swiss chalet

Jet in for your Exclusive Birthday Party in the Alps

A chalet stay is the perfect place to celebrate a birthday with family or friends and experience the authenticity and hospitality of the Swiss Alps. Your special event will be tailored to you and your guests wishes but to give you a taste, here is an itinerary for your special event in one of the most beautiful alpine resorts of Zermatt:

  • Fly into Zurich, Geneva or Sion by your ExecuJet private jet
  • Enjoy the stunning mountain scenery on the helicopter transfer into Zermatt
  • Stay at Chalet Les Anges, a privately owned luxury chalet sleeping up to 14
  • A glass of Perrier Jouet champagne on arrival 
  • Horse and sleigh ride followed by a guided trip up the mountain on the Gornergrat railway
  • Scrumptious afternoon tea with champagne
  • Time to relax in the wellness area with relaxing massages and a dip in the outdoor plunge pool
  • Dressed for dinner, gather together for more champagne and canapés
  • Pianist on the grand piano plays throughout the dinner
  • Magnificent gourmet dinner prepared by your chef with carefully selected house wines
  • Birthday cake celebration with champagne
  • Party time with DJ into the early hours
  • Long late brunch the following morning savouring the outstanding view of the Matterhorn

Why Art de Vivre loves Chalet Les Anges:

  • Stunning view of the Matterhorn from the huge panoramic windows day and night
  • Chalet interior by renowned Genevan interior architect Magali de Tscharner
  • Open kitchen allowing you to observe your chef crafting the magnificent dinner
  • Wellness and relaxation area with the outdoor terrace with 3m2 heated powerjet plunge pool
  • Zermatt’s 313 km of world class piste with the neighbouring Italian village, Cervinia
  • Gourmet mountain restaurants and après-ski bars
  • Zermatt’s car-free cobbled streets and authentic alpine architecture


Chalet les Anges is one of the most exclusive of luxury properties with unsurpassed levels of private service and gourmet cuisine. To create your ultimate celebration stay at this beautiful chalet, nothing is too much trouble –  as always, your every wish is discreetly attended to. 

 

If you are planning on celebrating a special birthday or anniversary with friends and family, do get in touch to discuss ideas for your stay whether you desire a designer chalet, country estate or luxury villa. We also offer private jet charters through our partner ExecuJet, so please contact us to discuss your requirements.

 

The History of Luxury Alpine Ski Chalet Rentals

Written by Julie Gauthier, Founder & Director, Art de Vivre

Wind back the clock to the 1960s. Skiing in locations such as Klosters and St. Moritz was the winter sport of the aristocracy. Many of the resorts of today were small, rural communities belonging to local farmers. In the 1980s the skiing business went through a massive growth phase with hotels developing, unskiied villages and valleys becoming resorts in France, Austria, Italy and Switzerland. Of the many ski operators, only a quarter still exist today. What had been the sport of the few became the sport of the many with cheap deals and overnight buses heading to the snow.

Capitalising on this sudden popularity, Bladon Lines became the first chalet operator of this new age. The chalets were large, fairly basic and a chalet team of two would provide cooked breakfast, packed lunch, afternoon tea with fresh cake and 3 course dinner. The same staff also shopped, cleaned and made the beds. Bladon Lines was bought by Inghams in 1995 and was sadly neglected and phased out. Fellow chalet pioneers Super Travel were on the scene in the same period. Unlike Bladon Lines they still operate today in Zermatt, Courchevel 1850 and St Anton.

The true luxury chalet business started in 1997 with the launch of Descent, whose owner Kit Harrison offered a new unparalleled level of uncompromising service in the finest of ski chalets. Unheard of before this point, Descent marketed the chalets fully catered for £40,000 a week. The concept was a real game changer - extreme luxury in 5-6 bedroom stunning alpine chalets with pools and spas, 5 staff and chauffeur service. Key to its appeal was the high level properties and the employment of hotel standard staff. The collection grew year on year and in its final brochure had properties in Courchevel, Val d’Isère, Meribel, Les Gets, Verbier, Zermatt, Klosters and St. Moritz. The impact in the press was huge which also created a new corporate chalet ski market for incentives and team building. The concept was very expensive to run and very difficult to do and sadly the financial crisis of 2008 saw the closing of Descent along with several other ski companies.

In 2003, Channel Four ran a Grand Designs Abroad episode that followed Nicky Dobree’s passionate project of restoring a 17th century farm into a ski chalet named Ferme de Moudon in Les Gets, France. Alpine interior design had arrived with a chocolate box exterior and an interior where ancient beams blended with Christian Liaigre, Kohler and Andrew Martin. Saunas, massage rooms, outdoor hot tubs, heated boot racks and wine cellars were now chalet essentials. Not only did Ferme de Moudon win Design and Decoration Awards 2005, it joined the Descent portfolio.

Nicky Dobree’s interior design business sky rocketed from the media attention and she was able to bring a fresh alpine aesthetic to many of her projects. Gone were the dull chalets of the 80s and 90s with their cute, cookie-cutter, rural-cosy style. Nicky’s take was fresh with her signature logs stacked by the fire, use of white and cream, wood and stone, velvets, African feel and cow hides. Today Nicky Dobree is the go to luxury chalet designer with between 15-20 projects on the go at any one time and setting the tone around the world for private clients in Whistler, Verbier, Crans Montana and Meribel.

It’s not just the design that has changed. In the early years, food was cooked by chalet girls practising their dinner party skills. Nowadays chalet hosts and professional chefs serve the best cuisine for miles around. Meticulously judged and chosen at the beginning of each season, the talented chefs create their own menus using local ingredients to express their expertise and personality.

Today the alpine chalet is deemed the norm along with the private yacht and private jet. Owning a chalet is the luxury accessory of the wealthy.

The luxury chalet business has changed so rapidly with designer chalets becoming one of the most desired assets of their affluent owners. It is an emotional investment but none the less it is one that many owners wish to be appreciated by others. Art de Vivre is proud to offer these designer chalet rentals to their international clients. The architectural and design experience of each property creates a memorable ambiance, with the guests bringing the house to life, sharing together the owner’s passion for the Alps.

From my early ski rep days in Austria with avid skiers from the US and the UK, I have seen and appreciated the evolution of the alpine chalet industry with my own eyes, and I am proud to represent these designer chalets, some of the world’s most valuable real estate and the height of alpine design. They offer our clients who come from around the world - Canada, South America, China, Australia and Middle East - a home from home and a genuine, memorable alpine experience.

 

If you are searching for the perfect designer alpine chalet for this season, we suggest you take a look at our luxury chalet collection and send us an email with details for your stay so we may tailor some chalet options for you and your guests.

 

James Bond's Top International Villas

James Bond knows a thing or two about the high life. With box office smash Spectre seeing Bond travelling the globe once again, we take a look at the villas that would most please the silver screen’s most stylish secret agent.

 

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SPECTRE
CASA TRES SOLES, MEXICO

One of the most talked about scenes in Spectre is the action-packed opening sequence set at the Dia de los Muertos celebrations in Mexico City. Bond has a hard time in the film, barely getting a chance to soak up the scenery. But if he did, we are sure he’d feel right at home at Casa Tres Soles. Situated just an hour and a half’s flight from the capital by private jet, Casa Tres Soles is the kind of beautiful, secluded villa that meets all the needs of the original international man of mystery. There are endless coves nearby to explore by boat, and a wraparound pool for soaking up the sun with martini in hand. When Dia de los Muertos comes around, make sure you have a mask ready.

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DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER
LEOBO OBSERVATORY VILLA, SOUTH AFRICA

Sean Connery’s final official appearance as 007 saw him jetting off to South Africa to stop Ernst Stavro Blofeld building a giant laser out of diamonds. If you want to follow in Connery’s footsteps, Leobo Observatory Villa might be the place for you. Built into the bush, Leobo Observatory is full of genius design that would make even Q proud. On top of the research-quality observatory for midnight stargazing, Leobo Reserve offers countless Bond-style activities to engage in. Sky diving, helicopter flying, rock climbing and quad bike safari are all readily available for those who want to live fast and die another day.

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GOLDENEYE
VILLA C-VIEW, COTE D’AZUR

In GoldenEye, Pierce Brosnan can be seen spending time in the luxury casinos of Monte-Carlo, and surveying the port of Monaco after dark. If you would like to pull up in this port and try your hand at baccarat, Villa C-View is the perfect place for you to retreat to. With minimalist modern decor and unrivalled views of the Riviera, this villa is a contemporary spin on the traditional James Bond glamour.

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THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN GUN
INIALA BEACH HOUSE RESIDENCE, THAILAND

The Man with the Golden Gun saw Roger Moore facing off with Christopher Lee in several Asian locations. The film takes place primarily in Thailand, which is also the location of the wonderful Iniala Beach House Residence. This complex is a collection of three villas and one utterly unique penthouse. Designed by people almost as well-travelled as Bond himself, the complex features a gourmet restaurant, a fantastic bar/games room and, of course, brilliant views of the Thai coast. It is right on the beach, after all.

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ON HER MAJESTY’S SECRET SERVICE
CHALET ZERMATT PEAK, SWITZERLAND

George Lazenby only played James Bond once, but he still managed to appear in one of the most iconic scenes in the entire franchise: the Alpine ski chase in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. The ski chase has since become a staple of the Bond film, with several subsequent entries in the series (including this year’s Spectre) seeing 007 get into various ski-related scrapes. For those who want to create their own ski chase, Chalet Zermatt Peak in Switzerland is the perfect place to stay. Built into the side of a mountain with private tunnel access, walk-in wine cellar and luxurious wellness spa, Chalet Zermatt Peak has everything you need after an edge-of-your-seat ski scenario.

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THUNDERBALL
VILLA TAGOMAGO, PRIVATE ISLAND, THE BALEARICS

A lot of the action in Thunderball takes place on Paradise Island in the Bahamas. This island has its own appeal, but for a real island paradise of your own, Villa Tagomago is the place to go. Perhaps the most Bond-like villa in our collection, Tagomago is close to the glamour of Ibiza’s exclusive private bars, but entirely secluded at the same time. Reachable by its own private mooring, the island comes with access to two boats and two jetskis. Several more ‘toys’ are available, including the Mangusta 108 yacht that can reach 40 knots; and a Boston Whaler 320 with an electric grill.

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THE NEXT BOND FILM
VILLA AQUA, AUSTRALIA

Whether or not Daniel Craig reprises his role, we are promised in the end credits of Spectre that JAMES BOND WILL RETURN. But where will he go this time? Our suggestion is a country that, surprisingly, 007 has never visited: Australia. Specifically, he should go to the Great Barrier Reef, where no doubt he can find some nefarious underwater activity on a scuba diving expedition. If you want to beat Bond to it, you should consider staying in Villa Aqua. With its own helipad, library, cinema and private marina, this villa is truly fit for a globe-trotting super-spy.

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If much like James Bond, you are all about the details, you can read further information on our Worldwide Villas, European Villas and Alpine Chalets. When it comes to experiencing James Bond-level glamour for your stay, nobody does it better than Art de Vivre.

 

Mountains, Valley and Chalets: Our Zermatt Visit

Last month, the Art de Vivre team were hosted by Elysian in their beautiful chalets in Zermatt (1,620m). From the stunning mountain range to the quiet valley town and to the immaculately presented chalets, the visit gave us the chance to explore the exclusive destination of Zermatt and discover more exciting opportunities for our clients.

Breath-taking views of the majestic Matterhorn

When one thinks of Zermatt, they imagine the Matterhorn first and it’s easy to understand why. The positioning of the valley makes the Matterhorn most impressive from Zermatt and during our stay, the mountain was always catching our eye. It was visible from the train station, the bedroom balcony, the bathroom, the dining room and the restaurants. It impresses at all times of day, whether it’s in the soft pinkish glow of the morning, shining brilliantly as the sun hits the snow or the star-studded sky when the way of the first ascenders is illuminated with lights.

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It is only natural that the mountains host the main attractions to Zermatt. The most obvious is the skiing and the numerous mountain lifts in Zermatt, which take one to Europe’s highest-altitude ski area at 3,883m. A paradise for hikers and skiers, here you can find stunning slopes for all levels of expertise and enough space to ski in larger groups. 

These heights also host the stunning Matterhorn Glacier Palace, a carved tunnel of ice decorated with lit ice-sculptures and slides that you can interact with; a particular favourite amongst children. The main heights are Gornergrat (3,089 m), the previously mentioned Matterhorn glacier paradise (3,883 m) and the Rothorn (3,103 m). All of these provide a breath-taking view of the majestic mountain world around the Matterhorn, with lifts operating 365 days a year.

The untouched nature of the valley

Lower down the valley, between the towering mountains and the town, beautiful natural sights can be found. Footpaths carve their way down into the valley; past glistening rivers and untouched nature. More traditional buildings are spread sporadically around the outskirts of Zermatt around which you can find the best restaurants the region has to offer. ‘Zum See’ is a popular restaurant that hosts the best traditional dishes with in-season game and local organic herbs and vegetables. The chef came out to meet us personally on our visit, and the whole meal tingled our tastebuds and left us keen for more local flavours.

These open areas are also perfect for hosting fantastic entertainment and Zermatt’s pioneering clay pigeon shooting was one that we were keen to try out with our guide Kirk Tinham. The guns are laser-based and feature no ammunition, making them lighter and more accessible for those new to the hobby. The laser sensors detect whether your shot would have hit and the scoreboard and gun gives appropriate feedback based on hits and misses. This approach is not only safer and easier for large groups but is used by professionals to increase accuracy, as the gunman doesn’t need to resist recoil. We played a few rounds, and are proud to say the winner was one of our directors.

There are plenty of other activities that can host groups of all sizes in the region, and another that we are keen to try another time is fly fishing (July-September). Kirk offers clients the opportunity to privately fly fish the most exclusive lake in the Swiss Alps, with the iconic Matterhorn as a backdrop. This is particularly popular amongst businessmen, who have been known to host meetings during the activity.

Unwinding in the designer alpine chalets

As we retreated further away from the glorious Matterhorn, we came to the chalets at the opposite end of the valley. Chalet Grace is full of personality and the personal touches to interior design are hard to miss. We were delighted to be hosted in this chalet and to have the opportunity to explore its almost “Alice in Wonderland” style interior design of substantial mirrors and a “coffee table” which had been a door from a ruined Tibetan monastery, collected by the owner and repurposed into a stunning table. 

The charming games room was decorated with signed movie posters from Martin Scorsese, David Finch and Ridley Scott, and hosted a pool table, roulette table and a stunning cinema room. The wellness facilities, as with the other chalets, featured a hand-crafted sauna, a range of showers, a hot Jacuzzi (which is perfect for spending time on the balcony during the colder nights) and fitness machines.

Les Anges is a larger chalet with a darker wood forming its aesthetic, and the interiors feel more muted but stylish. The Jacuzzi here is built into the stone balcony, and the larger wellness facilities make it ideal for larger groups and business trips. Finally, Chalet Maurice features a stunning funicular that tunnels its way up the mountainside to reach the chalets’ underground floor - the experience reminded us of a Bond film. This facility means private clients who wish to remain anonymous can reach the chalet without passing through the town.

All the chalets have exceptional staff that can cater for every need, and offer a friendly and genuine service. Our chef that also cooks for the guests of these chalets was extremely professional, providing a seven course gala dinner and a more casual five course dinner for our large group of 15. The food was exquisite and was one of the highlights of the whole trip which is often the same for our guests.

As we tasted our way through the delicious menus, it was clear our talented chef had crafted the dishes with great skill and thought. In Chalet Grace the kitchen was open-plan and viewable from the dining table, meaning we could see our meals prepared right in front of us, an experience that every guest should try.

Our stay in Zermatt will stay with us for a long time and we thank Angeline, Joanne and the Elysian chalet team for our wonderful stay. We look forward to future visits to experience first-hand the authentic chalet experience in our alpine chalet collection

If you are looking to stay in a designer chalet in Zermatt or in another resort in the Alps, do send us an enquiry and we'd be happy to offer you some suggestions for your stay.

Feature in Bilan Immoluxe magazine, Winter 2014

Art de Vivre was featured in the Bilan Immoluxe magazine, in Winter 2014. Below you may read the article [in french] and a Google translation.

Créée en 2013 au Royaume-Uni, la société Art de Vivre repose sur un concept original: mettre à la disposition de riches clients des résidences uniques, tant par leur situation géographique que par leur design.
— Alexandre Babin, Bilan Immoluxe, Winter 2014

 

Glamour in the Alps: Zermatt Designer Chalet

Glamour in the Alps: Zermatt Designer Chalet

Tunnelled into the rock and lit with torches, live out your own Bond film as you enter this one of a kind luxury chalet. 

St. Moritz Designer Alpine Chalet

St Moritz Chalet 155 | Switzerland
Architect Renato Maurizio
Stylish Mountain Design
Panoramic View

This summer saw the metamorphosis of Chesetta St Moritz – with two parts of the ski chalet being joined via a fantastic glass walkway created by the renowned architect Renato Maurizio.

The double height annexe living area is the ultimate place to relax in the Etro sofas on the two levels. Space, light and great views sum up this transformation.

Located minutes from St Moritz in Silvaplana, Chesetta is a 5000ft² modern property with accommodation for 12 adults in 6 super king-sized bedrooms and a children’s bunk room. Every comfort has been included with underfloor heating, a Sonos music system, home cinema/playroom, steam room, sauna and gym.

Great attention to detail is evident throughout with ETRO fabrics, local antiques mixed with a collection of contemporary art against a backdrop of rich old wood and granite.

A great retreat for an extended family or group of friends. Chesetta St Moritz is rented fully staffed with chalet manager, acclaimed chef, chalet host and housekeeper.