When the snow melts, revealing a lush green world and totally transforming the vistas that had skiers giddy with excitement, a whole new world awaits the summer visitor as the mountains metamorphose into a playground for activities of a different kind, which donít all have to be energetic, the roof of the world is a perfect place to find a fresh perspective and benefit from the invigorating air and the breathtaking, truly spectacular views that can and indeed do deliver a feeling of awe. Itís mind blowing to think that was once a sea bed, laid down many, many millennia ago, has been raised by the actions of tectonics and become a playground for millions of tourists to enjoy in both summer and winter. Of course, staying in a fabulous chalet or hotel can further enhance the fortunate visitorís experience, of a week or two, or if lucky, maybe longer, of this most inspiring and uplifting of landscapes. Here I present the perfect accommodation for such an adventure.
Les Anges, Zermatt
Zermatt is one of the best summer resorts and Les Anges is one of the best chalets in resort. Spacious and with views to die for, Les Anges offers itís guests a perfect haven to enjoy all that is best in this most stunning corner of the Alps. The interiors of Les Anges are† simple and uncluttered but nevertheless create a feeling of well being. With massive windows, allowing the clear mountain light to flood in and affording constant reminders of the beauty to be enjoyed outside, the guest in Les Anges are assured of the full benefits of the location, not least in the outdoor hot tub, which takes advantage of the surroundings both day and night. On a moonlit night, a wallow in the terraced jacuzzi offers ghostly visions of the distant, iconic Matterhorn and a canopy of stars which truly take the breath away.
Amazon Creek, Chamonix
Chamonix is a magnet for mountain tourism all year round, the world renown Mont Blanc is a massive draw for intrepid adventurers. The summer sports, trekking and lively hustle and bustle of this exciting French resort makes it an attraction hard to resist for summer visitors. With a short transfer time for foreign tourists flying to Europe, Chamonix is perhaps the most cosmopolitan of Alpine resorts. The Amazon Creek affords its guests the best of both worlds, nestled secretively and seductively in a woodland setting, aside a babbling stream, this most attractive of luxury chalets is a perfect retreat for lovers of nature but who also like to be near the action in the evening. The nightlife in Chamonix is never dull, with a plethora of bars and restaurants to suit all tastes and budgets. The outdoor pool at Amazon Creek is a positive boon to those lucky enough to have chosen this stunning bolt hole.
Hidden Dragon, 4 Valles
Thereís something totally Zen about this Swiss masterpiece and deliberately so, the owner and designer expressly wished feng shui principles be adhered too in the siting and construction of this beauty. Shinto rituals were performed to cleanse the earth and appease the mountain spirits and if you think this is a little highfaluting and pretentious, youíll soon concur and be won over by the calming and peaceful ambience that pervades this stunning luxury chalet. This extremely attractive residence would suit those predisposed to meditation and relaxing pastimes, such as yoga, which can be performed on the purpose built Yoga deck. The views are, as you would expect, inspiring and breath taking. Youíll come away from the Hidden Dragon totally refreshed with the batteries recharged and with a desire to return as soon as possible.
W Residence (W Hotel), Verbier
The W Hotel is new to Verbier and is preceded by itís reputation for cutting edge contemporary design and customer services second to none. The spa facilities on offer at the W are superb and designed to offer the guest the ultimate in pampering. Verbier is a fabulous resort for both winter and summer visitors with a truly spectacular landscape to enjoy in both seasons. Being well established and thriving, Verbier offers its visitors a great choice of bars and restaurants and a nightlife to suit the most avid clubber. The rooms at the W are stunners and posses the wow factor, affording the guest the best in luxury hotel accommodation and experience. Verbier waited a long time for the W to open itís doors and now it has, the W has become the benchmark for others in resort to follow.
The Peak, Sainte Foy
The Peak offers tailor made cycling and pilates holiday breaks for those who prefer group activities rather than those who are more independently minded. As any cyclist knows who follows the Tour De France, the climbs in the Alps are legendary and are tough challenges for the fittest of riders. Sainte Foy, in the Tarentaise region of the French Alps, is host to some truly spectacular and fearsome climbs that have figured in many Tour editions. The Petit St Bernard, the Cormet De Roselend, the La Plagne and the Les Arc climbs to name a few, are within reach of Sainte Foy. Saint Foy is a pretty, authentic French resort, perhaps not as renown as its Tarentaise neighbours, Val díIsere, Courchevel and Meribel but possessing an attractive charm that its visitors jealously guard. The Peak stands proud in Sainte Foy and offers its guests a fabulous hotel experience in luxurious comfort.
Rebecca Taylor is Director at†SkiBoutique.