Chalet le Vieux Crêt Description
Le Vieux Crêt is a very special chalet for many reasons. First, it is one of Val d’Isère’s very few genuinely old houses. There are dozens of buildings which look old, with traditional stone walls, granite slabs on their roofs and distressed timber balconies, but they have been built over the last few years. The 1620s farmhouse which became Le Vieux Crêt and La Maison du Rocher next door was the model for many of them.
Do you actually care whether the chalet you stay in is really historic or just faux-traditional? Probably not, but it does bring certain advantages. First, the Avalins who built the house were able to grab the best site. The eponymous crêt is that little ridge at the entry to Val d’Isère proper, where we have great views and a sizeable garden, while all of the recent imitations huddle behind!
They evidently foresaw traffic noise, and built their house above the road where there is none. But could they really have guessed four centuries ago that the Funival and new Téléphérique would be a single bus stop away? We have to walk 50m or so down a path then a further 100m to the bus stops for both directions. The village centre is two to three stops, or you can walk to the skiing or après-skiing in 10 minutes, should you be so inclined.
The chalet itself is gorgeous. The spacious top-floor sitting room, with its high-ceilings supported on whole tree trunks and its huge log fire surrounded by sofas, is magnificent.
The four bedrooms are neat, sweet and en-suite. One is on the ground floor, three are on the middle floor. Their builders did not waste space, having evidently decided that acreage in the living rooms is more useful than room around one’s bed, but they have good lighting and cupboards. Two of the bedrooms can be made up as either twins or doubles. The two other bedrooms both have double beds. All of these bedrooms have en-suite facilities.
There is an open mezzanine over the dining and sittings rooms where children can play, or up to two people can use the beds and use the shower for the sauna (ground floor) and wc on the first floor.
Also on the ground floor are the sauna and the boot warmers. Very occasionally a guest will decide that he is Finnish and rush from the sauna to the garden to roll in the snow, but there’s usually a good six feet of snow out there, and we’re always worried they may not come back.