Hotel Slalom in Les Houches – a boutique hotel for skiers and walkers

October 29, 2010 by  

As we arrive at Hotel Slalom in Les Houches, the English propriétaire Tracey, welcomes us with a cheerful Bienvenue and we step into the breakfast room of this unassuming but stylish small boutique hotel. We’ve chosen it as a base from which to launch into our 3 day walk on the Tour de Mont Blanc Trail above Chamonix, as the village is one of the popular start and end points of the 11 day circular walk.

Hotel Slalom in Les Houches, nr Chamonix

Hotel Slalom in Les Houches, nr Chamonix

Hotel Slalom is set by the road at the edge of the village of Les Houches, a pretty place with a few restaurants and shops that is a satellite of the much larger and swisher Chamonix, 20 minutes away by bus. With only 10 rooms the hotel is cosy and personally run with a bar area where you can sink into a leather sofa or perch at the bar for a cocktail. In addition to the ground floor bar and breakfast room, there was a little reading corner tucked under the stairs with plenty of books, magazines and DVDs to borrow or use in the bedrooms.

Bar at Hotel Slalom in Les Houches, nr Chamonix

Bar at Hotel Slalom in Les Houches, nr Chamonix

Breakfast room at Hotel Slalon in Les Houches

Breakfast room at Hotel Slalon in Les Houches

The hotel operates on a B & B basis with breakfast laid out on the copper topped bar; fresh croissants and baguettes from the boulangerie across the road, with creamy natural yoghurt and reblochon cheese from the local farmer. The hotel doesn’t have a restaurant but we were recommended to try the small Restaurant Le Basilic around the corner where we tried the Savoyard fondue on our first night and on our second visit were defeated by the 3 course set menu, that would have been the perfect end to an energetic day on the pistes. The starter of grilled goats cheese salad was practically a meal in itself and despite my sweet tooth I could only toy with my ice cream desert.

Breakfast  at Hotel Slalom at Les Houches

Breakfast at Hotel Slalom at Les Houches

The hotel owner, Tracey, told me how she had left a successful career in the city of London behind, to change direction and run the hotel. She gutted the hotel’s interior and completely remodelled it in a labour of love – at one point in the building work you could see from the ground floor right up to the rafters. Tracey insisted on keeping the authentic wooden bar with polished copper top even though her architect wanted to throw it out, and now it doubles as a serving counter for breakfast as well as the reception desk. The alpine scenery and charming setting haven’t changed though, and you can still throw open your window and washed blue shutters for those mountain views and bracing fresh air.

Bedroom at Hotel Slalom in Les Houches

Bedroom at Hotel Slalom in Les Houches

Hotel Slalom is a haven of good taste – modern but with a nod towards traditional Savoyard style. The rooms are just what you might hope for, with natural materials, carefully chosen furnishings and pretty red and beige quilts and woollen throws in the bedrooms, with charming little touches – a painted dish of sweets or a miniature cactus. Our rooms were a good size, with spacious bathrooms in natural colours, housing a bath tub as well as powerful shower – bliss to soak aching muscles after a day’s walking, climbing or ski-ing. If I was being picky I might have liked to find a hair dryer in my room, or perhaps a slightly more luxurious selection of toiletries than the shampoo sachets and small boxed soap on offer. But having said that, Tracey and her staff were extremely helpful in lending us anything we needed, including the mountain poles I used on our walk, which I embarrassingly managed to break on my way down the mountain.

Bedroom at Hotel Slalom  in Les Houches

Bedroom at Hotel Slalom in Les Houches

Bathroom at Hotel Slalom in Les Houches

Bathroom at Hotel Slalom in Les Houches

The hotel is ideally placed to explore the Chamonix valley where there’s plenty to see and do in summer as well as the winter ski season when you can ski to the door of the hotel. All hotels in the area can provide their guests with a free local bus pass in the summer season to get around the valley. Hotel Slalom is a great place to stay in Les Houches if you’re doing all or part of the Tour de Mont Blanc as we did, and a haven to take a rest during your circuit if the basic facilities of the mountain huts are wearing down your enthusism. Tracey can also organise packages with a guide to take you climbing, mountain-biking, white water rafting or any number of other adventurous activities.

I’d highly recommend Hotel Slalom as a well priced, stylish boutique hotel, with extremely helpful and personal service from Tracey and her staff. In the late summer when we visited the room rate was €86-95 for twin or double rooms plus €10 for breakfast.

Hotel Slalom, 44 rue de Bellevue, 74310 Les Houches, Chamonix Mont-Blanc, France, Tel: +33 (0) 450 54 40 60,
Restaurant Le Basilic, 105, Place de la Fruitiere, 74310 Les Houches, Tel +33 (0) 450 54 41 85

Compare prices and book Hotel Slalom in Les Houches here

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Other Tales from the Tour de Mont Blanc

Inside the glacier – at the Mer de Glace above Chamonix
Review of Tour of Mont Blanc Guide by Kev Reynolds at Cicerone Press
Day 3 on the Tour de Mont Blanc – Flégère to Lac Blanc

Resources for those walking the Tour de Mont Blanc

We used the Cicerone Tour of Mont Blanc guide by Kev Reynolds – we found it to be an excellent guide for both the clockwise and anti-clockwise route with detailed route guide, maps, accommodation information and points of interest along the route.

We stayed at Refuges de Bellachat and la Flegere above Chamonix. Bookings for Refuge de Bellachat can be made only by telephone (04 50 53 43 23) and cost €40 for dinner, bed & breakfast. The cost of staying at Refuge la Flégère was €47 per person for dinner, bed and breakfast and bookings can be made by e-mail bellay.catherine@wanadoo.fr or telephone (04 50 55 85 88 ). To avoid disppointment and a long walk, you should book your place in all refuges but can normally do so a day or two before, or from the previous refuge.

We booked our transfer from Geneva airport to Les Houches through Chamexpress and found them to run an extremely efficient airport to hotel service – cost was €25 + tax per person each way.

The walkingthetmb website has useful information to help you plan and prepare for your Tour de Mont Blanc walk, with a packing list and some links to other people’s photographs and on-line diaries to inspire you.

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heatheronhertravels' France - Chamonix photoset heatheronhertravels’ France – Chamonix photoset


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Comments

15 Comments on "Hotel Slalom in Les Houches – a boutique hotel for skiers and walkers"

  1. Mark H on Sat, 30th Oct 2010 8:58 pm 

    I am glad that the owner fought to keep that beautiful copper top bar. Looks beautiful.
    Mark H´s last blog post ..A Journey Through English London- England

  2. Day 3 on the Tour de Mont Blanc - Flegere to Lac Blanc | Heather on her travels on Sun, 31st Oct 2010 7:45 pm 

    […] our bus stop to take us back to Les Houches, where a very welcome deep, hot bath awaited us at Hotel Slalom, where we posed for our final ‘after the walk’ shot to match the ‘before’ shot outside the […]

  3. What to pack on the Tour de Mont Blanc | Heather on her travels on Sun, 31st Oct 2010 7:52 pm 

    […] with a carry-on case with the empty ruck-sack inside and then left the case in the luggage store at Hotel Slalom in Les Houches where we stayed. On the Tour de Mont Blanc between Les Houches and Refuge de […]

  4. Day 1 on the Tour de Mont Blanc - Les Houches to Refuge de Bellachat | Heather on her travels on Wed, 3rd Nov 2010 2:50 am 

    […] TMB started in a rather more leisurely fashion than most serious walkers would allow. Our boutique Hotel Slalom in Les Houches was so pleasant that my friend Julia and I lingered over the croissants and meusli, then popped […]

  5. Paul Saunders on Wed, 3rd Nov 2010 3:34 pm 

    I took an airport transfer from Geneva to Les Houches with the guys at Chamexpress.com They offered the best deal at 25 Euros door to door.

  6. Heather Cowper on Wed, 3rd Nov 2010 8:11 pm 

    @ Paul Yes I used Chamexpress myself at Tracey’s recommendation and found them to be excellent

  7. Jeremy on Thu, 4th Nov 2010 12:35 pm 

    Great Hotel, I am planing a trip to Les Houches and this hotel is in my list. Thanks a lots for sharing this review.
    Jeremy´s last blog post ..Valencia- City of Art and Sciences – Spain

  8. Sherry Ott on Fri, 5th Nov 2010 5:09 am 

    Wow – what a lovely looking place to rest after skiing!
    Sherry Ott´s last blog post ..signs

  9. Hiking the Tour de Mont Blanc in the Alps. | Roaming Tales on Wed, 27th Apr 2011 12:24 pm 

    […] flew into Geneva and transferred to our starting point at the small boutique-style Hotel Slalom at the end of the Chamonix Valley in Les Houches. Arriving at lunchtime with the sun shining, we […]

  10. A tale of two refuges on the Tour de Mont Blanc | Heather on her travels on Thu, 1st Sep 2011 10:58 pm 

    […] the start and end of our walk, we stayed at the modern, stylish, budget boutique Hotel Slalom that is perfectly placed in Les Houches for summer walking opposite the start of the […]

  11. My Tour de Mont Blanc diary Day 2 - Col de Balme to Champex | Heather on her travels on Sun, 11th Sep 2011 6:04 pm 

    […] the start and end of our walk, we stayed at the modern, stylish, budget boutique Hotel Slalom that is perfectly placed in Les Houches for summer walking opposite the start of the […]

  12. My Tour de Mont Blanc diary Day 1 - Flégère to Refuge Col de Balme | Heather on her travels on Sun, 11th Sep 2011 6:22 pm 

    […] the start and end of our walk, we stayed at the modern, stylish, budget boutique Hotel Slalom that is perfectly placed in Les Houches for summer walking opposite the start of the […]

  13. Video diary - Tour de Mont Blanc | Heather on her travels on Tue, 11th Oct 2011 10:28 pm 

    […] the start and end of our walk, we stayed at the modern, stylish, budget boutique Hotel Slalom that is perfectly placed in Les Houches for summer walking opposite the start of the […]

  14. toronto luxuary hotel on Tue, 22nd Nov 2011 11:30 am 

    Wow that your blog was a heart touching blog,And thanks for sharing this awesome and interesting blog.

  15. Podcast about the Tour de Mont Blanc | Heather on her travels on Sun, 11th Mar 2012 10:34 pm 

    […] the start and end of our walk, we stayed at the modern, stylish, budget boutique Hotel Slalom that is perfectly placed in Les Houches for summer walking opposite the start of the […]

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