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Wonderfully cosy, traditional ski chalet sitting right on the slopes
Low season: from £680pp; Mid: from £795pp; Peak: from £10,200 whole chalet
Le Grand Bornand, nr La Clusaz
This is an absolute treat. La Ferme du Soleil is a beautiful, properly traditional ski chalet in a genuinely French, untouristy resort. A timeless classic. Le Grand Bornand is in the lovely Aravis mountains, just an hour from Geneva near La Clusaz, and to arrive at the chalet, which is the highest in the resort and which sits right on the slopes, you have to go up a chairlift and then ski down to it. A genuinely ski in/ski out chalet, and with immense charm too.
Super-traditional and hugely cosy. This luxury ski chalet is not for lovers of sleek, cutting edge contemporary design, but for those who want a ski chalet to be traditional and impossibly cute, with checky curtains, carved wood and inside-of-a-cuckoo-clock interiors.
There are four double/twin rooms and one twin, all of which are en suite apart from one which has exclusive use of a separate bathroom across the corridor. There are also two other rooms including a bunk room which sleeps two and one final double/twin room, both of which share a bathroom. The master suite has a new bathroom for 2014-2015, complete with large corner bath and separate shower as well as double aspect with gorgeous mountain views.
Breakfasts include freshly baked bread with jams and honey plus yogurt with chopped fresh fruit. There is always a big fruit basket selection, as well as extensive juices, teas and coffee. Each morning this fully catered chalet does an extra option which could be anything from croissants to porridge, eggs or bacon. Requests can be catered for, so if you would like eggs every morning, or a continental breakfast with cheese and ham, then no problem.
A three-course dinner is provided 6 nights a week (1 night a week the guests can take advantage of the resort’s night skiing and eat at an excellent restaurant specialising in local Haute-Savoie food in resort and then catch the ski lift back up to the chalet). The chalet also offers a good house red and white wine but guests can upgrade their wine for an extra charge to wines that are specially designed to match that particular evening’s meal.
Welcome drinks are also served for each new group of guests, including a local Savoie sparkling white wine. If guests require, the chalet can also offer a simple lunch a few days a week. Homemade soups, sandwiches, cheese, saucisson, bread etc. are all available at a small extra cost. Afternoon tea is served everyday with home-made cakes/biscuits/pancakes etc.
La Ferme du Soleil offers children early teas and can do simple lunches after their morning lessons.
La Ferme du Soleil has no spa facilities. It has an outdoor pool, but only for summer use.
The super-cosy interiors, the ski in/ski out location, and the drama of being up the mountain right on the slopes — as well as the real sense of adventure when you first arrive.
Because the chalet is located up the mountain you have an uphill trudge if you miss the last lift up.
This ski chalet is located in the lovely area of Le Grand Bornand, just 15 minutes by ski bus from La Clusaz. It is a proper ski in/ski out chalet – it is the highest chalet in the resort and guests have to arrive on skis, their luggage sent up afterwards by skidoo. It sits beside a green run and is just a one-minute ski down from the top and a three-minute ski down to the bottom of the ski lift from the chalet itself. There are stunning views all around.
Geneva Airport is about 75km away. It takes just around an hour to get to the resort by taxi and costs approximately 130 euros. Transfers are not included, but the chalet can recommend local taxi firms. One thing though: guests must arrive at the resort on arrival day with enough time to collect ski passes, ski equipment and to get on the ski lift up to the chalet before it closes at 5pm. A real adventure!