"The perfect holiday"
Stylish luxury in hidden-gem Trois Vallées resort
Low season: from £900pp; Mid: from £1,100pp; Peak: from £1,950pp (usually whole chalet only)
St Martin de Belleville, Trois Vallées
St Martin de Belleville is one of my favourite resorts. It’s linked in to the Trois Vallées, while not being infested with Brits or ludicrously over-priced like Méribel and Courchevel respectively.
Chalet Cateline is cosy and luxurious, a contemporary ski chalet with beautiful interior design, a stunning double-sided central fireplace and an outdoor hot tub. Excellently priced.
Chalet Cateline is a contemporary, interior-designed chalet with a luxurious yet cosy atmosphere. It has a stunning double sided glass fireplace which is a focal point in the lounge and the dining room. A giant sofa stretches the length of the fire on one side, providing heaps of seating and space to curl up on. The interior styling of this luxury ski chalet has been carefully designed with pieces from France and art and furnishings from across Europe, all of which combine to create a thoroughly inviting space.
All of the bedrooms are en-suite and sumptuous. There are five, which include a master suite with super-king bed, separate toilet and then en-suite with twin sinks, bath and walk-in shower; a second bedroom with super-king bed, en-suite with walk-in shower, sink and toilet; a third with twin beds which can be zip linked together to create a super-king bed, en-suite with walk-in shower, toilet and sink; a fourth king-size bed, en-suite with bath, over-head shower and sink, with a separate toilet; and a final bedroom with twin beds which can be zip linked together to create a super-king bed, en-suite with walk- in shower and twin sinks and separate toilet. Dressing gowns and slippers are provided, as are ample toiletries.
Food is a great passion of the operators of Chalet Cateline, reflected in the first class, highly experienced professional chefs that are employed. At breakfast, guests at this fully catered chalet are offered a wide selection of cereals and porridge, fresh fruit salad, organic fruit juices, yoghurts, local artisan breads and freshly baked croissants. A cooked daily special such as bacon and eggs, American style pancakes with crispy bacon and maple syrup, eggs benedict or scrambled eggs with smoked salmon are also on the menu.
Guests are then greeted with a yummy afternoon tea after they come down off the mountain, including freshly baked cakes, breads and jams, teas, steaming coffee and hot chocolate.
The evening starts with a choice of canapés and aperitifs around the fire before dinner. The chef is passionate about using the freshest locally-sourced seasonal ingredients in all the dishes and the evening menus are designed to be beautifully balanced while delivering great flavours. The food is not over complicated but quite delicious. Think roast butternut squash and garlic soup with parsnip crisps to start, duck confit or a mini shepherd’s pie to follow and treacle tart for dessert, or an elderflower and vanilla panna cotta. A selection of local French cheeses is always offered after dinner, followed by coffee and petit fours.
Dinner is paired with a good selection of premium wines. In addition there is an open bar with spirits, wine, sparkling wine, beers and soft drinks. Champagne is provided on the first evening and extra can be provided throughout the week as an add-on to a client’s booking.
This luxury ski chalet has a top-of-the-range 8 person hot tub on the sun terrace. Guests are welcome to relax in there with a glass of wine or bubbles after a day on the slopes and it can be used at any time of the day or night. Sumptuous Egyptian cotton bathrobes and slippers are provided.
The chalet is genuinely family-friendly. It can install removable stair gates on the stairs to offer parents piece of mind when their little ones are running around, and it can provide high chairs and cots for under 2s. Children can be served a high tea if preferred at a time to suit the family, or alternatively they can have a child’s meal but eat with their parents as a family. This approach can be mixed too, with some evenings of eating together and others separately.
The children also have a snug with giant bean bags, TV, DVD player and WiiU games console along with a selection of DVDs, computer games, books and toys. Babysitting and nanny services can be provided, at extra cost.
The fantastic food and the lovely location.
If you want rocking night-life then St Martin is not for you. The lovely, subdued and relaxing Piano Bar is the only real après joint, although it does manage to get quite lively on some nights.
The chalet is in the charming Trois Vallées village of St Martin de Belleville, located on a quiet road which overlooks the valley and the picturesque village of Chatelard. It is a few minutes’ walk to the village centre and the drag lift, but the chalet offers on-demand transfers throughout the day to the village/main bubble which is just a one-minute drive away.
Transfers are not included in the price of the holidays at this St Martin de Belleville chalet but it is happy to arrange these on behalf of its clients. The nearest airport to St Martin de Belleville is Chambery (distance 100km, approx 1 hour 20 mins by private transfer), although the most popular airport tends to be Geneva (143km, approx 2 hours by private transfer) due to its high number of international scheduled flights. Alternatively you can travel via Grenoble Isère (180km, approx 1 hour 50 mins by private transfer) or Lyon Saint Exupéry (183km, just over 2 hours by private transfer).
Taking the train to Moutiers is a great way to travel as the station is only around 25 minutes away from St Martin de Belleville by private transfer. Travelling on the Eurostar (directly from King’s Cross St Pancras to Moutiers) is an excellent alternative to flying out or driving to resort. If guests arrange their travel carefully it is possible to get an additional day’s skiing at the beginning or end of their holiday (or even both); there is usually an overnight train leaving King’s Cross St Pancras on Friday evening and for return journeys it is usually possible to depart Moutiers on Saturday evening.
Guests can also drive to the chalet from the UK and Europe. The chalet has secure garage parking for two vehicles.