Secret places for special ski breaks




Ever been disappointed with your ski holiday accommodation? Join the club! If you're a tad fussy about where you rest your weary legs at the end of a hard day on the slopes, this one's for you. We've scoured the Alps to find convivial chalets, slope-side hotels and bargainous B& Bs that offer that little bit extra, from hot-tubs with views to blazing fires and gourmet food. For more inspiration, check out Sawdays' Special Places.


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Secret places for special ski breaks

Mazot les Tines, Chamonix. This upstairs-downstairs little chalet –possibly the cutest in Chamonix is light and bright and stylish, with a floor-to-ceiling window that looks onto the garden. You are on the edge of pretty Les Tines and a bus brings you right in to Chamonix. From 800 Euros per week, self-catered (sleeps four). For more, visit Mazot Les Tines

Hotel Mont-Blanc, Megeve. If you like chic, vintage style, Hotel Mont-Blanc in Megeve, renowned for its illustrious guest list, has just launched new vintage suites. Drawing inspiration from the famous guests who have stayed at the hotel, the suites are inspired by the 50s and 60s heydays with English, Austrian and Savoyard interiors. Expect light woods, checked fabrics, stag's antlers and cosy sofas with throws. Be sure to indulge in top brand champagnes, caviars and foie gras in the Champagne Bar. Rooms from €270 per night.

Auberge Le Chalet des Troncs, le Grand Bornard. This old chalet has been renovated in rustic contemporary style; in two wood-lined sitting rooms an old sledge has become a coffee table, there’s a nice scatter of antiques and bric-a-bra and bedrooms are a joy. Cross-country ski from the door or catch a free bus for the Grand Bornand and return for a soak in the new infinity hot tub. From 350 Euros per room per night, half-board based on two sharing. Sole occupancy also available. Visit Sawdays for more.

Petite Marmotte Lodge, Courchevel 1650. This little hideaway in the French Alps is the only chalet for two in the area. Perfect for turning your ski holiday into a romantic break, Petite Marmotte Lodge offers magical mountain views from its outdoor hot tub, roaring log fires and inviting sheepskin rugs. Guests at the former hay barn can have Michelin-starred food delivered to the lodge and enjoy spa treatments at La Portetta Hotel, just five minutes away. Powder White offers seven nights at Petite Marmotte from €2,000.

La Ferme du Lac Vert, Morzine. Cow hides and fur, delectable canapés and cocktails that explode in the mouth three things that will strike you at this funky chalet in the Portes du Soleil. The shuttle whisks you to the slopes and you return to three fabulous living spaces (one with a bar on runners, one with a fireplace for warming vin chaud) and a hot tub on the terrace. From £595 per person per week, fully catered. Sole occupancy from £11,900 per week (sleeps 24). La Ferme du Lac Vert.

Hotel Chabichou, Courchevel 1850. Spa in style at Hotel Chabichou in Courchevel 1850, where the family-run rustic Alpine retreat houses the Cha'Banya, a subterranean wellness centre under the ski slope with a 51ft pool and aromatherapy-based treatments. The spa features multi-sensory experiences with a tropical-rain trail, Russian sauna, hammam, Dead Sea pool, Polar bath, ice fountain and saline cave - perfect for alternative après-ski or if you prefer pampering to skiing. Powder White offers seven nights' B&B at Hotel Chabichou from £1,474 per person, including return flights from London to Geneva and transfers based on a January 2013 departure.

La Ferme du Ciel, Samoens. High above the valley and pretty Samoëns, this huge old chalet-style farmhouse has been renovated to reveal soaring beams, a great woody open-plan living space, a shiny state-of-the-art kitchen, big lofty bedrooms and a fire to warm you. You don’t have to bring a crowd but should you wish to, the chalet can sleeps 18 (four rooms have sofabeds for children) and a further four in a cute little apartment  The whole place oozes comfort and style, for added luxury there’s jacuzzi and sauna.  From £846 per person per week, fully catered. Sole occupancy from £9310 based on 12 sharing.

Ferme du Ciel, Mathonex, 74340 Samoëns, Haute-Savoie

Kristiania, Lech. Art meets snow at the beautiful Kristiania in the Austrian Alps. This cool hangout houses a spectacular art collection in a traditional ski chalet setting. Nestle yourself among more than 200 contemporary paintings, sculptures, original prints and tapestries from emerging and established artists, such as Max Cole, Roy Lichtenstein and Sam Francis. The hotel has 29 unique guestrooms, each decorated with individual artistic elements based around a particular piece of art, and the main dining room has been transformed into a gallery which rivals those in big cities! Double rooms from €360 per night and €210 for a single, including a bottle of champagne, complimentary minibar, WiFi and snow shuttle van.

The Farmhouse, Morzine. Start your day with a breakfast spread in the old cattle shed and end it with a slap-up dinner hosted by Dorrien, who gave up England for the oldest farmhouse in Morzine. Think big, characterful, comfortable bedrooms.  A 'ski host' at the farmhouse is on hand to introduce you to the runs, and after a hard day on the slopes you'll return to a hot toddy in the bar and a crackling log fire.  From 728 Euros per person per week, fully catered.

The Farmhouse, Le Mas de la Coutettaz, 74110 Morzine, Haute-Savoie 

Le Lodge Park, Megeve Gourmands will love Le Lodge Park in Megeve, France, as this December new steak restaurant Le Beef Lodge will open, offering guests Black Angus, Baviere beef, Iberian pork, lamb and veal from renowned local butcher, the Metzger Brothers. The stylish hotel is designed as a traditional hunting lodge with 49 spacious rooms and suites. The cosy lounge and restaurant are informal yet elegant, while the bar is a great place for après-ski drinks, with its hunting trophies, roaring fire and natural stone fireplace. Rooms from €270 per night.

Chalet Savoie Faire, La Lachere. Behind the grey façade of this old Savoyard farmhouse is one luxurious B&B. Friendly owners Hugh and Nikki  (who runs cookery courses) have put everything into the renovation and each room has charming touches. The arched diner (once the cowshed) is chandelier-hung and atmospheric; the sitting room has a toasty fire; the bedrooms (one a family suite) are a delight with chunky-chic furniture. The cross-country skiing is very good, and Trois Vallées is 30 minutes away. From 68 Euros per night based on two sharing, including breakfast.  Sole occupancy fully catered from 2800 Euros per week (sleeps eight). Find out more by at Sawdays.

Chalet Colinn, Val d'Isere Owners Mylène and Elizabeth have reincarnated a fallen ruin into a luxury mountain retreat. Join them for gourmet dinner under soaring, raftered ceilings in the grand living space which hovers above Tignes dam or soak in the terrace hot tub under the stars. With easy access to the the slopes at Val d'Isère, or Tignes, or the Vanoise park. Half-board package with a six-day ski pass costs from 700 Euros per person. Sole occupancy also available. Visit Sawdays for more.

Mazot Les Tines, Chamonix. This upstairs-downstairs little chalet –possibly the sweetest in Chamonix -is perfect for a young family: it's light and bright and stylish. A floor-to-ceiling window looks onto the garden and there's a whole dedicated kids' space on the mezzanine. The balcony has magnificent mountain views, and are on the edge of pretty Les Tines. A bus brings you right in to Chamonix. From 800 Euros per week, self-catered (sleeps four). 

La Ferme du Soliel, Le Grand Bornard. You can ski to the door of this classic Alpine chalet, nestled in a hamlet of four old wooden houses. It's  high up, impossibly pretty, detached from the bustling world, with views to lift spirits and a deep silence in which to contemplate such beauty. You are a stroll from the top of a chair lift and a quick slide from the bottom of several, so you can stop skiing when you're ready for a blazing log fire and a delicious bite. Big, cosy, beautiful, open and convivial. From 700 Euros per person per week, fully catered. La Ferme du Soleil.

Ferme de Moudon in Les Gets is a five-bedroom chalet tucked away in its own grounds yet ony a few minutes away from the centre of Les Gets.  Sleeping groups up to 10, with views across the valleys towards the mountains,  a Jacuzzi and sauna and a chalet team including a chef, butler, chauffer, chalet assistant and housekeeper, Kevin McCloud of Grand Designs described the chalet as …like something from a James Bond set.  Prices for a week’s stay full board start from £18,700 per week (£1,870 per person) this season.

Chalet Seven, Crans Montana, Switzerland This £15 million brand new super-luxe chalet boasts some extravagant features including an eight-metre pool, bar, spa, cutting-edge technology and a chauffeur and hospitality manager who has worked for Prince William. It sleeps up to 30: there are three four-bedroom en-suite apartments and a six-bed children's bunk room. The best bit? there's a terrace where you can relax with the outdoor jacuzzi and fire pit. Oh, and each apartment has an iPad with an app that controls the temperature, lighting and music. Prices start from a mere £100,000 per week for the chalet. chaletseven.com

Chalet Chatelet, Bonneveaux. The cow-belled Vallée d'Abondance envelops this pretty pine chalet, the result of years of your hosts' creative energy. Oak floors, soft shapes and high ceilings hug reclaimed furniture and works by other members of this arty family. Warmth comes from a Finnish stove and solar panels. Find spectacular views from the hot tub, expect cultured chat (and delicious food) in the intimate dining room. From your bedroom you gaze to mountains you skied that day. From £520 per person per week, fully catered. Chalet Chatelet.

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