If you are looking for a winter holiday home set in dramatic scenery and easy to get to then head for the French Alps says JANE SLADE
There is no greater thrill than waking up to blue skies and a virgin white landscape glinting in the sunshine. As one of the best ski seasons in decades draws to a close the lure of owning a home in the mountains has rarely been stronger. And for ski-loving retirees there is no better time to invest in an Alpine property to enjoy family holidays.
Courchevel in the French Alps is among the top ski destinations in the world and investing heavily to attract skiers – and property buyers.
Six Sense Residences is the first fully-serviced apartment complex in Courchevel 1850 (the highest of the three Courchevel resorts) with all the conveniences one could wish for – 24-hour concierge, indoor swimming pool and spa.
It couldn’t be in a better location too, bang in the middle of the resort surrounded by Michelin-star restaurants, designer boutiques, and luxury hotels. And a short private shuttle ride from the slopes (Six Senses also has a ski concierge located in a private chalet under the main ski lift)
Everything has been thought of here, as you would expect from a luxury brand renowned for its five-star hotels, resorts and spas. The apartments are spacious and well-designed with open plan dining and leisure areas (pictured below), balconies and en-suite bathrooms.
There are 53 properties ranging from one to three-bedrooms apartments and 10 five-bedroom penthouse suites. Prices range from €1.5m to €8.8m.
Warmly decorated using wood, stone and light-coloured furnishings, the homes are designed for luxurious family holidays and winter wellness breaks with friends. Apart from some 600 pistes there are also cross-country ski trails, snow-shoeing excursions and on-mountain restaurants accessed by ski lifts. So there is plenty to enjoy even if you are not a powderhound.
The residences have a swimming pool, sauna, steam room and treatment rooms offering beauty and massage therapies. There’s also a spacious club lounge serving breakfasts, snacks and light lunches.
According to property experts the apartments are set to be good investments. A 21 week-long ski season offers plenty of rental opportunities especially as Courchevel links into one of the biggest and best ski areas in the world; the Trois Vallees.
Charles Weston-Baker, head of international developments at Savills estate agents says, “Not only does Six Senses Courchevel deliver the magic of having the best address in Europe’s most stylish ski resort, but it also provides the logic of a being a sound tax efficient investment that, if required, can more than cover annual running and finance costs from renting it out for part of the year.”
Courchevel has been investing heavily in its infrastructure too. The Aquamotion Park; a €70million space-age swimming complex that opened two years ago has indoor and outdoor pools, wave machines, a salt pool, steam rooms, saunas and whirlpools – enough to keep a family occupied all day.
“It’s a very exciting time to be investing in the Alps.” adds Roddy Aris, Knight Frank, France. “There are of course challenges ahead such as the long-term implications of Brexit and the erratic winter seasons but the draw of the mountains has never been stronger.
“Resorts are having to evolve and adapt to meet the demands of today’s buyers. Huge investments have been pledged across the Alps from artificial snow-making facilities to adapting and evolving activities for the summer and family market.”
Courchevel is determined to keep its place as a top ski destination. It has also upgraded its ski lift system to the tune of €120million and making a joint bid with Meribel to host 2023 Ski World Cup.
Kerry McClinton-King, Business Development Director at Six Senses Residences, said: “Courchevel 1850 is renowned as one of the best ski resorts in the world. The residences combine exclusive hotel-style amenities and service within the comfort and privacy of your own home, leading the way in a new type of ski property paradigm. The result is a six-star ski experience like no other.”
Some 60 per cent of properties have sold; they range in size from 70 to 268 square metres. The 10 penthouses offer triple aspect views with balconies and terraces and even wine cellars and private spas.
The development is 100 km from Chambéry Airport, 180km from Lyon Saint-Exupéry Airport and 190km from Geneva Airport. It is also accessible via TGV and Eurostar. Alternatively, specialist aircraft can fly direct to the Altiport in Courchevel.
Courchevel is named as the third top destination in Savills’ prime ski destination leaderboard behind St Moritz and Verbier. www.one-courchevel.com