French prop­erty dreams

A new de­vel­op­ment in the ski re­sort of Courchevel prom­ises to raise the lux­ury prop­erty bar, as So­phie Gard­ner-roberts dis­cov­ers

French Property News - - Contents - The chalets are avail­able to pur­chase with Val­lat Elé­gance val­lat-pre­

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.

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