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Real Estate

17 December 2013

Alpine peak properties 

Developers of Alpine ski chalets are climbing to new heights of design and luxury. While the exteriors often have the wood-beam aesthetic of posh ski towns the world over, inside they feature not just the expected ski racks and open fireplaces but climbing walls, swimming pools and interior waterfalls.

Well-heeled buyers also want the best developers: a popular choice is Jean-Charles Covarel, whose family created the home of French skiing legend Jean-Claude Killy.

New construction is highly sought, but scarce. Resorts in the French Alps tend to be surrounded by imposing peaks with little area available to build. Covarel’s Chalet Husky is an exception, part of a new development called Petit Alaska that hugs the prized slopes of World Cup ski race venue Val-d’Isère.

Owning a showpiece second home a short stroll from some of the world’s best slopes has a side benefit: it can be rented to prosperous visitors for whom a luxurious week in the Alps is sufficient.

One of the most exclusive rentals is in Courchevel 1850: the expansive Chalet Edelweiss features a nightclub that can accommodate up to 100 people. Another Corcheval property is La Bergerie, including seven bedrooms with Japanese-style bathrooms, a gym, a spa and an on-staff masseur and beautician. The chalet’s owners reportedly turned down a recent offer of €70 million.

Experts on Alpine real estate note that the shortage of new construction often requires buyers to acquire older properties and renovate them, and a rising tide of upscale homebuyers are competing for the handful of properties that do come on the market.