Chalet Chic – the best designer chalets
Issue 8 / 26 November 2018
Chalet Chic – the best designer chalets

Chic and sleek - the best designer luxury ski chalets in the Alps.

Serena Norton

Well-heeled skiers who have grown tired of five-star hotels need look no further than these ultra-exclusive, modern ski chalets offering contemporary style and décor that wouldn’t look out of place in Miami, Paris or Milan, let alone the Alps.

Chalet Couttet, Chamonix - cutting-edge design with contemporary flair

Brand new to the rental market last season, Chalet Couttet is the work of the team at Laughland Jones, a UK based design agency founded in 1995 with an extensive portfolio of international projects, including Richard Branson’s ‘The Lodge’ in Verbier.

The beautifully crafted open plan interior has huge floor-to-ceiling windows designed to maximise the magnificent views of the Bossons glacier. An opaque-glass spiral staircase, with chrome banister linking three levels, is etched with hundreds snowflakes and there is adaptable lighting to suit the mood. The chalet has five individually-themed en-suite bedrooms - Fox, Penguin, Wolf, Butterfly and Stag - with artwork to match.

The spa suite, complete with sauna, hammam and treatment room, and watched over by Buddah, is sure to leave you feeling well rested, relaxed and ready to tackle another day on the slopes. The stunning interior is matched outdoors by a delightful private garden with large deck, 12-metre heated pool and hot tub.

Chalet Joux Plane, Morzine - a true James Bond style pad

With a stipulation from the owner to "build a space I would be truly excited to stay in”, Chalet Joux PLane is a chalet built without restraint. Designed by Herve Marullaz, a local architect with an impressive reputation, it is no surprise that Joux Plane is one of the finest mountain retreats.

One end of the chalet is made almost entirely from glass and the middle of the chalet is dissected top to bottom by a glass atrium, giving natural light to every floor and space. The open plan living room is filled with intelligent design touches, from the glass staircase which reveals the swimming pool below to the enormous glass panels which invite the outside trees and mountains in. The dining room is suspended above the living space in a kind of floating mezzanine and thick wooden beams, cut from local trees, buttress the ceiling, bringing cosiness without sacrificing the vast slanting roof.

Truly extraordinary though is the 23-metre swimming pool which passes right through the building itself, allowing guests to swim both inside and out, further emphasising the in-out living experience envisioned by the architect.

Chalet Sisimuit, Courchevel 1550 - striking “Alice in Wonderland” theme

Situated in the hamlet of Marcandou in Courchevel 1550, Chalet Sisimuit certainly defies the Alpine stereotype. Completed in December 2018, the chalet was the result of a collaboration between the owners and their friend and architect, Olivier Gay. The aim was to combine traditional mountain spirit and charm with a bold decorative style and a slice of fantasy.

The result is a fun, bold and bright interior that lures you into a magical world. Tailor-made, the decor and furnishings have been designed by the architect and made by local or Italian craftsman. The artwork was bought in France as well as further afield, with the aim to help promote young and upcoming artists. Impressive mountain views can be admired through picture windows and there is a stunning wellness area on the ground floor with an indoor-outdoor swimming pool and relaxation area.

"Chalet Sisimuit certainly defies the Alpine stereotype."
"Chalet Sisimuit certainly defies the Alpine stereotype."

Chalet Zermatt Peak, Zermatt - lavish luxury with jaw-dropping views

With floor-to-ceiling views of the Matterhorn from the living area, a floating walnut wood staircase, designer hand-carved waterfall feature and Italian marble and porcelain floors, Chalet Zermatt Peak lives up to its reputation as a fully-fledged Bond-style lair.

The candlelit entrance is tunnelled in to the rock and the living room features an Ergonomic De Sede moving sofa to take advantage of all aspects of the living space, not to mention the breathtaking views. Handmade Murano crystal chandeliers sway stylishly from the ceiling and the bedrooms have their own bio-fire coffee tables creating a cosy snug for you to hibernate from the cold.

The highlight though has to be the astonishing spa which can be opened up to encompass the terrace. There is a brand new, state-of-the-art TechnoGym with integrated TVs and bluetooth as well as a dry Finnish and wet Swedish saunas, hammam and Jacuzzi.

Baita 1697, Via Lattea - lovingly restored 17th century Piedmontese farmhouse

Situated in a small hamlet linked by cable car to Sestriere, Baita 1697 has been lovingly restored by acclaimed interior designer and owner, Lucy McCullough. She searched for three years to find her dream property and it took another two years before this former Piedmontese farmhouse was transformed into the cosy and luxurious retreat it is today.

The rustic living area with vaulted stone ceiling and fireplace was a hay barn in its former life. It retains an authentic feel but has been updated to include contemporary furnishings and artwork. Local sculptor, Guido Ronchail, created the larch dining table which unfolds to seat 12 people on perspex chairs draped with sheepskins.

Five bedrooms plus a dorm room for children have been individually designed by different carpenters, drawing on influences from Lucy’s extensive travels around Europe and Asia. A second living room on the top floor opens out onto a roof terrace with fire pit and hot tub - the perfect spot to relax after a day on the slopes.

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