“Thank you for an absolutely fantastic holiday which was truly special from start to finish. The food was delicious, the service way beyond expectations and the chalet itself is just so much more beautiful in real life than the photos do justice to.”
Beautifully restored ancient farmhouse in rustic pretty hamlet
Low season: €1,210pp inc transfers; Mid: €1,450pp; Peak: €2,949pp (although whole chalet only for peak weeks)
Samoens, Grand Massif
Sleeps: 10 + 4
This ski chalet is genuinely one of the very best appointed and best run chalets in the Alps. It is a beautifully restored farmhouse near the charming Medieval town of Samoens in the Grand Massif. It has gorgeous, cosy interiors, luxuriously spacious bedrooms, a huge outside hot tub (one of the hugest I have sipped Champagne in, in fact), a stunning living space around a fire as well as access to the fabulous Grand Massif ski domain. It is a chalet that is hard to beat.
Oh, and the food and wine is absolutely top-flight too.
Reves de Montagne is a traditional French mountain farmhouse dating back to 1746. The owners, Karen and Andy Wilson, spent six years carefully restoring it from a dilapidated building and pouring their passion into the property. The result of this labour of love is a stunning ski chalet which has real soul and heritage but also every modern amenity and creature comfort. It is a beautiful blend of ancient beams and timbers, and modern chic.
The bedrooms in this luxury ski chalet are among the very best I have slept in. All have balconies and all are en suite with a bath and separate shower — some of the baths being designer or roll-top. The bedding is superb, with luxurious down pillows and crunchy bedlinen, punctuated by a different colour theme in each room, from emerald green to ruby red or deer-motif throws and cushions. Toiletries are from cult organic brand Voya. There would be no bedroom envy here; each room is utterly gorgeous.
On the first floor there is the most spacious bedroom, a family suite with two rooms – the main one is set up as a super king but can easily be made into twins; the other has two single beds. Bedroom 2 is a double which can again be made into twin beds and can also have another single bed within the room. Bedrooms 3 & 4 are doubles with super king beds, that can be twin. Bedroom 5 is the second family suite with a main room (super king zip plus space for another bed/cot) and a second bedroom with two single beds.
The food in this fully catered ski chalet is quite superb. When I stayed I dined on three courses of the most fabulous, intensely flavoured dishes that were sheer works of art. There was cured salmon with watercress puree and horseradish cream, a divine supreme of corn-fed chicken with truffle and brioche stuffing served with hazlenut leeks, and a dark chocolate mousse with salted caramel ice cream. It all struck the perfect balance of being light, too, leaving me grinning with delight rather than groaning.
Breakfasts are lavish affairs too, with piles of pastries, freshly baked bread, home-made jams, cereals and creamy yogurts, together with a hot option such as French bacon, tomatoes and eggs or pancakes. Homemade cookies or cakes are on offer when you come down off the slopes, together with tea, coffee, hot chocolate and herbal infusions.
In the evening aperitifs and canapés are served by the fire and dinner is a four course feast – starter, main, dessert and cheese courses. It is accompanied by a selection of excellent, complimentary French and Italian wines.
Reves de Montagne has the biggest hot-tub I have seen — an outdoor eight-seater on a huge terrace off the lounge area with views across the valley. In-house massages and beauty treatments can also be laid on for an extra fee.
This ski chalet is excellent for children. Two of the bedrooms are family suites with small rooms off them for little ones. There are kids’ DVDs, facepainting kits and board games, plus Reves de Montagne is in a lovely, safe, quiet hamlet with no traffic and with a huge garden outside which can be made into a toboggan run and is perfect for building snowmen. The chalet also offers separate early teas served at 6pm using home-made, fresh quality ingredients designed to be nutritious as well as appealing to the younger palate. Additional childcare can be organised too.
The food, the fantastic rooms and the quiet, genuinely French feel of the village.
The chalet is not ski in/ski out and is a distance from the slopes, but the on-call in-resort transport totally puts paid to that.
This ski chalet is located in a tranquil, beautiful and unforgettable spot on a sunny plateau with 360 degree mountain views. It is only a five minute chauffeured drive to the Morillon ski lift and nine minutes to the Samoens ski lift and historical town centre. Both are pretty villages within the Grand Massif ski area, France’s fourth largest resort. Samoëns itself is particularly lovely, packed with Savoyard charm and dating back to the 13th century. It has a Gothic church and medieval square and is the only ski resort in France to be listed as a historical and artistic monument, no less – so you can experience French culture and history, as well as excellent skiing!
Geneva is only 1 hour away and airport transfers are included.