"Reality postponed, diets suspended, Perudo [a dice game] -filled nights, all our whims fulfilled"
Sumptuous private home in heart of Verbier
From £18,000 whole chalet
Chalet Kernow is an infinitely stylish, big, immensely comfy ski chalet in the heart of Verbier. It’s got a gorgeous old French fireplace right in the middle of the living space, a funky TV/PlayStation lounge off to the side, a dining area with an immense old wooden table and designer chairs, big spa area – plus the celebrity seal of approval. Jamie Oliver goes every year, and Hugh Grant has stayed a few times too.
Kernow might be a home from home, but make no mistake, this luxury ski chalet oozes deep style and has been dreamily interior designed. Far from being knick-knacky, with gingham and cow bells everywhere, the chalet houses an eclectic selection of beautiful, highly valuable, artefacts sourced from antique shops and fairs across London. These range from ancient Tibetan chests to Chinese iron cows from the Han Dynasty, antique Indonesian textiles and a giant 19th century French fireplace. But it all feels gorgeously homely and warm rather than austere and showcasey.
Each room is quite different from the rest. The one I stayed in had fabulous scarlet woollen blinds and an ancient, giant antique wardrobe with tasselled key. The biggest is the master suite, done out in shades of blue. There is a great kids bunk room too with gym mats. Each also has a balcony with sheep skin rugs stretched out on wooden loungers, but none has a TV, which I think is no bad thing. Who needs telly when you have mountains to ski? The toiletries are all Jo Malone.
One of the chefs who used to work here can boast that Jamie Oliver tried to poach him when he stayed a few winters ago. And that is not surprising: the standard of food in this fully catered chalet is fantastic. The chalet’s new chef is similarly top-notch, able to turn his hand to everything from a plateful of bangers to a genuinely fancy four-course feast. The meals tend to be more home-cooking in feel than Michelin-starred restaurant with intercourse sorbets and endless dishes. When I stayed they were just perfect for chowing down on after a day out on the slopes. Dishes ranged from top steaks and bangers and mash to seared salmon with haricot blanc and chorizo cassoulet or spatchcock quail with pea puree.
As for wines, Kernow has an extraordinary wine cellar. There is a selection of over 150 fine wines to choose between, representing the very best of the world’s greatest wine regions, including Puligny Montrachets and Chateau Montroses. There is also a glittering array of top champagnes including the Clos d’Ambonnay, Krug’s most expensive champagne (only 250 cases are allocated by Krug each year, priced £2750 per bottle). In fact, Krug is offered to guests on arrival, while the house champagne is the excellent Villa de la Reine. Serious oenophiles should look no further.
This luxury ski chalet has an outdoor hot tub plus indoor sauna and steam room with mini spa area. All sorts of beauty treatments can be organised in conjunction with Beauty and the Piste, or massages with local outfit The Verbier Touch.
Chalet Kernow is wonderfully equipped for families and children. While it does not employ nannies, it can organise babysitting/childcare. The chef is also very happy to make cakes/cook with children and the staff also know the area so well that they can recommend plenty of things to do beyond the obvious fun of sledging and making snowmen in the garden. At Christmas they supply stockings and gifts for children and always offer to let them decorate the tree, while at Easter they have egg hunts in the chalet. Kernow has a great collection of toys and games, and it stocks Lego, books and puzzles. The Kernow bunkroom also has its resident teddy bear plus there is a big collection of children’s DVDs. For babies, they also stock essential supplies like bottles of Calpol and can arrange for wipes, nappies etc, as required.
The fabulous artefacts around the chalet and the huge communal area with giant fireplace.
For some, this might be the lack of TV and music in the bedrooms.
This Verbier chalet is located just down from the main Medran ski lift in the heart of Verbier on Chemin des Vernes. It’s a 5 minute uphill hike to the lift, easier going downhill at the end of the day. But a shuttle is available at all times.
No chalet in Verbier is allowed by local law to lay on transport beyond the resort, hence a private company is used by Kernow for airport and train station transfers. These all cost extra. The nearest airport is Geneva, around 1hr 20mins away, although Sion (45 minutes away) is often used by guests arriving by private jet. The nearest train station is Le Chable, just a 20 minute drive from the resort.