"Your very own boutique hotel... everything is top class... down to the tiniest details... lovely beds and bed linen.. great bathrooms.. beautiful fabrics... lovely living and dining area and top class gourmet food." Judy, December 2015
Ancient stable transformed into designer mountain retreat
Low season: £8,360 (8 guests); Mid: £11,920; Peak: £23,960
St Martin de Belleville, Trois Vallées
The Ecurie was brand new for winter 2015-16 and it is an impeccable ski chalet. Like its gorgeous sister chalets, Chalet Abode and Chamois Lodge, it is supremely tasteful, immaculately finished and interior designed, and the food and service is sublime. The owners know what they are doing and are quite excellent at it.
‘Ecurie’ is French for ‘stable’, and The Ecurie is an ancient, tumble-down old stable and mountain alpage, lived in by generations of the same family, that has been superbly refurbished and redesigned into a contemporary mountain retreat and understated luxury ski chalet. It combines gleaming designer fittings and furnishings in muted soft tones with heaps of old wood, natural materials and fabrics to retain the spirit of the old stable. There is also a tasteful, uncluttered selection of Savoie antiques such as old cheese boards, original confiture jars and cow bells, to create a properly cosy, homely ski chalet, as well as a luxurious space.
This St Martin de Belleville chalet has four sumptuous bedrooms, all en suite with baths, fixed-head showers over the bath and separate hand-held shower attachments. There are beautiful granite bath and basin surrounds, with taps and fittings by Italian design company Zazzeri. Plentiful L’Occitane toiletries are supplied, as well as guest dressing gowns and slippers.
The Ecurie is a fully catered chalet and the standard is absolutely top-notch. The food and wine at sister chalets Abode and Chamois Lodge is knock-out, and the offering at The Eucurie is similarly first class. The owners have a policy of only employing qualified fine dining chefs experienced in Michelin-starred/3 AA Rosette restaurants, and who have a flair for exceptional food. There are delicious breakfast specials, decadent afternoon teas, and in the evenings a 6-course taster menu. The chalet is flexible too though, so that if you want comfort food, Savoyard specialities, family suppers or TV dinners, they will create a bespoke menu for you. Each evening dinner is served with a carefully selected pair of wines to complement the yummy food.
When I stayed I experienced such mouth-watering, decidedly ambitious, options as canapés of confit duck Battenberg and tempura oyster with passion fruit, followed by a main of quail, curried pumpkin, kale and sage crisp (or I could have had braised ox cheek with Jerusalem artichoke), then Irish coffee mousse with whisky cubes for dessert and petit fours of lime ash marshmallows and Tequila sherbet dib-dabs. Simply first class!
The Ecurie does not have a spa but nearby is La Bela Vya spa at La Bouitte. The famous 3 Michelin-starred restaurant and hotel, located in a little hamlet up the valley, has an outside Jacuzzi, sauna and treatment rooms, all of which have just been refurbished to make it even more gorgeous. The chalet will happily transport guests there.
Children are very welcome at this luxury ski chalet. There is a stuffed toy box for little ones, a TV/DVD player in the children’s bedroom, early suppers can be arranged, and nannies are available to book.
The immaculate finish and attention to detail — plus the genuinely out of this world food.
Um, hard to think of anything. It isn’t ski in/ski out, but the fantastic in-resort transport service more than compensates.
The Ecurie is tucked away in the heart of the peaceful, timeless hamlet of Villarabout just outside St Martin de Belleville in the Three Valleys. The ski chalet is only a four-minute chauffeured drive from St Martin and the main lift hub. It has both mountain and village views – from the living room there are socking great mountain views without a ski lift in sight.
St Martin de Belleville is at the beginning of the Val Thorens/Les Menuires valley in the Trois Vallées. Best to catch a flight to Chambéry if possible, or else Geneva, from where it is a two hour drive. The Ecurie doesn’t offer transfers but uses Trois Vallées specialist, Mountain Express, for all airport and train station transfers straight to the chalet. They will organise this on booking – cost is extra. The nearest train station is Moutiers, and pick-ups can be arranged from there too.