This chalet is only available to guests booking the whole chalet for sole use.
Chalet La Couchire, Val D'Isere
Much of the best skiing in Val d’Isère starts 75 seconds from the door of La Couchire. The Fornet cable car might not win any awards for architecture (though the Pompidou Centre did), but it serves the best snow and emptiest slopes in the area. There are pistes for everybody, from long, easy blues to the wicked black Forêt mogulfield, and an infinite off-piste area. Now that the Pissaillas Glacier has snow cannons, this must be some of the most snow-sure skiing in Europe.
Guests from La Couchire are already in the powder while everyone else is on the bus, and they can even be on the slopes of Solaise in no time, via the up-and-over or the never-busy Laisinant Express, which now links with the Datcha.
The hamlet of Le Fornet itself is gorgeous, the hugely popular Arolay and gastronomic Atelier d’Edmond are in it, and on the slopes just above are the excellent Edelweiss and the Signal, recently named best mountain restaurant in Europe.
Le Fornet is at the very end of the Haute Tarentaise valley, where the road becomes piste, and although it is some distance from the village centre as the chough flies, it is not incovenient for the village shops, ski schools or nightlife. The free bus waits just outside La Couchire until the early hours, and gets you to the centre in about five minutes. If you think this sounds too good to be true, just ask Fiona Easdale, the ‘E’ of YSE. With three children to get to ski school and never less than a hundred best friends to catch up with, she doesn’t do inconvenient. And she has stayed here for the last four years.
La Couchire is a stunning eight-bedroom chalet, built for us by race coach Cédric Bonnevie and his sisters Ingrid, who would be the best-looking ski instructor in Val d’Isère if it weren’t for Cédric, and Magali – unquestionably the pisteur one would most like to be rescued by. It was a bit of a shock to see these paradigms of pulchritude pouring concrete and planing beams! One day they’ll all live here themselves. For the moment, Ingrid spends some of the winter in the annexe, while the other two move out to let you help pay their mortgage.
The chalet has a superb dining room, next door to a sitting area with a log fire where people tend to meet for pre-dinner drinks. Downstairs is the main sitting room, with a second log fire and a large plasma screen for DVDs.
La Couchire’s best bedrooms are among the biggest in the resort, with stupendous views from the Galise, on the Italian border, to the Grande Motte, above Tignes. Most give the choice of large twin or vast double beds (please specify which you would prefer). Only Bedrooms 7 and 8 are more typical of Val d’Isère, as profligate with space as an iPod Shuffle. Because they are slightly less des res than the other bedrooms we charge £50pppw less for them. All eight have really smart bathrooms.
Features - Chalet La Couchire, Val D'Isere
- Vast, beautiful chalet, built especially for us two years ago
- Super bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms throughout
- Most rooms give option of large twin beds or huge doubles (please specify which you prefer when booking)
- Two log fires, DVD with plasma screen, separate dining room, ski room with boot warmers
- Stunning views of miles of mountains and the pretty hamlet of Le Fornet
- Val d’Isère’s best restaurant next door and most popular restaurant nearby
- A chef and two assistants who live next door.
The chalet has excellent hot water, more than adequate heating, CD players, radios, hairdryers, irons and ironing boards, chess, backgammon, Scrabble and cards. Each chalet has a mobile phone for emergency and incoming calls. Guests wishing to use it for outgoing calls can buy credit from the shops. No chalet has a land line. Guests wishing to use the internet need mobile connection or to visit one of the several internet cafes.
Accommodation - Chalet La Couchire, Val D'Isere
8 bedrooms for 16 guests, with 4 baths, 4 showers
- Bedroom 1: Huge twin/double (L-shaped, outer walls 18’ x 16’) under eaves on top floor, up same staircase as Room 4. Vast windows to watch sunrise over Italy. Bathroom with wc.
- Bedroom 2: Very big twin/double (21’ x 12’6”) under eaves on top floor, up same stairs as Room 3. Vast window to watch sunset over Bellevarde. Shower-room with wc.
- Bedroom 3: Twin/double (L-shaped, outer walls 15’ x 12’) under eaves on top floor, up same stairs as Room 2. French window to balcony looking south up pistes. Bathroom with wc.
- Bedroom 4: Twin/double (12’ x 10’) under eaves on top floor, up same stairs as Room 1. French window to balcony looking south up pistes. Shower-room with double basins and wc.
- Bedroom 5: Twin/double (11’ x 10’) on ground floor, big french windows to wide terrace with superb views in all directions. Bathroom with snazzy corner bath and wc.
- Bedroom 6: Twin/double (16’ x 8’6”) on ground floor, looking west. Shower-room with twin basins and wc.
- Bedroom 7: Twin/double (12’ x 10’) on first floor, by dining room, looking west. Shower-room with wc.
- Bedroom 8: Double (11’ x 9’) on first floor, by second sitting room, looking east. Bathroom with wc.
- Sitting Room: (17’ x 16’) On ground floor, with french windows to wide terrace. Superb views in all directions. Fireplace. TV, DVD and WiFi.
- Dining Room:(L-shaped, average dimensions 16’ x 12’) On first floor, with french windows to vast wraparound balcony. Two open-plan kitchens, and another sitting area for ante-prandials.
Meals - Chalet La Couchire, Val D'Isere
We start with a proper breakfast. Fruit juice, porridge, Dorset cereals, bacon, eggs, baguettes straight from the famous local bakery, a croissant or pain au chocolat if you like, yogurts, British tea and fresh coffee from Italian espresso pots (with Nescafé and bizarre infusions for those who prefer them). A Cooked Breakfast option is also available.
You return from the slopes to find bread and jam, a freshly-baked cake, hot chocolate etc. left out for you.
Nightly canapés are followed by a three-course, fixed-menu, dinner-party-style meal. The cuisine is largely French, though with a fusion of other influences – what Londoners call Modern British. (Foreign, in other words.) With dinner, we serve free unlimited quantities of a selection of very drinkable French AOC wines and vins de pays
The chalet host will have a day off during the course of the week, during which you will be required to eat out.
Please Note: For all parties booking, we levy a damage deposit of £1,000. This is payable by credit card prior to departure, and refunded after the end of the holiday upon satisfactory inspection of the chalet.