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At Home in the French Alps: Chalet Pelerin, Le Miroir

These days, it is almost impossible to truly unplug. No matter how far we travel, technology keeps us at least partially connected to the very things that stress us out at home: news alerts, incessant emails and social media. So, on a spring trip to the French Alps, it was with some wonder that I realized I’d managed to shed my technology shadow for 17 hours. During this time, I skied across the French-Italian border, indulged in truffle pasta for lunch, navigated a near whiteout on La Rosière, thanks to my skilled ski guide, snowshoed to a mountain hut for fondue and trekked down the slopes by moonlight to a soundtrack of 1980s hits that blared from my guide’s backpack speaker. There was simply no time—nor longing—to check electronic communications of any sort.

Such a respite is a rare luxury these days, but travelers looking to disconnect should add Le Miroir, France, to their to-visit lists. Situated in the Savoie region, this alpine village—with just over 500 residents and little presence on the international travel radar—is home to Chalet Pelerin, a villa with serious style. The Alpine-chic accommodations, welcoming staff and almost overwhelming abundance of activities ensure that guests are fully present each day, engaging with their surroundings and enjoying a vacation that is all about experiencing the world around them.

Related: Alpine Skiing

It comes as little surprise that Chalet Pelerin is managed by Eleven Experience, which was founded in 2011 to serve “adventure capitalists”: high-end, intrepid travelers with a passion for the outdoors. The company manages a handful of properties scattered around the world, from a duo of hotels in Colorado to a soon-to-open lodge in Chile, each of which is staffed with world-class guides and outfitted by the founder’s wife, who owns an interior design firm in London.

What makes Chalet Pelerin so special is that it combines six-star amenities with a low-key, homey atmosphere. Often used by the owner and his family, the 5,500-square-foot chalet has four king bedrooms and a bunk-room with four twin beds, an indoor pool, an outdoor hot tub and a sauna and steam room. Guests can arrange for massages and yoga classes, and the chalet comes with a sommelier and a chef, who whips up a delicious breakfast spread in the morning and a seasonal dinner in the evening. Guests usually have lunch off-property, during activities, but any who decide to stay home for the day can put the on-site pizza oven to use.

First Look: Eleven Experience’s Deplar Farm in Iceland

Thanks to the chalet’s location near the Italian and Swiss borders and a 30-minute drive from seven ski resorts (including Val d’Isère), guests never lack for activities. Winter pursuits include on- and off-piste skiing, heli-skiing, dog sledding and more. In the warmer months, guests can bike, kayak, horseback ride, whitewater raft and paraglide. Every excursion is led by one of Eleven Experience’s guides, and since the villa provides a private car and driver, it doesn’t really matter that it is not ski-in/ski-out.

It is, however, snowshoe-in/snow-shoe-out. Perhaps Chalet Pelerin’s most unique amenity is the Alpage, a renovated farmhouse that is a 30-minute snowshoe from the lodge. The electricity-free abode is illumined by candles and has a dining room, kitchen and cozy nooks furnished with fur throws. After drinks by the bonfire outside, guests are treated to a fondue dinner by the fireplace. Here—from a perch high in the mountains, surrounded by flickering lights and far out of range of cell service—you can experience the ultimate luxury: being disconnected from the rest of the world, if only for a little while.

Contact Indagare for assistance planning a vacation to Chalet Pelerin and learning more about the best ski destinations around the world.

– Emma Pierce on September 27, 2018

Quotable

While at Chalet Pelerin, I learned that heli-skiing is prohibited in France because of environmental concerns. But, because Chalet Pelerin is located near the Italian border, the hotel will transfer guests to Italy where they can heli-ski.
~ Indagare Destinations Editor Emma Pierce

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