Gone are the days when the keys to a chic chalet serviced by a self-taught cook and a friendly chalet host, would satisfy the discerning expectations of the seasoned luxury skier. In a market saturated by predictable extravagance, personalisation has become the defining measure of what is meant by luxury.
At Consensio we’ve seen an increasing demand for creative curated concierge, with our guests eager to experience the authentic magic of the Alps.
The Three Valleys is home to Mont Tremblant – the Consensio chalet voted ‘Best Ski Chalet: France’ at the 2016 World Ski Awards. Here are our top five recommendations for unique Alpine experiences in the region.
1. First Tracks and a Sunrise Breakfast – Méribel
Start your day by watching the first traces of morning appear from behind the mountain at the summit of the Saulire. Departing every Wednesday, a small group of about 20 skiers take the Pas du Lac 2 lift and climb to an altitude of 2,738m to enjoy a sunrise breakfast, courtesy of the restaurant Les Pierres Plates.
Afterwards, skiers can revel in the beauty of being the first to carve tracks on the peaceful and perfectly groomed pistes. The privilege of which is made possible by an alliance between the ski lift company – Mottaret (La S3V), and the mid-station restaurant, Les Pierres Plates. The whole experience costs a very reasonable €24. Bookings can be made via the Les Pierres Plates website or by calling +33 (0)4 79 00 42 38.
2. Experience a traditional Savoyard Evening
Amid the mountains in Courchevel a log cabin is nestled in the woods. After arriving by snowmobile, there is the sweet smell of a wood fire burning as smoke rises from a small chimney. Inside, a festive celebration awaits and you’re welcomed with a warming beverage to begin the night.
Following a traditional dinner, an accordion plays as local songs are sung and stories are shared. As the evening draws to a close, a mountain descent is made on a toboggan through the torch-lit forest. This is a magical and authentic evening bringing a little bit of Savoyard heritage to life. Organised by Chardon Loisirs, bookings can made by calling +33 (0)6 10 99 62 31 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
3. Après Ski at Folie Douce – Meribel-Courchevel
The legendary Folie Douce is crowned King, or perhaps more appropriately, ‘Queen’ of all things après ski – think Ibiza in the snow. A bar and restaurant, the venue is located at the mid station of the Saulire cable car and opens every day during winter at 10am.
Stop for a late lunch and share a fondue on the Folie terrace, before the mood elevates and the music intensifies. Come 3pm the party will be in full swing and the mountain will be rocking to an eclectic mix of live music, acrobatic dancers, cabaret and DJ sets. Get ready to dance in your ski boots and get lost in the absolute craziness that is Folie Douce.
4. Enjoy the Ultimate Alpine Breakfast
Dining in a luxury chalet has taken on a whole new meaning in the past several years. Operators are sourcing the crème de la crème of top chefs, who undergo extensive pre-season training and testing. Once chalet service begins, a marvel of delectable dining experiences will greet guests daily, with food becoming a stand-out feature of any luxury ski holiday.
This ski season, Consensio have aimed to take alpine dining to the next level by partnering with one of London’s most iconic brunch spots – Duck & Waffle. This exciting culinary collaboration has been in the press as one of the top luxury alpine experiences for Winter 2016/17. With a menu inspired by Tom Cenci, Duck & Waffle’s executive chef, Consensio is recreating the Duck & Waffle experience on a plate in what can only be described as the ultimate breakfast in the French Alps.
5. Make a Bond-style entrance in Courchevel
At an altitude of 2,008m encircled by the French Alps is one of the World’s most dangerous airports. Located in the glamorous ski resort of Courchevel, it is the highest tarmac runway in Europe, with a notably short runway measuring just 537m. Due to its precarious location, commercial aircraft are banned from landing there and even a chartered private jet is likely to be denied access. Used to shoot 007 Tomorrow Never Dies, James Bond is just about the only exception to this airport’s strict landing protocol.
Ideally what you need is a privately owned turbo-prop plane, where the owner is present on the flight. A heli-transfer is a viable option too. Granted, flying direct to Courchevel is not the most economical mode of transport and will require nerves of steel. But, just imagine the adrenalin rush of touching down on the mountain with skiers zooming past on adjacent pistes! If your heart so desired, you could literally hit the slopes after disembarking. For more advice on travelling to Courchevel by air contact Private Fly: +44 (0) 1747 642 777.