Chamonix (Les Houches), France
Les Houches is situated 6km from Chamonix centre but its ski area is still covered by the regional Mont Blanc lift pass (which also includes resort of St Gervais). It is a pleasant village sitting in the shade of the Mont Blanc Massif comprising a pretty church and some charming, luxury chalets.
The ski area has the largest number of prepared runs in the Chamonix Valley and is almost entirely made up of wooded slopes which are hugely popular when the weather is bad and the threat of avalanches close the other high alpine areas. In good weather the slopes tend to be much quieter making Les Houches a great resort for a family ski holiday.
The high altitude ski area of the Grands Montets (Argentiere) is a short drive away from Les Houches and is covered if you buy the full area pass. The highest skiing on the Grands Montets is over 3,800 metres so there are no snow reliability issues there.
The village of Les Houches is quiet at night with a pleasant selection of bars and restaurants (although buses run in and out of Chamonix all evening). Les Houches is a relaxing, quiet resort but it’s good to know that the nightlife and shopping of Chamonix town are within easy reach.