The Finest Chalets Selected in Mountain Treasures Collection

Swiss design and architecture specialists Braun are one of the most exclusive and selective publishers in the world. Their editions are works of art in their own right. „Chalets: Trendsetting Mountain Treasures“ is their selection of the world’s best chalets and a hymn to the beauty of the winter holiday world, and Finest Holidays – Luxury Travel is proud that several of the luxury chalets in our collection are represented here.

Book review of Chalets. Trendsetting Mountain Treasures
„Chalets. Trendsetting Mountain Treasures“ by Michelle Galindo | Sophie Steybe © Braun Publishing AG – 8268 Salenstein, Switzerland

A Long Ascent from a Humble Start

A 21st-century luxury chalet is usually a high-tech, super-high-spec assembly of devices, facilities, and fashionable furniture.

The best of them usually show their heritage; the first chalets were winter shelters for shepherds. No matter how space-age the interior, most chalets – guided in part by the planning restrictions of pretty, historic Alpine resorts like St Anton or Cortina – respect traditional Alpine design principles and materials: local wood and stone.

When the great Enlightenment thinker, Jean-Jacques Rousseau used the term in the 18th-century, it was to paint a picture of man living in harmony with nature, and the need to fit in with and afford access to some of the world’s greatest landscapes is still true today.

Whether we can climb to the summits of simplicity and tranquility that Rousseau imagined for mankind is another question, but a luxury chalet is certainly a good place to start one’s search.

Finest Holidays - Luxury Travel Book review St Anton St Moritz Cortina
St Anton is rated among the top five resorts in the Alps. Located in the Arlberg region, it is the biggest connected ski area in Austria | „Queen of the Dolomites“, that’s what Cortina d’Ampezzo is called. As part of the Dolomiti Supersky Cortina offers a wide range of ski tours, such as the Olympic Ski Tour, which follows the routes of the 1956 Winter Games | St Moritz was the first all-round winter-sports resort in the world; it is also the world capital of winter glitz. With 88 pistes over 4 separate sectors, and a high point of 3,305m, the ski area is both extensive and snow sure

The first dedicated ski chalets were converted herders huts. While the UK has little world-class skiing terrain, it was the British who first made international holiday destinations of Alpine villages. St Moritz was the first Alpine town to benefit from a new life as a winter health and fitness retreat.

While a few mountain towns had a life beyond marginal agriculture, like Chamonix, on a pass from France to Italy, mountain sports were the preserve of gentlemen explorers who tackled summits like Mont Blanc, risking their lives in the process.

From the mid-19th century the Alps opened up. As the British middle-classes added a winter in the snows to a summer on the Riviera the converted mountain shelters were joined by holiday homes built in the Alpine style but with luxuries suited to the tastes of the Victorian bourgeoisie.

Finest Holidays - Luxury Travel Book review Chamonix Courchevel 1850
Chamonix at the foot of Mont Blanc, Europe‘s highest mountain (4,807m), hosted the first Winter Olympics in 1924. With a resort height of 1,035m and a top lift at 3,842m, Chamonix is the capital of all-mountain skiing and snowboarding | With many north-facing slopes, the snow in the Courchevel valley is usually some of the best in the whole ski area of the Three Valleys,  which has 600km of pistes and 166 lifts. Courchevel 1850, the highest of 6 separate resort villages – linked by lifts, pistes and a road – is by far the biggest and the prestige place to stay

A Tradition with a Future

Nothing can stay preserved in aspic, and Alpine holidays attract a demanding international clientele. While the top resorts of Europe like Courchevel 1850 have transformed from sleepy villages to bustling off-shoots of the Champs-Élysées or Bond Street so chalet architecture has moved with the time.

The sport of skiing also developed, with the Winter Olympics serving as an advert for the sport as it toured around the world, shining the spotlight on Chamonix, St Moritz, Innsbruck, Grenoble, and Albertville in Europe.

This beautiful book tells that story in nearly 100 stunning properties, taking in the 20th-century ‘Heimatschutzbewegung’ (preservation) movement that helped formalize the ski chalet form. It also shows how architects and designers today push the envelope of what a chalet can be and what its guests can expect.

The Finest of Treasures

Among the 91 beautiful chalets in „Chalets: Trendsetting Mountain Treasures“ are locations across the Alps, in resorts like Gstaad in Switzerland, Megève in France, San Martino in Italy, Austria, and also beyond, in Bulgaria, Slovenia, and the USA: From Aspen to Zermatt as the book boasts.

Finest Holidays - Luxury Travel Book review Gstaad Megève Zermatt
Gstaad, at the intersection of two valleys in the Bernese Oberland, is a winter fairy tale. Famous for luxury shopping and international stars, car-free Gstaad has a large ski area which has some 6 sectors, over 70 lifts, and 250km km of trails | Megève was founded in the wake of WW I by Baroness de Rothschild, Jean Cocteau made it the focus of Parisian café society. The skiing area is extensive, the scenery is magnificent too | Zermatt has snow-sure slopes, high-altitude top stations, 360km of pistes (linked to Cervinia and Valtournenche in Italy).  Surrounded by 38 summits above 4,000m and the world’s most photogenic mountain, the Matterhorn as a backdrop, Zermatt brings together every Alpine cliché

These are holiday homes selected for their design excellence, and the book is a beautiful tour – and a wonderful wish list – around the most perfect ski chalets in the world.

Finest Holidays – Luxury Travel can help you to tick off some of these must-see Alpine homes, with these outstanding luxury ski  chalets:

Chalet Spa, Verbier

Chalet Spa, Verbier
Chalet Spa in Verbier – Exterior
Luxury ski Chalet Spa, Verbier
Chalet Spa in Verbier – Indoor pool with southerly views

Chalet Spa is a chalet in the contemporary style, with big, chunky timbers that are more Scandi or North American in inspiration than Swiss. There’s nothing rustic about the interiors – beautifully photographed for Braun – with the indoor pool and enormous spa facility being the obvious standouts. If there is a swimming pool with a better view than this then we’re yet to see it. It’s a big chalet too, with room for 10 guests and extra space for helpers or more family.

Chalet Zermatt Peak, Zermatt

Chalet Zermatt Peak, Zermatt
Chalet Zermatt Peak in Zermatt – Exterior
Luxury ski Chalet Zermatt Peak_Zermatt
Chalet Zermatt Peak in Zermatt – Lounge views

Zermatt Peak more than lives up to its name, taking a coveted location and somehow adding to the natural wonders around it. The style is in some senses traditional, but this isn’t a luxury chalet that disappears into the background, with its liner-like profile and huge windows that make it a landmark and one of the best vantage points from which to gaze upon the majestic Matterhorn. And the design helps to bring the true joys of an Alpine holiday – light, air, landscape – inside, and complement them with world-class, very chic design and the best tech and entertainment facilities.

Chamois Lodge, St Martin de Belleville

Chalet Chamois Lodge_St Martin de Belleville
Chalet Chamois Lodge in St Martin de Belleville – Exterior
Ski chalet Chamois Lodge_St Martin de Belleville
Chalet Chamois Lodge in St Martin de Belleville – Bedroom

Chamois Lodge is very classic. It sits beautifully in one of the quietest and most tranquil places in beautiful St Martin. The respect for Alpine tradition extends to an interior that is heavy with local wood, big stone surfaces, and other natural materials. The heating system is very sustainable and makes Chamois Lodge green as well as beautiful.

Ferme de Moudon, Les Gets

Chalet Ferme de Moudon in Les Gets
Chalet Ferme de Moudon in Les Gets – Exterior
Ski chalet Ferme de Moudon_Living_Les Gets
Chalet Ferme de Moudon in Les Gets – Livingroom and dining table

This large ski chalet is a true world-apart. Up to 10 guests can enjoy acres of beautiful space, crafted by designer Nicky Dobree, that combine rustic framing with beautifully curated antique furniture – plus the latest hi-tech gear. Tucked away down its own lane, Ferme de Moudon, allows you to enjoy the mountains, while still having the very best of everything around you. A must-see chalet by any standards.

La Bergerie, Val d’Isère

Chalet La Bergerie in Val d‘Isere
Chalet La Bergerie in Val d’Isère – Exterior
Chalet La Bergerie_Living_Val d‘Isere
Chalet La Bergerie in Val d’Isère – Livingroom views

A bergerie is one of those shepherd’s huts that were the first ski chalets. There aren’t many still in use, and this 17th-century example has been beautifully and sensitively brought up to date – and beyond – to produce the perfect luxury family chalet. Heritage is celebrated, while modern open-plan design creates a modern, livable space – complete with hot tub, cinema room and video games. If location is one of the keys to a great luxury chalet, then La Bergerie shows that 17th-century shepherds had a great eye for a beautiful view.

Chalet No. 14, Verbier

Chalet No 14 in Verbier
Chalet No. 14 in Verbier – Exterior
Luxury Chalet No. 14_Indoor pool_Verbier
Chalet No. 14 in Verbier – the 10m indoor pool

No. 14 doesn’t date back 400 years, being the best that 2020 can offer. It’s far from discrete, a huge, eye-catching chalet with 13 rooms and room for 26 guests. It has seen service (and can still) as a luxury boutique hotel. That’s a good starting place to describing the design feel of this unique, stylish interior, furnished entirely with bespoke London pieces. The size of No. 14 means there is room for everything – really everything – that you could desire in a luxury ski chalet: two massive hot tubs, a 10m indoor pool, home cinema, and much more.

Finest Holidays – Luxury Travel is Katrin Wittich’s personally curated collection of the world’s finest luxury ski chalets, chalet apartments and luxury villas. Specializing in personal service and experience design, Finest Holidays – Luxury Travel can help you find the property that fits your needs. View our portfolio of luxury accommodations of that caliber! Call us on +34 661 71 80 61 or text to find out what we can do for you.

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