Chalet | 5 bedrooms | sleeps 14
High-end yet affordable, Alpine yet modern, comfortable yet stylish, unmissable yet discreet...
Chalet Chalupa is based in central Les Houches at the south-western end of the Chamonix valley. It is a mere three minutes' walk to the Bellevue cable car - one of the gateways to the slopes of the popular wooded local skiing area, the largest in the valley. Five miles away from the centre of Chamonix, Les Houches is a large lively village with plenty of shops, bars, restaurants and services which is not only a great skiing resort in its own right but also a fantastic base for summer mountain activities such as walking and cykling.
Chalet Chalupa opened in 2012 after a major renovation. It is a very tastefully designed and furnished luxury modern chalet with a huge communal area (two lounges and a dining room), five bedrooms (of which two are family rooms sleeping four each), sauna, outdoor hot tub and a ski room with its own separate entrance and a boot drier. The chalet has a large open fireplace, a balcony on the attic floor, a terrace at street level and a large decked lower ground floor garden (where the hot tub is situated) and it has parking for four cars.
The other skiing areas of the Chamonix valley are between 5 and 20 minutes' drive away in the chalet's courtesy minibus. The nearest bus stop is a 3 minutes' walk away.
Quite simply - Chalet Chalupa has it all!
|Size||Sleeps up to 14, 5 bedrooms|
|Will consider||Corporate bookings|
|Access||Car not necessary, Wheelchair users|
|Nearest Amenities||500 m|
|Nearest travel links||Nearest airport: Geneva 80 km, Nearest railway: Les Houches|
|Family friendly||Great for children of all ages, Suitable for people with restricted mobility|
|Notes||Pets welcome, No smoking at this property|
Features and Facilities
|Luxuries||Jacuzzi or hot tub, Sauna, Log fire, Internet access, DVD player|
|General||Central heating, TV, Video player, CD player, Telephone, Satellite TV, Wi-Fi available|
|Utilities||Clothes dryer, Dishwasher, Cooker, Microwave, Fridge, Freezer, Washing machine|
|Rooms||5 bedrooms, 5 bathrooms of which 5 En suites|
|Furniture||2 Sofa beds, Double beds (5), Cots (2), Dining seats for 12, Lounge seats for 20|
|Other||Linen provided, Towels provided, High chair|
|Outdoors||Balcony or terrace, Private garden|
|Access||Parking, Wheelchair users|
The Rhone/French Alps region
A Living Legend
The legend of this place has been going for over 250 years. The story began when the English pioneers of mountaneering reached the Chamonix valley in the middle of the 18th century and dropped their jaws at the breathtaking panorama topped by the tallest peak of the Alps. The story was spread further by adventurous English aristocrats who followed in the footsteps of the pioneers to take in the extraordinary setting - the deep valley surrounded by a jaggedy crown of glacier covered skyscraping mountains. The conquest of Mont Blanc in 1786 put Chamonix more firmly on the map and opened the gates of civilisation. Sheep herders' huts as the only places to provide shelter were gradually replaced by inns and refuges and in 1816 Chamonix got its first posh hotel. Less than a hundred years later you could come all the way here by train and stay in over forty hotels including three art nouveau palaces with more than 100 luxury rooms. As early as 1909 two cog railways took tourists to greater heights to admire the glaciers from up close and marvel at the amazing views.
Where else should the first Winter Olympic Games take place than here? So in 1924 the legend strengthens further. Skiing becomes more fun with the help of lifts and by the turn of the 1920s and 1930s Chamonix is not only a Mecca of mountaneering but also a paradise for skiers.
In 1954 cablecar reaches the Aiguille du Midi (3842 m) and makes it the highest cablecar station in the World for two decades. Still occupying a prime position among Chamonix's attractions it transports year in year out hundreds of thousands of tourists longing to see Mont Blanc like it was in the palm of their hand and tens of thousands of skiers who set off from the top on the World renowned 22 km freeride down La Vallée Blanche.
If the 18th century pioneers came to the valley today they wouldn't believe their eyes. They would get picked up at Geneva airport and driven all the way to Chamonix in an hour. The Egratz viaduct rising from the valley bellow would probably make them feel dizzier than the mountain heights they were scaling when they first came here. The mountain which had struck them with awe has had a tunnel bored through it. The valley which was dotted with just a few tens of homesteads 250 years ago is now home to 15.000 residents and welcomes up to 100.000 visitors a day. Had it not been for the surrounding peaks, Chamonix - with its town houses adorned with wrought iron balconies - would feel like a busy spa town. The highstreet, lined with shops and boutiques with world renowned names above their doors, is busy come snow, rain or shine and the two villages at the opposite ends of the valley - les Houches at the soutwestern and Argentiere at the northeastern - get their fair share of visitor interest, too, being home to two of the best local skiing and hiking areas.
Wherever you look it's all trees, slopes, peaks, needles. And quite a few glaciers... One day will be enough to get the panorama burnt into your visual memory. Whenever you'll see it again - in a picture, a film or with your own eyes - you won't hesitate. CHAMONIX!
Skiing in Chamonix
Chamonix couldn't be more different than your usual purpose-built French skiing resort. Its skiing areas have originated and developed over many decades in line with public demand and technical progress. The valley has been built up gradually, too and except for a few ugly 70s blocks here and there the overall character of the architecture is pleasing to the eye and decidedly alpine. The drawback of the gradual development is that only two of the five skiing areas in the valley are interconnected. To get to the other ones you will need to use a car or bus. Taken from the bottom of the valley upwards the areas line up as follows: Les Houches, Brevent/Flegere, Les Grands Montets and Le Tour. Piste map of the valley and beyond.
Skiing in Chamonix isn't, however, limited to the skiing areas. Few other resorts offer such enormous possibilities to ski off piste without helicopters or hours of walking as Chamonix. The best known local freeride itinerary is doubtless the descent from the Aiguille du Midi down the Vallée Blanche, but there are countless other off-piste slopes you can get to using just lifts and cablecars. Some of them are easily accessible and manageable without expert guidance but the further and more extreme you go, the more advisable it is to use the services of an experienced certified guide.
The Chamonix valley undergoes a spectacular transformation every spring. It's like switching from a black'n'white TV set to a colour one. The valley turns green, the chalets shed their snowy hats and the sun makes their wood glow. After a six week lull between the end of skiing and the beginning of the summer season the lifts start to run again. Would you believe that Chamonix gets more vistors in summer than in winter? It's a fact! One hundred thousand per day in the summer compared to sixty thousand per day in the winter. It has to be said that many summer guests are daytrippers but still - who would have thought? The biggest attraction is of course the breathtaking panorama crowned by the highests mountain of the Alps, nevertheless, Chamonix has much more to offer than just views...