22 Jan Verbier Update
Now a month in and Verbier is beginning to feel very homely. When I moved out here at the beginning of December, people warned that “you never end up just doing one season here” and it’s starting to become clear why that is.
Verbier has a genuine village feel about it. It is as if this is a community that happens to have a ski resort rather than a ski resort that happens to have a community. Unlike many places I’ve been to on family or university ski holidays, there is almost a complete lack of modern high-rise apartment blocks or cramped hotels. There are no coach-convoys snaking up and down the mountains on change over days or armies of reps rallying chanting students from bar to bar. Instead, Verbier is made up of a tasteful range of highly unique chalets that nestle amongst the treeline. Each of these chalets have their own quirks and charms and dashes of alpine luxury, but I’ve certainly landed on my feet at Chalet Maurine.
Perfectly situated within a stone’s throw of Place Central, a two minute stroll to the main lift and next to the ski hire shop, Chalet Maurine is also amazingly appointed with all the luxuries you would expect in Verbier and more. Perhaps the best feature though is its huge, yet welcoming living and dining space on the top floor equipped with its steaming Jacuzzi overlooking the valley.
Food is another reason why it will be difficult to leave Verbier in April. If the incredible dishes coming from Andi inside the chalet weren’t quite enough, Verbier and its slopes have a phenomenal range of restaurants for every occasion. Cabin Mont Fort, balancing on a ridge half way down a red-run, Tipi restaurant at the bottom of the Tortin run and Carrefour are already firm favourites.
When the day is done though, there is really only one place that everyone heads. The newly refurbished Farinet hosts ‘Après’ every evening from 6pm with live bands and DJs, (though you’re only allowed to dance on the bar if you’re still wearing ski boots!). For those exhausted from a long day negotiating the fresh powder on the front and back side of Mt Gele, you can watch ‘Après’ from the safety of Farinet lounge which has considerably more chilled music and more comfortable sofas but you can enjoy the action the other side of the glass as if you were in some sort of ski aquarium.
Verbier is still unveiling itself to me every day but so far it has been quite the ride. Only time will tell if I end up being one of those people who warns “you never end up just doing one season here”.
Martin (Kaluma Host)