"Chalet Cannelle is perfect for the discerning traveller: high quality accommodation on a par with the best boutique hotel, glorious home cooked meals and proprietors who go that extra mile to ensure guests have a holiday to remember."
Once a cowshed, now a luxury ski chalet
Low season: 990 euros pp; Mid: 1,090 euros pp; Peak: 1,290 euros pp fully catered
Châtel, Portes du Soleil
Sleeps: 12 + 2
Châtel is a pretty, properly French Alpine village in the heart of the Portes du Soleil, and Chalet Cannelle is a beautifully converted 200-year-old Abondance farmhouse just outside it in a little hamlet. It has fabulous mountain views, a traditional outdoor wooden hot tub, and is owner-run by Lorraine and Andy who clearly care deeply about giving their guests a wonderful chalet holiday.
The style at Chalet Cannelle is contemporary Alpine. This luxury ski chalet has been uniquely designed by its owners with vintage pieces and original artwork, maintaining an Alpine style but without the usual mountain kitsch. It feels very much like a gorgeously styled, opulent, home-away-from-home.
There is a large open-plan living area with double-height ceiling and floor-to-ceiling windows to showcase the dramatic views. There are two sumptuous seating areas with comfy sofas and vintage leather armchairs, meaning there is plenty of seating for everyone to feel like they have their own space.
There are six bedrooms in Chalet Cannellle, incorporating a family suite for two adults and two children, four doubles/twins, and one fixed double. Plentiful Cowshed toiletries are supplied, fittingly, given that the chalet used to be a cowshed — and indeed part of it still is!
The beds are dreamily comfy, and the owner has been asked so many times about them and about the beautiful bed linen that she now has a template email with all the details to send out. Luxury towels and bathrobes are also supplied.
The owners Lorraine and Andy do the cooking themselves, with Andy being the head chef. They are self-taught and the whole vibe in this luxury catered ski chalet is very much open chef’s table, with extraordinary attention to detail. The pair are evidently passionate about food, as demonstrated by the numerous cookbooks and foodie magazines strewn around the chalet. They even have their own wood fired oven, a cold smoker on the terrace, and Japanese ceramic grill outside the front door, as well as organic garden which they plunder throughout the year, even in the winter. Meat is locally reared and free range, and everything is cooked from scratch, including stocks, sauces, ice creams, pasta, you name it.
Breakfast incorporates a hot option every day, usually featuring eggs from their free range chickens. Dinner consists of canapés and drinks plus four courses including cheese on six nights, and there are two different wines served every night matched with the food. There is an open bar with a variety of beers, wines, soft drinks and spirits.
Chalet Cannelle has a lovely traditional-style wooden outdoor hot tub, rather than moulded plastic Jacuzzi, and it has jaw-dropping mountain views. It is also chlorine-free and uses ozone treatment.
Children are welcome at this luxury chalet. There is a separate kids’ play room/TV room, and the Owl room is a family room (a double plus two singles). There is another play area on the mezzanine which is packed with toys, games, a dressing-up box and even a small circus tent. There are lots of kids movies too, as well as Netflix, Wii, and Xbox.
For babies there is a high chair, cot, nappy bin and changing mat etc
The sumptuous living space and that hot tub with those views.
Châtel is not very well known and loses out to Morzine, its bigger, better-known neighbouring resort, which is a shame because Châtel is a lovely resort and is rather more central for accessing the whole of the Portes du Soleil ski domain.
Chalet Cannelle is the last chalet in a quiet hamlet of ten chalets, called Suvay, just outside Châtel in the Portes du Soleil. It has a safe garden for kids, and the chalet looks directly over to the Mont de Grange and has views of the Dents du Midi from the balcony. It is not walkable to lifts in winter – in-resort transport is provided.
Châtel is approx 90 minutes from Geneva. The chalet arranges transfers, at extra cost, from 50 euros return per person.