Star of the snow
At a cool USD 350,000 a week, Oberlech’s Chalet N is famed as the swankiest spot to stay off-piste. But does the reality live up to the celebrity? We check in…
Courchevel, St Moritz, Verbier, St Anton… when the snow-set pack their furs for ski season, a cluster of elite resorts seduce them back to the slopes, year after year. For the Dutch royal family, it’s Austria’s powder-blessed Lech – until now, that is. For one place is enticing the A-list 10 minutes on past Lech’s luxury hotels, along hair-pin turns, and into chocolate-box Oberlech.
For location alone I could see why it has the edge on its upmarket neighbour: after two-hours of cruising the ice-glossed roads from Zurich (in a chauffeur-driven 4x4) I found it posing 1,750-metres above sea level, (and 200-metres above Lech), the snow untrodden, the surrounds hear-a-pin-drop calm and, all around, panoramic vistas of the Arlberg Massif. It felt like a private snow-drenched playground: no roads chockfull of unsightly people carriers, taking skiiers to the pistes (here it’s ski-in, ski-out); no neon-lit aprés lounges, not a shop in sight. Even deliveries come via an underground network of tunnels so as to not spoil the peace. If you want to pose before a paparazzi lens, then, resorts like celeb-studded Courchevel remain the places to head – if you want to escape the limelight, this is where you’ll strike gold.
Oberlech’s star attraction is Chalet N. Despite only being open for business since late 2012 (this being its second ski season), the alpine glamazon has scooped six-star status, quietly gained the affections of off-duty superstars (word is Rhianna and Tina Turner are fans) and commands a cool USD 350,000 rental rate per week – making it one of the priciest chalets on the planet. [To be continued...]
Star of the Slopes
Austria’s powder-blessed Lech used to be the place to go for luxurious ski holidays in the Alps, but nowadays there’s another place enticing the A-list — 10 minutes past Lech’s luxury hotels, along hair-pin turns, and up into stunning Oberlech.
Location alone gives Oberlech the edge on its upmarket neighbour: it sits 1,750-metres above sea level, (and 200-metres above Lech), the snow untrodden, among calm and tranquil surrounds, with panoramic vistas of the Arlberg Massif.
Oberlech’s star attraction is Chalet N. Commanding a cool USD 270,000+ rental rate per week, it’s one of the priciest chalets on the planet, and it’s easy to see why when you arrive. Chalet N’s sizeable facade exudes glitz and wealth, and once inside you’ll experience an exuberance of glamour and ostentatiousness — the decor of the chalet elegantly combines the pure nature of the Arlberg with unparalleled luxury.
However, it’s not just the fixtures and furnishings that show how sumptuous this chalet is. At ground level there is a mammoth lounge and bar, dining room and fondue room. One floor up are the chalet’s seven suites (complete with walk-in wardrobes, slope-facing terraces and Hermés amenities) and the pool room, and one floor down is the underground level which boasts a wine cellar and home cinema, and access down again to a spa, ice bar and pool. [To be continued...]