The concept of chalets aka a Swiss Chalet is somewhat like a cabin up in the woods or mountains. As per the Swiss version, it is a wooden cabin with sloping roofs up in the Alpine foothills, which is perfect for a getaway or finding some alone time. The setting is something incredibly beautiful, with grassy meadows and cows set against the backdrop of ice capped mountain peaks.
In the old days, a chalet was something farmers used to stay in, when they brought the cows up from the valleys. When winter came along, the cabins would be boarded up and everyone would head back down to the valley. But those days are gone, and the modern chalet is available for rent 365 days a year.
As a matter of fact, this chalet vacation business is now so popular that the economies of many Swiss ski resorts and towns depend on people renting chalets. There's a certain classy ring to the term which makes people think they're doing something that only very rich people can afford. In reality, it is quite affordable these days, with lots of skiing and natural beauty to look at.
While the Swiss came up with it, the chalet is no longer restricted to Switzerland. It is now commonly used all over the world for almost any cabin in the mountains which loosely fits the general description. Western Europe is especially packed choc-a-bloc full of ski chalet resorts and chalet rental companies offering row upon row of chalets.
The choices for travelers range from luxury to self catered. Self-catered chalets have all the necessary appliances, including quaint ones like wood burning stoves and modern ones like refrigerators and dish-washers. The luxury ones take care of all the cooking, and server up hot breakfasts, home cooked meals, and afternoon tea and other drinks.
The massive growth of the chalet vacation industry has surely taken some of the quaintness and charm out of it, but there are compensations. As mentioned above, the resorts make sure guests have access to all kinds of facilities. Add to this list things like outdoor hot tubs, sauna and log fireplaces. A standard sized chalet can easily house 8 to 10 people in 4-5 rooms, along with the living area and kitchen.
It is usually located close to a village, so there's no shortage of stores for buying supplies and gear. The village will also have pubs or bars and additional dining options, should the need arise. The resort will also have a staffed office located in one of the chalets or in a building nearby, in case guests need any assistance.
Regardless of the worldwide popularity, Switzerland is still the most popular chalet vacation destination. But for those unable to travel to the Alps, there will surely be alternate mountain springs lodge
nearer to home. A snow-capped peak and a skiing trail would be nice, and so would a few cows munching on grass in the summer and spring. But if all this isn't available, just find a lonely log cabin up in the woods or the mountains.
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