St Martin de Belleville, Trois Vallées
10 Great Ski Chalets in the Alps
CHALET FLORALIE, ST MARTIN DE BELLEVILLE, FRANCE
A gondola rises from St Martin de Belleville to the giant ski domain of the Trois Vallées. Near its base, in what is the only authentically French village left in the area, lies Chalet Floralie. Last year it was a somewhat faded mountain home; now it is a cosy but sophisticated chalet decorated primarily in taupes, donkey brown and chocolate.
The main living space is large, lit by floor-to-ceiling windows and furnished with generous, all-embracing sofas; the dining area is cosy, with bench seating; and there are areas where children can easily hide away from adults, or vice versa. Thoughtful features include a cosy library with ski- and mountain-themed books, and heated cupboards in the hall so that damp ski jackets and gloves can dry overnight.
Floralie is ideal for combined family groups: it can sleep up to 18 people, four of them in a stylish, self-contained penthouse upstairs, linked by an internal staircase to the chalet below.
Chalet Floralie (01243 575507); sleeps 14 plus four in the penthouse. From £12,800 per week, including penthouse; £2,400 for the penthouse alone.
SKIING & NIGHTLIFE
The Trois Vallées offers 600km of runs for everyone from the eager intermediate to the hardened off-piste skier. The village’s après-ski is muted rather than mad. The Piano Bar is arguably the most animated spot in St Martin, and it offers a bit of gentle Karaoke on Monday nights.