I hold a magical memory. At the time, I was still polishing up my online magazine project. And this old typical farm in Le Grand- Bornand, nestled at the bottom of a valley, corresponded in all respects to the DNA of the site I had in mind. Let’s say that Chalet 1864 reinforced my idea of creating an upscale travel magazine. A year later, fallen in love with the place, I wanted to go back. No luck, the lodge had been privatized. So I set off to find a similar place in the middle of the mountains. The mission proved to be impossible. And I realized what I felt: the singularity and uniqueness of this address. First there was this magic of the place. Chalet 1864, in reference to its year of construction, depends on Le Grand-Bornand, a traditional and family resort, but cultivates its isolation. The matzot is simply the ultimate hamlet of the Bouchet valley marked with bells and bulbs of the lodge’s low sloped roofs. If, by chance, you get there a day of abundant snowfall, you’ll feel like becoming a refuge at the other end of the world.
Chalet 1864 isn’t composed of a single old building covered with thick shingles – these famous wooden tiles, like so many we find in the region – but an original combination of two chalets and one renovated mazot that doesn’t communicate with each other. If you stay at the one called, Heidi, you’ll have to confront the snow to get yourself to the spa. Ditto for dinner. But this is what gives its charm to this small hotel for insiders!
Here, “small is beautiful” really comes to fore. Each chalet and each space is refined and warming, the rooms have low ceilings, the fireplace crackles, making Chalet 1864 a cozy cocoon that transports you to a time not so long ago when it was a farm house for peasants and animals. In this quasi-private retreat, the French owner, in his thirties, working in many countries inside and outside of Europe, skillfully transformed it into a secret haven out of sight, starting three years ago, the rehabilitation of a place in due form.This authentic cabin will be rejuvenated by a workforce and local know-how.
From Milan, where he resides, he multiplies roundtrips to appreciate the evolution of his personal project and swarming ideas for 1864 Chalet, which becomes jewelry of refinement in a case of simplicity and service worthy of the finest hotels but discreet at home. He has a simple bias: he favors hyperpersonnalisation and attention is put into every detail, whether it’s the choice of materials, or amenities provided in the bathrooms, or even tables or wine list. We salute audacious rehabilitation: finally a location that combines elegance and sincerity in a ski resort, far from Megeve and Courchevel.
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