Having just returned from a four day trip to Verbier boasting plenty of snowfall, it is safe to say we are finally in the festive spirit and ready for Christmas. If only we could bring the snow home in our suitcases – well Sam’s suitcase as mine got stuck at Geneva Airport! Bah Humbug…
We were extremely fortunate to be hosted in the impressive Chalet No.14 alongside various other luxury travel agents and concierge companies. Having worked in the ski industry for well over a year now, it was great to catch up with some familiar faces, having visited both France and Switzerland on previous work trips.
After a very early flight from Heathrow to Geneva, we opted to take the 2hour 30mins SBB train onto Verbier, changing at Martigny. For regular visitors to the Alps, train is often the preferred method. Firstly, you don’t even have to leave Geneva Airport simply follow the signs for SBB. It’s easy, efficient and you can avoid the roads into resort which can often be very busy at peak times, especially if it’s snowing which much to our delight when arriving at Le Châble, it was!
Le Châble is the last stop by train if you are visiting Verbier. From here you have the option to take the bus shuttle service or taxi into resort which is a short 15 mins drive. Alternatively the train drops you at the starting point to the resorts most central cable car service, the Medran! Often guests hop on with their luggage, taking them right into the heart of the resort.
After settling into our individual spacious rooms and suites at No.14, we enjoyed champagne and canapes around the open log fireplace of the large living/dining area. These included delicious miniature apricot bites stuffed with foie gras and a chocolate and mushroom soup. Questionable choice of ingredients but of course it worked beautifully together – and I don’t even usually eat mushrooms!
The house champagne was Perrier Jouët, a firm favourite in our office, and it got everyone suitably merry before we sat down to a delicious four course meal on both evenings.
We couldn’t believe that Charlie the chef was only 23 year old. Having previously worked as a chef in Chalet Treize Etoiles, Charlie has been promoted to the much larger Chalet No.14 for the 15/16 season and it didn’t take long for us to see why. Each meal was delicately prepared and presented beautifully, the plates looked too good to actually eat!
Courses looked very simple on our plates, but were bursting with flavour. Some of Charlie’s signature dishes included cod with mussel and pesto puree perfectly placed in baby onion skins with a side of sweet beetroot, Hay smoked chicken with braised leak and baby parsnips. There was a mouth-watering orange and bergamot jelly with Cointreau, Drambuie, lemon & grapefruit shot and also a dark chocolate torte with rice crispy infused ice cream which sounds bizarre but it rekindled childhood senses and had the whole table desperately trying to guess the secret ingredient!
It is safe to say we were absolutely stuffed by the end of each evening, however on the first night we had to go out and experience what Verbier had to offer in terms of après! It was the opening night for local restaurant and club hot spot Le Rouge. Although the party started at 7.30pm, it was still going strong when we stumbled in at 11.30pm and is a great sociable hang out for both visitors and locals, however I’d recommend taking more than just a little beer money…
Our second full day in resort was prioritised with chalet viewings, which although very exciting, can be exhausting by the end of the day. Luckily the team taking care of us allowed plenty of stops to re-charge and aid the hangovers! We stopped for a drink in a Hawaiian themed coffee bar named Offshore right in the centre of resort with great smoothies and what looked like a very impressive food menu.
Lunch was spent in a very popular restaurant in the heart of the resort named simply Au Vieux Verbier. Serving superb Swiss local cuisine, their signature dish was called “Potence” which was my idea of heaven. Chunks of fillet steak suspended on a spiked instrument, flambéed and placed in the middle of the table to be shared between friends. Served with a bowl of rice perfectly placed under the steak to soak up the juices, French fries and plenty of unique sauces. See….heaven!
Before visiting the resort, I had always been lead to believe that Verbier wasn’t a particularly clever place to go if you have beginners in the group. I questioned this a couple of times and was met with the same answer….well why not? The beginner area of the resort is named Les Esserts and sits on the local golf course. The views from the piste here are stunning and a little bonus for parents, they can ski for the morning and take lunch in Carrefour, another beautiful restaurant serving rosti specialities. They are then able to ski straight down from the restaurant through a tunnel to meet their little ones which is a lovely touch!
I found out that beginners don’t even have to ski right down to the Medran lift where it can get quite icy and difficult in the afternoons, they can take the Ruinettes lift down to the Medran. The Savoleyres side of the resort has great cruisey blue runs should beginners find their ski legs after a couple of days and want to join family or friends. Also the resort links up to Bruson, which is now far more accessible thanks to the new 8-man gondola from Le Châble. This relatively unknown gem of a resort offers quieter slopes, plenty of powder and beautiful tree lined runs!
“Did Mia actually do any work during her trip to Verbier?” I hear you ask…
Now would be the time to mention that I have watched every episode of George Clark’s Amazing Spaces, Grand Designs and Location Location available on Channel 4 (Phil Spencer what a Man). So if you would like to call a property enthusiast and keen interior designer heading out for a day of luxury chalet viewings work, then yes I worked extremely hard all day on Saturday!
Ideally located just a few minutes walk from the centre of Verbier and Medran lift station, Chalet Treize Etoiles is accessed by private lift from the entrance level which takes you straight into the open plan living area with impressively high ceilings, retro leather chairs, sumptuous sofas, a roaring fire place and wonderfully chic wooden dining table. By daylight sunlight floods through the floor to ceiling double height windows, which open onto a large South facing balcony overlooking the valley.
With two double bedrooms, two twin rooms and one bunk room the chalet can sleep 10 to 12 people very comfortably. For larger groups, Treize Etoiles can be taken with the apartment below named Silver sleeping 10 adults and 2 children.
My personal favourite of all the chalets we viewed, Chalet Sherwood is tucked away close to the Les Moulins nursery slope. It is ideal for families or those wanting a quiet location, whilst still only a few minutes from the centre of Verbier.
Chalet Sherwood is a gorgeous penthouse apartment with five bedrooms and designer interiors. The chalet’s elevated position allows for breathtaking views across the valley which can be enjoyed from the master bedrooms, the spacious living area or extensive terraces. The highlight of the chalet is a stunning Master bedroom suite fit for royalty with this raised bed and en-suite bathroom with sunken bathub!
Overlooking the newly-built village square at Place Blanche and the W Hotel, the location could not be any better. With the Medran piste and bubble lift right on your doorstep, as well as some of the best shops, bars and restaurants in town, Place Blanche is quite simply the place to be.
Decorated in a contemporary yet rustic style, Place Blanche oozes class and charm in equal abundance. Both of the spacious living rooms have an open fires and there is an additional bar area downstairs. Decorated with some stunning modern art, the chalet also has a separate office, as well as a TV room.
There are south-facing balconies running the entire length of the property offering spectacular views towards the mountains and the square itself. Place Blanche 1 sleeps 4-8 guests and Place Blanche 2 sleeps 4-6 guests. These can be split or taken as one interconnecting chalet duplexe.
Verbier rarely gains a new chalet of the size and splendour of Chouqui! With uninterrupted views, this chalet really can claim to be unrivalled in its position and size at 900m².
Chalet Chouqui comprises two interconnecting chalets and 9 ensuite bedrooms each with their own terrace or balcony offering dramatic views of the Mont Blanc Massif.
At 15 metres in length, Chalet Chouqui boasts one of the largest private indoor swimming pools in Verbier. The chalet also comes with a games room (table tennis and table football), a bar, cinema room, outdoor hot tub, hammam and two sitting rooms with open fireplaces.
The chalet is so impressive, I have awarded it two photographs!
We were lucky enough to view plenty more luxury chalets in Verbier on offer, however I can’t fit them all into my blog or I really will be here until Christmas. A huge thank you to the team that put on such an enjoyable few days in Verbier!
If you’d like to find out more about the chalets and what Verbier has to offer, please do not hesitate to contact us either via email or by telephone on +44(0) 1202 203650.