Much of the best skiing in Val dIsère starts 75 seconds from the door of this chalet. The Fornet cable car might not win any awards for architecture (though the Pompidou Centre did), but it serves the best snow and emptiest slopes in the area. There are pistes for everybody, from long, easy blues to the wicked black Forêt mogulfield, and an infinite off-piste area. Now that even the highest runs have snow cannons, this must be some of the most snow-sure skiing in Europe.
Guests from this chalet are already in the powder while everyone else is on the bus, and they can even be on the slopes of Solaise in no time, via the up-and-over or the never-busy Laisinant Express, which now links with the Datcha.
The hamlet of Le Fornet itself is gorgeous, the hugely popular Arolay and gastronomic Atelier dEdmond restaurants are in it, and on the slopes just above are the excellent Edelweiss and Le Signal, recently named best mountain restaurant in Europe.
Le Fornet is at the very end of the Haute Tarentaise valley, where the road becomes piste, and although it is some distance from the village centre as the chough flies, it is not inconvenient for the village shops, ski schools or nightlife. The free bus waits just outside the chalet until the early hours, and gets you to the centre in about five minutes. If you think this sounds too good to be true, just ask Fiona Easdale, the E of YSE. With three children to get to ski school and never less than a hundred best friends to catch up with, she doesnt do inconvenient. And she stays here every winter!
This chalet is a stunning eight-bedroom chalet, built for us by race coach Cédric Bonnevie and his sisters Ingrid, who would be the best-looking ski instructor in Val dIsère if it werent for Cédric, and Magali unquestionably the pisteur one would most like to be rescued by. It was a bit of a shock to see these paradigms of pulchritude pouring concrete and planing beams! One day theyll all live here themselves. For the moment, Ingrid spends most of the winter in the annexe, just next door to the ground-floor sitting room, while the other two move out to let you help pay their mortgage.
The chalet has a superb dining room, next door to a sitting area with a log fire where guests tend to meet for pre-dinner drinks. Downstairs is the main sitting room, with a second log fire and a large flat screen for DVDs when the conversation has dried up, or WiFi if you wish it would...
The chalets best bedrooms are among the biggest in the resort, with stupendous views from the Galise, on the Italian border, to the Grande Motte, above Tignes. Most give the choice of large twin or vast double beds (please specify which you prefer when you book). Only Bedrooms 7 and 8 are more typical of Val dIsère, as profligate with space as an iPod Shuffle. Because they are less des res than the other bedrooms we charge £50pppw less for them. All eight have really smart bathrooms.
- Vast, beautiful ski chalet, built especially for us five years ago.
- Super bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms throughout.
- Most rooms give option of large twin beds or huge doubles (please specify which you prefer when booking).
- Two log fires, DVD with plasma screen, separate dining room, ski room with boot warmers.
- Fornet cable car 50m from front door, pistes 100m, bus 10m.
- Rapid access to major ski area with glacier, empty pistes, easy pistes, off-piste, moguls and good mountain restaurants.
- Stunning views of miles of mountains and the pretty hamlet of Le Fornet.
- Val dIsères best restaurant next door and most popular restaurant nearby.
- A chef and two assistants who live next door.
- Damage deposit for all bookings.
Quoted prices are subject to confirmation at the time of booking your chalet.