Peak practice: The world’s most impressive super-chalet
The most luxurious, resplendent and glamourous ski chalet in existence? It sounds more than a little hyperbolic: until you walk into Chalet N – which overlooks, from a vantage point of 1660m, the hyper-fashionable resort of Lech and the world famous Arlberg massif – and take in what it has to offer first-hand.
Palatial in size and filled with a kind of weapons-grade hygge throughout, it has ten suites with generous-sized living areas, the largest being 184 square metres, including one designed especially with children in mind (it has four double size bunks and kid-friendly entertainment offerings). Every space has its own extra special flourishes, whether it’s the lavishly stocked bar and roaring fireplace in the living room, the dining area’s locally crafted walnut table and pure titanium cutlery or the High Definition 3D screen, Digital Surround Sound, infinite choice of films and swallow-me sofas in the cinema.
There’s also a quintessentially Austrian fondue room, ice bar and a wine-tasting cellar with 350 labels (as well as 90 different varieties of cigar) and its own sommelier. And then there’s the spa – a word that feels a little tepid for what’s on offer here. Occupying an entire floor, its pool has an underwater sound system and a colour scheme that shifts shades every 20 seconds, and is flanked by day beds, a sauna and steam room and an area with twin hydrotherapy pools and Swarovski shower (by this stage, visitors tend not to be surprised to find that the curtain is made from sparkling crystals).
Walk through a glass partition onto the front decking and you’ll find two external Jacuzzis with wide-angle views of the mountains. Take a wander back inside, and you’ll find a gymnasium, a separate zone with gently swaying electric beds and several single and double treatment rooms (there’s an in-house spa team offering facials, massages, manicures and pedicures). In short, if you were in a gargantuan luxury hotel, you’d still leave this particular spa zone with mouth agape.
It seems almost sinful to leave behind Chalet N’s charms for the slopes, but when you do so, you’ll find a boot room in which each guest has their own locker, with heated racks and a lift which takes guests to ground level and straight onto the piste. Access to surrounds which include St Christoph and St Anton involves transfers in the chalet’s Porsche Cayenne or one of its several Range Rovers.
After a day on the slopes, visitors return to a kind of familiar aromatic embrace – that of timber (the chalet is built entirely from reclaimed oak) tinged with the fragrance of baobab-scented candles – as well as constant reminders of the sheer attention to detail on offer here (just one example being the seven pillow varieties between which guests can choose – embroidered initials optional). And, of course, most comfortingly of all, the attentive-but-unobtrusive service from Chalet N’s service team of 35. Nothing here is too much trouble. Although you’ll be hard pushed to think of anything you actually need.