French property dreams
A new development in the ski resort of Courchevel promises to raise the luxury property bar, as Sophie Gardner-roberts discovers
A stunning chalet complex in Courchevel
Part of Les Trois Vallées, the largest lift-linked ski area in the world, the resort of Courchevel in Savoie is no stranger to luxury. It boasts the largest number of Michelinstarred restaurants of any French Alpine resort, with 11 stars shared between seven establishments. On the high street, luxury names such as Louis Vuitton, Hermès, Valentino, Prada, Cartier, Dior and Chanel set the scene for the type of skiers who frequent this historical and busy resort.
The resort has five ‘villages’ located at various altitudes (1,300m, 1,550m, 1,850m etc) and all offer ski-in ski-out accommodation. But few properties offer the level of service and comfort promised by Vallat Immobilier’s latest venture Le Belvédère – Rêve des Pistes.
Prime location Perched at an altitude of 1,750m in the hamlet of Belvédère above Courchevel Moriond, the development will comprise 13 chalets and a totally unique concept that will allow owners to relax in a private and secluded environment with direct access to the slopes.
If Courchevel’s healthy luxury market was one reason for choosing such a location, it was also a personal choice for Joffray Vallat, CEO of Vallat Immobilier. “My great grandmother was the first hotel owner in Courchevel and owned Les Grandes Alpes hotel back in 1947,” says Joffray with a smile in his voice.
Particularly prominent on the Alpine property market, Vallat Immobilier has always been a family business and Joffray in particular, has a certain intuition for the business. After making his first sale singlehanded on a property at the tender age of 13 (“While my father and his partners were on a lunch break!”), he now works on creating exclusive, never-before-seen properties that push the boundaries of luxury ski development. Other than the beautiful views on the surrounding peaks, ski slopes on the doorstep and a blissfully quiet location, this new complex will be blending five-star hotel services with residential privacy.
Beyond luxury “The idea is to create a common base to the property with facilities open to every owner, but to then have private spaces in the form of individual and fully fledged chalets,” Joffray explains. Le Belvédère – Rêve des Pistes will consist of two separate entities: a block of eight chalets and a block of five chalets modelled the same way and located slightly above.
Each chalet will be private and separated by gardens and tall pine trees offering privacy. On the ground floor (accessible by your own private lift), a corridor and a huge common space will link the individual chalets together. Future owners will therefore be able to make the most of a heated indoor and outdoor swimming pool, a bar, a cinema, a gym, a spa, a children’s play area… all without leaving the grounds of the property complex.
A maître d’hotel and a concierge will be available all hours of the day while owners can also call upon the services of a personal trainer and make lunch and dinner bookings. “So you have the comfort of being in your own home, but with all the services of a five-star hotel,” says Joffray. “It will be like an exclusive members’ club; the public will not have access to any of the facilities.”
Joffray goes even further. The chalets will be available to purchase as leasebacks so, when the owner is away and the chalet is available to rent, Vallat will offer to stow away personal belongings (“such as Grandma’s portrait in the lounge”) for the duration of the rental, and then put them back exactly as they were before. Guests renting the chalet will thus have the impression of being in a high-standard and luxurious holiday rental, while owners will come back to their home, family photos and all.
Inside, the chalets will range from six to seven rooms and 194m2 to 238m2. They will be sold fully furnished and equipped – “down to the teaspoon in the kitchen drawer” – using only the finest finishing and materials. The design will be by award-winning architect and designer Nicholas Haslam, while clients will benefit from a private interview to discuss colour ranges and finishing materials.
A savvy investment
Prices starts at €5.8m and, although that may seem prohibitively high, Joffray explains that the way the development was conceived allows buyers’ money to stretch quite a bit further.
“In the eight-chalet block, the surface of the common area is effectively divided by eight in terms of ownership so you will only be paying for an eighth of the common facilities, while having complete access to everything, plus your own private chalet,” Joffray explains. “If you want that kind of service in a single detached chalet anywhere else, the price is tenfold.”
The leaseback scheme also offers interesting opportunities and owners can benefit from Vallat’s hotel and rental management services. Their ‘family office’ service offers to take care of the entire process of leasing your property, from maintenance to property promotion.
Such innovation has not been seen elsewhere and Joffray is aware that the luxury market is changing; people no longer want to worry about maintaining their property. They simply want to feel at home while on holiday and Vallat seems to have achieved just that.