The snowy season is almost upon us so we’ve picked 5 superb ski breaks. Indulge in the powder, the speed, the vin chauds and the views in these Alpine destinations across France. Make the most of the small luxuries, from boot warmers to in-house staff and an abundance of cake
VIP’s Aspen Lodge, Val d’Isere
From gentle greens to thrilling black runs, Val d’Isere, high up in the French Alps is surrounded by the 300km of pistes known as “L’ Espace Killy”, so whatever your level you will find plenty to keep you busy. It’s got it all, from the celebrity kudos with famous skiiers like Bono and Richard Branson to a very picturesque timber and stone chalet village, almost as if built to Heidi’s specs. And, it’s become so popular with the English that one needn’t speak a word of French to get along. A little piece of the UK, with Brit barmaids, full fry-up breakfasts and Sky TV. The more sophisticated will also appreciate the lovely bakeries, Salon de The, and hip bars in town, as well as the famous La Folie Douce on the slopes for some serious apres partying.
To sleep in style, and be pampered with gourmet food, slick service and a very friendly welcome, the VIP ski chalets such as Aspen Lodge are centrally located, super cosy and have all the trimmings including boot warmers, wide screen TVs, sleek bathrooms, driver service, an overload of fresh cakes daily and great nannies to look after the kids too. Unsure on your skis? Book lessons with BASS, the British Alpine Ski & Snowboard School for excellent one-on-one tuition. Prices start from €1399/week at Aspen Lodge based on two sharing including chalet board. www.vip-chalets.com
W Hotel, Verbier
W’s first foray into Alpine hospitality is worth the trip! Oozing W’s signature contemporary style and design, the 130-room snowy outpost one of Switzerland’s smartest resorts is a must for those in search of a hip ski break. All about chalet chilling, the W is a ski in ski out haven with access to 412 kilometres of pistes and a hot ‘apres’ scene too. After all the exercise, it’s only right to indulge at one of hotel’s trendy restaurants or at the AWAY® Spa where one can be pampered with in the 800m2 blissful retreat.
Don’t miss the indoor/outdoor WET® pool, or relax with a massage, a steamy sauna or hammam... In the kitchens, Spanish chef Sergi Arola brings his own brand of magic to the tables of Arola and Eat Hola Tapas bar. For DJ beats and the party scene Off Piste is the spot for an al fresco drink while the super sleek all black décor at Carve is the place to dance the night away. Doubles from around €600/night, on a bed and breakfast basis. www.wverbier.com
Related: 5 weekend escapes in France
Mountain Maverick’s Chalet Chambertin, Morzine
Mountain Maverick's Chalet
Where do the pros go when on their ski break? Morzine’s Chambertin is the answer. The ideal chalet with 7 bedrooms, is the perfect place to party or to bring the family. Sleeping up to 16 people, it’s set in the Vallee de la Manche just 3km from the centre of Morzine. With easy access to the Nyon ski and a quick drive to the Avoriaz or the Pleney/Les Gets ski areas, it’s the perfect hideaway for those serious about their snow. The property comes with its own minibus service so you’ll never be stranded.
Nice perks include 100% Egyptian cotton sheets, contemporary décor, sleek bathrooms and a hot tub with views over the valley. And, when you bump into Brit snowboarding champion Jenny Jones at breakfast, you know you’re in the right place! Doubles from €1,540/week on a luxury fully catered basis, inc driver service in resort. mountainmavericks.com
Hotel Le Strato, Courchevel
Hotel Le Strato
Just five minutes from La Croisette in Courchevel 1850, the cosy twenty five room Hotel Le Strato (named after the legendary Strato skis) is ideally located with access right onto the direct access to the Cospillot piste. Luxury chic is the name of the game. Blending sport, contemporary cool and a cosy ambiance makes for a glorious hideaway in one of the world’s finest resorts. Excellent extras include the handy ski room, a superb restaurant and state of-the- art technology – including in the bathroom with concealed TVs in the mirrors.
All the rooms offer jaw-dropping views from their terraces. In the restaurant run by Jean-André Charial, of L’Oustau de Baumanière fame, it’s all about gourmet cuisine, while the bar serves both the best cocktails in town and perfect afternoon tea. For some time out, head to the vast 800m2 spa with its slate décor, saunas and steam rooms and huge indoor heated pool. Even better, thanks to the in-house ski room you can get all your gear on the spot. Rates from €980 Euros/night (based on 2 sharing) on half-board. www.hotelstrato.com
Chalet des Sens, Megeve
Chalet des Sens
Another gem, Megeve is where the chic French crowds ski, after having abandoned other posh resorts to the international crowds. Mingle with the locals in style in this picturesque village and stay in splendor at the Chalet des Sens overlooking the slopes in the prestigious Mont d’Arbois. Live like a millionaire in this ski-in, ski- out property with its huge floor to ceiling windows, wine cellar and grand piano. The chalet sleeps eight, with kids tucked away in a beautiful bunk room and extra perks include a fully equipped cinema for movie nights at home, and a beautiful spa with indoor pool, hot tub, sauna and steam room as well as a private gym.
Sophisticated, smart and definitely plush, this cosy exclusive chalet also comes a chalet concierge, chef, butler, housekeeper and masseuse and beauty therapist to make sure your every whim is taken care of! Rates start from €4,375 pp based on 8 sharing, including champagne reception, private chef, private butler, beauty therapist (massage and spa treatments included), resort driving service and daily housekeeping. www.luxurychaletcollection.com