Are there still hidden gems in the Alps? St Martin de Belleville might be one of the last
Published on 02/10/2020 by Finest Holidays - Luxury Travel
Most Alpine resorts are household names to winter sports connoisseurs. Finest Holidays’ collection includes world-class luxury chalets in world-class locations like Val d’Isère, Verbier, and St Anton. But we like to go off piste too, and in this respect St Martin de Belleville, French Alps, is something special: a resort with top-draw access to the world’s largest ski area, plus unbeatable solitude and privacy.
St Martin de Belleville is part of a family of resorts that serve Trois Vallées (the 3 Valleys), an enormous ski area in the Savoyard Alps of south-eastern France. The Courchevel resorts, Méribel, Val Thorens, Les Menuires, Orelle, La Tania and St Martin cluster around the slopes of the beautifully maintained valleys of Saint-Bon, Allues, Belleville, and, Maurienne.
The ski area is vast, with 600km of linked pistes with more than 1,000 lifts – and a fantastic history of innovation and invention – that give smooth and speedy access to guaranteed snow cover. With all of the slopes above 1,100 meters, and 80% of them 1,800m and more above sea level, this means a long season.
The 3 Valleys is open until April – some resort slopes into May! There’s still plenty of time to book your place on those beautifully groomed slopes with a superlative property awaiting you at the end of the day.
Chalet Aphylla and Chalet Aralia – a perfect pairing
Finest Holidays has two properties in Villarabout, a tiny hamlet, up the slopes to the north-east of St Martin de Belleville, but just a 2-minute chauffeured drive from the village center.
Inside, Aphylla is everything to make the perfect stay for eight lucky guests who sleep in four sumptuous en-suite bedrooms.
Cozy and intimate rather than imposing in scale, classic, clever design brings light and space flooding in to Chalet Aphylla, its windows framing a panorama of superb mountain vistas. The terrace at the back of this beautifully private property enjoys particularly fine, uninterrupted views of the Savoyard Alps.
Inside luxury is everywhere you look. Giant sofas and a big Smart TV compete with the glass-fronted fireplace for your attention in a big living and dining area that showcases the relaxed, modern, and chic style of this very French property.
After a day’s skiing you can steam out the strains in a sauna while your boots warm on the racks in your own ski room.
With a flexible set up – two rooms are twin/doubles – Chalet Aphylla can accommodate a family or small group holiday in style and comfort.
The same feeling of relaxed and relaxing contemporary design built on a traditional framework has been achieved in Chalet Aralia. Blonde wood and big windows provide the light and airy atmosphere; Villeroy and Boch tableware that special touch of exclusive luxury; and a big open fire, terrace hot tub and classic sauna should warm you up and relax you after a day’s skiing.
The latest entertainment tech – Smart TV with satellite, games consoles, Sonos music system – is complemented by traditional touches like the sheepskins on the terrace seating.
Guests sleep in five en-suite rooms, individually styled with local woods at their heart. A master suite on the first floor, and two double/twin rooms on the second floor. Two further rooms – including the bunk room – combine around a shared bathroom to form a family suite.
Both chalets come with the world class service, staffing and products that is the Finest Holidays hallmark.
Escape to the Skies
Unusually for an Alpine resort, St Martin de Belleville has a life beyond the guests who visit each winter, and is a living mountain community. This gives it a special atmosphere, and it – and its surrounds – are the perfect place for a quiet family or group getaway that prioritizes privacy and escape over partying and excess.
There is no shortage of things to do though, and our two chalets put their guests in the perfect place to enjoy an indulgent evening before returning to their luxury homes.
St Martin de Belleville itself is relatively quiet, but you can dine in beautiful French Alpine style in the former hayloft that houses the well-regarded Le Montagnard restaurant in the village center, or in even more rustic surroundings at La Ferme de la Choumette, where wood-grilled meat are served with a working farm as the backdrop. La Voute is very family friendly.
Quiet drinks and relaxation sessions are more the style than banging beats, in this historic village resort. The spa at La Bouitte is a favorite stop-off, perhaps before a couple of après drinks at Le Dahlia or Alp’Hotel.
St Martin is a great way to discover the skiing of the 3 Valleys, and the resorts are also within easy reach, for partying or world-class dining in Méribel and Val Thorens. Michelin inspectors have been busy and skiers can choose among top-rated restaurants – René et Maxime Meilleur (3 Michelin stars, St Martin), L’Ekrin by Laurent Azoulay (1 Michelin star, Méribel) and Les Explorateurs (1 Michelin star, Val Thorens).
The 3 Valleys are an extraordinary adventure with many possibilities to offer.
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