13/11/2019 | Chilly Powder
Award winning travel writer Katie Wood, paid a visit to Chilly Powder last winter with a group of friends from Scotland. Some members of the group skied and some didn't. Read all about their adventures in Morzine - on and off the mountain:
Morzine: Great for skiers – and non-skiers
I hung up my ski boots three years ago after deciding that the wipe-out that knackered my cruciate ligament meant enough was enough. After all, much as skiing can be a fantastic sport for those who are confident and proficient, for the likes of me it was always a relief to make it down the slope and head for a hot chocolate.
Accordingly, when a group of friends, including my skiing partner, got all enthusiastic about going on a ski trip I had a sinking feeling, (and guess who’s always expected to organise the travel?).
I made it very clear that I would not be skiing, and sensibly invited my friend Karen – another non-skier – so I had a partner in crime for shopping and non-skiing activities. Even more sensibly we’d chosen Morzine – a brilliant resort for a group that includes non-skiers, while those on the piste can ski the area and then woosh over from France to Switzerland.
Crucial was the choice of accommodation, and here we hit gold. The company Chilly Powder is, quite simply, the perfect solution for a mixed group, and is ideal for families.
In addition to luxury chalets they have a chalet-hotel, which is where we stayed and where meals are taken for all guests who are not self-catering. It’s comfortable; the staff are superb, and the food is excellent.
They also have a yurt which is the on-site spa, and here you find the gorgeous Eider who gives massages that will melt you into a comatose state.
In winter, the ski pistes from Morzine Avoriaz descend straight into the chalets' back garden, and the main cable car, just a short walk from all three chalets, takes you to the heart of the ski area, and has excellent access to the vast Portes du Soleil ski area.
All their catered chalets have en-suite bathrooms, outdoor hot tubs and saunas. If you’ve children you will likely find the childcare facilities way above your expectations. Whether it’s babies or teenagers they’ve got it covered, and they have a team of professional nannies.
Chilly Powder is owned and run by Francesca & Paul, and they really do manage to make it very much a home from home. I – and all the others staying – felt very comfortable, so much so that if you want to have breakie in your dressing gown, I doesn’t raise an eyebrow, and at the communal dinners you are bound to make new friends. All in all you feel as though you’re in a house party, not a hotel.
In terms of activities in Morzine for non-skiers there’s a good variety of things to do.
Outdoor Skating: In the winter you can scoot around on the outdoor ice-skating rink in the tourist office square, with ice shows on Thursdays. Open daily 10.30am to 12.30pm and 3pm to 7pm throughout the winter season.
Indoor Skating – at Parc des Dereches. Open daytime, with night sessions from 9pm-11pm on Tuesday and Thursday.
Ice hockey also takes place. Skates for hire.
The 25m swimming complex in Morzine is fantastic. It also has a plunge pool, children's splash area and sauna. If you’re looking for serious exercise there are lanes cordoned off. The pool is part of the Palais des Sports complex in the centre of Morzine.
There’s also a pool in Avoriaz. This is more geared to families and more of a water park than pool. Aquariaz has rapids, a hot tub overlooking the mountains and a very popular slide.
Spa and gym
If what you really want is relaxation and complete luxury there are a number of spas in and around Morzine. The Dahu hotel, with its indoor pool and spa, offers packages for the non-skier that include massages and a day pass for all of their facilities.
Mountain Rehab is a great place to head if your way of relaxing involves something a little more physical. Based at the Aiglon hotel in Morzine, Mountain Rehab has Morzine’s only fully equipped gym, on-site masseuses and runs a timetable of fitness classes including yoga, spinning and pilates.
Morzine’s retail therapy has improved of late. You can spend hours combing the souvenir and clothes shops while enjoying coffee and cakes in one of the many cafes in the centre of town. Most shops shut around noon and reopen again after 2pm giving you the ideal opportunity to enjoy a long lunch in one of the town’s restaurants. Don’t miss a trip to the huge bakery in town, the Bon Bonnerie, which has one of the most impressive cake displays in the alps.
Sledging (including night sledging)
If you don’t fancy skiing but still love the snow then why not give sledging a go? The Aubergade hotel at the base of the Pleney is the perfect base for a family sledge. It has a vast outside area backing onto a fantastic sledging slope. You can enjoy a drink or two whilst having some free fun. If you don’t have a sledge most of the ski hire shops will lend you one for very little money.
Night sledging runs several times a week, and is effectively bumper cars on the snow and not for the faint-hearted. Costs around €25 per person.
Hire some snowshoes and explore the attractive walking routes around Morzine and Les Gets. Plan your route first to ensure it’s safe and not avalanche prone. Stick to piste, and if you want to go a further afield employ the services of a walking guide.
Ice Diving and climbing
Adrenalin-junkies might enjoy ice climbing or ice diving. Plunge deep below the surface of Lake Montriond and explore the world below the ice.
Chilly Powder operates all year round with winter holiday packages for individuals, groups and families starting from £795 per week based on two adults airing a standard bedroom or £2,195 per week for two adults and two children sharing a standard family room. Prices based on a half board basis with wine included in evening meals.
Childcare facilities also available with prices starting at £270 per week and ski school for £240 per week. The chalet also runs a summer program and is available for weddings and events. To book please contact Chilly Powder on firstname.lastname@example.org or 020 7289 6958 or visit www.chillypowder.com
There are direct flights from Glasgow and Edinburgh to Geneva from easyJet.