Chalet des Pentes (nothing to do with pants – it’s the ‘chalet of the slopes’!) occupies the whole first floor of a large chalet built especially for YSE on the slopes at La Daille, literally yards from the bottom of the OK, Orange, Diébold, Raye and Verte runs. The Funival and the updated super-fast La Daille bubble pass close by.
Being right on the pistes is great. And these aren’t just any pistes: they are World Cup Downhill pistes. They offer skiing for every standard, ultra-quick lifts back up and guaranteed snow from snow cannons top to bottom. And once the lifts close, they become lethal with tearaway toddlers on toboggans!
In the morning, you can either take the new high-speed ten-heated-seater cable car, which as you can see from the picture, is practically in our garden, or you traverse to the Funival, still the world’s fastest lift. Going to the cable car involves a 50m walk down our hill to the bottom of the OK via the direct path lovingly carved through the snow by our staff and their new snow blower. The Funival is a 100m walk and a short glide from our door.
At the end of the day, good skiers ski right back to the chalet (probably making a quick pit stop at the outrageous Folie Douce or a more genteel one at the Trifollet), while the less intrepid ski back off the Verte to about 60m away, or just take the free ski bus which stops a short walk below. However you return to the chalet, there will be a difficult decision to be made: hit the tea and cakes straight away or jump in the new outdoor hot tub first! You could combine the two, taking a cup of tea or something stronger to the hot tub as it’s just two paces across the snow from the sitting room door.
The only people who find the 20-minute walk from the main village less than ideal are those who spend more time in Dick’s Tea Bar than on the slopes, but the free bus runs until 02.00, and the teenage sample we asked were enthusiastic: apparently, staying in La Daille gives time to chew on a mint or two on the way home, while being right on the pistes means even with a record hangover one can still be on the first lift. Parents will be reassured to hear that.
The owner of the chalets is a furniture maker, so there are acres of wood, much of it quite old.
More importantly, the chalets are very comfortable and well appointed. The bedrooms are not huge – predictably, since the real estate they occupy must be some of the most desirable in the world – but they are tastefully decorated and have underfloor heating, reasonable cupboards, safes, good lighting and gorgeous bathrooms. Even the beds are bigger and firmer than usual in France. Each bedroom has a private ski locker in the ski room, with individual boot dryers.
Chalet des Pentes has five bedrooms with five en-suite bathrooms. Its sizeable sitting-dining room has a log fire, wide-screen TV, DVDs and WiFi, and bottomless bespoke sofas.
The chalet can take up to eleven guests, because Room 1 has both a double bed and a single.