Sure, spring is fast approaching (right…?), but there’s still good reason to celebrate the best part of the winter season. Colorado-based luxury travel brand Eleven Experience recently added its sixth glamorous French Alps ski excursion and property to its portfolio. And while guests won’t encounter any wild animals in their natural habitat on this getaway—dubbed a “ski safari”—they will embark on a sophisticated, multiday, multi-course adventure that traverses the borders of France and Italy. Here’s what to expect if you book the trip and hit the slopes.
You’ll hunker down in a rustic Alpine village with truly authentic—and insanely good—cuisine.
Home base is Chalet Hibou, a très chic seven-suite compound in Le Miroir. The town is off the grid and much less crowded than other Alps hot spots like Chamonix and Courchevel, offering travelers the utmost privacy and a more low-key vibe. Nestled in the Tarentaise Valley—part of Les Trois Vallées—the region is a quaint corner of the Alps in southeastern France where Italy, Switzerland and France meet. A ski retreat here is therefore centered around three cultures and a historic farming village that’s chock-full of charm and rustic touches. Guests will have plenty of opportunities to enjoy authentic regional cuisine.
Rates for a winter buyout at Chalet Hibou start around €7,900 (roughly $8,800) per night, and that includes a chef-prepared breakfast, munchies and dinner, not to mention adult beverages like local wines. Rent out the retreat and you’ll also have access to The Alpage, a onetime sheepherder’s hut renovated into a fully-stocked après-ski off-piste hideout.
And while Chalet Hibou may be the latest Eleven Experience ski holiday package, it’s not the only one that provides access to the region. Chalet Pelerin, Hibou’s sister resort, has been a draw for discerning travelers for years. The perks there? A concierge, an adventure guide and a private chef on hand to whip up savory gourmet meals and favorites like fondue and raclette. Guests can also enjoy yogurt—delivered by a local dairy farmer each morning—house-made bread, made-to-order eggs and other hearty breakfast fare. For a little après-ski R&R, slip into the outdoor hot tub or take advantage of the on-site spa treatments, sauna and steam room.
Prepare for the wildest skiing Europe has to offer.
Local culture and great food aside, the Alps are known for their idyllic snow-covered scenery and easy access to both powder skiing and backcountry routes. Here, you and up to 20 of your closest ski buddies can take on a different resort every day—lift tickets, gear and transportation included. From Le Miroir, local guides shuttle guests to any of the seven top ski resorts in the area, including Sainte-Foy-Tarentaise, La Thuile and Tignes, which boast more than 900 miles of trails and unlimited skiable off-piste terrain.
Live your best life with runs at La Rosière in the morning, then ski across the border for a gourmet Italian pasta lunch and more guided backcountry routes in the afternoon. Unwind after a day on the slopes at Val d’Isère, known for its lively après-ski scene. Adventure fiends can also partake in guided heli-skiing thanks to Chalet Hibou’s close proximity to three different heli-bases. Or just try one of the many other winter activities on offer, from cross-country skiing and ice skating to dog sledding and paragliding at Les Arcs.
Everything is incredibly accessible.
Le Miroir is 90 minutes from the Chambery Airport in Savoy, France, and two and a half hours from both Geneva and Lyon; the closest train station is 20 minutes away in Bourg-Saint-Maurice.
But while you’ll be able to get around easily once you’re there, a word to the wise about actually getting in: During the summer months, you can book an individual room starting at €980 (roughly $1,000) a night, based on double occupancy, but in the winter—from December through May—buyouts at Chalet Hibou are necessary.