Travel Inspirations & Experiences

Lost in le Grand Bornand

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I stayed in Chalet 1864 during a rough december

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.


Niché au fond de la vallée des Aravis, le Chalet 1864 est le point de départ idéal de balades en raquettes ou ski de fond. Organisation de randonnées avec guide local à partir du Chalet.


5 rooms, including the Aravis suite, recently renovated, with 2 bedrooms and a living room, from 800 euros per day (fireplace, stunning view of the Aravis mountain range) or a small charming mazot with 2 floors from 320 euros, for two, per day with half-board accommodation. Privatizing Chalet 1864 entirely for a given period is available starting at 3,000 euros per week). Pool, sauna and massage rooms are located in the old stables of the farm. Reading room. Open all year.

Nestled in the valley of Aravis, Chalet 1864 is the ideal starting point for snowshoeing or cross-country skiing. Organized walks with local guide leaving from the lodge.

To bring back

Reblochon (farm cheese, of course!) Sold at the farm next door. To freeze without moderation!

Moon on the earth

The Discrete Happy Valley


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