Skiing is a sport best not done on a budget (see us say the brazenly claim the complete opposite in this article). It’s fundamentally an expensive business, throwing yourself down a slope with two planks of plastic attached to your feet. First there’s the flights, then the passes and the equipment but the real bank account killer is the €30 sandwich you buy at the mountaintop kiosk. Oh, and the accommodation.
Of course you can scrimp on the board-and-lodging, only have one chalet girl or swap Champagne for Prosecco. But you could also do things really properly, involving private chefs, luxury pads and taking an ‘in for a penny in for £50,000’ approach. If you’re in a “go big or ski home” frame of mind, here are some options…
The open-plan chalet, charmingly named after those hungry American kids who swell beyond XXL sizes, is the perfect party haven. It comes with a disco pool (literally the opposite of Disco Inferno), a games room that’s hewn out of the cliff-face, a private chef and retro fittings that make this the perfect place to come with having fun top of the agenda. The chalet comes with a driver, ready to whisky you to and from the nearby slopes and all the excitement of Val-d’Isère itself, you’d take it for the whole season if only you could afford to.
Where: Couchevel 1850
Why have one elevator when you could have three? This 16,000 square foot Courchevel chalet includes indoor and outdoor pools (more than most large London hotels!), one of which TURNS INTO A DANCEFLOOR when you press a button!
Living is open plan though the scale means there’s always a quiet corner and the chalet has six ensuite (obvs) suites. A touch pricey at around the €100,000 per week mark, meaning you might have to take up a paper round to help pay. It would, nevertheless, be truly memorable.
Where: St Martin de Belleville
At 3,500 sq feet there’s still plenty of room in this chalet to swing as many cats as take your fancy. Enter on the second floor with dining and entertaining upstairs and living areas down, all accessed by a lift.
The chalet comes with a private chef, of course, providing breakfast, afternoon tea and dinner. A stunning 360° fireplace this separates the dining table from the sitting area and the view from both stretches right down the Belleville Valley.
Oh, and there’s an incredible pool.
A Manhattan style loft property, Heinz Julen Loft was the personal home of famous local architect Heinz Julen and the place where he threw some of his most legendary parties. Which is one use for this six-person chalet, or else it’s just the ideal place to come and chill out after a day on the slopes with its far-reaching views.
The living area boasts a table that raises and lowers from coffee table to dining table, which is pretty James Bondy. And this is probably where Bond would want to reside. Luxury-loving Roger Moore Bond, that is.
Think Canada and you’re probably imaging a lumberjack shack in the forest (unless you read our Canada travel piece last month), well if this is how lumberjacks live, hand me my axe and get me a one-way ticket. Whistler’s Serenity Estate Kadenwood offers ski in/ski out accessibility, is close to local amenities yada yada, but it’s the sleek architecture, incredible views and floor-to-ceiling luxury that you’re really after.
The private chef will take good care of you, and if you don’t want to eaat round the marble dining table, why not have a ‘TV dinner’ in the cinema room?
Where: Courchevel 1850
Away with all the glass and iron and straight lines of these chalets that might as well be in Shoreditch, Chalet Pearl takes a rustic approach, without compromising on the luxury. Constructed from reclaimed timbers and local stone the chalet sits within spitting distance of the Bellecôte piste.
Built across over 8,500 square feet, this is luxury on a grand scale, making it ideal for entertaining large groups. Talking of which, pool party anyone? Because you totally can in the subterranean pool.