Le Village de Lessy****
Le Grand Bornand
BUILT BY ACCLAIMED mountain developers MGM and managed by its subsidiary CGH, this recently-completed residence offers 144 luxurious apartments combining traditional Savoie-style architecture with a high level of modern facilities. Many apartments offer wonderful views of the ski area and the Aravis mountain range.
Built on the rock face, with Reception chalet and garage access on the uppermost levels, the chalets interconnect via an efficient lift system. There are shops including a good-sized mini-market on the lowest level, and the ski lockers are just above with secure access for residents only. Trademark MGM touches are again in evidence in Chinaillon, and include a well-appointed Leisure & Fitness Centre in which guests are free to relax and enjoy the surrounding scenery from the private indoor heated swimming-pool. Also included are a Jacuzzi, sauna, steam room and fitness room. Further pampering is available in the (payable) Spa and Beauty Care Centre.
LE VILLAGE DE LESSY is located in the centre of Chinaillon and close to the slopes. Literally across the road is the Tourist Office, with ski school, lift pass desks and a lift down to the slopes. Each apartment is furnished and equipped to a very high standard of comfort and convenience. Living areas have a double pull-out bed (making up 2 single beds), plus a fully equipped kitchenette with multi-function microwave oven, ceramic hob, dishwasher, fridge, electric coffee maker, kettle, mixer, pressure-cooker, toaster, etc. There is also a bathroom and WC (separate in some larger apartments). All apartments have satellite TV, direct telephone line, free Wi-Fi and balcony.
This prestige residence has a spacious lounge area with open fireplace, Wii games in a snug family area, laundry room (payable), ski lockers and a luggage room. You may also enjoy bakery and deli services (payable), a billiard table (payable).
There is loan of cots and high chairs (subject to availability - please request at time of booking), irons and ironing boards, board games plus fondue and raclette sets. The Residence has its own covered parking (payable €105/week, max height 1.80m), which is strongly recommended in view of the very limited amount of outdoor parking nearby.
Guests will find the complex lift system confusing at first (we had to take 6 lifts from our upper level apartment to access the ski locker), but the high-speed direct lifts are very efficient, the only delays occurring during the Saturday changeover.
The village shuttle service to the slopes and the village centre stops outside the Reception area. There is also a half-hourly bus service down to Le Grand Bornand leaving near the Tourist Office. Ask at Reception for your free travel card.
Book your stay at Le Village de Lessy with specialist UK tour operator Peak Retreats.
Enquiries and bookings:
0844 576 0170 (UK)
or +44 23 9283 9310
On the up in Le Grand Bornand
We profile Le Village de Lessy, a prestige residence ideally located in the heart of Chinaillon, Le Grand Bornand.
To countless French (and Swiss) families a return to Le Grand Bornand, in the Massif des Aravis, represents much more than merely an opportunity to revisit a popular ski area. Generations have learnt to ski here, and they continue to do so, in a safe environment which began welcoming skiers back in 1907 and now also has plenty to keep more experienced skiers entertained. Another attraction is the Savoyard ambiance of local villages whose working mountain communities remain very much alive outside the ski season.
Which makes it all the more surprising that so far, despite its obvious appeal, the area hasn’t exactly grabbed the undivided attention of most skiers from the UK and elsewhere. This could be about to change, however, with the arrival of perhaps the most respected and influential name in quality tourism construction. Le Village de Lessy is one of the latest creations of MGM Constructeur, whose developments in top ski areas like Chamonix, Tignes and Serre Chevalier have set the benchmark for premium accommodation in the French Alps.
Clearly, the addition of Chinaillon to this select list (plus the sheer scale of the new development) implies a considerable degree of confidence, both in the attractiveness of the setting and the quality of the skiing on offer. Between them, Le Grand Bornand and its neighbours Saint-Jean de Sixt, La Clusaz and Manigod offer 220km of groomed pistes, 150km of cross-country (ski-de-fond) pistes along with a choice of dedicated itineraries for walkers and snow-shoers. Add snowparks, a couple of skating rinks plus an aqua centre and you begin to see that the Massif des Aravis (whose range of welcome services and facilities specially tailored to families has seen it awarded the Famille Plus lable) is a pretty serious ski and winter sports destination.
The broader appeal
Another attraction of which French visitors have always been much more aware than their British counterparts is the sudden and dramatic transformation which occurs within just a few weeks of the skiers (and the snow) having departed. Late spring and early summer find the herds of cattle leaving the barns in which they spend the winter to work their way up the mountainsides once again to graze on the fresh grass of high pastures dotted with Alpine herbs and wildflowers. Fresh milk from the herds is used in the famous AOC Reblochon cheeses which are produced and sold locally. The echo of cowbells provides the perfect soundtrack to a summer scene which for centuries has been part of daily life in the mountains.
There's every chance that from now on it will also become increasingly familiar to visitors, as owners and guests begin to discover the benefits of summer occupancy in new apartments purchased under Residence de Tourisme agreements and promoted, like those of the Village de Lessy, well beyond the ski season.
© Roger Moss 2010
The author stayed at Le Village de Lessy as the guest of Peak Retreats - The French Alps Specialist
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