Top 10 Alpine idylls

Gourmet teas, fresh flowers, chauffeurs, masseurs, cavernous wine cellars and newspapers delivered to your door are just some of the extras that come with booking a seriously luxurious ski chalet. More and more private chalets are coming onto the market as owners realise the commercial value of offering their home to rent in testing financial times.

‘There are now top-of-the-range chalets available to rent, owned by interesting individuals, which would never previously have been on the market,’ explains Mark Gibbins, director of the Oxford Ski Company ( This new influx of properties is matched by a growing demand for chalets with all the trimmings, adds Liz Berman, founder of CK Verbier. ‘The most important attraction is having a great deal more space that is exclusively for you and, in many top chalets nowadays, that doesn’t simply mean a nice living room, but also spas, pools, games rooms and home cinemas.’

For families, the home-from-home environment is a much more relaxed setting, and properties all have toys, games consoles, and every imaginable television channel, making them ideal for skiers and non-skiers alike.

Furthermore, although the lofty price tags may seem daunting, if you break down the all-inclusive per head cost, they compare very favourably with luxury hotels.

For independent, detailed chalet reviews, visit

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1 Chalet Bear, Klosters, Switzerland
Resort An enviable snow record and some of the longest runs in Europe
Chalet highlights One of the last remaining log cabins in Klosters
Booking 07710 485668;
Price From £14,649 a week (sleeps eight)

2 Chalet Blanchot, Courchevel 1850, France
Resort The largest ski area in the world
Chalet highlights Jacuzzi and steam room
Booking 020-7016 3740;
Price From €60,000 per week (sleeps 12)

3 Chalet Zen, Zermatt, Switzerland
Resort A traditional, car-free Swiss village, which has an extensive lift system that enables effortless skiing between all three mountains
Chalet highlights Evenings occupied by games of Monopoly and Scrabble from the toy chest, delicious food enjoyed under a chandelier made of stags’ antlers, admiring rooms lined with fine art or being served Champagne in the Jacuzzi over-looking the Matterhorn
Booking 00 41 27 967 17 27;
Price From CHF23,750 (£15,733) a week (sleeps 8)

See pictures below and Chalet Zen full review.


4 Chalet Amazon Creek, Chamonix, France
Resort La Vallée Blanche offers you some of the highest and remotest skiing in Europe: one for the experts
Chalet highlights Private massage room, modern cinema room with a coffee table made out of an old, traditional sledge.
Resort Land Rovers and drivers make it easy to ski over the entire Chamonix area, the home of mountaineering
Booking 020-7824 9290;
Price From £17,700 a week (sleeps 10)

5 Casa Prada, Flims, Switzerland
Resort Ideal for families or sports enthusiasts
Chalet highlights The seamless Powder Byrne service, including children’s ski crèche and extensive evening entertainment programmes
Booking 020-8246 5300;
Price From £9,800 a week (sleeps 12 in duplex or eight in garden apartment)

6 Ferme de Moudon, Les Gets, Portes du Soleil, France
Resort Still an authentic farming community and also a new eco resort, which is committed to sustainable tourism and development. It’s attached to a vast skiing area
Chalet highlights Privately owned and renovated from an old farmhouse, styled (as featured on Channel 4’s Grand Designs) and managed by the Dobrees, this chalet has the personal touch, although it still boasts a state of- the-art entertainment centre
Booking 020-7627 0469;
Price From £17,488 a week (sleeps 10)

7 The Lodge, Verbier, Switzerland
Resort Stay in Cabane du Mont-Fort, a high mountain lodge, enabling you to be the first skiing down the fresh powder on Mont Fort
Chalet highlights It’s Sir Richard Branson’s private mountain lodge, so there’s nothing spared. Take advantage of the team of 13 dedicated staff members and the cooking demonstrations from the chefs, or see in Christmas or the New Year with a night of entertainment in the chalet’s party room with local live music
Booking 020-8600 0430;
Price From £58,000 a week (sleeps 18)

8 Chalet Aurelio, Lech, Austria
Resort A chic resort with beautiful wide pistes, crosscountry trails, regular snow and cultural delights in town
Chalet highlights It’s owned by a Russian billionaire, an has an extensive international wine cellar and library selection, an enormous pool and a vast master suite
Booking 00 43 55 83 22 14;
Price From £57,400 a week (sleeps 20)

9 Chalet Merlo, Sainte Foy Tarentaise, France
Resort Three new mountain areas opened dedicated to off-piste skiing
Chalet highlights Gym, giant windows and a cellar of Chateauneuf du Pape wines, all of which have been enjoyed by author Sebastian Faulkes
Booking 0845 324 3521;
Price From €10,020 a week (sleeps 12)

10 Chalet Maria Schnee, St Anton, Austria
Resort Some of the liveliest après-ski fun and world-renowned off-piste skiing
Chalet highlights The ski guide and instructor for two days, the playroom and the complementary massages
Price From £23,900 a week (Sleeps 16)

* This article appears in the spring edition of COUNTRY LIFE INTERNATIONAL,out with COUNTRY LIFE on March 2

** Luxury property for sale in France