Introducing the agency whose bespoke alpine holidays cater to those who demand more from a ski-lodge than a place to recuperate after a hard day on the slopes. There’s nothing like a hearty social session in a cosy ski-lodge bar, cementing friendships made on the slopes just hours earlier. But if you prefer your après-ski ambience and activities to pack a quirkier punch, one of ski agency Summit Retreats’ boutique properties might just be your cup of glühwein.
Chalet Husky in Val d’Isère – a commune in the Tarentaise Valley, south-eastern France – offers a contemporary spin on traditional ski chalet design tenets (the glass walkway suspended over its indoor atrium garden is a particularly nice touch) and has an indoor climbing wall and a range for rifle shooting and archery, as well as the customary swimming pool and sauna plus the not-so-customary Turkish bath, or hammam.
Abstract art lovers may instead make a beeline for Chalet Quezac, also situated in Val d’Isère. Owned by French freeskier and rally driver Guerlain Chicherit, this bachelor pad-style property is packed with weird and wonderful artworks including a large red penguin wearing a necklace fashioned from one of Chicherit’s crashed rally cars.
Elsewhere, Summit Retreats owns properties with an 18-hole golf course, endorsed by Jack Nicklaus (the San Lorenzo Mountain Lodge), a private ice rink (the Sir Richard Branson-owned The Lodge, in Verbier, Switzerland) and a casino offering late-night poker games (the Chalet Le Petit Palais in Courchevel, France).
If this property portfolio is anything to go by, the term off-piste may soon take on a new meaning.