The Vintage Magazine, that is the editor and his wife, two daughters with accompanying husbands and their respective two children apiece recently spent a fabulous week skiing at St. Martin de Belleville, actually that is not technically correct, we stayed in St. Martin but skiied in the vast area of the Three Valleys (aka Les Trois Vallées if you are French) which incorporates, Courcheval, Val Thorens, Méribel, Les Menuires, Saint Martin De Belleville, La Tania, Orelle and Brides les Bains; that makes 600 kilometres of slopes to explore and a resort to suit every taste and budget and every level of skiing ability from wonderfully groomed blue pistes to vertiginous couloirs. There are in fact 321 Alpine ski runs made up of 51 green, 132 blue, 106 red and 32 black making this area perfect for families.
We chose St. Martin de Belleville as we had stayed here about 12 years ago and had fallen in love with the authentic charm of this Savoie region village but also because of the high speed gondolas and chairlifts which whisked us off and up into all the other ski areas.
However since our first visit we noted the remarkable change in Courcheval which although has always been an expensive resort has in the past ten years or so been dominated by the Russians and iconic restaurants such as Le Chateau des Pierres have become rather spoilt by their excesses. This does not detract from the sheer pleasure of skiing the stunning, tree lined pistes of Méribel and Courcheval and the area is so vast it is easy to avoid any particular group that may offend.
So overall our decision to revisit St. Martin was a sound one and the chalet chosen for our stay was perfect for a family mixture of grandparents, adults and children.
Chalet Saint Peres (left) is only 20 metres away from the gondola
Chalet Saint Péres was the name of our accommodation, found HERE for its own website or at Self-Catered Saint Martin which is part of Mountain Lodge Adventures Ltd and what a good choice it was. The chalet first of all is so conveniently placed being within metres of the ski hire shop, ski pass office, French ski school, shop, restaurants and bars and best of all, the gondola which swiftly takes you to the ski slopes.
The chalet itself has five bedrooms which comfortably accommodated the six adults and four children in our party. Our only comment was with regards the layout of the twin rooms which both had en suite shower rooms and we, that is the adults, felt that these rooms would have been better given over to double beds so that the adults could all have had en suite facilities and the two sets of children could have been put in the two rooms, at present with double beds, with twin beds in each and could have shared the family bathroom. However that is a small point which suited our party and may not have been what was required by another group of guests.
The double bedroom on the top floor with en suite bathroom with jacuzzi bath (see below)
This lovely bedroom with en suite shower room is also on the top floor. It has twin beds which we felt would have been better as a double bed for adult use because of the en suite shower room
This is one of two double bedrooms both sharing a balcony on the first floor with a family bathroom next door (see below)
Twin or Double Bedroom on first floor with en suite shower room with Hammam shower and sauna
What was evident though was the quality of the bathrooms and bedrooms with good quality bed linen and towels provided and each was beautifully decorated with so many alpine related details that gave it a ‘home from home’ feel. In addition the two bathrooms had Jacuzzi baths and one of the shower rooms had a Hammam shower and sauna complete with lights and music – all comforts welcome at the end of an exhausting day when your thigh muscles are screaming out for you to stop – absolute bliss!
The lovely sitting and dining room with open fire place, large screen TV, music system and board games
– something for all the generations to do together
The same quality is carried through into the well equipped kitchen and the abundance of attractive china and glasses and again details in the living and dining room giving it a family feel. There is a log fire with wood supplied by the owners which again helps with the ambience and mountain living experience.
Although we could have produced delicious meals in the kitchen, we were tempted by a company recommended by our hosts on their website called CHALET KITCHEN They will supply your evening meal, consisting of main course and pudding at a cost of 90 euros per person for 6 meals. If you visit their website there are more options such as having breakfast delivered as well but just having an evening meal delivered at around 8.00 in the morning with cooking instructions is an inspired service and makes for a relatively domestic chore free holiday for the girls, and boys, of course!
We also used TWINNER to hire our skis and of course, helmets which are almost de rigueur now, as we know it makes sense,although I did miss the aesthetic pleasure of a fun knitted hat or stylish fur band – definitely preferable compared to the ‘helmet hair’ look at lunchtime – how did those Russian ladies all look so immaculate at lunch time dining at Chalet des Pierres in Courcheval?
Anyway Twinner Sports supplied us with good equipment and were also very helpful and friendly and we got a discount because we were staying at Chalet St. Peres as every little saving helps on skiing holidays!
Overall we cannot recommend Chalet St. Peres enough as a beautifully presented ‘home’ for your annual skiing holiday in St. Martin de Belleville, not only for its location but also for the standard of comfort and quality of the fittings and one more added luxury for your comfort was the heated boot racks ensuring that you at least started the day with lovely warm toes.
Going Home after a wonderful week staying at the excellent Chalet St. Peres in St. Martin de Belleville
with only the odd bruise and aching limbs but loads of lovely memories
Chrissy Jarman, Features Editor, Researcher, and glamourous Grandmother (editor is biased!)
Chrissy studied at Southampton University and gained her degree in Fine Arts and Valuation, and is also a Partner in ‘Objects of Desire’, a Fine Art Consultancy.