Take Three: Fab French ski chalets
With the first snow of the season about to fall, Nicola Brady finds three cosy ski chalets in the Franch Alps...
Where: Val d'Isere, France
Why: With its sloping roof and local stone exterior, Chalet Jasmin is a traditionally Tarentaise dwelling. Just a few minutes walk from the cable car at Le Fornet, it's also in a prime spot to access Val d'Isere's highest altitude skiing, and you can glide right to your door at the end of the day. When you get back, you'll be met with the scent of freshly baked treats, courtesy of the resident chef, before indulging in a three-course dinner. Any aching muscles will soon be forgotten in the 'Ski Detox' room, where you'll find a sauna and hot tub to ease you back to life. The chalet has four en-suite bedrooms over three levels, and you can book as a group or just take the one room.
How: Highlife currently has a special offer for the first week of skiing, with a week from November 30 for €725pp, or €606 for children. The price includes minibus transfers, chalet host, breakfast, afternoon treats and dinner with wine on six evenings. Flights are not included but can be organised at the time of booking.
Chalet Mont Blanc
Where: La Plagne, France
Why: With incredible views out to the imposing Mont Blanc, this chalet is perched in the middle of a dramatically beautiful vista. Sit around the fire in the living room, and you can drink in the scene through huge windows, while lounging on one of the plush sofas. The chalet has two balconies, one which makes the most of the morning sunshine, and the other on the east, with views of the pistes. The bedrooms are all en-suite, and you can warm yourself up in the chalet's very own sauna. The nearest lift is only a minute away, with the amenities of La Plagne all close by.
How: Prices for a fully catered week start at €988pps with Topflight, based on a departure on January 3. The price includes flights and transfers.
Where: Val d'Isere, France
Why: Sometimes the dream of finding a picturesque chalet falls apart when you open the door to find a rather dodgy, tattered décor. But that's not the case at Ananda. The bedrooms fit the winter wonderland fantasy perfectly, with exposed beams and furs on the beds. Antique furniture is dotted throughout the traditional chalet, which has a huge open-plan living area complete with a roaring log fire where you can defrost after a long day on the slopes. The chalet sleeps 10 in total, and is located in the hamlet of Laisinant, a quaint and quiet spot with a high-speed chairlift conveniently nearby. You won't go hungry, either - the fully catered price includes a daily hot breakfast, afternoon tea, champagne aperitifs and three-course dinner with wines.
How: Powder White has seven nights at Chalet Ananda from €811pps based on 10 sharing on a fully catered basis for arrival on January 10. Flights aren't included but can be organised, or fly to Lyon with Aer Lingus (aerlingus.com) from €60 one-way in January.
NB: Prices subject to change/availability.