Dream Digs: French Alps Family Chalet

Jan 27, 2012
Outside Magazine


Its a dog's life[all photos: La Ferme du Soleil]


It’s been snowing in the Alps, and we’ve got schussing on the brain, especially since we stumbled across this choice ski-in, ski-out mountain hideout at 4,200 feet the Haute Savoie. La Ferme du Soleil (“Farm of Sunshine”) is Sound of Music meets Richard Scarry: e.g., an alpine ski idyll, with room for 12,très Euro niceties like down featherbeds and a huge open fireplace in the great room, plate-glass views of the peaks, and its very own chef. (On the menu: homemade Reblochon cheese from neighboring farms, local sausages, myrtle berries, honey from nearby alpages, and of course French wine at dinner.) The pistes and lifts of Le Grand-Bornand are right out the front door, providing access to more than 50 miles of pistes and 30+ miles of groomed Nordic trails, as is the village of Grand-Bornand Chinaillon, with a requisite après ski scene, rental shops, and day nurseries for the little ones. Or put on your climbing skins and randonee gear and head out pre-dawn with guide Jean Francois for some “eco-skiing.” What's not to covet?

Tea time at la Ferme du Soleilaprès ski tea 


La Ferme is an hour by car or bus from Geneva. Rates, including breakfast, afternoon tea, and dinner daily, start at $736 per person per week. Children two and under are $330 per week and kids two to 12 get a 20 percent discount. To sweeten the deal, kids under five and grandparents over 75 ski for free, and for those who want to linger over breakfast or lunch, a four-hour lift pass (good for four consecutive hours any time of day) costs just $32. 

Breakfast outsidefresh-air brekkie, bien sur

For single families of four, the ground floor studio—which is billed as a dreamy “writer’s retreat” come summer—has a wooden sleigh bed in the main room, a separate bunkroom, a small kitchen, two baths, and DIY meals. (The owners will happily stock the cupboards with local goodies in advance.) The studio starts $1200 per week.

Virgin snow again

And yes, there are still a few weeks available this winter. www.lafermedusoleil.com

—Katie Arnold

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