One of the great pleasures at the end of a fun filled day on the slopes is the opportunity to soak in a hot tub, preferably with a glass of champers, not compulsory of course, but a nice glass of bubbly or some other alcoholic libation certainly adds to the feeling of well being. The true meaning of the word ‘libation’ is a drink poured out as an offering to a deity, which seems quite fitting, as here you are, at altitude, amongst the mountain gods and that’s as good an excuse as any to perform the ritual. If you’ve had a particularly hard day and you’re feeling quite fatigued, the combination of a good old soak and a bracer can set you up very nicely for the evening meal and probably an early night too, it’s very relaxing. I’ve known friends actually doze off for a short spell and that includes me too.
Of course not every chalet offers a hot tub and quite a few of those that do will often have the jacuzzi located in the dedicated indoor spa area. But trust me, you can’t beat the outdoor version to give you the full experience. There’s nothing quite like gazing up at the canopy of stars and the ghostly silhouette of the distant moonlit, snow covered peaks. It’s a moment for quite reflection and can be quite meditative. It’s been my good fortune to sample a goodly number of hot tubs and although one hot tub is pretty much like another, the location can and does make all the difference. Here are five of the best from a long list I’ve been lucky enough to spend quality time in.
One of my favourite chalets, not least because of the grand piano, which I might add, is in tune. Rattling through Handel’s Water Music might seem like a good idea as accompaniment to the relaxation going on outdoors but truth be told, the silence is, in its own way, just as apt a soundtrack. Reminiscing, you will talk about the heated outdoor plunge pool here and the time when you all soaked until your hands turned wrinkly, you’ll remember the views were amazing, the hush of the mountains was spellbinding and in the odd random moments in the future you will recall having that special feeling that it doesn’t get much better than this.
Chalet Dalmore is more New York loft than log cabin, this is one property that is like no other. Nestled in a beautifully peaceful and private location adjacent to the Chamonix Golf Club and with easy access to all five of the valley pistes, Chalet Dalmore is a unique chalet in a special location. The chalet was conceived and constructed by the talented owner, Jennifer Martin and the award winning architect, Renaud Chevallier. As with their other creation, Chalet Cragganmore, Dalmore eschews the typically traditional Swiss chalet style and opts for the contemporary. There’s an incredible roof terrace, affording fabulous views of Mont Blanc which also boasts a large outdoor heated pool as well as a hot tub. If you’re not fussed about stewing in the hot tub you can always do a few lengths of the pool, park your champers though, chlorine does nothing for the palette.
Lech might not set the heart racing when it comes to thinking of world class ski resorts but if you ever get the chance to ski here you’ll quickly realise that’s a wrong headed notion. Chalet Uberhaus goes a long way to making you reconsider the many merits of this unsung ski resort. When the wine cellar in your chalet of choice has its own chandelier, an entire floor is designated to the task of entertaining and you can virtually ski into your hot tub, you know you have found a supreme example of luxury. Chalet Überhaus’ sunken outdoor hot tub was designed to stir envy. The glass-bottomed hot tub reveals it occupants to whoever drew the short straw and is working out in the gym directly below. It’s pretty hard to motivate yourself when you can see your friends above doing precious little other than wallowing in sybaritic splendour. Located a short stroll from Oberlech, a few minutes’ chauffeured drive from Lech and directly above the Schlosskopf lift, this luxurious residence, with its stand out hot tub, is definitely worth considering.
This absolutely stunning luxury ski chalet is quite obviously mis-named, it should be immediately be renamed “No1.” It’s a glorious winner, in all aspects. After a beautiful, sunny afternoon spent on the south facing slopes you are picked up by your dedicated chauffeur and deposited back at your wonderful accommodation. You’ll want to head to where your friends and family are gathered, on the vast Ibiza-style terrace. Some snuggled under the warm throws, where the fire cauldron is aflame, and others taking their first dip in the cedar wood hot tub, the party has clearly started and the Champagne is flowing freely and the sun hasn’t even set. When it does, and the lights of Verbier start to burst into life below, you are treated to a spectacular. Framed by the surrounding mountains, the views are to die for. Oh no!, is that the dinner gong you hear? time to get dressed for your evening meal, ah well, there’s always tomorrow.
La Ferme de la Corderie/Les Gets
La Ferme de la Corderie is an exquisitely renovated luxury alpine farmhouse with breath-taking views over the French ski resort of Les Gets and the ski slopes of the Portes du Soleil. The hot tub here gets to take in all this splendour from its location on the spacious terrace. This superb luxury ski chalet is up there amongst the best chalets that the Alps has to offer.
The French architect, Le Corbusier said “Space and light, those are the things that men need just as much as they need bread or a place to sleep.” If he had been lucky enough to stay in La Ferme de la Corderie, he would have found an abundance of both and proved his own philosophy beyond doubt. The outside space is just as great with a large south facing terrace, a hot tub and a sledging area for the children. The chalet is just a few minutes drive from the centre of the resort, just far enough away to engender a feeling of peace and calm and close enough to indulge in all that the pretty resort of Les Gets has to offer. You will leave here truly refreshed and relaxed.
All these beautiful ski chalets can be booked with Ski Boutique.