Choosing the right chalet for you from a plethora of ‘for sale’ items can sometimes be nerve-wracking. So much so that you might end up not buying at all and then regretting it each time you feel like hitting the slopes. This is why we’ve put together a step-by-step guide on how to choose the best chalet for your needs, so that you can attain your dream of owning a snow-toppled home in the heart of the Alps. And since one always learns best by force of example, we thought that a case study would best illustrate our tips. The natural choice for this was Verbier - one of the most sought-after ski resorts in the world. Without further ado, let’s take a step-by-step walk through our guiding points.
We’re starting our journey assuming that you have already picked out a resort in which you’d like to settle. But if you are still having trouble deciding, you can check out our article offering general advice on buying ski property for some tips in choosing the resort. For all intents and purposes, we will be looking at Verbier in this article. However, Verbier is a not a single point in space and there are many locations one can settle for, depending on his or her needs. When filtering through chalets, you should first think about how close to the piste you would like to be. If you cannot stand having to commute even for a little bit, then finding a chalet that is within walking distance of a gondola is a must. Nonetheless, you should bear in mind that the closer you are to the ski slope, the more expensive the house will be. But it pays to have the comfort of hopping straight into a gondola. If closeness to a ski-piste in Verbier is what you are looking for, then the luxurious Residence Agate could be just the choice for you with its 5 en-suite bedrooms and private sauna. Even though Residence Agate is a penthouse and not technically a chalet, its roominess make it a strong rival for any chalet on the market.
If, however, you don’t minding taking a short ride with a bus shuttle to reach the gondola or you are fond of walking through the snow for a bit of exercise, then you should filter out properties closer to the slopes and only look at those that are slightly further afield. One such choice could be the beautiful and cozy Chalet Vermont.
When considering the location of your future chalet, you should also ask yourself what you intend to use the chalet for. Do you want to go there only during the winter or do you wish for a year-round house? If the former, then a chalet closer to the piste might be better for you. If the latter, you should explore chalet locations that are slightly further from the main skiing attractions, but closer to hiking trails or areas where one can enjoy other types of summer outdoor activities. You should also consider whether you’d like to cook your own meals most of the time, or whether you prefer to always dine out. In that case, you should choose chalets located in the heart of the Verbier resort, which are closer to restaurants. One such example is our Valentine 210 property, located at the center of Verbier and part of a complex that offers a Spa area, a sauna, a Hammam, a gym and a games room. Or, Belle Neige, which features a smaller kitchen, ideal for those that do not want to waste any space for facilities they will not utilize.
2. Number of bedrooms
The second item on your filtering list should be the number of people that you want your chalet to house. If you are a family of two, then you could settle for something smaller in size and opt-out on the chalet, focusing on a mountain apartment, such as Le Kid 118 that features cozy interiors and stunning mountain views.
But if your family will increase, you should bear that in mind and choose a more spacious chalet that has at least 3 bedrooms. At this point you should also consider whether you will be vacationing only with your close family or whether you will be housing extended family as well. Or perhaps you are an outgoing person that likes to throw parties and have many friends over. If that’s the case, then a spacious 4 bedrooms+ chalet is what you are looking for. Chalet Corniche with 4 bedrooms and en-suite showers for all of them, including an en-suite bathroom for the master bedroom is the perfect choice. Another option is the previously mentioned Residence Agate that features 5 luxurious bedrooms.
3. Interior design
And speaking of luxury, another thing to consider when looking to buy a chalet is its interior design. Do you prefer an extremely luxurious feel or are you more of a down-to-earth person that prefers to feel the rustic style of the mountain side? Depending on your answer to these questions, you can easily rule out properties that do not fit your choice of style.
When looking at the interior design of a chalet, you should also consider the modern vs traditional dichotomy. Not every chalet has a rustic, traditional style, some come fitted with modern furniture and finishings, making them ideal for a modern person.
But what if you want a bit of both? Then try a mix of modern and traditional, such as the one displayed inside Le Fayard that combines a crisp and clean white colour with classic wooden pieces that are reminiscent of traditional German houses.
Last but not least on your list of filtering items when choosing a chalet, are the facilities it comes equipped with. Some people are really keen on every bit of comfort that a chalet can offer, while others are more restrained. Either way, you can easily rule out property if it does not cater to your needs. For example, do you want to enjoy a relaxing sauna moment after being out in the cold without having to share it with anyone? Then look only at properties that have this type of feature. Would you like to have heated-boot warmers in the hallway to warm up your feet before heading out into the snow? Then choose the above-mentioned Le Fayard. Is a ski room essential for you in order to store your gear? The answer could be Residence Agate. Are you just as fond of swimming as you are of skiing? Make sure your chalet has an indoor pool like the ten-meter one with swim jets inside Chalet Corniche.
Whatever your preference, make sure you take it into consideration before deciding on a property. This way your decision process will be much easier since you will be ruling out everything that does not absolutely fit your most important needs. To go over the list again, you will have to decide on a location in Verbier, on the sizing of the house, on the type of interior design and on the types of facilities the chalet has to offer. If you’ve run through all of these, step-by-step, you will reach a decision in no time. Good luck!