josh and his adorable dog, Moo.
Even snoozy teens get up early to ski in Morzine
The next morning we woke really excited. And not even my teenage longing to sleep for hours stopped me stumbling out of bed and straight into my ski gear. Then it was off downstairs for the most beautiful sight: a buffet breakfast! No lack of choice here, with everything from a full English to croissants on offer. Naturally my favourite was the machine which made hot chocolate! I can highly recommend that, it was delicious.
Avoriaz delivers on winter sun and wondrous snow
It was only a short walk from our chalet to the gondola up to Avoriaz. And we had a bright December day, so the views were gorgeous. Think snow covered mountains with the sun rising over their peaks. Looked like it was going to be a great day for skiing!
Since we were feeling a little rusty, Charlotte and I stuck to mostly blue and red runs at first. Although the snow was amazing and there wasn’t any ice on the slopes which definitely boosted our confidence. Naturally all that skiing worked up an appetite, so we were thrilled to find a restaurant at the bottom of the slopes that served up chicken nuggets and spaghetti.
Chilly Powder Hotel has the coolest take on ski-in-ski-out
Before we set off, Nick had said it was possible to ski right back to our Chilly Powder Chalet. So at the end of the day, we discovered how to do that. It was basically a great run from the top of the mountain to the bottom, via reds and blues. Then, right at the end of the piste, was a cut through some trees which took us right to the hot tub at the back of hotel. How cool is that?
Morzine might be the sunniest spot in the French Alps
Next morning the weather again delivered, so there was more sunshine and fresh snow. Of course, I controlled the hot chocolate machine for the family at breakfast. And I may also have had one too many pain au chocolat, before we all headed to the lift.
Early on I had a problem with one of my boots, however, after a rest, some sock adjustments and another hot chocolate, I felt much better and ready for some black runs. In total, we managed three black off-piste slopes, with varying success: I fell on the moguls, unlike Charlotte, who raced right down and ended up being the first to finish!
Ski into Switzerland, no passport needed
On our last full day of skiing we covered most of the resort and skied into Switzerland without passports! Lunch was at the Cookie Café, high on top of the mountain with amazing views and, yes, amazing cookies and pizza too.
Finally, after a hard day skiing we stopped at La Folie Douche in Avoriaz. With the music roaring, Charlotte and I couldn’t resist standing on the tables – with our lemonades – and dancing in our ski boots, like you do! Then back on the ground and back on our skis we caught the last lift up to the top of Avoriaz so we could ski all the way back down to the hot tub.
How much did Ellie love Chilly Powder Hotel in Morzine?
Chilly Powder Hotel was just right for us. The rooms were comfy and the food was great. Plus, the staff couldn’t have been more friendly. Although special mention for loveliness has to go to Josh the barman’s dog, Moo!
Once you’ve skied home, there’s plenty to do at the hotel. As well as a games room, there’s also an outdoor hot tub. And if you feel like a spa treat, my dad can recommend a massage in the outdoor yurt. However, we all agreed we’d come back here again. I hear they’re also open in summer, which I think sounds pretty cool too.
A little bit more about Chilly Powder Hotel
You’ll find Chilly Powder Hotel nestled in the heart of the Portes du Soleil ski area. First opened in 1996 it’s one of the longest running chalet businesses in the region. And amazingly enough, it’s still owned by the Eyre family, just as it was on day one.
Designed to give families everything they want from a ski holiday the hotel sits right next to the main Avoriaz 1800 cable car. So it has a perfect ski-in-ski-out location which, as every parent knows, makes days on the slopes with kids so much easier. And speaking of easy, Chilly Powder can also arrange all your family ski kit and have it ready and waiting when you arrive.
Morzine itself is a great choice for adventurous families. Apart from 650km of skiing on the Portes du Soleil ski area, there’s a whole host of other winter activities too. So if kids are keen to try ice climbing, sleigh rides, glacier walking or even paragliding, this is the place. Teens who’re into mountain biking will love fat-biking on snow. Plus there’s also quad biking and, for the truly bold, ice diving is available as well.
How to plan a ski holiday in Morzine
How to get there
Direct UK flights to Geneva take from 1 hour, 25 minutes.
Morzine is just over one hour’s drive from Geneva Airport.
Where to stay
Chilly Powder Hotel is open year round and offers a range of winter holiday packages for families starting from £2,452 for 7-nights half-board.
This price is based on two adults and two children sharing a standard family room, and includes wine with evening meals.
Chilly Powder Hotel Childcare
Childcare is available during your stay from £280, per child, per week.
Prices for Chilly Powder Ski School start at £262 per week.
The chalet also offers self-catered and B&B options in both summer and winter, and is available for weddings and events.