Frequently Asked Questions

We appreciate there are lots of factors to consider when deciding to make a booking.

Previous guests have asked many great questions and it has been enjoyable to answer them, especially those that require some research. We’ve shared them here as you may be thinking about the same questions. Please contact us if yours hasn’t been answered.

We’d love to hear from you!

Q1: What is included in the price?

The price quoted on the Availability & Prices page is for accommodation only that covers linen including towels, water and cleaning at the end of your stay for standard occupancy of up to 11 people. Linen for an additional 2 people will be extra at CHF 25 per person. The property will be extensively cleaned prior to and after your stay, however you are requested to leave the property in a tidy state upon departure. Electricity consumption will be charged and is payable at the end of the stay during the checkout based on a meter reading taken at the start and the end of the stay.

The mandatory Tourist Tax along with the electricity consumption charge is payable directly to our Managing Agent who are an authorised collector on behalf of the Tourist Office:

  • Adult - 2.50 SFr per night
  • Child - 1.25 SFr per night (6 to 16 years)

Q2: Can you help with visa applications for Chinese nationals to visit Switzerland and its neighbouring EU countries?

Definitely! We have a partner based in Beijing who specialises in the procurement of EU visas for Chinese nationals. They can assist you at every stage from initial application submission to providing support during your holiday whilst abroad. Our Beijing based partner through their existing tourism channels can also assist in the purchase of flight tickets that are very competitive.

Please do not hesitate to contact us for further details.

Q3: Is the chalet located on the slopes (ski-in/ski-out)?

The chalet is not ski-in/ski-out on the slopes but we are, however, conveniently located on the main road that leads to the ski lift station with easy access and a short five minute downhill walking distance away from the lift station and the village.

Q4: How far away is the chalet from the ski lift station?

The chalet is on Rue des Chablotays, the main road that runs directly past the ski lift station and is just a five minute downhill walk to the lift station or one stop away on the free ski bus where the bus stop is at the end of our drive.

Q5: How far away is the chalet from the ESS ski school office and the nursery slope?

The ESS ski school office is located in the ski lift station. The nursery slope is four bus stops away from the chalet or five stops from the lift station.

If you intend to put your children in the ESS ski school, there is also a mini snow train taxi service to take them the short distance from the bus stop to the nursery slope, which is very cool!

Q6: What equipment do you provide for children?

Our chalet is very child friendly for babies and toddlers. We provide five travel cots, one of which is the LittleLife Arc2, two high chairs and another highchair that can be requested from our managing agents, three Bumbo style baby sitters and one stroller, all of which apart from the third high-chair is stored in the ski/board room. In the kitchen, there is a Béaba baby cook system.

All of this is included in the rental fee but we do kindly request that guests bring their own linen and blankets for their children. We also kindly request that guests who use this equipment to return it in the good clean condition they found it in. Many thanks in advance!

Q7: Would our family pet, a 6-year-old Schnauzer, be welcome to stay as well?

In the past, we had a no-dogs policy but recently we asked our Managing Agents who advised that in their experience, guests’ dogs generally behave better than their children!

On the basis of this advice, we would be delighted to accommodate your small Schnauzer subject to the following additional conditions:

  • The Safety Deposit payable in all accepted currencies as detailed in our Booking Contract will be increased by 50%
  • The dog will not be left alone in the chalet for long continuous periods of a complete morning or an afternoon
  • The dog does not sleep in any of the bedrooms including the mezzanine
  • The dog sleeps in the cloakroom (the entire chalet has underfloor heating) in its own travel cage or basket

We believe these conditions are standard in French and Swiss hotels and hope they are agreeable to you.

Q8: How easy is it to gain access to the chalet for young children or the elderly?

The chalet is approached directly from the main road via a gentle, sloping tarmac drive offering easy access on foot or by car and leads right up to our front door. There are no steps that can sometimes be tricky to negotiate in winter, especially for children and older guests.

Even in winter when it’s snowy and icy, getting to and from the chalet by car or on foot is still a pleasure on the gently sloping landscaped drive.

Q9: Does the chalet have off-road parking?

Yes it does.

There is plenty of space on the drive to park up to four vehicles depending on size. In the unlikely event there is not enough space, additional parking is available in the free public car park at the top of our drive.

Private, accessible, off-road parking for multiple vehicles provides peace of mind in all seasons.

Q11: How much are lift passes?

The latest lift pass prices for the various sectors covering 4 Vallées / Verbier / Savoleyres (La Tzoumaz) / Bruson are best checked online in the Verbier Lift Pass Booking Portal.

We recommend lift passes are booked online to take advantage of any advance purchase discounts that may be available and to reduce the wait time at the lift pass bureau when collecting on arrival day.

Q13: Where do you recommend for ski hire?

Our partners Perraudin Sports, located in the village a few minutes walk from the lift station, have been open for business since 1968. It is a family run business and David, the founder’s son, will be more than happy to advise on your rental needs and are delighted to offer guests of Chalet Cathay a 15-20% discount!

Q15: What ski lessons would you recommend for a group of ten thirty-something adults of differing abilities?

We recommend Tzoum'Evasion as we know the co-owner, Kevin Gillioz, very well and he has offered Chalet Cathay guests 10% off their instruction prices when booked in advance. The Tzoum'Evasion office is located in the village, opposite the ski lift station.

It may be worth hiring one of their instructors who is dedicated to your party. Kevin will be happy to discuss with you to offer a bespoke discounted price per week for one or more instructors depending on the size, ability levels and specific needs of your party. Much more flexible than normal group lessons and split between ten people, the cost can be a good value alternative. This instructor could also be your guide, taking you on itineraries such as the inbound off-piste Vallon d’Arbi sector of La Tzoumaz.

Q16: Can you describe the ski runs in La Tzoumaz?

The ski runs on the La Tzoumaz / Savoleyres side of the mountain are much more beginner / intermediate / family friendly than the Verbier side although that is not to say those more advanced will be disappointed. The blues are typically wide and even, which are ideal for those who are keen to progress.

A major difference of La Tzoumaz from other resorts, especially when compared to the Verbier side, is that it is generally blissfully crowd free. When there has been a good snowfall, our runs also stay untracked for much, much longer. As a result, the reds are a lot more approachable, allowing early intermediates to go at their own comfortable pace. Should reds present a problem, you can ski on blues all the way from the top of the ski lift station to the bottom.

We love this side of the mountain because of the way the runs cut across the face of it. This means those who are more adventurous can easily peel off from the run to take in anything that takes their fancy and know they will end up back on piste without too much bother.

Q17: Is it possible to ski to Verbier from La Tzoumaz?

Definitely and it’s straight forward and easy to do so. The route takes you directly into the heart of Verbier in the Les Ruinettes ski area via the high-speed six-person Mayentzet chair.

After exiting the ski lift station at the top of Savoleyres check that the route to Verbier is open on the piste map display near where the gondola terminates. Take the red called “Savoleyres Sud” heading towards Carrefour. At the end look to your left where you will see a gate. Pass this to take a blue called “Planards – Carrefour”, which is a longish trail that will take you to the Mayentzet chair.

There are a couple of ways to return to La Tzoumaz. The one suitable for all the family will require a bus ride from downtown Verbier and then the Savoleyres gondola back to the top of Savolyeres. Please make sure you return before the  gondola closes otherwise it’s a very expensive taxi ride home!

For the more advanced skiers and snowboarders, one particularly lovely home run is the itinerary from Attelas in Verbier, which is a highly recommended decent from 2,727m down to La Tzoumaz via the back-country but still staying within the patrolled boundary of the Vallon d’Arbi area.

Q18: Are there webcams of the resort and the local hill Savoleyres?

There are lots of webcams to keep an eye on the conditions in La Tzoumaz and Verbier!

Q19: Are there any cross-country skiing trails in La Tzoumaz?

Unfortunately, there are not any in La Tzoumaz but there are two on the Verbier side. The first is on the outskirts of Verbier village and the second is in the Les Ruinettes ski area. They are free to use but if you are based in La Tzoumaz, you will need to buy a walking lift pass to get over to the Verbier side.

Q20: What else is there to do in the resort if you are not skiing or snowboarding?

A useful resource with details on activities, amenities and lots more useful information to help you make the most of your holiday is the La Tzoumaz Tourist Office website.

Please also refer to the La Tzoumaz Village Map to find the location of some of these.

Q21: Can you provide travel directions by car to get to the chalet?

Once you have booked with us, we will send you a Travel Guide with detailed travel directions and maps that will take you from Geneva Airport to the chalet's front door.

In the meantime, we hope the Getting Here By Road overview is useful.

Q22: How long does it take to drive from Calais and how much are the motorway tolls?

After exiting the Eurotunnel terminal, the time taken depends on a number of factors: time of year, weather conditions, whether a short cut is taken off motorways in the backcountry between Dijon and Lausanne, the speed of travel and how many convenience & refueling stops you take. Generally we find it can vary between eight to ten hours but it can take a lot longer if you prefer to take a more scenic route and avoid motorway tolls. As a rough guide, the motorway tolls can vary between approximately €100 to €260 for a round trip depending on the route.

Q23: Where is best for car hire at Geneva Airport – the Swiss or French side?

Historically, car rental has been cheaper on the French side but it is best to check online keeping an eye out for hidden extras that may skew the price comparison. Putting cost differences aside, which may be marginal, for sheer convenience alone we recommend hiring on the Swiss side.

Q24: What is best for a transfer between Geneva Airport and the chalet?

Unfortunately, there isn't a regular scheduled transfer between Geneva Airport and La Tzoumaz. However, our Managing Agents offer an airport transfer service so please let us know if you need this additional service when you book your stay at Chalet Cathay.

Q25: Are winter tyres and snow chains mandatory in Switzerland?

Winter tyres are recommended but not mandatory. If, however, you are driving in winter without them at a speed that impedes other traffic you could be fined. Snow chains are only mandatory where their use is clearly indicated by a sign on the road. Should conditions warrant their use and you do not have any or have not put them on, the police may prevent you from continuing your journey.

Our advice is that you should be driving on winter tyres in winter with a set of snow chains in the boot. They can be a bit fiddly to put on, especially when it is wet and cold, so having a pair of waterproof gloves handy can make the experience a bit more agreeable.

It is certainly worthwhile practising fitting the chains at home first if you have never used them before!

Q26: Does Switzerland have motorway tolls?

Yes, it does. You have to pay an annual motorway toll even if your use is only for a day trip.

A car sticker or "vignette" as it is called locally is required to be displayed on the windscreen. If you do not display the "vignette", you will be liable to a fine for SFr 100 plus the cost of the "vignette".

They can be bought online in advance or once in Switzerland from Custom offices, petrol stations, garages and post offices.

Q27: Can you recommend places to eat during the day on the mountain both in La Tzoumaz and Verbier?

There are many to choose from. Previous guests in their Guest Book entries have recommended lunch at La Marmotte and Chez Simon on the La Tzoumaz side and Chez Dany on the Verbier side. Others we would also recommend in Verbier are La Vache, Le Mouton Noir and Le Dahu.

Don't forget to have a warm drink to go with your raclette!

Q28: Where should I do my grocery shopping?

The Marché La Tzoumaz supermarket in the village provides an important service and deserves your support. It is a larger supermarket than the previous PROXI supermarket that was located further down the village centre.

The COOP supermarket in Riddes, the town at the base of the resort, offers more choice and is good value but if your intention is to do a one-off shop for a week or longer, we recommend shopping at a hypermarket on you way in. COOP and MIGROS hypermarkets can be found in both Martigny and Conthey.

The Marché supermarket is open on a Sunday between 07h30 to 12h00 but all other nearby super and hypermarkets are closed on a Sunday. Fortunately, there is a MIGROS supermarket in Geneva Airport offering more choice than the local Marché supermarket that is also open on a Sunday from 08h00 to 21h00 should you be travelling from there.

Q29: Do you provide a coffee maker?

Yes, three kinds. A Nespresso™ espresso maker, a standard cafetière coffee press and a filter coffee maker. Please remember to bring your own Nespresso™ capsules or coffee grounds.

Q30: Where can I buy logs for the lounge fireplace?

Although the chalet benefits from year-round geothermal heating, you may wish to use the feature fireplace particularly in winter to create a relaxing ambience.
Logs can be purchased from the supermarket in the village but we recommend they are best purchased in boxes in the supermarket where you will be doing your main grocery shop before arriving at the chalet.