What sort of ski pad would James Bond look for? Savills’ Verbier associate, Alpine Homes, considers the essential qualities in a mountain home necessary to satisfy the needs of the world’s most discerning secret agent…
Let’s face it, if James Bond really existed, Verbier would be the perfect destination for him: an internationally-renowned resort, oozing glamour and adventure. If 007 walked into our office looking for a ski chalet to buy, what would we offer him? After exchanging a few pleasantries, his requirements would be prised out of him by the lovely Caroline Murray and her astute colleague Felix Garifoulline.
“How many bedrooms do you need?” Caroline enquires. With a straight face, Bond replies “You can only use one at a time”. Quite. Space for entertaining? “Naturally, but it needs to be equipped with 24-hour Wi-Fi connectivity for video conferencing with M”.
“What about security?” interjects Felix. “A lock on the door is sufficient, Q-branch will see to the rest” replies Bond. “ And I’ll need an underground garage – space to house the DB10 and the snowmobile”.
“What about the location?” asks Caroline. “Discreet with a private entrance – I don’t want any uninvited guests” responds Bond. “It should ideally be within walking distance to Le Farinet for a late night Dirty Martini or two, but I have a 24-hour chauffeur at my disposal”.
“Final question,” adds Felix “does it need to be ski-in, ski out?”
“It’s not the perfect world” retorts Bond dryly.
With that, the trio are off around the village to look at property, not in an Aston, but in a Subaru. The first apartment is a peacefully-tucked-away apartment in Le Hameau. With tasteful open plan accommodation, three bedrooms, underground parking for two and ski-in, ski-out access to Le Rouge, Belle Neige should be perfect for any 00 agent. Bond looks confusingly at the bunk beds, but seems otherwise impressed.
The second property, Chalet Vermont, is perched up in the Patier quarter, offering stunning mountain views and the utmost privacy. A central fireplace dominates the living and dining area with full height ceilings and open plan kitchen. There are plenty of bedrooms to choose from, but Bond seems more interested in the spa and outdoor Jacuzzi. “Heated to 104 degrees Fahrenheit I assume?” asks Bond rhetorically. Caroline blushes, while nodding in agreement.
The third property is Entre Ciel et Terre in the Brunet region. A stunning duplex penthouse occupying some 215m2, this split level apartment boasts four bedrooms, including two which are under the eaves. The convivial living space and open fireplace make it perfect for romantic entertaining. Bond admires the views from the balcony while checking his latest smart phone for signal strength. “Five bars, perfect. What’s next?”
With Bond’s clock ticking, they have time for one final viewing. This prime piece of real estate is on the penthouse level of the second phase of the prestigious Rosalp development, moments from Médran. It is a five-bedroom duplex with full height ceilings and private spa facilities. “You could always convert one of the bedrooms into a cinema room or study” suggests Felix helpfully. Bond is examining the key-code access lift. “Is this bullet proof?” he asks. “The windows are triple-glazed and the flooring is sound-proofed” replies Felix. “However, I am sure that both the lift and windows could be upgraded to meet MI6’s requirements.”
As Caroline delivers Bond back to his hotel, she asks cheerily, “So, which one is it to be commander?” Bond replies matter-of-factly, “They are all suited to my needs, you and Felix have been most helpful, thank you. Moneypenny will be in touch shortly to arrange a full security assessment of each property.” With a wry grin and a twinkle in the eye he adds, “but the Home Office writes the cheques!”