A Guide to Buying a Holiday Rental Apartment in the French Alps

Are you looking to invest in a holiday rental apartment in the French Alps, but unsure about what guests want and how to make it a success? In this blog post, with the help of estate agents, sales partners and our account managers, we’ve narrowed down the key criteria that contribute to a successful, high earning holiday rental apartment business in the French Alps, which include:

  • Location
  • Building criteria and specifications
  • Interior design and home stageing
  • Photography

We’ve also covered a couple of important factors to prioritise after you have made your purchase.

Read on to see our list of key criteria for investors buying a holiday rental apartment in the French Alps…

1. Location and access to local amenities


Look for apartment programmes or properties close to the heart of the action, no matter where the destination is. 

Holiday rental apartments should ideally be within easy reach of the centre of the village or city. If you’re buying in a ski resort, then the apartment should have easy access to the pistes / good public transport links.


Guests often prefer not to drive while away on holiday. They can then walk, or take public transport to key locations, knowing their car is parked up safely and securely.

If there isn’t any designated parking, how close is the nearest public parking? What are the parking rates? Mention them in adverts and on the booking form – guests really dislike “hidden” extra costs!

Bus stops

Apartments appeal to guests who prefer to leave their car at home. Not having to drive is, for some, a sure sign of being on holiday. It is also a huge relief if guests are not confident about driving in the snow! Ask about the nearest bus stops and the frequency of buses when buying.

Living room
Chalet Artedaz is the ideal village centre apartment that still retains a cosy feel.

2. The building

The ideal holiday rental apartment would be in a building with the following spec: 

  • great kerb appeal, great landscaping, and set back from the road
  • a video door entry system
  • a maximum of 4 apartments per floor
  • a lift
  • an independent storage space / bike / ski store per apartment 
  • a clean, attractive lobby
  • good communal spaces indoors and out
  • apartments with strong security systems that are easy to lock up and leave
A projected interior styling from property developer partnersNexalia
Property developers Nexalia build beautiful apartment programmes in popular ski resorts and cities across the Northern French Alps. which tick lots of boxes on our spec above.

3. The ideal holiday rental apartment specifications

For our guest client base the ideal apartment spec would satisfy as many of the criteria below as possible:


  • Avoid cramming guests in! Apartments we list on our websites generally provide a minimum of 12m² per person. Many provide between 15m² – 20m² per guest, and above.

Bedroom to bathroom ratio

  • Generally speaking, properties that don’t have a good bedroom to bathroom ratio, earn less.

Stunning views

  • Guests relish and appreciate stunning views, especially those who don’t ski. Well placed windows can also flood interiors with sunshine, spectacular sunsets and starry night skies.

Outdoor areas

  • Wider, deep balconies and terraces can facilitate outdoor dining and relaxing outdoor areas for guests to enjoy. Obviously there is a possibility they will be overlooked or impacted by neighbours enjoying their outdoor spaces too. Create privacy with screening and well placed planting.

Extra facilities

  • Fireplaces / wood burning stoves, saunas and hot tubs are extra facilities we know our guests love. Apartments often have small cosy quirky corners. Why not make them into spaces for reading, playing games, watching TV, listening to music, or home working?
Sadly Les Tourterelles in the heart of the Old Town in Annecy has just been sold to owners who want to keep it for their own use! Therefore no new bookings are possible. But it is still a great example of how to present a beautiful holiday rental apartment.

What to consider after you’ve made your purchase…

Interior design and Home Staging

Great interior design is important in all holiday rentals. Architects, interior designers and home stagers have lots of experience in maximising every square centimetre of space.

They also understand the importance of managing the guest flow around apartment spaces effectively. Even if you are not 100% certain that you will rent out your apartment, let your architect know the property may become a holiday rental one day.

Don’t forget to allocate part of your budget for those crucial finishing touches. Soft furnishings, deco, pictures, and lamps are often what make some properties stand out above others.

Discover more about interior design and home staging on our dedicated webpage.


There is so much competition for guests trying to book their dream holiday rental property online. Listings featuring outdated, cookie-cutter apartments, with poor photography, scant or unclear information, are sadly all too common.

No matter how stunning the apartment, it will not shine and stand out if the photography is of poor quality. Great photography can often make the difference between a successful and an unsuccessful property rental business. See our page about the importance of photography here.

Investing in a holiday rental apartment is a big step and it’s important to know if your investment will pay off. Our rental yield calculator is a great place to discover the rental potential of your chosen apartment…

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