If this year’s early snow dumps have rekindled your desire to own a ski home, we’ve picked six resorts that offer a bit more than just great slopes…

Article written by The Overseas Guides Company

Competition to attract more visitors is driving French Alpine resorts to offer far more than just good skiing, with today’s buyers in the Alps looking at a resort’s full offering in terms of amenities and off-piste activities, as well as how good the slopes are.

Aside from the skiing, different resorts stand out for different reasons, with some ticking a number of boxes – it could be restaurants, shopping, festivals or nightlife. To help buyers choose where to buy, here are six resorts that are popular in their own special way.

Architecture – Megève
As one of the oldest resorts in the French Alps, Megève is pure chocolate-box beauty. Created in the 1920s by Baroness Noemie de Rothschild, the style of the resort was inspired by Switzerland’s St Moritz. Still today, the original chalets commissioned in the style of traditional mountain farmhouses by the Baroness form the centre of the resort, complete with cobblestone streets and horse-drawn carriages. Little wonder Megève became known as the ‘21st arrondissement de Paris’. This stunning two-bedroom apartment is right on the slopes. For more info, click on the image.

Shopping – Chamonix
Chamonix is the year-round nerve centre of the French Alps and now welcomes as many tourists in the summer as the winter. It is a popular base for trips to Mont Blanc and the surrounding area, which means its shops cater as much for tourists as for its 10,000 permanent residents. The shopping experience is far from limited to snow sports clothing and equipment, and includes boutique fashion stores, jewellery, art galleries, antiques, bookshops, local handicraft, speciality foods and souvenirs. A stunning new development in Chamonix is the Cristal de Jade residence, offering three-bedroom apartments available as leaseback in a central location. For more info, click here.

Food – Courchevel
Courchevel has more Michelin-starred restaurants than any other resort in the French Alps – you could fine dine somewhere different every day of the week. Eating hotspots there include Courchevel 1850’s two-star Le 1947, a creation of the Parisian chef Yannick Alléno with an open kitchen serving up refined Savoie mountain fare. Other Michelin-star choices include La Table du Kilimandjaro, Le Chabichou, Le Kintessence, Les Airelles, Le Strato and Azimut. Tempted by this two-bedroom apartment there?

Après ski – Val d’Isère
With its large choice of lively drinking holes – on the pistes as well as down in the resort, Val d’Isère is especially popular with youngsters, including university students. The range of bars is broad too, from quieter, cosy bars to thumping clubs open till the early hours – wherever you are in the resort, you are never far from somewhere to enjoy a vin chaud or cold beer. We’ve found a centrally located two-bedroom luxury apartment – to see it, click here.

Street market – Méribel
Méribel’s weekly street market goes a step further than other resorts – for starters, it’s twice a week! For homeowners there, it’s a fun way to shop for your groceries, with stalls selling local produce, including cheeses, cured meats and confectionery. For a conveniently located ski pad in the centre of the resort, try this new five-star development.

Christmastime – La Clusaz
The pretty resort of La Clusaz embraces Christmas like no other, hosting a week-long festival called Les Pestacles du Père Noël. Under an enchanting display of Christmas lights, the event includes games, street entertainment, story-telling and concerts, and on Christmas Eve a procession of Father Christmases skis into the village by torchlight before a fantastic fireworks display takes place. Studios, one- and two-bedroom apartments are available at a new four-star residence near the lifts in La Clusaz.

More info
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