Samoens is a large and quaint old village. Unfortunately you can’t ski to it but have to download by cableway. “One of the most beautiful villages in the alps,” said a reporter.
”There are some fairly rock-starish chalets just outside of the centre – the type of place only Russians could normally afford – but they are within the range of mere mortals in Samoens,” says one reporter. “I have stayed in one, and I am not a Russian. It was Chalet Arnica.” The self-catering, free-standing chalet sleeps 12, and has an open fireplace, a big modern kitchen and south-facing terrace. It’s 800m from the lift, so a short drive.
The old and the new
Villa Rose, in the heart of the village is a boutique hotel and luxury catered villa created in contemporary Belle-Époque style. It’s elegant yet intimate. Chalet La Remise is a self-catering chalet sleeping 12, a mile from the lift (the free shuttle bus stops nearby) Sadly, this one doesn’t have an open fire, but the kitchen is spacious and high-spec, and there’s a garden for the little ones. Les Fermes de Samoens is also a few years old – a low-rise development of traditionally-styled apartments, set between the old town centre and the lifts. The shuttle bus stops nearby and the development includes a small heated swimming-pool and sauna. Newer is Residence La Reine des Pres, so beautifully built from wood and stone that it bends into the mountainside. The apartments share a swimming-pool and fitness facilities.
Club Med is here, with 420 rooms and two restaurants. The main restaurant has four corners: a family corner, a baby corner, a wine corner and a healthy food corner. The Gourmet Lounge is a gastronomic restaurant with menus created by Michelin-starred chef, Edouard Loubet. Childcare is on offer for babies from four months old up to teenagers aged 17. Hotel Neige et Roc is a family-run three-star on the edge of the village, with an excellent reputation for its food, and a good-sized pool and spa area.
La Ferme de Fontany is a lovely chalet owned by the same family as the Neige et Roc and is about a mile out of town, so you’ll need a car. The spacious chalet was built in the 18th century, sleeps 10, and has rooms full of character with a central open fire in the sitting room, silk curtains and hand-made quilts in the bedrooms, and an excellent kitchen.
Ferme du Ciel is set above the village, and there is a minibus service to drop and pick guests up. Alternatively, it’s a short stroll downhill (25 mins slowly) to the village should you would prefer to walk. The original farmhouse was revamped ten years ago with stylish features such as floor-to-ceiling windows and an open-plan living area. There is a central stone fireplace and a fireside dining table, five double bedrooms and a family suite. Chalet Apassion is located half-way between the two main lifts, and has a private shuttle service.The accommodation is made up of five double bedrooms, a large open-plan living room and dining area, and a separate TV room.