Aaron Fawcett took a group of friends to the slopes and spent a week in the stunning Meribel valleys
The Lightbowne is set to become one of the hottest, most spacious luxury ski chalets that Meribel and the Trois VallÈes has to offer so when the opportunity to stay there at the start of this winter season was presented to me I jumped at it.
TG Ski have a portfolio of luxury chalets in Meribel and Morzine, with a UK concierge team based in their offices in Wilmslow. Their experienced staff ran through my groups requirements prior to our stay and helped organise everything from airport transfers, ski hire, ski lessons and even a consultation with their chef to work round some of the groups dietary requirements.
This attention to detail prior to arrival filled us with confidence for the stay ahead, it also helped build excitement and expectation for the trip and furthermore ensured that once we arrived there was no scrambling around trying to organise things last minute, which we had experienced on package style ski holidays in the past.
TG Ski’s Managing Director Tom Marley-Shaw, elaborated to us on the companies ethos and drive – “we have developed a range of boutique luxury properties to suit the aspirations of our guests, our service must match this, so we focus on high quality food, wine and standards within our chalets, all of which is delivered by professional, dedicated and motivated individuals. Everyone within the business is focussed on delivering a fantastic experience at every stage of our guest’s journey”.
Our visit to The Lightbowne started with a short flight between Manchester and Geneva. The resort of Meribel is easily accessible from Geneva airport and TG Ski organised our private transfer where we were met in the arrivals hall and whisked in a top of the range minibus (with wifi and ipads) from the airport to the chalet door in just over 2 hours.
Arriving at the chalet the understated exterior unfolds into a design aficionados dream. Newly renovated, its seriously stylish interior design combines a modern Victorian interior with an uber-cool West End private members’ club. It’s a look and style rooted in tradition but with the most tantalising contemporary twists - offering a totally
unexpected and unique take on what you would expect from Alpine ski accommodation.
Located in the intimate area of Mussillon - within walking distance of the centre of Meribel - The Lightbowne’s six luxuriously cool master bedroom suites sleep 12, with space for an additional two guests in a further bedroom that leads from the largest suite. My suite was extremely spacious, stunningly lit and incredibly comfortable. Candles were lit each night around the free-standing bath tub, which was too inviting not to indulge in. Each evening my room was seamlessly turned down by the staff, with a handmade chocolate left on the pillow.
The chalets hidden gem and a god-send for us at the end of a hard days skiing was the chalets private spa. The lower ground floor is devoted to health and wellbeing, providing a wet room with a huge 10-person sauna and a sizeable sunken hot tub, which combined with the Sonos sound system and the chalet staff bringing us afternoon tea (and Champagne!) made me and my guests feel like royalty. We were also treated to pampering and beauty treatments courtesy of a fully-trained in-house therapist in a private massage room.
The Lightbowne offers the most stunning panoramic views across the Méribel valley. I loved the lounge area with it’s large fireplace and sumptuous sofas which opened out onto a south facing terrace. Curling up with champagne, cocktail or mocktail prepared by our private host was the ultimate treat at the end of a long day on the slopes
The expansive dining room is dominated by a large hard-wood dining table seating up to 14 guests, the lighting and sound system helped create the perfect ambiance for our evening meals in the chalet. The fine dining meals, created by our private chef Lewis were on a level which far exceeded our expectations. We were treated to gastronomic tasting menus each evening, Lewis’ experience within restaurants, private yachts and chalets was evident in the quality and quantity of his menu design. Each meal had incredible flavour and left us with just enough room to do battle with the selection of local cheeses. The chalet manager John, acted as maître d’, coordinating the service and ensuring that each course was paired with a new fine wine. Each evening felt like we were dining out in a high class restaurant, but had the informality of our own home.
The chalet also features two chalet hosts and a driver, with a commitment to helping us have the best break. Our hosts Jamal and Anna, both scholars were a delight and the constant smiles and attentiveness never felt fake. Our driver Jack was mature with a great sense of humour and was only a phone call away to help us get to and from the slopes.
For those new to the Meribel valley, it offers exceptional skiing in it’s own right, which when combined with the Courchevel and Val Thorens valleys creates arguably the best linked ski area in the world. The legendary skiing of Les Trois Vallees/3 Valleys is complimented by the first class facilities, chic bars, Michelin-starred restaurants and infamous aprés ski, making this the perfect destination for groups of all ages.
We had a range of ski abilities within our group and prior to our arrival the TG Ski team were able to organise any lesson requirements. They took the time to understand the different skill levels within the group and ensured that we had the right level of instruction. For the more experienced skiers in the group, we had a consultation with the chalet team on our first night which gave us a great itinerary to follow and they even pointed out great bar or restaurant spots to stop at along the way. Their experience here certainly prevents the usual arguments about getting lost or where to stop for our mountain lunch.
TG Ski also assisted with our in-chalet ski fitting, our skis, boots, poles and helmets were waiting for us at the chalet on our arrival. Once we had settled in and at a convenient time, the ski technicians visited to fit us. Having spent countless days queuing in busy shops this service was so stress-free and seamless.
The team overall couldn’t do enough for us, and returning home was a huge comedown for everyone as the reality of cooking for ourselves and not having our own private team running around after us set in. TG Ski seem to have created something special in their guest experience, staff and service and in The Lightbowne have a very unique property that all snow hounds should aspire to.
This stay is exclusively available through independent tour operator TG Ski, who provide professional chef, chalet manager, host and a private driver. Prices range from £22,500-£45,000 for seven nights. At the time of writing there were limited weeks available for this winter, but TG Ski are also taking bookings for winter 19/20.
For further information on The Lightbowne, visit tgski.com
For further booking enquiries, contact TG Ski on t: 01625 400060 e: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Lightbowne Catered Chalet Impasse Marcel Gacon, 73550 Les Allues, France