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Ready the salopettes, wax down the skis and air out the thermals, because chalets are your tickets to the snow plumes and groomed pistes of winter resorts the world over. One of the most popular styles of stay for large groups of skiers and snowboarders, these Alpine accommodations can be found studding the steep hillsides of the French Jura, the Austrian Grossglockner, the Italian Dolomites and beyond. Many are created with winter sportsters in mind, coming laden with extra rooms for storing the skis and snow boots, good links to the main lifts and gondolas and sometimes even a perch on the pistes themselves for added ski-in, ski-out access.
It's not hard to find a chalet that'll crank up the cosy factor. Often timber-built and carved with traditional Swiss motifs, these snow-doused boltholes certainly look the part. Inside, you're likely to have a crackling fire to snuggle up to with a cocoa or a mulled wine, not to mention the occasional sauna or outdoor hot tub which steams and bubbles in the sub-zero mountain air.
France remains one of the top places to find ski chalets. Head beneath the ice-capped summits of the Alpine haven that is the Haute-Savoie region and you'll discover oodles of chalets in Chamonix-Mont-Blanc, a town famed as the home of the first ever Winter Olympics back in 1924. There are some seriously nice pads there, like the Chalet – Chamonix that sits in the shadow of the Aiguille du Midi peak, touting a garden, a hot tub and good connections with the ski lifts, and the Chalet Cosmique, with its on-site bar and al fresco hot tubs.
Chalets in Courmayeur are an option for skiers, boarders and hikers who prefer to take their Alpine pursuits across the border into Italy. Between bouts of crispy pizza and glugs of steaming gluhwein, you'll be free to enjoy the freedom of the slopes leading up to cloud-splintering Mont Blanc and even the Matterhorn.
North America also has its fair share of these Swiss-original stays. You can hit the chalets in Banff or seek out the modern ski lodges of Whistler to enjoy the same sort of cosy Alpine vibes between the world-famous skiing pistes of Alberta and British Columbia, where wild bars surround the slopes and challenging Black Diamond runs wiggle over the ranges.