BUILT BY ACCLAIMED Savoyard mountain developers MGM Constructeur and managed by its subsidiary CGH, this recently-completed residence comprises 8 traditional chalets, each containing 5-13 luxurious apartments.
The Savoyard-influenced architectural and decorative styling in combined with a comprehensive range of on-site facilities. For example, you can relax in or around a large free indoor heated swimming-pool (after a session in the fitness suite sauna or beauty centre, if you wish).
In refreshing contrast to the strongly seasonal nature of purpose-built ski resorts, Samoëns is an historic village with a wealth of authentic Savoyard character and a vibrant year-round resident working community. The new development follows suit, offering a warm welcome to both owners and guests throughout the seasons.
La Reine des Près****
La Reine des Près prestige residence is located between the village centre and the Grand Massif Express gondola. To access the skiing in Samoëns and the Grand Massif, it's possible to walk the short distance to and from the gondola though we'd recommend taking some comfy shoes in a rucksack as it's a 10 minute walk in ski boots.
Built for Winter 09/10, the residence offers 80 luxurious apartments combining traditional architecture from Savoy with high standard and modern facilities. Its own Leisure Centre has a free private indoor heated swimming-pool with Jacuzzis, saunas, steam room and fitness room. In the superb Spa and Beauty Care Centre (payable) you can enjoy any of a selection of massages and beauty treatments in calm and relaxing surroundings.
The main building has a spacious lounge area with open fireplace and a view of the pool. There is a free outdoor car park (very limited number of spaces) or underground garage (payable €50/week, max height 2.10m), laundry room (payable), ski lockers and a luggage room. You can also enjoy a bread delivery and deli services (payable) and free WiFi.
All the apartments at La Reine des Près are fitted and furnished to a very high standard of comfort and convenience. They have a living area with a double pull-out bed (making up 2 single beds), a fully equipped kitchenette, bathroom and wc (sometimes separate). All apartments have satellite TV, telephone, WiFi and a balcony.
The loan of cots, high chairs, changing mats and bottle warmer (all subject to availability, max 1 of each per apartment; state at time of booking), board games, irons and ironing boards, fondue and raclette sets is available from Reception.
We particularly liked some of the unique features at La Reine des Près - look in the Reception cloakroom - and its proximity to the village. And you won't have far to go to the nearest restaurant though - the wonderful Maison de Fifine is right next door.
Samoëns: logical development
MountainPassions profiles MGM Constructeur’s La Reine des Près luxury apartments, designed and built by the Sayoyard developer in Samoëns.
By now there can’t be many regular visitors to the French Alps who are unnaware of Samoëns. In recent years the historic village, which was famed far and wide for its stone and slate artistry long before it became one of a handful of Alpine skiing pioneers, has quietly joined the ranks of France’s most desirable ski villages. For that we can thank those with the vision to invest many millions of euros in the Grand Massif Express gondola lift, which now hauls skiers up to the heart of the ski terrain in around eleven minutes. Convenience like this suddenly transformed what once appeared a slightly marginalised option into an attractive base for those planning to ski in the Grand Massif.
New on the radar: a prime location
The largely-undeveloped area between the village and the new lift immediately became a prime location in which to create the kind of accommodation which would meet the high expectations of the anticipated new visitors to Samoëns. Unsurprisingly, Savoyard developer MGM Constructeur was well aware of the site’s potential (and the existing vibrant economy supported by a dynamic local council), and responded by creating an elegant new 4-star Résidence de Tourisme development.
La Reine des Près (whose name derives from an attractive wildflower with medicinal properties) comprises eight chalets subdivided into 1 - 4 bedroom apartments, some with duplex options. The substantial site conceals a large underground parking facility (with a heated access ramp for snow-clearance) offering direct access to each chalet – a highly practical feature which proves its worth when the snow lies deep and more is falling.
If you’re already familiar with MGM’s developments elsewhere, you’ll know that the French government’s Résidence de Tourisme classification qualifies the new apartments for sale to leaseback purchasers with VAT charges waived. The majority of purchasers investing in La Reine des Près are likely to be taking advantage of this scheme, rather than purchasing outright for unlimited (non-letting) occupation. Either way, they will do so in the knowledge that the residence will remain open throughout the year. Premium on-site facilities and services include a large heated indoor swimming pool plus sauna, fitness suite and beauty centre, which are magaged by MGM’s wholly-owned subsidiary CGH (La Compagnie de Gestion Hôtelière). Purchasers buying at a preferential price under the leaseback sheme can enjoy the property themselves for several weeks each year and at other times simply relax with the reassurance that every apartment will be expertly managed for letting and scrupulously maintained by CGH.
Style and content
Having seen for ourselves many of MGM’s developments, both completed and while still under construction, we’ve been impressed by two factors: first, the way in which each has its own clearly-defined character influenced by local materials and architectural styles, and second, by the perceptible raising of standards in terms of the styling, fittings and finish. The Reine des Près is no exception, and despite being a necessarily-substantial development, the impression to passers-by is surprisingly low in visual impact. Put another way, it’s a discretely elegant addition to the endearingly low-rise skyline of Samoëns. Inside, things are similarly well-considered, marrying home-from-home comfort and convenience with traditional Savoyard chalet feel.
The MGM Factor
Starting prices (excl. VAT) for two-bedroom apartments are 264 000 euros, 3-bedrooms at 366 000 euros and 3-bedroom duplex apartments from 432 000 euros. Purchasers buying with an eye on investment potential will find it reassuring to note that when apartments from MGM developments eventually come onto the resale market they tend to change hands at a significant price premium in comparison with comparable properties in the marketplace.
Add the location and a particularly tempting offer emerges...
© Roger Moss 2010
The author stayed at La Reine des Prè as the guest of MGM Constructeur
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