What is luxury and how is it best defined when it comes to looking at luxury ski chalets? There is no simple answer to this question as there are so many definitions possible – there’s not a simple blueprint or checklist but it’s one of those things that you instinctively recognise when you experience it, and we're pretty experienced.
The dictionary defines luxury as “a state of great comfort or elegance, especially when involving great expense” as in ‘he lived a life of luxury’ but it can also be a state of mind and a sensory experience. Luxury is not simply about the décor or amenities because the experience of luxury is active and conscious, which means opinions and feelings are part of it too. It extends beyond simple ownership of a ‘luxury’ good and is about the appreciation, attention to detail and enjoyment that it gives.
Neither is the term timeless as it evolves with changing tastes & technology – luxury used to mean ‘big’ with lashings of bling but now it can also mean small and exclusive. Let’s remember in many Michelin starred restaurants the best seat in the house is now often at the chef’s table in the kitchen.
In the luxury ski market there can be a whole variety of factors that make the chalet worthy of the title and the exact combination is quite an individual choice. But it's our job as the luxury ski chalet experts to define what we believe is true luxury and present it to you.
Luxury in Design
A true luxury ski chalet will be beautiful with stunning interiors, gorgeous fabrics and a sense of style. But this can be seen in the almost monastic simplicity of a chalet such as Le Ferme de Moudon in Les Gets where the attention to detail is exact and the chalet fits absolutely perfectly into its woodland surrounds. In contrast is the equally beautiful although definitely opulent Chalet Makini in Verbier with its rich vibrant colours and luxurious fittings. Or perhaps you prefer a truly modern state of the art chalet such as Rock N’ Love in Tignes with its quirky furniture & bright murals whereas Chalet Etesian in Gstaad is traditional chalet style with beautiful carved and painted wooden ceilings and has the grandeur of a Swiss stately home. All are definitely luxury ski chalets but with no common denominator in terms of style, it really is subjective and down to your own personal taste - although one thing remains consistent - quality.
Luxury in Facilities
Gone are the days when an en-suite bathroom made a chalet worthy of the term luxury, now the norm is cinema rooms, gyms, spas and swimming pools. The pool at the stunning Chalet Chouqui in Verbier is 15m long or in Chalet Truffle Blanche also in Verbier where there are 7 massage and treatment rooms for the ultimate in pampering. Perhaps having your own nightclub that can easily accommodate one hundred of your closest friends is the new benchmark? Then head straight for Chalet Edelweiss in Courchevel 1850 where you’ll also find a cinema room, swimming pool, spa and underground parking for 20 cars.
Luxury in Location
Estate agents are always talking ‘location, location, location’ and this is certainly a key factor in luxury ski chalets. For some it is the ski-in / ski-out position that is key so chalets such as the lovely Trois Ours in Méribel or the swanky Chalet Shemshak in Courchevel 1850, where you can watch the chairlift from your pool. However with the wonderful chauffeur service that now comes with most luxury chalets, it could be that space and privacy come high on the wish list in which case head to the new stunning Ferme de la Corderie in Les Gets or to the incredible Amazon Creek in Chamonix, both set in their own grounds slightly outside the resort offering a luxury mountain hideaway.
Luxury in Service
At SkiBoutique we’re purposefully selective when it comes to choosing our friends, so we know that the service and welcome from all our resort partners will be second to none. As soon as you’ve booked our PA service steps in to organise everything from transfers to restaurant bookings and ski instructors that are just right for you. From friendly chalet staff to talented chefs nothing is too much trouble and we make sure that your holiday time, which is possibly the ultimate 21st century luxury, is perfect and filled with wonderful experiences and memories to treasure.
In 1892 what is believed to be the first luxury hotel in the USA was opened in Boston – the Tremont Hotel proudly advertised its status with “inside toilet, locks on the door and an “a la carte menu” – boy have we’ve come a long way.