Perched high up in the Tarentaise Valley in France’s Rhone-Alpes region, Courchevel 1850 has long reigned as one of Europe’s most expensive and glitziest resorts – ranking top on both Knight Frank and Savills’ prime and ultra prime ski resort indices.
Set in the vast Three Valleys area – the largest ski location in the world – it’s easy to understand why it’s so popular with skiing enthusiasts. With 600km of pistes to explore and 122cm of snow on average falling on the upper slopes, Courchevel residents are paying for more than the view and the apres-ski drinks.
Developed after the Second World War, Courchevel was the first resort in France to be built completely from scratch rather than around an existing village. Since then, the building boom has barely paused for breath as Russian oligarchs and other international high net worth individuals moved in, constructing their fantasy chalets among the pines.
Recently the local council put a stop to any further development in the resort, allowing only schemes currently underway to be completed. The Six Senses Residences, a 53-home chalet at the centre of the village, is one of the last chalets with permission to be built in Courchevel.
Backed by US investment firm Cain Hoy, the development represents the hotel brand’s first ever residential scheme in Europe, with a Six Senses Spa due to launch in November this year. Designed by French architect Allan Foeillet, has been built in the traditional and understated Alpine style, while London design house Morpheus has designed the show apartment, taking inspiration from the natural surroundings by using shades of tan, brown and white to reflect the pines and the snow.
In December, the developer launched the second phase comprising 10 one-to four-bedroom homes and five-bedroom duplex penthouses ranging from €1.5m for 67 sq m to €9.65m for 254sqm.
It has already sold 16 flats, 13 of which were to UK buyers with the remaining three snapped up by a Swede, a Lebanese and a Russian. With its own runway directly next to the slopes – and private jet companies such as Jetfly flying directly into the resort – Courchevel is in two hours’ reach from London.
Currency exchange movements means that British buyers looking to purchase in the French Alps are in a stronger position than two years ago, saving almost 11 per cent in 2015 compared with the previous year, according to Knight Frank’s most recent ski property report. With a strong ski season already underway, the alps are beckoning.
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