Dream Houses

Avoriaz: a postcard decor

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Jean-Marc Palisse

Dominated by the rebellious Avoriaz and nestled in unspoilt nature, the Portes du Soleil dare all audacity, in a warm village spirit ...

Light on the Portes du Soleil, a ski resort combining modernity and vintage. New chalet styles, for a new era of mountains, between comfort and design.

Avoriaz, an organic architecture

From Morzine, its prominent ridges merge with the shale cliffs. A station in weightlessness, the verticality disturbing, almost unreachable. When it arises in its grandiose circus, one wanders a little lost, nose in the air. Avoriaz, an architectural utopia in the mountains? While some skyscrapers of the 1980s have aged badly, but their cover in red cedar tavaillons more or less gray remains in harmony with the natural scenery. It is behind the mythical hotel des Dromonts, still avant-garde with its small staggered and curvilinear lounges and its round fireplace, that one discovers the organic architecture of the resort, inheritance of the 1970s. Cottages Love or South in form of turtle shell that disappear entirely under the thick layer of snow, small futuristic buildings with incredible geometry, a snub at the right angle.

A station born to be buried. But innovation is not only architectural. It is in Avoriaz that Annie Famose created the first Children's Village, generalized since, where the little ones are taken care of all the day. Jean Vuarnet, the founder, dreamed of a pedestrian-only station "where the child will fetch his own bread", "streets like tracks" and electric heating in each dwelling! A promotional film from the 1970s shows Johnny Halliday telephoning the central, "to which we can ask everything", where all homes are equipped with a transistor broadcasting Radio Avoriaz. Today, the station that had imagined the insulating snow-covered rooftops remains a pioneer in sustainable development with its new low energy residences.

A vintage mountain

Two countries, 12 stations connected in a single area around 283 tracks and 197 lifts, a whole program! And yet, this is not quite what is obvious when you leave the generous farms Abondance chiseled balconies for pretty cottages at Jacques Tati des Gets, the houses renovated by the English to very personal guest rooms. At the Portes du Soleil, neither bars of buildings, nor ski of mass. "No construction higher than the bell tower" is the motto! We benefit from preserved and alive villages, where families live all the year and change of activity with the seasons. A ski-in ski-out holiday in an idyllic setting - authentic downhill, panoramic with a view of Mont Blanc at altitude - which blends harmoniously with vernacular architecture and vintage spirit, and attracts lovers of gliding and savoir-vivre.

Cocoon (s) design

At Portes du Soleil, the decor is like skiing, never the same. On the snowy slopes, no boulevards for skiers in need of highways, nor monotonous tracks. In the houses, the mountain also makes its revolution. The famous Les Gets, La Marmotte, has just opened La Tapiaz, a luxurious and contemporary annex with small duplex apartments. At Les Crosets, a delightful and ultimate little Swiss hamlet, we discover the Dents du Midi rosés under the last glow of the sun of the design and baroque suite of the hotel L'Etable. A purified and relaxing parenthesis, which you can also taste at the freshly renovated Val d'Illiez thermal baths, fed by three springs gushing at 30 degrees.

As a design issue, the English are precursors who love our mountains so much that they now work there year-round, in luxurious, renovated chalets directly from London. The Moudon Farm, luxury bubble under the trees, is only one of the achievements of the prolific and nevertheless very talented Nicky Dobree. A quirky tourist activity that is welcome in our deserted mountains in January and March, with skiers motivated by all weather (because from far away)! In Châtel, the Maison Blanche et Verte welcomes you with its contemporary lighting in the shape of clarins and invites you to dive into its granite basin facing the valley. Achievements that often go hand in hand with responsible mountain design. Portes du Soleil is at the forefront of sustainable development and environmental standards.

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