In the vibrant world of the elite and privileged, summers are spent on the crystal-clear waters of the Ligurian Riviera and the Cote d’Azur punctuated with globetrotting adventures of affluence at glamorous jet-set luxury vacation playgrounds around the world such as Ibiza, St. Barts, and numerous other Caribbean summertime hot-spots.
These legendary vacation spots continue to draw a seasonal migration of the super-rich and affluent to their luxury destinations of choice from summer to winter.
In the winter season, the world-famous après scene of the French Alps Mountain Resorts holds a specific allure with the très chic luxury crowd. Long a destination of choice for the rich and famous, the glitz and glamour of elite winter resorts such as Megève, Chamonix, Méribel, Val d’Isère, Tignes, Morzine, and Courchevel are legendary for attracting a yearly multitude of billionaires, millionaires, and A-list celebrities to their pampered slops.
With a pedigree unlike any other, Megève is steeped in character and rooted in Aristocracy. A particular favorite winter destination of the French upper class and European Royalty, the resort was conceived as an alternative to Saint Moritz when the iconic Rothschild banking family of France became disenchanted with the Swiss resort. After recognizing the undeniable beauty and potential of its location nestled in the heart of the “Pays du Mont Blanc”, the Rothschild’s started to spend their winter vacations at an early hotel they built in Megève in the 1920’s, developing it into the first purposely built resort in the Alps. One of the most beautiful ski resorts in France, Megève is known for its elite clientele of wealthy individuals and celebrities, many of which fly directly into the resort via the Megève luxury transfer to enjoy its spectacular runs and fashionably opulent 5-star luxury accommodations.
Located at the foot of Mont Blanc, the highest mountain peak in Europe, Chamonix is one of the oldest ski resorts in France. Known as the “Gateway to the European Cascades,” Chamonix is no ordinary ski resort, with a reputation as a destination for the advanced skier and boarder, providing hardcore off-piste adventure with dramatic terrain and extreme adrenalin rush runs. Famous for having hosted the 1924 Olympic Winter Games and for its spectacular cable car run up to the 12,605 ft. (3,842 m) summit of the Aiguille du Midi Mountain, boastings some of the most spectacular views in the French, Swiss and Italian Alps, Chamonix is well equipped to impress luxury travelers and pamper them with a chic allure and exciting après-ski vibe. Offering some of the most amazing skiing opportunities and luxurious private Ski Chalet accommodations in the Alps, the Chamonix Valley is an unforgettable winter destination consistently rated as one of the top ten ski areas in the world.
Encompassing one of the most extensively linked ski areas in the world with Val Thorens, Les Menuires, Méribel, La Tania, and Courchevel, Méribel is nestled in the middle of Three Valleys consisting of Saint-Bon, Allues and Belleville criss-crossed by a staggering 615 kilometres of piste. Known as the home of the 1992 Winter Olympics at Albertville and for its luxury chalet developments founded by British skier Peter Lindsay in 1938, Méribel now offers more luxury chalets than any other Alpine resort, making it a hedonistic haven of luxurious accommodation, Michelin-starred restaurants, vibrant night-life and après-ski delights. Méribel is one of those resorts that people come to for more than just winter activities.
This vast resort was the venue for many events during the 1992 Olympic Winter Games. Considered to be one of the world’s premier luxury ski resorts, Val d’Isère includes the Espace Killy ski area, named after the famous elite French skier Jean-Claude Killy, featuring 97 ski lifts up to heights of over 3500m, including the Le Fornet glacier with its guaranteeing snow. With over 300km of pistes and over 10,000 ha of lift-served off-piste, Val d’Isère comprises more skiable terrain than Whistler in British Columbia, Canada. France’s answer to Verbier, St. Anton and Jackson Hole, Val d’Isère is a seriously impressive paradise for skiers and boarders with a fabulous and extremely active après-ski scene that’s perfect for its nouveau riche crowd.
Described as France’s sportiest ski resort, Tignes forms part of the Espace Killy ski area along with Val d’Isère, centered around three small villages sitting high above the tree line. Considered a high-altitude ski resort, it is one of the best all-year round resorts in the Alps with a guaranteed long season in one of the best areas in the world for lift-served off-piste runs and huge amounts of varied terrain. Tignes is for the serious snow enthusiasts that prefer the slopes to stopping for lunch. In a place where sport comes first, this is a place where the hardcore masses take advantage of the terrain before relaxing in the evening.
The most northerly of the French Alpine resorts, Morzine is located in the heart of the Portes du Soleil ski area with over 650km of ski slopes including several challenging pistes near the summit of mount Chamossière where you can view Lake Geneva to the north, Mont Blanc to the south, and the nearby Swiss border a short distance away. Known for its quiet village charm, Morzine is like a little town tucked away in the French Alps with a leisurely lifestyle and authentic charm retaining its typical Savoyard character. Tradition, pampering and relaxation are all part of the Morzine resort experience as a luxury retreat escape.
The impressive Aravis mountain range is considered to be the jewel of the French Alps. It is here that you will find the four French alpine resorts of La Clusaz, Le Grand Bornand, Manigod, and Saint Jean de Sixt, collectively named, the Lake Annecy Ski Resorts. Situated in the middle of the Haute-Savoie, between Lake Annecy and Mont Blanc, the resorts are perched on the majestic Aravis Range, touching the shores of Lake Annecy. This is an area that is so spectacularly beautiful, that during his travels through the region in 1891, Mark Twain wrote, “Lake Annecy is a revelation. It is a miracle. It brings the tears to a body’s eyes it is so enchanting.” Lake Annecy has stunned many of its visitors including Winston Churchill who reckoned the lake held “the most beautiful view on Earth.” A secret the French have long kept to themselves, the resorts are now easily reached directly by Annecy helicopter transfer. A magical place, the Lake Annecy Ski Resorts will ensure that you forget your ordinary life and enjoy your holiday in this privileged, protected and exciting environment that is sure to fulfill your dreams of winter sports, no matter how extreme.
Renowned as one of the most expensive ski resorts in the world, primarily for its high real estate prices, Courchevel is the largest of the resorts in the renowned 3 Vallées in the Savoie province of France. Uber-expensive developments such as Courchevel 1850, with its private airstrip, ritzy hotels, six Michelin-starred restaurants and the Resorts glamorous style and panache, have garnered it a reputation as a winter playground for the rich and famous. All this has compelled Courchevel to attract the top tier of worldwide luxury customers that expect nothing less than perfection and Courchevel delivers with beautiful pistes and a luxury winter experience 2nd to none in France. A favorite winter destination of wealthy Russian Elite and British nationals, in 2008, The Daily Telegraph named Courchevel as the “best ski resort in Europe, if you can afford it.” The resorts superlative international reputation as an exclusive luxury winter destination has made it a favorite of the privileged including an elite clientele of VIP’s such as Prince William and Kate Middleton, the Beckhams, Christina Aquilera, Geri Halliwell, Lionel Richie, the Saudi Royal Family, Peter Andre, Robbie Williams, Roman Abramovich, George Clooney, Giorgio Armani, the King of Morocco and many others, causing some to name it, the St. Tropez of winter.
Traveling Above it All
With any of these exotic winter travel destinations comes the need for luxury transportation in style, but in the winter season, Rolls Royce, Ferrari and Lamborghini are those things that your leave back at home in the warmth of a heated garage. When considering a bespoke winter ski and snowboarding French Alps mountain hopping adventure, you’ll be more familiar with names such as AS350, E130, AS355 or EC155B1 during your travels. These are the designations of the helicopters within the fleet of Heli Securite, the premier luxury helicopter company serving the Mountain Resorts of the French Alps with regular inter-resort flights and personal ‘round the clock’ air charter services along with transfers to your chosen destination or airport, be it Geneva, Lyon, Grenoble, Annecy, Chambery, or even Monaco and Cannes.