Dorm or private room? Your guide to which refuges offer what accommodation

This post will help you decide which TMB refuge accommodation to book, particularly if you are looking to only book private rooms during your Tour du Mont Blanc trek.

Remember if you’re hiking in a small group and you book early its entirely possible to get small dorms to accommodate you, which would be exactly like private rooms but cheaper.

Private rooms will not include an en-suite so expect to still have to walk out into the corridor to use the communal toilets at night. There are a few exceptions to this rule, for example Italy’s Refuge Cabane Combal has en-suite facilities in all of their dorms (all 1-6 bed).

The list is in order of TMB accommodation clockwise

Refuge Bellachat – dorm only (no shower)
Refuge Flégère – dorms only (bunks)
Refuge Lac Blanc – dorms only (bunks)
Refuge La Boerne – dorms of 2/3/6/9 so book early for the small dorms
Trient – Hotel de l’Ourse – has dorms & private rooms
Champex Lac – Hotel de la Belvedere – private rooms with en-suite
La Fouly – Maja Joie/Hotel Edelweiss/Auberge des Glaciers – all have private rooms
Gite de la Lechere – dorms of 3,8,10,14 – no private rooms
Alpage de la Peule – one large dorm only (bunks)
Refugio Elena – private rooms and dorms (bunks)
Chalet Val Ferret dorms only
Refugio Bonatti – private rooms and dorms (sleeping platform)
Refugio Bertone – private rooms and dorms (bunks)
Courmayeur – many hotels
Refugio Maison Vielle – dorms only (bunks)
Cabane du Combal – small dorms (1-6 bed) all with ensuite facilities – single beds!
Refugio Elisabetta – private rooms and dorms (sleeping platform in attic + triple bunk room downstairs)
Refuge des Mottets – private rooms (bunks) and dorm (sleeping platform)
Les Chapieux – Auberge de la Nova private rooms and dorms (bunks) Chambres du Soleil – private rooms single beds
Refuge de la Croix de Bonhomme – large and small dorms (bunks)
Refuge de la Balme – private room with double bed + 2 single beds and dorms (bunks)
Refuge de Nant Borrant – no private rooms but do have some small dorms of 4/6 (bunks)


  • Stanley
    January 6, 2023 at 8:31 am

    Hi Mags,
    Can all the above be booked from or Agoda? If not, how can I book them? Thanks

    • tourdumontblanchike
      January 12, 2023 at 2:12 pm

      Hi Stanley no the refuges are not on or Agoda. You can book many of them online on the official website however many of the really good ones (Bonatti, Lac Blanc) are private so you need to email them direct. If you are hoping to book for this summer (2023) many of the refuges are now completely booked (!) as October, November and December saw unprecedented levels of reservations – however many refuges have cancellation lists and I’ve found that I’ve been able to get spots from cancellations before. The refuge you really need to get first is either Auberge de la Nova in Les Chapieux (or Refuge Mottets) as this is a huge bottleneck. Nova is showing some availability for August but none for July. Mottets is completely booked online so contact them direct as some of my zoom clients have been managing to get in that way. Nova is not putting anyone on a waiting list – you will need to check daily on the official website for their availability to change as they update cancellations daily on there (Nova anyway). If you can’t get into Nova or Mottets then its a 20 min taxi ride down to the town of Bourg St Maurice – not ideal but better than not doing the tour at all this summer! Fingers crossed for you. Mags

  • Elena
    March 21, 2023 at 12:16 pm

    Hi Mags!
    Your website is a gem! Thank you for your dedication and brilliant work putting all info together.
    I am considering TMB in summer 2024. We are a small group of 3-4 people. The plan is to spend 12-14 days hiking in relaxing mode. I am very sensitive to noise at night and looking for option to book private rooms at hotels/guesthouses. Almost all itinerary mention huts and dormitories for accommodation, are there hotels/guesthouses available on all the way? Many thanks for your reply.

    • tourdumontblanchike
      March 25, 2023 at 6:40 pm

      Hi Elena it is possible to book the majority of private rooms along the trail however not all huts have private rooms. I can see that you’ve seen my post on which refuges offer private rooms so thats where you should start to plan your trek. I would definitely suggest hiking variant stage 1 – if you want an easy day Refuge Miage is 3 hours in and has little private small chalets in the garden so this is a good option. Les Contamines is a town so there are private hotel options or on the TMB official site you can book La Ferme à Piron which has private rooms for 2 people if you book early enough. Auberge de la Nova and Refuge Les Mottets (you only need one of these) both have private rooms. Then Elisabetta has private rooms for two or Cabane Combal (one or the other) has private room for 4 – but book early. Then from Courmayeur onwards (Courmayeur/La Fouly/Champex Lac) all have private hotels so no problem with private rooms. Again Trient has hotels with private rooms. Tre-Le-Champ at Auberge de La Boerne has a room for 4 (email them direct rather than booking on the TMB site and ask for the 2/3/or 4 bed room). Trek stages 10 and 11 as day hikes from Chamonix and return to your Chamonix hotel as there are no private rooms on the trail at this stage. I would trek these first so your first day would be stage 10 and your second day stage 11 – then go and do variant stage 1 on your third day. This means when you return into the Chamonix Valley at the end of stage 9 you would return to your Chamonix hotel. This way you can hike the entire trail by staying in private rooms BUT YOU MUST BOOK EARLY IN OCTOBER OF THIS YEAR to bag these private rooms. Good luck! I offer private 1 hour zoom calls so if you need help in October just get in touch.

      • Sherry Carmien
        August 16, 2023 at 9:03 pm

        I plan to start with stages 10 and 11 and stay in Chamonix but can’t figure out how my days will go. Would I take train or bus from Chanoni to Tre La Champ, hike to La Flegere and take lift back down to Chamonix to spend the night for stage 10. Would I take a lift to La Flegere on second day (stage 11) and hike from there to Les Houches? Please help lol!

        • tourdumontblanchike
          August 23, 2023 at 2:31 pm

          Hi Sherry apologies for the delay in responding – I have been trekking in Iceland so catching up on emails and comments just now. Your best option to start stage 10 is to take the train from Chamonix to Montroc. Ask your hotel for a carte d’hôte which is a free visitors transport card where you can use the train for free in the Chamonix Valley. From Montroc you turn right out of the train station and immediate right again which will lead you to a small car park (not the big public one which is on the other side of the rails). Here there is a trail head that will take you up to Tre-Le-Champ in around 15 minutes. I would hike up to Lac Blanc via the ladders and then descend to Refuge Flegere. Here you can take the cable car down to a village called Les Praz where you can walk along the river back to Chamonix in around 30 minutes or catch a bus (no 2) back to Chamonix – the bus stop is outside the cable car station. However if you are hiking for the whole day it would be better to walk from Refuge Flegere along the balcon (a further 2 hours) to Brevent where you can get the cable car down from there to the centre of Chamonix. Then you could get the same cable car up the following day to start stage 11. At Plan Praz (the mid-station) you can choose to take the summit cable car up to Brevent summit which cuts around 1.5- 2 hours out). It would then be around a 4-5 hour descent from the top to Les Houches. Warning: both of these stages are ridiculously beautiful …. Mont Blanc is to your front on your right and the view is glorious all the way along! Happy trekking 🙂

          • Sherry Carmien
            October 17, 2023 at 7:37 pm

            Thank you SO much. How would you do stage 11? Should I stay in Chamonix again that night before starting stage 1?

          • tourdumontblanchike
            October 30, 2023 at 6:48 pm

            Hi Sherry you should only do stage 11 first if you have good knees! It is a brutal downhill (but with stunning views and does get around the accommodation issue between stages 10 and 11) but only do this if you have no knee issues. After stage 11 yes you can easily take the bus or train back to Chamonix to stay there the night before starting stage 1 or you can stay in Les Houches (less accommodation options). It would be a 25 minute bus journey back the following morning – buses leave every 30 minutes.

  • Maxine
    August 3, 2023 at 8:47 pm

    Thank you so much for the info! I want to do the hike with my husband and stepdaughter but I’m a crazy light sleeper so dorms aren’t a great option. Do they allow a person to sleep on the floor of a private two room if we bring a sleeping pad? My stepdaughter can sleep anywhere!

    • tourdumontblanchike
      August 9, 2023 at 8:16 am

      Hi Maxine I just replied to your other question but not specifically to this – no they won’t allow you to put down a sleeping mat for a third person 🙁

  • Maxine
    August 5, 2023 at 2:49 am

    Hi Mags! I’m starting to plan for 2024. How did you book rooms with a group of 3? Did some refuges have a mat that your daughter could sleep on the floor with? Or did you have to pay for the extra bed in a 4 bed room?

    • tourdumontblanchike
      August 9, 2023 at 8:15 am

      Hi Maxine. It depend on the refuge – for example Elisabetta has private twin rooms (just 1 x bunk bed) but on most of these they have a pull out bed underneath for the 3rd person (you would still need to pay for the 3rd person). In Cabane Combal now they seem to be operating that you would need to pay for the 4th person to secure a 4 bed room (they don’t have 3 bed rooms). In Auberge de la Nova they have private rooms for three people. In most other refuges though we booked into dorms and hoped for the best. Refuge Nant Borrant have small dorms and so does Refuge Croix du Col du Bonhomme. If you are booking through the official TMB website then at the time of booking you can normally see what is offered to you – sometimes you pay a bit more to have a smaller dorm. If you can’t see any info then its worth emailing the refuge and asking if its possible to be put into their smallest dorm. Hope this helps! If you need any help planning & finalising your itinerary in September let me know. I offer 1 hour zoom consultations. Best wishes. Mags

    • Johnny Bower
      October 20, 2023 at 6:15 pm

      Do the dorm your daughter will meet more people and not feel like she is travelling with her parents so much. If you can’t sleep ask for a 10 day sleeping pill prescription… you will need them regardless.


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