Competition to attract more visitors is driving French Alpine resorts to offer far more than just good skiing according to Skiingproperty.com. The website says that buyers choosing a ski home should look beyond the slopes and consider a resort’s full offering.
“Aside from the skiing, different resorts stand out for different reasons, with some ticking a number of boxes,” said director Julian Walker. “It could be restaurants, shopping, festivals or nightlife.
To help buyers choose where to buy, we’ve listed seven favourite resorts that offer something special.”
Favourite architecture – Megève
Megève is pure chocolate-box beauty. As one of the oldest resorts in the French Alps, it was created in the 1920s by Baroness Noemie de Rothschild. Inspired by Switzerland’s St Moritz, the Baroness commissioned the construction of 200 chalets in the style of traditional mountain farmhouses, which still today form the centre of the resort, complete with cobble stone streets and horse-drawn carriages. Little wonder Megève became known as the ’21st arrondissement de Paris’.
Price for a properties Megève from €4.95million to €10million.
Favourite shopping – Chamonix
Chamonix is the year-round nerve centre of the French Alps. It is a popular base for trips to Mont-Blanc and the surrounding area, and as such 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.
Price for a properties in Chamonix from €295,000.
Favourite 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 hot spots 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. The other Michelin-star choices include La Table du Kilimandjaro, Le Chabichou, Le Kintessence, Les Airelles, Le Strato and Azimut.
Price for a properties in Courchevel from €460,000.
Favourite après ski – Val d’Isère
A favourite with youngsters, including university students, Val d’Isère has a large choice of drinking holes on the pistes as well as down in the resort. The range of bars is broad too, from quieter, cosy bars to thumping clubs open till the early hours – wherever you are in Val d’Isère, you are never far from somewhere to enjoy a vin chaud or cold beer.
Price for a properties in Val d’Isère from €900,000.
Favourite festivals – Les Deux Alpes
Every June, Les Deux Alpes celebrates the Fête de la Musique, a free event that treats spectators to all types of live music, played in bars, restaurants and in the street. Then come December, the resort hosts the Rise festival, which combines live music with an ice disco, cinema screenings, winter beach party, snow sculpture contests, photo-pods, clubland, camp fires and chill out areas.
Favourite street market – Méribel
Many resorts have a weekly market, but Méribel goes a step further and has one 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.
Price for a properties in Méribel from €567,000.
Favourite for Christmas – 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.
Price for a properties in La Clusaz from €142,590.
2016 Market Conditions for Property in the French Alps
Tim Swannie, Director of Home Hunts says “For anyone thinking of investing in a ski property in France this season the local and international economic climate is working in their favour and the conditions are good.
Although the exchange rate has fallen since mid-August, the pound remains strong against the euro and British buyers get more ski home for their money if buying now compared to the same time last year. Those currently requiring a mortgage are also onto a good deal as French banks have been positively affected by the quantitative easing applied by the European Central Bank to revive the Eurozone market.
This means that interest rates remain at an historic low and overseas buyers should be looking at a fixed rate around the 2.5-3% mark for a while to come.
France remains the most popular ski destination for visitors from the U.K for many lifestyle reasons. Importantly, French ski resorts are amongst the most easily accessible – budget airlines service the main ski destinations, driving is economical and allows for plenty of kit and Eurostar has launched two new services; direct to Lyon from London and to Geneva (via Lille).
A home in the Alps offers a top quality ski experience with high altitude options for the adventurous or those wishing to ski late in the season. The Alps also has vast ski domains, great snow and many French resorts have new and efficient lift systems. Home Hunts has found the most popular ski home destinations with the British tend to be Les Portes du Soleil, which includes Morzine, Avoriaz and Les Gets and L’Espace Killy with renowned Val d’Isère and Tignes. A lesser-known destination, but providing good value for money is also Samoens with its convenient ski lifts to a large ski domain and is only an hour by car from Geneva.