If you enjoy a spot of people watching on your annual ski holidays, there are a number of French Alps destinations that should definitely be on your shortlist when you are ready to book this year’s trip. All three of the resorts that made my list offer excellent opportunities for spotting the rich and famous and as you would expect, they all boast luxury ski chalets with 5-star facilities in which even the fussiest of A-Listers would be happy to stay.
1. Courchevel 1850 – contrary to the established practice of saving the best until last, I am kicking off with what I consider to be the top Alpine ski resort for those who are seeking an exclusive experience. With Michelin-starred restaurants, its own private airfield and a prime location in what is one of the largest contiguous ski areas in the world – Les Trois Vallées – it is not hard to see why Courchevel is so popular with the rich and famous, and with us mere mortals too!
2. Méribel – frequented by sporting legends (former Formula 1 champion Alain Prost has a luxury ski chalet here and ex-England rugby hooker Brian Moore has been spotted enjoying the après-ski scene in Méribel), the British royal family (Prince Edward and Prince William have both been seen in the area with their better halves) and many other celebrities, Méribel is also located in Les Trois Vallées – to the west of Courchevel. It is home to many fantastic luxury chalets and is known for its lively après-ski scene.
3. Chamonix – a commune in the Haute-Savoie département, Chamonix-Mont-Blanc is famous for hosting the first Winter Olympics, way back in 1924. Over 90 years later it continues to attract a great selection of A-List celebrities and members of various royal families. Chamonix’s superb mix of nursery, intermediate and advanced runs helps to make it a perennial favourite with serious ski enthusiasts too.
Whichever of the above three resorts you decide to visit, you will have a wide selection of luxury ski chalets with attentive staff and first class amenities from which to choose. You can look forward to soothing your aching muscles in an oversized Jacuzzi after a day’s skiing, tucking in to a delicious meal cooked by your own personal chef, and being chauffeured around in a prestigious car whenever you fancy exploring further afield. There are plenty of exclusive retail outlets close to these resorts, where you can treat yourself to some intensive retail therapy should the mood take you.
Other little luxuries that you can expect when booking a 5-star catered chalet include heated swimming pools, spacious saunas, private gyms and a well-stocked wine cellar. You will of course have to pay more for such accommodation but if you want to enjoy the same level of service as Hollywood stars and European royals, this is definitely the way to go.