We’ve all been enchanted, at one time or other, by the picture postcard, alpine chalets in Switzerland and France. These chalets are so cookie-cutter perfect that they could almost be made out of gingerbread. These are the kind of places where you can retreat to a bubbling and steamy hot tub, surrounded by icy-cold, sparkling snow.
If you too would like a slice of this picture-postcard living on a luxury chalet-style ski break, then a rather fabulous winter-wonderland gem is Chalet Rosière in France. Instead of being slap-bang in the middle of a touristy ski resort, this beautiful alpine chalet is situated in the stunning rural hamlet of Les Laix, close to La Rosière ski resort but far enough away to give you a truly peaceful and tranquil escape.
Originally a rundown ruin, the Volkers family from Wiltshire bought the chalet and transformed it into the stripped-back luxury accommodation it is today. Philip and Alex Volkers live in Les Laix, offering Chalet Rosière guests great advice and service all year round. Situated in a sleepy French farming hamlet near the Italian border and surrounded by protected forests, this generously proportioned, wood and stone-clad ski chalet offers oodles of rustic charm mixed with luxurious living and some seriously outstanding alpine views.
Chalet Rosière sleeps up to twelve (although there is additional accommodation available on request to sleep a further six as well as a beautiful under-floor heated workshop and treatment space for events and group activities). The chalet provides a tranquil atmosphere in which to relax at all times of day, making it the perfect luxury winter retreat.
The top floor of the chalet is comprised of La Salle Familiale – a wonderfully sociable family-living space with an open-plan kitchen, dining area, lounge, and library, ideal for socializing and après-ski drinks. The kitchen features a gas stove, dishwasher, toaster, kettle, plate warmer, and raclette machine for preparing a local cheesy delicacy. The dining area which opens onto the south-facing balcony features a large and majestic dining table. The lounge area offers two large, comfy sofas and two beautiful antique armchairs all facing a large open fireplace. The chalet also has cable television, a DVD player and extensive DVD collection, and a Bose sound system.
The balcony that wraps around La Salle Familiale has incredible views over the Tarantaise valley in the midst of nature. On clear nights you can literally see thousands of constellations.
Directly above La Salle Familiale lies the Hirondelle mezzanine with a comfy double futon. The floor below has two bedrooms and two bathrooms: L’Aigle is a twin/double room with an en-suite and a private Juliet balcony. L’Hibou is a twin/double room with its own library shares a large bathroom with a walk-in shower with the bedroom on the mezzanine. Finally, the lowest floor comprises three more bedrooms and two bathrooms: Les Marmottes bunk beds on the lower floor are a fun place for children to stay but are comfortable full-size singles and suitable for all ages. They share a large bathroom (with bath and shower) with Le Chamois, a twin/double bedroom with a beautiful antique rocking chair, and its own external access. Finally, Le Loup bedroom on the ground floor is a double with a desk/dressing table and beautiful traditional wood paneling, this room benefits from its own private en-suite with a walk-in shower. Outdoors you can enjoy la Terrasse with Chalet Rosière’s very own private hot tub which overlooks rolling alpine hills, pristine forests of the Tarantaise valley. The chalet also offers ample parking for 6 cars and has a cellar to store equipment.
This is a self-catering chalet, surrounded by shops and great restaurants a short drive away. However, catering can be arranged on request for large groups.
Although this luxury chalet is set in the midst of the wilderness of mother nature, it’s also only a short drive from some best ski resorts in the world. It is just a 10-minute drive to the bustling resort of La Rosière, where a huge variety of both summer and winter mountain sports are on offer. Saint Foy is 15 minutes away and Tignes, Val d’Isère, and Les Arcs are around 35 minutes away, making this the perfect location for your ski safari! You can easily get to Chalet Rosière by taking a train to Bourg-Saint-Maurice train station (20 minutes away). Note: throughout the ski season, Eurostar operates a ‘Ski Train’ direct service from King’s Cross St. Pancras in London to Bourg-Saint-Maurice – very handy! Traveling by ferry and road is also an option, though all the ports are an 8+ hour drive away. Alternatively, you can fly into Chambery (1.5hr away), Grenoble (2hr away), Lyons (2.5hr away), or Geneva (2.5hr away) by taking a train.
For me, the highlight of this chalet is the absolutely gobsmackingly good mountain views. Clouds hover above the pines, and above the clouds, mountain peaks seem to hover in the piercing sky. Frankly, even if you don’t ski, sitting in the tub and immersing yourself in the alpine vista is the ultimate way to relax. So, if you’re tempted by your very own French winter-wonderland ski retreat with friends and family, then this enchanting and romantic luxury ski chalet set in the midst of nature may well be the perfect solution for you.
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