CHALET HOLIDAY IN SWITZERLAND
A ski Chalet holiday has to be on everyone's bucket list. Wouldn't you love to sip hot chocolate by the fireplace in a cosy chalet with views of endless snow-capped mountains after a day of adventure spent on powdery white slopes? I always did. So last March I decided to go on a Ski trip with a group of 9 friends and a chalet was the perfect accommodation choice for our large group. After a lot of research we decided to book Chalet Milou through Ski Verbier Exclusive. It was the best decision we made.
Upon arrival in Geneva, Switzerland a minibus came to collect us from the airport and we set off on our drive up the mountains towards Verbier. The alpine resort of Verbier is located in the Swiss Canton of Valais and is part of the Four Valleys or 4 Vallées ski area. The other three resorts are: Nendaz, La Tzoumaz and Veysonnaz. Verbier lies on a sunny plateau and is 1500 m above sea level and is just an hour and 45 minutes from Geneva.
We arrived at Chalet Milou, our home for the next 5 days. as it was snowing outside. We were greeted by our chalet host Samy and Chef Oli who took us on a tour of the property. The beautiful chalet is rustic with modern touches, and the living space is spread over 3 floors. It has a cosy yet classy vibe and I felt at home immediately.
There are two wings to the chalet. The main living room, on the first floor of the chalet, is stunning with a breathtaking views of the Valley below and endless snow capped mountains. The balcony spreads over the length of the chalet and is the ideal spot to take in the view. The huge living area has an open kitchen and dining table that seats 12.
The second living room which is on the other side of the chalet has a kitchen, fireplace, TV and DVD library.
The master bedroom is on the top floor, has its own little balcony and a little TV room the looks onto the living room below but is cleverly glassed off to keep the sound out.
The other five bedrooms are spread out over the ground floor where you also have a sauna, steam room, dry room and extra toilet.
The outdoor hot tub is cleverly hidden from view and its ideal for a warm soak after a day of skiing total privacy.
Milou is named after a character in Tin Tin and the chalet has it's own Tin Tin character figurines. It really didn't take me long at all to fall in love with this place and after the tour we headed back to the main living room to take it all in while we enjoyed our welcome snacks by the fireplace.
Before You Go
Packing the right things for a ski trip is essential.
These are some of things to put on your packing list:
Warm waterproof coat
Snow boots (waterproof and insulated)
Beanies and scarves,
Waterproof trousers (ski pants).
Take an extra pair of gloves!
Communicate with your travel agent or the chalet concierge to arrange activities, restaurant reservations and transport in advance. Activities like dog sledding and paragliding are best if booked in early
Number of bedrooms: 5 twin/double bedrooms on the ground floor and 1 master suite on the second floor, all with en suite bathrooms.
The chalet comes with two living areas. The main living area on the first floor which is right under the master bedroom has a wonderful fireplace, The ceiling to floor window offers breathtaking views of the valley and snow capped mountains in the distance. The dining area has large 12-seater dining table and fully equipped kitchen where the chef prepares the meals.
The second living area which is also on the first floor but on the other side of the property is equipped with apple TV and a DVD library. It also has a kitchen. It is accessible either by the stair case on the ground floor close to the dry room or via the outdoor balcony connecting the two sections.
The ground floor has a dry room for ski equipment, a yoga,/massage room, steam room and a hot tub on the patio right outside the yoga room, situated in a secluded area for privacy.
Ski fittings are done in the chalet at your convenience.
Meals are prepared daily by the chef.
Besides a villa host and chef the chalet also comes with daily housekeeping and 24 hour in-resort driver service.
Ski passes are organised by the chalet host.
The meals at chalet Milou will always be memorable.
The dining table is where my friends and I met every early every morning. 'Chef Oli' would take our 'hot food' order while we sipped on our cappucino's prepared by our lovely host, Samy and nibbled on the delectable breakfast spread.
I enjoyed the morning chatter and we discussed plans for the exciting day ahead. I could not resist stepping out onto the balcony for a bit to enjoy views of the mountains and valley after a night of fresh snowfall, of course with camera in hand.
Lunch or après ski is much needed after burning off all those calories on the slopes.
Verbier has a good number of 'Apres Skis' and fondue places to try.
Here are some of my recommendations:
Le Marlenaz has a great selection of food and at an altitude of 1895m the view is incredible
Book in advance!
Chez Dany was one my favorite restaurants in Verbier.
I loved the French onion soup and selection of fondues.
(I recommend the chili fondue)
The service was also wonderful. The waiter and chef catered to our needs and the food was delicious. The warm cosy rustic setting with views of heavy snowfall outside could not have been more perfect.
Book in advance!
Le Rouge is located right in town and although it is more popular as an apes ski place, we decided to go there for dinner. The food was excellent but I think I would have preferred to go there for lunch as it has nice a nice al fresco dining area
Book in advance!
Le Carrefour is conveniently located close to Les Esserts which is the largest beginner ski area in Verbier. It has everything from fondues and rostis to steak and pastas.
Book in advance!
Le Galerie Du Chocolat is a lovely little tea room that serves delicious hot chocolate in Medran. This would also probably be a great place to buy some chocolate as gifts to take back home!
Verbier has plenty of activities for skiers and non skiers. Some of the non ski activities I tried were:
Dog Sledding with Ewya's Trails
Snowshoeing with Cherrieswalks
Sledding/tobogganing which can be done from a variety of spots.
If you're feeling adventurous I would highly recommend you try Western Switzerland's longest toboggan run. The piste which runs from Savoleyres to La Tzoumaz is 10 km long and has a vertical drop of 834 metres.
To get there from Verbier you need to take a gondola up to Savoleyres. The tobogganing fun starts at an altitude of 2238m and takes you down to the town of La Tzoumaz ending the toboggan run at an altitude of 1500m. Enjoy the mountain vistas as you glide down the snowy slopes. Just make sure to stop along the way for photos. The view is beautiful!
All you need is warm waterproof clothing (ski wear), goggles, helmet (if you prefer) , a toboggan that you can rent close to the gondolas, and you are good to go. Strap on your Gopro for some cool footage.
If that isn't enough adventure for you you can also try night sledding. One spot to toboggan down from at night is Chez Dany. Firstly the restaurant is fantastic. The food, ambience and service are excellent. Chez Dany is only accessible via snow taxi which makes it all the more exciting.
After dinner strap on your head torch, dust the snow off the sleds, take a seat and begin your descent.
Make sure to ask for directions as it can be confusing in the dark. You can go down the piste or take the road. Personally I found the piste to be a lot more fun.
One activity to take advantage of while in the snowy Alps is snowshoeing. The beautiful landscape is worth exploring by foot or should I say 'snowshoe'
If you've never been snowshoeing before you need not worry. Our wonderful guide Cherries explained it all as she handed as these shoe attachments.
Snow shoes are designed to fit over your boots by easily strapping on and the clever design distributes the weight so you can walk over deep snow.
We booked our full day snowshoe trek with Cherries Walks
Book in advance and add this to the must do when in Verbier
At 3330 meters above sea level the views from Mont Fort are nothing short of spectacular.
With several peaks visible from the summit which is above the clouds you can admire the Matterhorn, Dent d’Hérens, Grand Combin and Mont Blanc from up there.
You don't have to be a skier to go up to the summit as you can take the gondolas and cable cars all the way back down.
Or if you are a pro skier you may wish to take the extremely steep and bumpy 1300 meter black ski run down.
One activity that is great to do with the family on the snowy alps is Dog Sledding.
Enjoy the winter snow while sledding across snowy landscapes is a great way to enjoy the Swiss Alps.
Our concierge booked our dog sledding activity with Eywa's Trails prior to our arrival. It gets booked up very fast so its a must to book early if you want to try it.
The meeting point is just a gondola ride away from Medran to Les Ruinettes and right behind le Mouton Noir.
Our group got into their sleds (each sled takes a maximum of two) and as the weather was overcast, snowy and cold it felt good to warm up under the cosy blankets provided.
Apart from a couple of doggy toilet breaks (which the guides cleaned up straight away) the ride was wonderful and it was a pleasure to meet the team and be able to pet the beautiful dogs at the end of our 45 minute journey.
The cost of the ride is 165 chf
Verbier is a skier's dream.
It has 410 kilometers of ski runs, 93 ski lifts and plenty of off piste slopes for the more experienced skier.
Of course snowboarding is also an option or if you want to be really adventures you could always try heli skiing.
If you're not a great skiier but would like to experience some of the steeper slopes try tobogganing (sledding).
Toboggans can be rented at CHF 10 for half a day and CHF 12 for a full day.
Most toboggan runs are open from 9am to 3pm in winter. The toboggan paths are marked and and its easy to find your way down.
Or you could dine at one of the mountain restaurants at night and strap on a torch and slide down the slopes.
Ask your hotel or chalet concierge for details.
What I loved
I loved the attention to detail in Chalet Milou. So much thought has gone into the little things as well . For example the dry room comes with a a jar of chocolates, bottles of water, packets of tissues and a sunblock stick. All the things you need to throw into your bag when you go skiing. There's a chalkboard with a 'Don't forget' list too
Every afternoon upon our return from our morning activity we would find a thoughtful note on the dining table to let us know there was a refreshing milkshake or ice tea in the fridge.
Attention to detail rating: 10/10
The view from the expansive balcony is breathtaking. The chalet also has a large terrace connecting the two sides of the property.
Chalet layout rating: 10/10
I have to give a huge shoutout to the chalet staff. Especially Chef Oli and our host Samy who went above and beyond. They really made our stay unforgettable. I also have to mention our chalet concierge Sally who helped put our crazy schedule together. The staff at Ski Verbier Exclusive get a huge thumbs up.
Chalet Service rating: 10/10
The chalet is in the perfect location. It's away from busier 'Medran' but not too far away.
As the chalet is south facing it gets a lot of sunlight too so despite the cold outside the chalet always has a warmth to it.
Chalet location rating: 10/10
Chalet Milou comes with two fireplaces with, two kitchens , a yoga/massage treatment room, steam room and outdoor hot tub .
Wow factor rating: 10/10
The food at Chalet Milou was nothing short of exceptional. Everything was cooked with passion and a smile. From the wonderful spreads at breakfast everyday to the pre-dinner canapes and 5 course meal, everything couldn't have been more perfect.