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What's new in Chamonix winter 2018/19

Big investments in lifts and accommodation, plus new developments around the valley

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Ana Hernández | Chamonix Editor | Published: 6 Nov 2018

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What's new in Chamonix winter 2018/19

Summer is finally behind us and we are all looking forward to the triumphant return of thick, powdery snow to Chamonix. Soon the pistes will reopen and the winter fun will begin again.

As if the anticipation of skiing and snowboarding was insufficient to whet your winter appetite, there are a variety of exciting new developments throughout the slopes and resorts of the Chamonix Valley for the 2018/19 season. This is our guide to what’s new, what’s changed and what to look out for this season.

Ski area improvements

The Compagnie du Mont-Blanc have invested heavily in Les Grands Montets this summer. The Chamonix Valley's most challenging ski area will now welcome beginners – a new debutants' area is being built at the Lognan mid-station (1900m). It will include two drag lifts, a beginner's lift and additional snow cannons that will allow it to open from early December to early May. There will also be a faster chairlift in Grands Montets as the old Tabé and Marmottons chairlifts are replaced by a brand new six-person chair. In total, these improvements will cost €10 million and will hopefully make us forget a little bit about the loss of the famous top bin of GM which was destroyed in a fire last September.

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Beginner Ski Areas in Chamonix

La Folie Douce comes to Chamonix

The world's most famous apres-ski brand, La Folie Douce, is coming to Chamonix and they're not just bringing one of their bars/restaurants to the valley but a whole holiday resort. The Folie Douce's first hotel is set to open its doors just before Christmas, on December 22nd. Hosted in a beautiful 1900s building which used to be the Grand Palace de Savoy, it will have ski-in/ski-out access, three themed restaurants and a takeaway, a spa, a fitness room, a kid's club, a sports shop and lots more, all just within steps from the town centre. But the highlight will obviously be the apres-ski parties with live music and performances right at the foot of the Brévent slopes, set to become the hottest place to be in Cham this winter.

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QC Terme opens its doors

QC Terme is Italy's most prestigious spa chain and this summer they opened their first establishment outside their home country, in Chamonix. Located just behind the sports centre, this 3,000 m2 wellness complex is an oasis of peace and relaxation. It not only boasts a heated outdoor infinity pool with, arguably, the best views in the world but also several saunas, experience showers, jacuzzis and much more, with up to 30 different wellness practices. This season, a free entry to the spa is included with any three to 21-day Mont-Blanc Unlimited ski passed from December 1st 2018 to May 1st 2019.

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New head chef at Hameau Albert Premier

Chamonix's one and only two-Michelin-starred restaurant, Le Hameau Albert Premier, has a new chef this season. Damien Leveau used to be former chef Pierre Maillet's second and was promoted in the summer as his master decided to take a break. Originally from Chartres, 32-year-old Leveau has vowed to maintain the restaurant's identity while adding a few touches of his own.

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Action Outdoors celebrates its 15th anniversary

Founded by David Robertson and Mark Gillis in 2004, Action Outdoors will celebrate their 15th anniversary in 2019. Originally inspired by UCPA, a French non-profit organisation providing affordable, all-inclusive adventure sports holidays, they actually became UCPA's official UK partner in 2017. Action Outdoors offers great value ski holidays for everyone, with packages that include everything, from accommodation to lift passes, meals, gear hire and lessons, making it the cheapest way to come skiing to Chamonix.

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Heliskiing in Chamonix

Val Heliski has been operating in the Tarentaise Valley, including the Three Valleys, the Paradiski, Tignes and Val d'Isere for years and, this season, they land on Chamonix. Here, they'll offer five different experiences including the brand new Mont-Blanc Heliskiing Tour. You'll start the day off by driving over to Italy, where they'll drop you at 4,000m on the side of Mont Blanc. From here, you can climb the remaining 800 metres to the summit of western Europe's highest mountain and then ski down to the Chamonix Valley descending a whopping 3,000 vertical metres (or you can just drop down after being helicoptered in). They also offer guided off-piste skiing days, scenic helicopter rides, airport transfers and heliskiing in Italy.

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Local craft beer

Chamonix has taken part in the craft beer trend that's taken the world by storm since the beginning, and this season there are even more places where you can sample local brews. After MBC opened the Chamonix craft tap in 2002, Big Mountain Brewing followed in 2017 and, this year, it's time for Les Houches's first brewpub, Le Solerey. If you're more of a wine person, worry not, just a couple of minutes from here is the valley's newest wine bar, The Wine Company.

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More inspiration...

With all the developments in the pipeline, Chamonix is set to get even better each year. Book your visit now to take advantage of the improvements and see the changing face of the resort.

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Ski Pass Prices in Chamonix