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