Well my first business trip abroad and what an exhausting but exciting and highly entertaining time I have had in France! Although there was not much snow, I was still lucky enough to visit some of the finest chalets in Val d’Isere and experience the very best in hospitality…
Before even arriving at my first Chalet in Val d’Isere I shared a private transfer with 14 fantastic Northern Irish joining me at Chardon Mountain Lodges for their first ski of the season. Well let’s just say the staff would have experienced the true meaning of an ‘open bar’….
Chardon Mountain Lodges is owned by a Scottish family who bought the land and built Le Chardon sleeping 20, Mistral sleeping 14, Kilimanjaro sleeping 10 and Lafitenia and Bergerie sleeping 12 guests each. The uninterrupted views of the valley are spectacular, holding arguably one of the best positions in the entire L’Espace Killy. That evening I was lucky enough to be hosted in Bergerie and being the only one staying over night, took full advantage and chose the Master Suite of course.
I had dinner with the team and the food was truly exceptional, a beautiful 3 course dinner with beef as the main and I even tried fois gras with snails for the first time in a garlic butter which was surprisingly delicious! My palette was cleansed with a shot of limoncello and sorbet in a leaning tower of pisa glass before moving onto cheese and yes….yet more wine!
The team at Chardon were kind enough to send me the menu of my evening and some great pictures of the food served so that everyone can get a feel for how truly fabulous it was!
As if the unlimited wine and exceptional dinner that evening wasn’t enough, I was woken up with tea in bed followed by the chef Mike’s special of eggy bread, streaky bacon and maple syrup alongside a fruit platter for breakfast which was just what I needed to set me up for the day!
It’s safe to say Chardon Mountain Lodges understand the true meaning of luxury and I am even more excited for our clients visiting this season now that I have experienced the chalets and service myself.
I was also lucky enough to visit a number of other chalets while I was staying in Val d’Isere to get more of a feel for them individually and where they are positioned in relation to the town. Le Fornet is a beautiful hamlet with half of the area still occupied by local residents making it very safe for families. It is set at 1950 metres which is actually the highest part of Val d’Isere and you can see the Italian border less than 1 mile away. Although the neighboring Country is not skiable from Val d’Isere itself, it is still an interesting fact and a great view!
I was extremely impressed with our new additions Chalets Vieux Pont and Rive Gauche which are positioned next to each other sleeping 10 guests in each or 20 combined and are perfect for a large family or corporate group. The windows take full advantage of the spectacular views across the valley, river and bridge. The master bedroom of Vieux Pont is especially impressive with the suite actually built into the rock face of the mountain!
A great selling point is that La Fornet cable car is visible from the chalets, just 150 metres away, which is great as guests don’t have to compete with the crowds of the main Bellevarde and Solaise lift hub.
The hot tub on the terrace of Chalet Arosa has fantastic views across the valley and is also one of only three places in Val d’Isere where you can apparently spot black squirrel’s in the nearby trees!
Chalet La Bouclia is also a beautifully appointed chalet for eight people situated in the ever sunny hamlet of Le Crêt approximately 800m from the town centre of Val d’Isere. It can be combined with Pierre de Compia to accomodate up to 16 guests in total and comes complete with a qualified Sushi Chef this season named Jay!
After saying my goodbyes I headed off for a day of chalet viewings including the fabulous Chalet Du Cret, Black Pearl & White Pearl and Eagles Nest. The sheer scale of Chalet Le Rocher is breathtaking and you find yourself in awe of its grandeur, illuminated by dazzling chandeliers hung from the eaves. It sits alongside the four sisters Alice, Mathilda, Pauline, and Marie. We were also lucky enough to visit Chalet Des Anges, a great new edition for this season in the heart of Val d’Isere town!
I now know how far each chalet is in relation to the town centre with it’s bars, shops and restaurants and where to find the doctors surgery and police station (hopefully you won’t need either). There is also a fantastic day crèche for the little ones if required.
We had lunch in a small patissier / chocolatier called Maison Chevallot which came highly recommended. They had the tastiest hot chocolates and food including gourmet pizza slices, home made quiche, fresh bread, pastries, cakes and sweets.
But make sure you get there before the lunchtime rush as the queue was out the door!
I was extremely excited to finally get to see Chalet Husky which I wrote about in my first ever blog for Ski In Luxury / Ultimate Luxury Chalets called “Mad Hatter Ski Party!” Even before seeing it I had it as one of my favourite chalets and it certainly didn’t disappoint. A press party were due to be hosted that evening much to my jealousy!
If you are a corporate group or friends wanting something quirky and totally different I would highly recommend Chalet Husky complete with its funky denim sofa and bar area, glass walkway suspended above the indoor atrium garden and a fantastic spa. Not forgetting the secret games room with indoor climbing, archery and rifle shooting!
What a great trip to Val d’Isere! Visiting the chalets myself is definitely the best way to truly experience the service and resort in all it’s glory. Hardly a taxing part of my job even if I do say so myself. The hardest part was having to consume the sheer amount of food offered to me which really is impossible to say no to!
Let’s just say I am rolling into the festive period slightly more jolly and well fed than I was before I left……Merry Christmas!