‘I couldn’t think of a better place to stay’ – George Clooney
Beautiful 5* catered chalet — with unbeatable celebrity endorsement
Low season: €5,000; Mid: €10,000; Peak: €16,000 whole catered chalet
Summer: €120 per room per night B&B in July & August
Serre Chevalier, France
Chez Bear is gorgeous, chocolate-box cosy, historic — and comes personally recommended by George Clooney, no less, who stayed a few seasons ago. If it’s good enough for George, it’s way good enough for me! Plus it’s close to Italy so you can hop over the border for a fabulous bowl of pasta and a really decent coffee.
Chez Bear Ski Lodge is a beautifully restored 17th century farmhouse, tucked away in the charming village of Belvoir just five minutes’ drive above Briancon and Serre Chevalier on the French/Italian border. It is exquisitely decorated and oozes history out of its original stone work and endless larch beams.
This luxury ski chalet has four double bedrooms, two with deep baths and two with walk-in showers, and each with stunning south-facing views of the Durance valley. The fifth bedroom, a twin room, has a walk-in shower. Four of the bedrooms feature a mezzanine level, accessed via drop-down stairs, which can add one or two additional single beds. Luxury toiletries, towels, robes and slippers are provided in each room.
The food and drink, courtesy of Chez Bear, is genuinely first class. For breakfast this fully catered luxury ski chalet serves a hearty continental buffet including a selection of cereals, fresh fruit, yoghurts, fresh baguettes, meats and cheese, juice and a range of tea and coffees. They also offer a hot option each morning including smoked salmon and scrambled egg, eggs benedict, and avocado and poached egg.
After they have collected you from the slopes, a delicious alpine cake awaits you along with tea, coffee, juice and steaming hot chocolate.
Evening meals consist of five courses, including canapés and a local cheese board. A typical menu might feature twice-baked goats cheese soufflé with a parmesan glaze and an apple and walnut salad followed by herb crusted rack of lamb with dauphinoise potatoes and a spinach and basil timbale, with a fluffy-light lemon pannacotta with blackberries and honey madeleines for pud.
The chalet can handle any dietary requirements and can even design a bespoke chalet menu with you, as well as offering a separate children’s menu.
Chez Bear Ski Lodge has a wood-fired outdoor hot tub with panoramic mountain views, and a large indoor sauna in the caves of the property.
This beautiful, luxury ski chalet has a fabulous separate games area which contains a selection of board games plus PlayStation, together with a pool table and surround-sound cinema room. The stairs all have childgates too.
The ancient wooden interiors (just how a chalet should be), the games room, oh, and the fact that George once stayed and loved it.
The fact that he probably won’t be there when you stay.
Chez Bear Ski Lodge is situated in the charming village of Belvoir, five minutes drive above Briancon and Serre Chevalier by private chauffeur (the chalet offers a ski shuttle service daily). Serre Chevalier is one of the largest ski areas in France and has over 250km of pistes. It is just 1.5 hours from Turin — skiers get a day’s skiing in Italy on their lift pass, which is a lovely bonus.
The nearest airport is Turin 1.5 hours away and the ski chalet can arrange private transfers at extra cost.