Strictly speaking, a ski chalet is a small house or cottage with a specific architectural design in the Swiss Alps. The structure has an extend roof that overlaps the porches on the front and back of the house, sometimes will extensions for the sides as well. An additional building called a mazots exists in historical portions of Switzerland which refers to a small storage facility that is generally snowed over in the winter. Typically these houses were made of timber, because of the heavy weight of the snow a solid construction material was necessary. The term usually refers to some form of home in an exotic fashion. Technically a Swiss chalet is the proper term, although as stated before, this has been modernized to any one of a number of things. In the Middle East, this can refer to a customized mansion, and numerous Caribbean locations have terms their guest houses with the exotic French pronunciation of Chalet.
A ski chalet is specifically the small house or lodge in the hillside of a skiing area. These cabins usually run quite expensively in the winter seasons for rent or purchase. Since they are resort locations the normal amenities usually apply. Warm water and heating being a very fundamental part of the existence, showers, several bathrooms and bedrooms are not uncommon. However, the cottages are generally smaller. The idea is that they are a place to end your day, not a place to hang out inevitably. Of course they are exceptions with some resort towns calling their eating-establishment chalets or having their public lodge or largest interior open space titled with the same word. These words are merely ornamentation on top of a public place to make it seem exotic. The cultural backing of the ski chalet is much more homely and secluded in the hillside stemming from its origins as a “herder’s hut.”