Zoë Gillings, British professional snowboarder
I really like Châtel, a small town five minutes from the Swiss border. Although the resort isn't too big it is connected to the Portes du Soleil ski area, a group of linked resorts spanning the French–Swiss border. I like it because you can stay in a small town with a relaxed atmosphere but still have access to enough runs that you could ski/ride all day and never do the same run twice. There's everything from nursery slopes to snow parks to half-pipes to death-defying mogul runs and plenty of awesome tree runs in between.
In The Portes du Soleil there are over 400 miles (650 km) of ski slopes, well served by 194 ski lifts, all accessible using a single ski pass. The area also has an excellent snow record due to its location between Mont Blanc and Lake Geneva this creates an environment which means the region tends to get significant snowfall from the start of December through the end of April.
La Ferme du Chateau is situated in the charming village of La Chapelle d’Abondance. The local ski area in La Chapelle is split into two areas, Cret Beni and La Chapelle / Chatel ski area (which is the link to the rest of the Portes du Soleil).
Cret Beni is just behind the farmhouse and you can ski directly to it. It offers a fun day’s skiing for good skiers and plenty for the novice for the whole week and also makes a change from the larger resorts which get exceptionally busy in peak weeks.
The La Chapelle / Chatel ski domaine offers 58 ski lifts covering 80 miles (130 km) of superb ski slopes suitable for all levels of skier.
Once you connect into the rest of the Portes du Soleil then the variety of slopes, both on and off piste, are fantastic including the infamous Swiss Wall, the Coupe du Monde ladies downhill in Avoriaz and the ‘circuit’ which is a days skiing and covers the whole of the region and can be achieved on runs no more difficult than blue runs if necessary.