Veyrier-du-Lac, Annecy, France
When London’s Courtauld Gallery reopens next spring, go and seek out Cézanne’s ‘Le Lac d’Annecy’. The French artist came on a holiday to this picturesque spot in 1896 and set up his easel by the shore. Annecy is one of France’s great lakes and this is a rare chance to buy a recently refurbished estate on more than four acres of its slopes, with two grand villas and a high-spec entertainment hub with pool, sauna, cinema and games room. There are amazing views across the lake to snow-peaked mountains, while Mont Veyrier forms an impressive backdrop to the estate. Or head into Annecy itself to appreciate the lines of medieval architecture and gallery of modern Alpine art.
Lefay Wellness Residences, Dolomites, Italy
Lefay Dolomiti was one of the most talked-about Italian openings of 2019, a chalet-style spa hotel in a wildly beautiful valley setting – a ‘hall of the mountain king’ with ski-in, ski-out credentials, steaming outdoor pool and a spa you could lose yourself in for days. These 23 off-plan apartments form part of the Lefay Resort and share a similar stone- and timber-clad aesthetic, with versatile living spaces and picture windows for epic views. It’s only a short walk to the hotel for regional wine-tasting, treatments and fitness sessions (try the intense sauna yoga), but there are also e-bikes to hire and a host of walking trails. Start with the circular hike past peak-high churches to the waterfall and back.
Basalte, Verbier, Switzerland
Verbier is the young-at-heart, dress-down ski resort where nobody would blink if you never set foot on the snow. That’s easy enough, as the sheer number of restaurants, clubs, bars and experiential trips ensures there’s plenty to do away from the slopes – from heli-touring and husky sledding to fine dining on a glacier and outdoor yoga with views of Val de Bagnes. The fashion-forward W Hotel turned heads when it opened in 2013, and this beautifully crafted, open-plan apartment has access to its spa and concierge while remaining perfectly independent, with a cosy stone fireplace and six-person hot tub on the vast patio for gathering in and around after a day out.
Six Senses Residences, Courchevel, France
With its glamorous offering of Michelin stars and luxury shopping, Courchevel 1850 redefines the meaning of high end. Designed by architect Alain Foeillet, this chalet features Pop Art and mid-century design touches, stylish fabrics and timber beams; and plenty of space for après-ski entertaining. The Six Senses concierge will point the way, but non-skiers have plenty of distractions: while the luge is strictly for Indiana Jones types, there are also hiking trails to La Rosière, indoor climbing at Le Forum, and fun water slides and wild rivers at Aquamotion – while the menus at Le 1947 and Pippa Middleton-favourite Le Bel Air are worth perusing for lunch.
White Pearl, La Plagne, France
There are a lot of ski slopes at La Plagne. But you don’t need to ski to enjoy them. You may want to hurtle down in a bobsleigh – this is where the British team come to train – go snow-shoeing, ice-skating or dog-sledding, or try your hand at airboarding, which involves skimming down on an inflatable body board. Warmer options include puzzling your way out of the Mont St Jacques Bunker escape room and following the aquatic trail at Belle Plagne spa. The wood-and-stone chalets of White Pearl form a little hamlet high on the slopes – smart village living with an active social life and contemporary luxury. The central street is dedicated to pedestrians, with attractive landscaping and meeting places. The five-star hotel residence has 92 apartments across eight chalets, a relaxation area and a spa. Each chalet has its own elevator serving all levels.