Answering Your Questions
Common frequently asked questions
We’re often asked a number of questions so here are the answers! Of course, if your question isn’t here then do get in touch using the contact us page. We’ll try to reply as soon as possible.
Questions about Chez Michelle
Where is Samoens?
Samoens is a largely undiscovered authentic French alpine village in the Haute-Savoie region of France, only an hour’s drive from Geneva.
Getting to Samoens
What is the maximum number of people Chez Michelle can sleep?
Chez Michelle comfortably sleeps six people and there is a sofa bed in the mezzanine area if you are a party of eight.
What does the weekly price include?
All prices include 7 nights accommodation, all bed linen and towels, a free supply of logs for the fire, electricity for the week and the end of stay clean.
How can I pay and when do I know my booking is confirmed?
Payment can be made in Pounds Sterling (£ GBP) by cheque or direct bank transfer. Payment can also be made in Euros on request. Reservations will be confirmed in writing (by email or post).
Is there WIFI in the apartment?
Yes, there is free WIFI throughout the apartment.
Do you provide a high chair and cot?
There is a high chair and travel cot available in the apartment for guests to use.
Are there any childcare facilities available?
There are childcare facilities available in Samoens including the Loupiots playgroup for children aged from 3 months to 6 years old. In the summer, the Children’s Outdoor Activity Centre (ALSH) is also open for 6 to 11 year olds.
How easy is it to eat out in Samoens and what are the restaurants like?
Eating out in Samoens is very easy with a number of good quality, value for money restaurants and cafés barely a 10-minute easy walk from Chez Michelle. The restaurants cater for all ages and tastes, offering a range of culinary delights from traditional Savoyard to international cuisine. Details of many of the restaurants in Samoens are listed in the information folder that you’ll find in the apartment. We do highly recommend you pre-book at least a day or two in advance, particularly in peak periods.
If you don’t want to eat out but also don’t fancy cooking, ready made meals that you simply need to heat up are available from Mountain Kitchen and the town’s butchers, Le Veau Gras.
How far is the nearest supermarket from Chez Michelle?
There are two mini-supermarkets in Samoens itself. Both are an easy 10-minute walk from the apartment. There is also a large Carrefour supermarket a 5-minute drive outside of Samoens on the road to Verchaix and Taninges. Alternatively, there is a Carrefour hypermarket 17km away in nearby Cluses.
Questions about Winter Skiing
How far away is Chez Michelle from the ski slopes?
Chez Michelle is 900m from the Grand Massif Express (GME) gondola. The bus stop for the free ski bus to the GME is literally a stone’s throw from the apartment. It takes 8 minutes to get to the lift and from there 8 minutes on the GME to Samoens 1600. Alternatively, you can drive to the Grand Massif Express where there are over 700 free parking places.
What is the skiing like in the Grand Massif?
The Grand Massif is a large ski area of 265kms of pistes, in forested alpine surroundings, suitable for all standards of skiers and snowboarders. If you’re a beginner, the nursery slopes at Samoens 1600 include one of the largest beginners’ area in the French Alps. For the intermediate to the advanced skier, there are plenty of tree-lined red and black runs, as well as some excellent off-piste skiing to test your agility and skills.
Due to its north and north-west facing slopes and its close proximity to Mont Blanc, the Grand Massif area has one of the best snow records of any resort in the French Alps. For the latest snow forecast, visit www.snow-forecast.com/resorts/Samoens.
Whilst it is highly unlikely you’ll get bored of the Grand Massif, there is always the Portes de Soleil resorts of Les Gets and Morzine only a 30-minute drive away and Chamonix a 45-minute drive.
Winter Skiing in the Grand Massif
How do I hire skis and boots?
You can hire skis/snowboard and boots from a number of ski hire shops in Samoens or at Samoens 1600. Wherever you hire them from, that is the shop you need to return them to at the end of your holiday. Roland Gay at Samoens 1600 has lockers you can use (a small deposit is required) where you can leave your skis/snowboard and boots overnight – this is the hassle free option!
Where can I rent ski clothes?
A Google search will show several companies in the UK that provide a ski and snowboarding clothing hire service. Some, such as Crevasse Clothing
, can either deliver your rental ski gear direct to the resort or post them to your home before you leave, depending on your circumstances.
Can I pre-order my ski pass?
You can pre-order your ski pass from the Grand Massif
There are three main types of ski pass available.
59 ski lifts, 145km of pistes on Samoens, Morillon, Les Carroz and Sixt including the Combes de Vernant and Grands Vans lifts
75 ski lifts, 265km of pistes. This pass includes all of the above (Massif) plus all the slopes in Flaine and the JAM snow park.
There is also a beginners’ pass available on a daily basis. This only covers a few green and blue runs at the Samoens 1600 beginners’ area – one of the largest beginners’ areas in the French Alps.
Is there ski school in Samoens?
Yes there is. There is the Ecole du Ski Francais Samoens
which is located next to the Tourist Office in Samoens. There is also Zig Zag International Ski School
and 360 International
. All have English speaking instructors.
What can a non-skier do?
Chez Michelle is perfectly situated for the non-skier. It is on the edge of a delightful rustic farming hamlet and in a beautiful valley with an easy walk into town. Samoens is a vibrant old market town in its own right and a lovely place just to stroll around and relax.
The very comfortable Grand Massif Express gondola (they arrive every 20 seconds or so) takes you to the main skiing area at Samoens 1600 in 8 minutes. At 1600 there are two restaurants and a row of skiing & café type shops. For a bit of adventure, why not try dog sledding, snow shoeing (raquettes), ice skating or paragliding.
Summer Activities Questions
Is the walking just for the serious mountain walker?
There are alpine walks for literally everybody! Samoens is on the Giffre valley floor where there are plenty of gentle, flat walks through stunning scenery with the mountains above you. For the fitter and more adventurous hiker, there are plenty of medium to very difficult walks to choose from taking you up to 3000m. All the walking trails are very well signposted although we do of course recommend you take a map or a guide with you just in case!
I want to do a bit of mountain biking. Is this possible?
Yes it is and there are many cycle shops in the area for cycle and equipment hire. There are over 600km of marked mountain biking tracks ranging from easy to very challenging. The Grand Massif has lifts open in the summer months for access to over 69 marked trails.
Is there enough to do for a week's summer holiday?
There’s plenty to do! You can go for a range of different walks, hire bicycles, experience the thrill of paragliding, canoe or raft down the Giffre river, go horse riding, swimming, rock climbing, canyoning, potholing, quad biking, fishing, have fun at the adventure parks, play tennis or golf, take a day trip to Annecy or visit Yvoire and Evian les Bains on the shores of Lake Geneva.
During your stay at Chez Michelle in Samoens, we can pretty much guarantee you won’t get bored!
Where are the hiking and mountain bike trails?
Details of the lifts (including opening times), hiking trails and mountain biking tracks throughout the Grand Massif can be found at www.grand-massif.com