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Everything about skiing feels a bit indulgent. Heading to the mountains is no ordinary holiday, and the culture that’s grown up around skiing is as unique and exhilarating as the sport itself. While most people who look for a holiday are seeking out hotter climes, skiers and snowboarders head to where the air is thin and blisteringly cold – which makes your choice of accommodation all the more important. You’re definitely going to need a bit of luxury when it’s the minus numbers outside, but luckily the exclusivity of many of the top European ski resorts means the very best accommodation is never far away.
If you’re looking for a luxury ski chalet that’s as stylish as a 1080 double cork then there’s plenty to choose from, but only a select few that really take things to the next level. After a hard day on the slopes you’ll want to relax in style, and even with the après-ski calling you’ll need somewhere chic and stylish to come back to at night. Just so you know exactly how luxurious things can get, we’ve picked three stunning chalets in three of France’s most exclusive and distinguished resorts. Prepare for some seriously sexy places to stay…
The award-winning Chalet Genevrier is situated a short drive from Meribel’s town centre, so you’ll get the opportunity to feel slightly apart from everybody crammed into the centre of the resort and also have plenty of space to yourself. As you’d expect, this chalet comes complete with everything you need to live the high life. As well as eight comfortable and elegantly-decorated bedrooms to choose from, the chalet makes a feature of the huge south-facing living room. A massive space that’s as comfortable as it is impressive, you can sink into the soft, deep sofas and let those post-ski aches just melt away. Equally impressive is the dining room next door, with a huge oak dining table and open fireplace that was practically designed for swapping anecdotes around.
If you want to take some slightly more conventional exercise, there’s a gym with a running and rowing machine and a sauna and swimming pool on the terrace, where you’ll also find the fully stocked bar. The impressive wine cellar is also on hand for drinks, and you can even do a little work in the study if you’re missing the office. This is one chalet that offers every amenity you can dream of, all wrapped up in chic design and a great location. Oh, and did we mention the views will take your breath away too?
If you want to stay somewhere as beautiful as its Alpine surroundings, you’ll probably want to check out Chalet La Brise. Its contemporary architecture stands out from the classic wooden stylings of many of the other buildings in Chamonix with its sleek lines and bold design, and that extends to the interior too. The modern design will have you feeling like you’re living the playboy lifestyle with its lavish furniture and open-plan style, and the amenities are a wonder to behold. You can take the party upstairs to the roof terrace or pamper yourself in the sauna and massage room, take in the views with a glass of something chilled and bubbly in the outdoor hot tub or watch a movie of your choosing in the cinema room. It’s great if you’re eco-conscious too, thanks to the environmentally friendly geothermal heating system.
You’ll be living slightly out of Chamonix at Chalet La Brise, though you’ll also be right next to Chamonix Golf Club if you feel like practicing your swing. Still, the excellent bars, restaurants and clubs of the town are close by, so a spot of après-ski is still very much on the agenda. As for the skiing, well, this is Chamonix – it might not go very easy on beginners, but if you know your stuff then each day will provide a new challenge.
The city of Shangri-La might well be a mythical utopia, but there’s nothing fictional about the incredible standards of luxury you’ll experience at Chalet Shangrila. A former 17th Century monastery that’s been renovated to the very highest levels of luxury, it’s actually quite difficult to know where to start when singing its praises.
First off, there’s the bedrooms, which could (more accurately) be called a suite thanks to the fact they’re split into a sleeping area and a relaxation area if you’re craving a bit of me-time, and each en-suite bathroom doubles up as a steam room thanks to the multi-purpose showers. The communal spaces are strewn with furs for extra comfort, the spa areas are great for a range of treatments (that can come straight to the chalet) and then there’s the pool – an incredibly cool feature as the kitchen floor slides away to reveal it in a moment of pure James Bond awesomeness. And above all, it’s found in Val D’Isere – the skier’s ski resort and paradise on earth for anyone with a love of powder. Chalet Shangrila is ski-in, ski-out so you get right on the slopes from the front door. If you feel like truly indulging you can head into town and try one of the resort’s Michelin-starred restaurants… but only on the chef’s night off, as this chalet comes fully catered and serves up some seriously impressive meals.
All these luxury ski chalets (as well as a whole load more) are available to rent through Oliver’s Travels, who also offer the best in holiday homes throughout Europe and the Caribbean. Whatever you’re looking for, chances are they’ll have the right holiday accommodation for you. Check ‘em out.
Oliver Bell is the co-founder of luxury villa holiday specialist, Oliver’s Travels, which includes over 2000 luxury villas of the most lavish and characterful holiday rentals for families and groups of friends.
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