When skiing the vast Portes Du Soleil region, with 12 ski villages spanning Switzerland and France, you have many places to stay. We found Les Crosets to be an ideal Swiss ski town, just the right charm and scale, not overwhelming, not over-built or busy like Avoriaz and Châtel in France, and not too quiet like neighboring Champoussin.
The ultimate ski chalet hotel is Mountain Lodge, it’s a luxury ski in ski out chalet in the heart of Les Crosets– with modern comforts in a traditional wood chalet tucked into the hillside, steps to a poma lift and the Portes du Soleil ski region.
Arriving at this classic chalet, you are immediately at ease, the cozy alpine wood lobby and lounge by the fire are welcoming, casual but chic. This is modern mountain luxury epitomized– clean and neat, not overdone like some Swiss chalets, jus the right nod to tradition – grand beams, sheepskin throws and pillows, swiss dot curtains framing the pretty slope view through timber-frame windows. Mountain Lodge staff is super accommodating, switching from French to German and English with ease from check in to cocktails to concierge logistics.
We’d left our ski boots and skis in the Hotel’s private ski room, complete with ski boot dryers. Our beautiful modern alpine room had a fluffy down duvet, lovely bath amenities, and a heated clothing rack for the day’s damp ski gloves. Our suite, there are 23 total, offered a fantastic view of the ski slope, lit up on Wednesday night for night skiing, but why would leave the confines of our cozy chalet, when we had a hot tub, sauna and steam room downstairs?
A soothing après ski hot tub and spa await downstairs, we wore slippers and decadent white robes from our suite. Mountain Lodge’s indoor pool and jacuzzi typically affords sensational views of the Dents Du Midi peaks- but not this winter – too much snow piled up by the glass doors (good ski problems to have). Still rolling in the snowbank off is a tempting option. On this Spa level of the Lodge, there’s also a Game Room and Cinema.
At 4pm, tea and sweets are served in the Lodge’s fireplace living room. A few families played board games, while couples enjoyed drinks from the beautiful full-service bar, sharing conversation about their adventure-filled ski day. We’d skied from Champoussin to Champéry, to lunch on the French side – 30 miles all tracked. Our bartender seemed genuinely impressed, divulging a few of his favorite Portes Du Soleil trails too. On sunny days I can picture après ski on the Mountain Lodge’s terrace overlooking the ski slope.
Dinner is served in the Mountain Lodge’s classic Swiss dining room starting at 7, with mountain views from the handcrafted wood tables by candlelight. The Chef’’s plat du jour started with homemade sweet potato soup, then deliciously seasoned pork entrée. Dessert was offered by the fire in the living room, which we chose with a local Valais Pinot Noir to complement an extravagant pot de chocolate – deep dark cake with a warm gooey molten chocolate center. Heaven in a heavenly ski chalet in the Swiss Alps!
After lounging by the fire, chatting with fellow skiers about our Portes Du Soleil ski day, we were ready for sweet dreams in our luxurious bed, with our light as feathers duvet and view out our balcony of the groomers working their magic on the slopes.
From Mountain Lodge you can walk to Les Crosets compact village, there’s a store selling fresh cheese, bread and wine, and other essentials, and a handful of cafés, après ski bars and restaurants, but you really need not leave the Mountain Lodge except to ski. In fact, Mountain Lodge has a Ski Shop and Ski School right next-door in their pedestrian square.
Waking to snow falling, we savored a fantastic breakfast of brewed coffee, croissants, local ham and cheese, yogurt, plus freshly made eggs to order with a side of bacon, mushrooms and roast tomatoes. Service was prompt, poised for skiers wanting first tracks, just outside. We dressed for skiing, grabbed our warm dry ski boots from the heaters and hit the ski slopes.
Riding a short poma, and one high speed lift, you can be skiing the PDS circuit to the French side of Avoriaz, or enjoying the less-busy ski slopes of Champéry, Les Crosets, and Champoussin. The ski lifts sometimes open on time, depends on whether there was new snow overnight (that requires time to assess, shovel, and discuss over cigarettes).
Mountain Lodge is the ideal location in Portes Du Soleil, and the perfect size for a ski lodge with 23 rooms – enough to be convivial but still cozy and personalized.
Mountain Lodge is a two-hour drive to Geneva, three to Zurich, with underground parking, or a shuttle can be arranged.