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̇What are chalets?

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Are you looking for a wonderful home away from home during the holidays? Chalets are the way to go! This accommodation type provides guests with enough privacy and space, perfect for those who want to get away from the hustle and bustle. In the broadest of definitions, a chalet is often a house or cabin that's open to use during the holiday season. While other property types, such as hotels, are great, chalets are better for those who like to be surrounded by absolute tranquility. So, if you're looking for something more unique for your upcoming vacation, make sure to check out chalets!

Origin of chalets

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Throughout the years, there have been many variations of chalets. Some chalets are now more contemporary in style layout while others simply maintain their original structure and furnishings. Chalets are commonly found in the Alpine and European regions, perched on the mountains. They functioned as a home for cattle herders to save them the trouble of going up and down the mountains while transferring stocks. Plus, the world chalet means "shelter" in Latin, and that is exactly what it serves as. In Switzerland, for example, they would use chalets as a means of storing milk and butter. This is often done during the summer season so that when winter comes, these chalets would be left unoccupied.

Later on, when chalet owners found out that there was a market for opening up their properties to the public — especially during winter — some of them decided to turn their chalets into holiday homes. The evolution of chalets has truly been a wonder to witness. Now, some chalets are placed in different locations, such as in the colder areas of the US. They're not limited to mountainous locations anymore, which makes chalets more accessible.

Difference between chalets and cabins

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Chalets Cabins
Structure Chalets are built using natural materials, such as stone and timber, thus making the structure stronger. They're also usually not painted, giving. them a more rustic feel. Apart from being made of timber, cabins may also have other kinds of materials in place, such as concrete and steel.
Layout The layout of chalets is often simple yet practical. Most chalets boast a "common room," which acts as the center of the chalet, the perfect place to gather around and socialize. They also have a large, sloped roof, which helps in insulation. Cabins have a more free-flowing and modern layout. It also often has cross-gable roofs and a rustic log exterior.
Size Chalets are more spacious because of their vaulted and/or high ceilings, which greatly impact the size of the chalet. The ceilings give off the illusion of having more space, and it also opens up the interiors. Typical cabins are more modest in terms of size, but they still provide all the necessary amenities.
Design Most chalets are straightforward, functional, and convenient. It boasts a fuss-free kind of stay, perfect for those who want something minimal. They're often square-shaped and are one to two stories high. You may even find unique wooden carvings in some spaces. In terms of design, cabins often only have one story and don't have a lot of intricate detailing. However, its simplicity is what many people also find charming.

Types of chalets

Ski chalets

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Winter comes with a variety of unique activities that you can only do during the season. There's sledding, ice skating, snowboarding, and, of course, skiing. The latter sport is one of the most popular things to do during this time of year, made obvious by the abundant ski resorts available. Chalets provide an alternative, and most of them offer ski-to-door convenience for those who want to indulge in the sport more efficiently. Not only that, but ski chalets are great for taking advantage of winter activities without stressing too much about how to get home afterward.

Mountain chalets

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Mountain chalets are often associated with ski chalets as they both offer similar characteristics and locations, but the former is quite different in certain ways. For instance, mountain chalets are not always close to ski areas. Sometimes, these are simply perched above or on the foot of the mountain, and they may not be as close to local activities. But that doesn't mean that mountain chalets are not ideal — they're great for those who want to get away for a few days. Plus, they come with all the necessary amenities, from a comfy bed to a cozy fireplace — not to mention that many of them boast fantastic views.

Lakeside chalets

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Opt for a lakeside chalet if you want a vacation in a serene spot near a lake. Here, you can look out over the calm waters and enjoy the perfect amount of solace and tranquility. Another wonderful amenity one can expect in a lakeside chalet is a deck, where you can enjoy a barbecue with loved ones or simply watch the world go by. There may even be a dock that you can access. All these facilities provide guests with more opportunities to make the most of their vacation.

Forest chalets

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If you want to have a spectacular time in the middle of lush greenery, then forest chalets may be the option for you. This chalet is ideal for those who want to be engulfed in nature, those who want to hear the birds softly chirping, and those who want to wake up to the calm swaying of trees. It's the perfect accommodation to get away from the hustle and bustle if you are planning a solo retreat or want to recollect your thoughts for a few days. Plus, if you're lucky, you might spot some animals roaming around.

Beachside chalets

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Sharing similarities with lakeside chalets, beachside chalets also offer guests direct water access. In the summer, you can dive into the waters and swim for a few hours. Other water-based activities include canoeing, kayaking, and even jet skiing. Alternatively, you can simply hang out on a sun lounger and get a tan. It's also great to have a barbecue night with your family by the waters. And if you want your stay to be even more convenient, look for a beachside chalet that already provides different water sports equipment.

Amenities usually included in chalets

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Traditional chalets have small kitchens, yet it is enough for you to prepare and cook delightful dishes. The kitchens often come with a refrigerator, sink, and stove. However, modern chalets come with even more useful appliances, such as a dishwasher.


Since traditional chalets are typically located in mountainous regions, they often come with a fireplace to keep you cozy and comfortable. This amenity is usually in the living room or bedroom.

Air conditioning or heating

Whatever the weather may be like during your stay in a chalet, the provisions of air conditioning and/or heating come in handy. You can turn on the air conditioning whenever you feel a little bit too hot or the heating when you want to keep the place warm throughout.

Bedding and towels

A lot of the chalets already provide guests with enough amenities and provisions, such as bedding and towels. This way, you don't need to pack more stuff in your luggage while traveling to your accommodation — making more room for your other clothes or belongings.


If you're lucky, your future chalet accommodation will also provide you with all the necessary toiletries, such as toilet paper, toothbrushes, shampoo, soap, and many more. Having to transfer your toiletries to small containers so you can bring them to your trip can be a bit exhaustive, so to have accommodation that already offers these things adds to the convenience.

Outdoor amenities

Besides the aforementioned amenities, you can also enjoy extras to make your stay more worthwhile. For instance, some chalets offer a picnic table, perfect for those who want to enjoy outdoor dining with great views. There's also a fire pit, ideal for calm nights making s'mores and simply telling stories. Other outdoor amenities include a dock, loungers, and a hammock.

Hot tubs

There's nothing better than to sit back and just unwind, and these are what hot tubs offer. This amenity can often be found in mountain or ski chalets as they are located at a higher elevation, thus having colder temperatures. While hot tubs here are commonly outside, the heated waters provide you with enough warmth, all the while getting to admire the scenic views.


If you want to keep warm and soothe your muscles, heading to a sauna is the right move. Luckily, several mountain and ski chalets have this amenity, especially in places that have snow or winter. Sauna also helps in letting out toxins in your body.

Perks of staying in a chalet

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Scenic location

One of the allures of staying in a chalet is the location. Most chalets are situated on or near the mountains, bodies of water, and greenery. With this, expect that your chalet experience comes with breathtaking views of the landscapes. Each season also provides unique wonders. For instance, you can enjoy the powdery white snow during winter and the lush greenery during summer.

Privacy or seclusion

Chalets offer guests incredible privacy throughout their stay, made possible by where it's located. Oftentimes, chalets don't have any neighboring houses, so you're free to roam around the area and not cause much disturbance. So, stay in a chalet if you want to properly unwind in peace. This way, you'll have a better time to reconnect with nature and your mind, body, and spirit.

Access to outdoor activities

Besides offering guests solace, chalets also bring something lively and thrilling. Most chalets have access to all sorts of outdoor activities that you can try out — from skiing during winter to going on a picturesque hike during summer. Chalets are placed conveniently for you to do these things with ease whether you're trying something new or already an expert.

Cozy interiors

After a long day outdoors, there's nothing quite like retreating to a well-furnished chalet to keep you rested. These accommodations have convenient amenities for extra comfort and coziness, such as a fireplace, sofas, and beds. Combining all these with the wooden interiors and often warm lighting makes for a more traditional and authentic stay experience.

Large windows

Chalets often boast sizeable windows, thus letting in plenty of natural light indoors. This feature also greatly helps in making your stay more eco-friendly and efficient since you won't need to turn on the lights as much as possible. Plus, if you want to take in the views but don't want to go outside, just go to the windows and admire it from there.

High ceilings

Another unique feature of a chalet is having a high ceiling. This particular feature helps in opening up the interiors as well as the overall space. High ceilings also offer better ventilation and natural light. It essentially helps in making the smaller rooms feel bigger than it is. Having this feature also allows more space for decorations, such as a grand chandelier.

Outdoor spaces and amenities

A great way to take advantage of the outdoors is by viewing it from the comfort of a deck or balcony. Luckily, chalets offer these features. A lot of chalets have balconies, where you can take in the views without leaving the premises. A lot of the time, the balconies come with a seating area and a table. Meanwhile, the deck also often comes with great facilities, such as a barbecue grill.

Thanks to the location of chalets, you can also expect a vast outdoor space. Apart from decks, there are other outdoor spaces available, such as a dock, where you can hang out and have a swim, and a fire pit area, where you can make s'mores and keep warm.

Eco-friendly living

As mentioned, most chalets also offer an eco-friendly stay experience. Traditionally, chalets are made from natural materials, such as stone and timber wood. Chalets also consume less electricity than a usual holiday accommodation as they don't have a lot of high-end electric appliances.

Destinations with chalets around the world

Chalets in the US

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One can find chalets in all parts of the world now, such as in the US. For instance, there's the state of Colorado. This iconic destination is known for offering fun winter sports, especially skiing. Colorado boasts the Rocky Mountains, one of the most famous mountains in the world. This mountain is visited by plenty of snow, making it the ultimate place to go skiing, sledding, and more. So, it's no surprise that there are also lots of chalet accommodations here, may it be a traditional or luxurious one. For options, you can check out some of the top chalets in Colorado.

Other US destinations with an abundance of chalets include Ohio, Gatlinburg, and Georgia.

Chalets in Canada

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Canada is a huge country in North America and has plenty to offer visitors. This country is known for its awe-inspiring landscapes and overall nature, with a gem such as Lake Joseph, making it the perfect destination to sit back and unwind from the hustle and bustle. In the province of Ontario, one can visit the famous Maple Mountain and Silver Peak, among others. These places house lovely chalets, and you can choose one that suits your preferences. The town of Canmore also has top chalets for a more worthwhile stay.

Chalets in the UK

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The UK is one of the top destinations in the world, and it's understandable as to why. Some attractions worth visiting include the Tower of London, Buckingham Palace, and Hyde Park. With so much to explore, it's ideal to stay here for a few days, especially in wonderful accommodation, such as a chalet. Head to Scotland to see plenty of these properties, specifically in Aberfeldy, Pitlochry, and Tarbert. UK's Hemsby also has its fair share of beachside chalets if you wish to be close to the waters. Alternatively, you can book any of Devon's best chalets if you plan to visit the beautiful county.

Chalets in other European countries

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Expand your horizon by visiting other countries in Europe, and make sure to stay in a chalet to add to the beauty of your experience! One example is France, which is undoubtedly one of the most famous countries here. This country offers historic attractions, such as Palais Garnier and Jardin de Luxembourg. Spending one day here just isn't enough, so booking a chalet in places such as Saissac and Saint-Jean-de-Sixt is ideal. To learn more, you can check out these best chalets in France.

If you still want to explore, another fantastic destination is Romania. This breathtaking country in Europe hypnotizes all kinds of travelers with its rich attractions. Cities such as Brasov boast numerous landmarks, including The Black Church and The Council Square. There are also wonderful chalets here.

Of course, it's only right to mention Switzerland, as this is where chalets originated and are most commonly found. You'll have plenty of chalets to choose from, especially in the Alps region. Moreover, there are several chalets in stunning places, including Grindelwald and Zermatt. The country also has a lot of natural wonders waiting to be explored, from Lake Lucerne to Mount Pilatus. Make sure to also stop by Chillon Castle.

Chalets in the Middle East

The Middle East is the place to be for those who want something more unique for a holiday. Some countries include Kuwait, Qatar, Turkey, and more. But if you're looking for a beautiful destination with a variety of chalet options, then you can head to Saudi Arabia. This country has many religious establishments you can visit and appreciate, such as the Al Rajhi Mosque and King Khalid Grand Mosque. For your stay, check out these best chalets in Riyadh, most of which come with a pool. Besides Saudi Arabia, there's also Kuwait, which is considered one of the richest countries out there. While visiting this country, stop by its many museums and shopping centers before retreating to your chalet.

Chalets in Africa

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Africa is rich in culture, traditions, delicious food, and attractions — making it a must-visit during the holidays. If you want to find top chalet accommodation, the cities of Durban and Cape Town are famous for them. In the former, you'll have lots of fun at the beach. Meanwhile, in Cape Town, the capital, there's Table Mountain and Cape of Good Hope. It's the perfect place to immerse yourself in a whole other culture and learn the rich history of these cities and towns. So, bring your loved ones along and put Africa on your travel bucket list now.

Chalets in Asia

Many countries in Asia are perfect holiday destinations, and a lot of them boast great accommodations, such as chalets. If you want to immerse yourself in the traditional and diverse offerings of Japan, then a nice place to start is in Nagano. Besides hosting the Winter Olympics last 1998, Nagano also boasts numerous chalets oozing a cozy atmosphere throughout. There's also Niseko, which is a mountainous town known for its skiing activities as well as tranquility. Visit this town and stay in a ski or mountain chalet for a more wonderful time.

Chalets in New Zealand

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Have a much-needed rejuvenating holiday in New Zealand! This Oceania country may be small, but it sure does pack a punch. Here, you can befriend many lovely locals and animals, roll down the hills, join their wine tours, and try other delicacies. The capital, Wellington, offers a great balance of nature and bustling skyscrapers. And if you go to Queenstown, situated by Lake Wakatipu, you'll also find a range of chalets, a lot of which offer water views. Check out the top chalets in Queenstown.

Factors to consider when booking a chalet


Before clicking on that "book" button, make sure to do research regarding the location of the chalet of your choosing. There are several kinds of chalets out there, each catered to different preferences. If you're more of a thrill seeker, opt for a mountain chalet. However, if you want to have a more serene stay experience, then a beachside or forest chalet may be the one for you. Whenever you're looking for a specific chalet, do take note of where it is situated so that you will already have a more concrete idea of how to get there.


Each chalet offers a diverse range of amenities. Do you want to experience the traditional way of chalet living? Then book one which features vintage or old furnishing. On the other hand, you can choose a more modern chalet should you prefer living in extra comfort without having to worry about anything else. Do note that the majority of chalets, old and new, have kitchens, balconies, fireplaces, and a seating area. Make sure to check the images in the booking site as well as the dedicated "amenities" section to double-check.

Guest capacity

It is important that you first consider how many of you are going to be on holiday because some chalets have a limit in terms of guest capacity, mainly because of the size of the accommodation. If you're bringing your whole family with you, make sure to check out the maximum number of people allowed on the premises. Some chalets are dedicated to couples or solo travelers, too.


Renting of chalets varies in price. So, before you book a chalet, make sure to check out how much it would cost per night. Sometimes, if you stay longer, you can get a great discount, which you can double-check at the booking site or by simply contacting the host directly. It's also important that you set a budget before anything else so that you won't be surprised by additional expenses.

Access to attractions and activities

Before booking, you can also check if your accommodation is close to certain attractions or activities. For instance, if you're looking to go skiing, then choose a chalet that offers ski-to-door access or at least a chalet that's close to a ski lift. And if you want to go on a hike in a serene setting, then choose a chalet that offers access to nature trails. You may contact the host if you want to learn more because, if you're lucky, they may even go with you!


Since some chalets are at a remote location, there are times when they don't offer strong enough of a phone signal or even Wi-Fi access. So, if you still want to keep in touch with your loved ones back home or go on social media, look for a chalet that offers internet or a decent phone signal.

Child policy

Opt for a family-friendly chalet if you plan to bring your little ones with you. These types of chalets come with a range of child-friendly amenities, such as cribs, toys, high chairs, baby gates, and even dinnerware. You can see if a chalet is family-friendly or not by checking out the booking site. If you're not sure, contact the host and ask them if they have certain measures in place to keep the children as safe as possible.

Pet policy

Don't want to leave your furry friends alone during your vacation? If so, book a chalet that welcomes pets! Just check out the guidelines of the chalet to see if it allows them. Moreover, if you have checked that they can go with you, the next step is to find out whether or not the chalet permits pets on the premises for free or for an additional charge. You should also check out the maximum number of pets allowed, where they are allowed to sleep, and more.

House rules

One must check out the house rules and read them carefully before booking a chalet. Typical house rules included in chalets are the permission to have parties, when you're allowed to use the hot tub, and quiet hours. You must understand these rules to avoid unnecessary disturbances and future problems.

What to pack for a stay in a chalet

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Weather-appropriate clothes

The type of clothing you'll pack affects your enjoyment during your chalet stay. Consider the season that you'll be in during your holiday. If it's winter, make sure to bring thick and comfy clothes to keep you warm. If it's summer, pack more loose clothing and maybe even swimwear.

Ski gear, hiking boots, etc.

It's ideal to bring your own ski or hiking equipment. This way, you won't have to rent them from the host of the chalet if they have one. Plus, having your own equipment is a more sanitary practice, and you'll also don't need to adjust much since you're already used to the gear.

Toiletries and bedding (if not included)

Some chalets don't offer free toiletries and bedding, so you should pack or bring them. Toiletries include a toothbrush, toilet paper, shampoo, soap, and skincare products. You can also bring bedding for a restful sleep at night.


Some chalets are located a bit far from pharmacies or other commercial establishments, so it's best to bring your medicines, even though you don't think you'll need them. This way, you're prepared for anything. You can also bring vitamins to keep your immune system strong.

Chargers and adapters

Besides your phone, make sure to pack enough chargers and adapters so you won't run out of battery, especially when you have to make an important call. These can also mean chargers for your portable lamps.

Experience a relaxing getaway while staying in a chalet

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Chalets are a spectacular type of accommodation that brings guests an unforgettable experience. These properties have it all, such as excellent amenities, fantastic locations, and an overall lovely atmosphere. Staying in a chalet makes for a more majestic time, and it will certainly help you take a break from your daily routine. Check out the many beautiful things that chalets offer, and book one for your next vacation!

Chalets in the US

Chalets in Canada

Chalets in the UK

Chalets in Switzerland

Chalets in France

Chalets in other European countries

Chalets in Africa and the Middle East

Chalets in Asia

FAQ's about Chalets

  • What are chalets?
    Chalets are a type of accommodation often made of timber and stone. These establishments are often open for rent during holiday seasons.
  • Are chalets different from cabins?
    While they share a lot of similarities, chalets and cabins differ in certain aspects such as the building material, size, layout, and even size. For instance, chalets are more spacious due to the high ceilings.
  • Where are chalets usually located?
    Chalets are often found in mountainous regions, especially in the Alps and Switzerland.
  • Can I find modern amenities in a chalet?
    Absolutely! Nowadays, you can easily find chalets that are designed to keep up with the contemporary times. So, you'll get see modern amenities, such as TVs, electric fireplaces, hot tubs, and many more.
  • Are chalets pet-friendly?
    Some chalets do allow pets on the premises, which is great if you don't want to leave them at home. However, make sure to check with the host if the chalet you're eyeing permits them or has any other pet policies in place.
  • Are chalets expensive?
    The rental price of a chalet highly depends on the location, size, and amenities. But generally, chalets are budget-friendly and offers the utmost convenience.
  • How do I book a chalet?
    You can book a chalet through any major booking sites, such as Airbnb, Vrbo, and You can also check out the Trip101 website to browse through different chalets.
  • Why should I choose a chalet?
    Chalets are straightforward and practical. They offer all the necessary amenities without being too much of a fuss. Plus, chalets offer incredible views, whether it's situated on the mountains or by the lake.

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