‘Oh Lord won’t you buy me, a ski chalet…’
Jeremy Rollason gives us a tour of some properties available in the 4 Vallées…
In the famous 1970 song by Janis Joplin, the singer eschewed the idea of a Porsche in favour of a Mercedes Benz, even if she did indeed own an example of the former. There are no shortage of either marques today in Les 4 Vallées, reflecting the popularity and affluence of the largest ski area in Switzerland. If, however, you were lucky enough to have your prayers answered, where and what could you buy with the windfall?
Verbier is the natural starting point. 70% of our website visits for Switzerland go to Verbier first. The international customer base here is ever-growing and the resort is benefitting from the vibe that the W Hotel and Place Blanche have created. Other new developments, including Residence Alex, and the re-development of Kings Parc Hotel and the Rosalp will themselves bring exciting new brands and restaurants to the high street. Entry prices for a comfortable and centrally-located two bedroom apartment are around CHF 1million (see Le Kid).
From here, the sky is the limit, but there is an active mid-market around CHF 3-5m. A good example being Eclat Soleil – a conveniently located 4 bedroom apartment, close to Medran for CHF 4.2m.
For those that don’t have (or want) to be in Verbier, Les 4 Vallées offers plenty of alternative choices to suit all budgets. La Tzoumaz, just an itinerary route away and with the longest toboggan run in south west Switzerland, offers family chalets and apartments for sometimes a third or even a quarter the price of Verbier. Chalet Elixir, a handsome 4 bedroom chalet, built just 5 years ago, has large panoramic windows through which to soak up the mountain-scape of The Wildhorn and the Rhône Valley. For sale at CHF 1.7m, the asking price would start with a three, if not a four the other side of the Sonalon lift.
In recent years, Haute-Nendaz has grown up (physically and metaphorically) to stand alone as its own resort in Les 4 Vallées. New shops and restaurants (such as Mont Rouge), combined with the opening of the 4 Vallées Hotel three years ago, has aided the gradual gentrification of this popular family resort. A new 2 bedroom apartment in the landmark Mer de Glace project can be bought for CHF 990,000 (see La Forêt).
Owing to the Lex Weber, new build opportunities are now severely restricted, but Chalet Pole Position is for sale to non-Swiss residents who wish to specify their dream chalet (CHF 2.45m). The other good news for Nendaz is that the connectivity to Siviez is vastly improved this season, with the introduction of snow canons along the Tracouet and Prarion pistes.
Veysonnaz, the other village in the “third” of Les 4 Vallées, is perilously perched above Sion. However, it arguably offers the best access to Les 4 Vallées, with the new Piste de l’Ours lift for the 2016/17 season. Uncrowded pistes, friendly service and Valaisian restaurants define this family-oriented resort. The skiing never disappoints. As well as the World Championship favourite Piste de l’Ours, there is plenty of challenging skiing to be found on Etherolla (with distant and brilliant views to the Matterhorn) and for the adventurous off-pisters, Greppon Blanc is a world away from the groomed pistes. Prices here are somewhere between Nendaz and La Tzoumaz.
The “Fourth Valley” is made up of the resorts of Les Masses, Les Collons and Thyon 2000. This is where chalet owners forego boutiques and nightclubs in favour of rugged mountain views across the Heremence Valley and snow-sure skiing. In recent years, the lift infrastructure has been improved with a new four-man chairlift departing from Les Masses, complimented by the refurbished and excellent Le Bois Sauvage restaurant. The exciting news for Les Collons this season is the eventual realisation of La Dixence Resort. After years of planning, construction will commence in spring (2017). This luxury thermal spa resort is an ambitious, but welcome project for Les Collons and will include a boutique 60 bedroom hotel, 92 apartments starting from CHF 460,000 and 7 luxury chalets. Overseen by mjd architects (who orchestrated the Mer de Glace complex in Nendaz), La Dixence can rarely be purchased as a second home, because it falls outside the scope of the Lex Weber 20% rule. Happy days for buyers.
Talking of happy, so where would Janis Joplin have bought? Stumbling distance from a bar sans dout!