Ben Blosse gets a warm glow on a Chilly skiing experience in the Alps
The perfect ski trip can, occasionally, be something of a logistical nightmare. Oh, we all know it is worth it – the adrenaline rush of the slopes, the superlative views, but getting everything sorted before you go – and then worrying about getting yourself sorted while you are there – can be a stress-inducing affair.
Nestled in the Alps, Chilly Powder will look after you – and more. Run by English couple Francesca and Paul Eyre, who have been based in the area for years and are only too happy to share their expert knowledge, the lodge is designed not only to look after your every need but to do it in style.
My partner Faye and I visited towards the end of January last year, flying into Geneva Airport, with Chilly Powder a 90-minute drive away (transfer sorted by the team). There are a couple of private lodges but we stayed in Au Coin de Feu, the main chalet which has a bar, large dining and lounge area and an outdoor hot tub.
Comfort screamed out at us as soon as we walked in – a fire crackling in the middle of a lounge looking out on to the snow-covered hills just yards away. It wasn’t hard to imagine we would have a brilliant few days.
That feeling was only accentuated when we saw our surroundings – the location is near unbeatable. Chilly Powder is in the Morzine area of southern France, just a couple of hundred yards from the five-minute ski lift that will take you to the resort of Avoriaz.
The blue ski run that leads from Avoriaz down to the ski lift passes
right by the lodge – meaning at the end of a long day, you can ski straight to your front door and have your skiing gear off in minutes.
Avoiding an hour-long commute after a day in the cold is pure bliss and makes a stay at Chilly Powder well worth it, even without all the other fantastic options the lodge offers.
First things first – let’s talk about the skiing (or snowboarding). You won’t be struggling for options.
Nearby Avoriaz has
dozens of spectacular slopes that will suit everyone from kindergarten to expert level, with some taking you across the Swiss border.
And if, after a few days of skiing your heart out you fancy a change, the bus stop outside Chilly Powder will take you on a 10-minute ride to the town of Morzine and Les Gets, which also have superb slopes.
We didn’t need to worry about where to get our ski gear – the team organised for the nearby Door Step Skis (doorstepskis.com) to come and kit us out as soon as we arrived.
If you have never skied or need lessons to bring you up to speed, the Chilly Powder team have it in hand. My partner was in the former category so ahead of our stay the team organised a lesson for her with Avoriaz Alpine Ski School (avoriaz alpineskischool.com).
Chilly Powder also has its own child ski school, so any parent who fancies heading off for the day can leave their children in safe, expert hands.
One of the factors that really sets Chilly Powder apart is how you are taken care of before and after your day on the slopes. Every morning we were treated to a sublime breakfast, with cooked and continental options.
But it’s the nights which live long in our memory. Every evening bar one
– when the staff get a well-deserved night off (yet still organise restaurant bookings elsewhere) – we had a meal of the highest quality.
And every day was rounded off in such style that we often looked forward to the evenings as much as the skiing.
Faye and I were bowled over by Chilly Powder. Francesca and Paul are rightly proud that the majority of their customers return year after year, and it isn’t hard to see why.
The location, the comfort, the food and the atmosphere are exceptional, and the staff serve your every need.
When it’s Chilly, you know you are in for a warm welcome.
The fire crackled in the lounge looking on to snowy hills yards away