For me, a skiing holiday should always be about more than the slopes alone — which is why staying in a high-end chalet with personalised service would always be my first choice.
And there are some gems to be found in smaller ski resorts too, such as the uber-luxe Chalet V in Switzerland’s La Tzoumaz, linked to more than 400km of pistes of the Four Valleys ski region, most famous for the glitzy, upmarket Verbier.
Set over four floors, Chalet V sleeps up to 12 people, with a stylish, light-filled open-plan living/dining room, where you can enjoy views out to the valley from custom-made sofas beside an open fireplace.
Outside, there’s also a comfortable terrace with a dining table, sofas around a fire pit and on the terrace below, an all-year-round heated pool and large hot tub. Just inside the door, there are even faux-fur coats for guests to borrow if they start to get chilly.
The chalet has five bedrooms, including a cute bunk room for up to four children, with plenty of storage space, robes, fabulous slippers and ultra-comfy beds.
Bathrooms are not ensuite (bar the one in the top floor master suite) but there are plenty to go round, and they are stocked with toiletries from brands including Tiffany & Co, Hermès and Redken. One has an over-sized shower which doubles as a steam room, while there’s a decent sized sauna in another.
What makes a stay feel really special are hosts Patrick, Zoe and Nico. Patrick and Zoe designed and commissioned the chalet, which uses reclaimed materials to blend effortlessly with the surroundings. Everything is well thought out design-wise and nothing is skimped, from pink designer appliances in the kitchen to Bocci lights above the dining table.
Nico was brought on board to act as chef and general helper, and between them, nothing is ever too much trouble. Breakfasts were beautifully presented with shots of fresh smoothie and orange juice, eggs cooked to order, while the four-course dinners with pre-dinner cocktails and amuse-bouches were exquisite.
Although there are a few bars and cafes in La Tzoumaz, it’s not the place to stay if you’re looking for an active nightlife. Instead this small resort feels like a real village, with no high-rise buildings, chalets built in a traditional style and plenty of undeveloped space.
But as well as a 10km toboggan run, you have easy access to the Four Valleys slopes at a fraction of Verbier prices. The main gondola is only a few minutes’ drive away — Chalet V has its own parking space and cute heated boot room right underneath — and if you haven’t brought your car or hired one, a 24-hour shuttle service can be provided for a supplement.
Not skiing? The gondola from La Tzoumaz can also take non-skiers to the shops, bars and facilities of Verbier.
And the personalised concierge service from The Chalet Edit, the boutique travel company which arranged my stay, can set up a string of other activities along with transfers, ski lessons and English-speaking nannies.
For us, this meant in-chalet massages, and wine tasting with local grower Thierry Constantin, who came to the chalet to introduce us to the various wines he grows nearby — but heliskiing, hot air ballooning and private parties in the chalet are all options too.
So it’s no surprise that when I was confronted with a rare bad weather day, bunking off the slopes early for a sauna and a chance to revel in the chalet’s indulgent surroundings was no hardship at all.
A week at Chalet V costs from around £2,458 per person, based on 12 sharing, fully catered (six nights half board plus afternoon tea, with drinks) including pre-arrival concierge service. A self-catered option is also available. Book with The Chalet Edit