Founded by a British colonel shortly before the Second World War, Méribel in the Alps remains one of Britain’s favourite places to ski. Part of the Three-Valleys, it’s an intermediate skier’s dream, with over 600km of slopes to keep you very busy for a while.
Les Allules is a property from which you can ski down easily to access a gondola that will take you to Méribel’s main lifts. A traditional five-bedroom Savoyard chalet found in a hamlet, it is on the market with Hamptons International (020 3151 7276 for £1.9 million. The property comprises a three-bedroom main property with a two-bedroom apartment on the top floor.
If you are looking for a suitably glamourous home from which to watch the St Moritz Polo World Cup, the CHESA STAZ apartment overlooks the lake where it all takes place – it’s also a hop, slip and jump from the restaurants, shops and the famous Badrutt’s Palace Hotel. In total there are six bedrooms and five bathrooms spread over two floors.
It is on the market through the alpine department at Aylesford International for €11.5 million (020 7349 9772). The property is available to foreign nationals who are willing to take up Swiss residency – this process usually entails spending part of the year in the country and transferring assets to Switzerland.
Found in Les Praz in Chamonix in the French Alps – the heartland of big mountain skiing – Cragganmore chalet is known locally as the Glass House. No bricks were involved in the making of this property, just lots of timber and glass, making the most of the view.
Cragganmore is an extremely modern alpine house: it comes with a large outdoor Jacuzzi, where you relax into the hot bubbles feeling very small as Mont Blanc towers above, and a large floating fireplace in the living room suspended from the ceiling.
The property was built by local architect Renaud Chevalier and furnished by glamorous Canadian interior designer Jennifer Martin. It is a highly efficient property: the windows are triple-glazed and the heating is geothermal. Boasting six bedrooms, each with its own balcony and six bathrooms, the chalet is represented by Knight Frank (020 7861 1529) and the asking price is £3,130,000. There is also a sauna, massage room, gym, indoor climbing wall, cinema room and underfloor heating throughout.
Chalet Hellebore, on the market with Savills for £6.2million (020 7016 3740), lies in a peaceful hamlet just outside Verbier, with views of the town and the Grand Combin mountain range.
This is a recently built timber chalet that is modern/traditional with a very high spec. there are three/four bedrooms – the master features handmade cabinetry and a balcony off it – and a garage with ski rooms, gym, sauna, massage room, the must-have hot tub and a lift.
The Chedi Andermatt is a recently opened five-star hotel that is also the nucleus of a much bigger regeneration in Andermatt, Switzerland, financed by the Egyptian businessman Samih Sawiris (the man behind the El Gouna resort in Egypt and the Chedi Muscat hotel in Oman). An hour-and-a-half drive from Zurich – two hours from Milan – the broader £1.2 billion Andermatt Swiss Alps project will feature, when finished, 120km of ski fields; six hotels; 490 apartments in 42 buildings; 25 bespoke chalets; spas galore; a par-72 championship golf course; and 120km of pistes, making it the largest ski resort in central Switzerland with 25 lifts.
The modern alpine apartments start at £324,451 and range in size from one to four bedrooms. There are also bespoke chalets (price on application) and penthouses within the Chedi Hotel – from where you can call room service to rustle up some dinner – which cost from £2.7 million for a shell. All properties are available to buy through Abercrombie & Kent International Estates (020 3667 7016; www.akinternationalestates.com), the property arm of the travel agency.
‘The Andermatt Swiss Alps is exempt from any restrictions controlling foreigners buying or selling – this means it is a rare example in Switzerland of a property where purchasers are able to sell on again in the future’ says Robert Green, general manager, Abercrombie & Kent International Estates.