As Christmas and New Year’s Eve hurtle closer, many of us will be wondering where to spend the festive period. At Bramble Ski and Haute Montagne, we agree that there is nothing more enchanting than a snowy escape to the Alps. Experience the epitome of ‘winter wonderland’ as alpine villages start to mimic real-life snow globes – exuding elegance, glamour, and a touch of magic that is unrivalled worldwide.
Many of us dream of waking up on Christmas day in a luxury ski chalet or apartment with the beautiful snow-capped mountains as a backdrop, enjoying a tipple with our close ones by a roaring open fire, and indulging in traditional festive foods (especially when they are prepared for us!). The key is relaxation, rest, and recuperation, and of course some skiing!
With Christmas and New Year’s Eve fast approaching, we ask Bramble Ski’s Pre-Arrivals Manager, Sarah Sundstedt, a passionate mountain enthusiast, her thoughts on spending Christmas and New Year’s Eve in a ski resort, and what makes a festive stay here truly remarkable.
Zermatt and Verbier are very popular ski resorts at this time of year – Zermatt, in particular, is snow-sure and has a wonderful Christmas atmosphere in the village centre. If I could, I would spend Christmas in Zermatt, in Chalet Aconcagua – a stunning property in an incredible location. It’s the perfect place for creating lasting memories.
Sarah explains why Zermatt is a particularly popular area during the festive period:
“Zermatt is an unequivocally fascinating and by no means clichéd ski destination. It is a popular Swiss village around this time of year due to its diverse ski runs, car-free pedestrianised streets, and, of course, as the home place of the famous 4,478m Matterhorn mountain. Bramble Ski and Haute Montagne operate four stunning luxury ski chalets in Zermatt and know all too well the joy of spending Christmas and New Year’s in this warm, friendly ski resort.”
Our clientele is international, meaning Christmas and New Year’s Eve are celebrated differently in each chalet. Many of our international (and non-British) guests celebrate Christmas on the 24th December, and each nationality and family has its own traditions that we help to recreate so that all have a personal, perfect Christmas experience.
As Pre-Arrivals Manager, one of my roles includes speaking to guests prior to their landing to ask if they have any special requests, for example, is there anything they would particularly like for dinner, or whether they would like Christmas decorations? etc.
We cater for almost any request, in order to make guests feel at home. In addition, Father Christmas can come and visit children with gifts – proving that he really does know where to find everyone on his list!
Many resorts have Christmas markets – Zermatt and Gstaad stand out for theirs. Guests can wander through the streets and enjoy a glühwein or a delicious Swiss hot chocolate while soaking up the festive atmosphere.
Night skiing is a popular activity in Gstaad, and quite a magical experience on a crisp, clear night. Both Zermatt and Gstaad have horse-drawn sledges traveling through the streets and surrounding countryside. In addition, many of the resorts have a visit from Father Christmas on his sledge.
We ask Sarah to describe her perfect new year in the Alps:
“I would celebrate New Year’s in Verbier – the atmosphere in this ski resort is unforgettable. The central square floods with thousands of people ready to countdown to midnight. The skies are filled with fireworks and the sound of celebrations. Many restaurants, bar, and clubs have special parties and menus, with DJs or live music playing into the small hours. For those who prefer to take in the atmosphere from afar, a night time ski tour or walk up to one the mountain restaurants through snowy tree-lined paths provides a bird’s eye view of the celebrations and fireworks.”
We had some guests ask us to help arrange a New Year’s Eve party for their family in one of our largest chalets. They requested a magician for entertainment, which we found and brought to the resort for the night; they flew in a band to play at the party and we sourced the various instruments from all across Switzerland.
We also arranged the sound and lighting systems and decorated the chalet to the guest’s requests. The chef created a delicious banquet meal and the hosts prepared special new year-inspired cocktails.
We are very excited to be expanding to Méribel in 2017 – a new resort for the new year. Méribel is part of the world-famous Three Valleys ski area, the largest ski area in the world.
Méribel is extremely popular with many people returning year after year. We will have a stunning stand-alone chalet in the resort, which has undergone extensive refurbishment.
In Verbier, we will be unveiling new properties in 2017 – Chalet Tucan and Chalet Les Etrennes are currently undergoing complete refurbishment.
We set up our sister company Haute Montagne to cater to the exacting demands of our clients looking for the ultimate chalet holiday experience, expecting the finest luxury properties accompanied by the very best of service levels.
It is not by accident that the Haute Montagne experience has come to be known as superyachts in the snow.
Haute Montagne chalets are among the finest properties available to rent in the ski industry. They are the best properties in resort and are all stand-alone mega-chalets with beautiful furnishings and decadent spa facilities.
You will be looked after by a team of highly trained professionals, each selected for excellence in their field, attention to detail, and discretion.