Located in Courchevel 1850 – a ski playground to the elite – this real-estate project makes living in a penthouse that’s part of a residential complex a desirable proposition
Driving into Courchevel is magical. Soft powdery snow enhances every solid surface, from cars to rooftops, making the picturesque cluster of villages – lit up with fairy lights – a ski resort village comparable to none other. Courchevel attracts a trendsetting affluent clientele, and comprises four distinctive towns – Courchevel 1850, Courchevel 1650, Courchevel 1550 and Courchevel 1300, each signifying the altitude it is located at, in metres. The four are linked by lifts, pistes and a windy path, taking you all the way to the top to the chic Courchevel 1850 – our destination and home to the fairly-new Six Senses Residences Courchevel.
Courchevel 1850 is where you will want to stay, shop and dine. Streets are lined with fur-clad women carrying Birkins and a teacup puppy in hand, cafés serving a generous glug of vin chaud, French eateries worth a stop for fondue, and luxury fashion boutiques boasting the latest collections, and classic pieces that sell like hot cakes. I visited Louis Vuitton to check if a certain bag was in stock, and returned hours later to purchase it, only to find out they sold all three pieces – make sure you reserve your selection. There’s never a boring moment in Courchevel 1850. When you aren’t skiing, or treating yourself to spa treatments, you may just rub shoulders with footballers, artists and the top one per cent of the world, as it is the lavish ski destination to flock to come season time.
A home away from home
Staying at Six Senses Residences Courchevel is a warm and cosy chalet experience that will enrich your ski holiday. I set foot into my three-bedroom apartment decked with a clean look of timber, subtle lighting, and pine aromas that wafted through the air. Each day began with a view of the sunrise, Nespresso and Sinatra, courtesy of the friendly smart home automation system in every room. I usually judge my stay by the appearance and amenities in the bathroom, and here, it didn’t disappoint. Showers are fitted with three types of options (including rain-showers), while The Organic Pharmacy products keep skin soft, supple and moisturised, prepped for the weather conditions at the slopes.
The European-style property is the first residential project in the continent from Six Senses, nestled at the heart of the crème de la crème of the French Alps, between Rue de Tovets and Rue de Verdons. The project is a joint venture between Cain Hay and Promocour 1850 and has been developed in partnership with Six Senses.
The finest of freehold apartments merges with the luxuries of hotel and concierge services here. Residents can park at a private garage, stow away luggage and purchases at storage caves, and beat the hassle of lugging around ski equipment – visit the shop located within the premises to get fitted out with boots and Lacroix skis, amongst other brands. Services such as the ski concierge at the slopes, where your gear is transported to from the in-house ski shop, is what truly sets this residential property apart.
Fifty-three penthouses and apartments, designed by the architect Alain Foeillet, showcase a neutral complementing palette of taupe, beige, tan and grey hues, alongside organic materials and a whole lot of timber, blending in with the alpine aesthetic. The units, ranging from 70 to 268 square metres, are available from two-bedroom apartments, to duplex penthouses that feature five bedrooms, a wine cellar, hammam, a terrace boasting mountain views, fireplace, and art work that lends an element of sophisticated quirkiness. Residents have the option of choosing furniture packages carefully curated by the award-winning Morpheus London.
Before heading off to the slopes, visit the relaxed and warm Club lounge for a substantial breakfast brimming with local cheese, freshly baked pastries, detoxifying and revitalising smoothies, and a nutrient-packed menu free from gluten and dairy – the smashed avocado with poached eggs became a daily favourite. When you are back from the slopes, head straight for the private on-site spa to beat lethargy with holistic spa treatments and restorative therapies. Other features at the spa include a sauna and steam room, relaxation lounges by the pool, a fitness studio, and an outdoor hot tub surrounded by snow – worth a try.
While some may be worried about the returns on their investment off season time, it’s worth noting that Courchevel now offers a range of summer activities, so you can enjoy a stay during winter and rent it out during summer, if you wish to.
Leave the slopes to experience Courchevel 1850 at its best. These hotspots are a shuttle or ten-minute walk away from Six Senses Residences Courchevel.
Le Chalet de Pierres
The sight of Chef Gerber Alvim roasting meat on the spit meets the eye as you enter this traditional Alpine restaurant on the Verdons slope. You can ski in, take a seat at the heated terrace and enjoy an alfresco lunch of hearty French onion soup, cheese fondue and fresh seafood or meat (order ahead). Don’t miss the dessert table featuring pistachio-cream filled profiteroles and a divine lemon curd tart. chaletdepierres.com
When a restaurant is headed by natives from the village, you know you are in for a great meal. This fireplace-fitted all-wood interior restaurant by chef and owner Thierry Mugnier and his wife Cecile is apt for an elegant fine-dining experience. Fresh local char tartare with blini and whipped cream and a side of oysters are highly recommended as an appetizer. Follow this with beef fillet Rossini; a succulent generous portion douse in a beautiful reduction, topped with a slice of foie gras and perfectly paired with warm pillow-textured bursts of gnocchi. And to end, the comforting hot baked pippin apple and silky salted caramel ice cream are worth trying, guaranteed to be polished off within minutes. legenepi-courchevel.com
Need to know: Prices for apartments at Six Senses Residences Courchevel, range from €1.5m (Dhs 6,629,491) to €8.8m (Dhs38million). Buyers have the option of renting out their apartment when not in use. Visit one-courchevel.com to invest in your ski home.
Those in need of ski lessons can make a request with the concierge at the residences. I took my first lesson on the slopes and highly recommend the patient Olivier Sadargues or Nicolas Germain at Le Cercle Private Ski School. Visit lecercle-ski.com