Leis Houses by Peter Zumthor, Leis, Switzerland
When we visited the beautiful wooden holiday home of Annalisa and Peter Zumthor in the small village of Leis in Switzerland over two years ago (W*142), we admired both Zumthor's timeless and refined architecture and the beautiful mountain site. If the visit gave you house envy, now you can have a taste of what it feels like to stay in a building designed by the much-admired Swiss architect. The first two solid-timber houses, the Oberhus and the Unterhus, were completed in 2009 and while the Zumthors occupy the former, the latter is now available for rent. A third house, the Türmlihus, will be a new addition to the family this year. Currently under construction, it will be available to rent from Autumn.
Tel: 41.78 642 8009; zumthorferienhaeuser.ch
Writer: Ellie Stathaki
Photography: Ralph Feiner, copyright Zumthor Ferienhäuser
Zhero - Ischgl/Kappl, Kappl, Austria
Forget fondue and wall-to-wall pine - this newly opened ski lodge in Austria's Paznaun Valley doesn't do rustic. A short drive from the internationally renowned resort of Ischgl, the contemporary glass, wood and stone structure by Manfred Jage features minimalist Tyrolean design without the kitsch. Locally sourced stone, fur and wood surfaces and a warming palette of mushroom, taupe and charcoal grey have a cocooning effect, while furnishings and accessories by Minotti and Botega Venetta add a touch of Italian glamour. Limbs wearied after a day on the slopes can find solace in the pool and sauna or, if staying in bed is more restorative, private butlers attend the penthouse suites. At the hotel's restaurant, executive chef Klaus Brunmayr serves up a tempting menu of both regional and international cuisine.
Wiese 687 6555, Kappl Austria; www.designhotels.com
Writer: Alix O'Neill
Louis Vuitton Winter Resort Store, Gstaad, Switzerland
In tribute to Gstaad, the distinguished Swiss ski resort that celebrated its 700th anniversary last year, luxury brand Louis Vuitton has opened a unique winter resort store on the renowned Promenade. The outlet is housed on a single level in a classic alpine ski chalet, while the décor blends tradition and modernity by introducing elements such as a stack of roughly chopped wood next to a slick marble fireplace. A lounge salon with deep, comfortable sofas and armchairs whets our appetite for a cup of Swiss hot cocoa after having browsed the latest collections of leather goods, accessories and travel items that the Louis Vuitton brand is so well known for.
Promenade 50, Gstaad; Tel: 41.33 748 16 90; louisvuitton.com
Writer: Micha van Dinther
Cheval Blanc, Courchevel, France
Recently re-opened for the season with eight news suites designed by Sybille de Margerie, who counts the Mandarin Oriental as one of her frequent clients, Cheval Blanc Courchevel is among the most sumptuous addresses in the French Alps. The new additions include two duplex suites, one with a sauna to unwind in after a day on the slopes, and six that have been extended to include new design elements, such as a floating bath. The Maison's largest suites, the penthouse Apartment and the Chalet, are also designed in a warm blend of chestnut tones, wood and bronze, reflecting the landscape outside. With impressive views of La Saulire, Courcheval's highest peak, the penthouse Apartment has its own private access and ski lift directly from the slopes. Occupants of the suites can also take advantage of the Cheval's dining room, helmed by chef Yannick Alénno, and public rooms filled with art donated from the hotel's owner, LVMH Hotel Management.
Le Jardin Alpin, 73120 Courcheval 1850, France; 33. 47 900 5050; www.chevalblanc.com
Writer: Alex Tieghi-Walker
Mineral Lodge, Villaroger, France
Architect Christian Girard has used stones, rock and local spruce for the exterior of this large chalet, sited in the Vanoise National Park, in perhaps one of the most dramatic valleys of the Haute-Terentaise. Built over the precipitous terrain of Villaroger, the property incorporates the ruins of a farm, previously occupying the site. Staircases connect the charmingly haphazard floor plan, with large, glazed balconies overlooking the ruins and the valley beyond. Sustainable elements running throughout the lodge include geothermal heating and natural ventilation while a built-in library and internal skylights complete the dramatic interior of this very-modern Alpine lodge.
Le Pré-derrière, 73640 Villaroger, France; tel: 33.6 722 45779; www.minerallodge.fr
Writer: Alex Tieghi-Walker
Villa Gella, Bulgaria
Seventeen kilometres from Pamporovo ski resort in a little visited corner of Bulgaria (which is considered the birthplace of Dionysus, the Greek god of wine), one London banker with indigenous roots unpacked the souvenirs of his wanderlust, from Ming dynasty pottery to modern artworks by Craigie Aitchison and Dale Chihully, at this Aman-inspired refuge that comprises blond wood, unpolished concrete and ashen limestone. Fireplaces and indulgently stuffed furniture covered in undyed hemp, wool, linen and leather warm the stark spaces, while abundant windows frame the snow or wildflower covered Rhodope Mountains throughout. The villa includes six master-size, white washed suites, and guests can unwind among the ten-metre indoor pool, steam room, massage area, outdoor deck and private gym.
4710 s. Gela, Smolyan region, Bulgaria; tel: 359.8 88 566 872; www.villagella.com
Writer: Cynthia Rosenfeld
Chalet One Oak, Combloux, France
Waking up in Chalet One Oak in the charming village of Combloux near Megève is a rather magical experience; the breathtaking views of Mont Blanc and its surrounding massif epitomise the Alpine chalet experience. Designed by the owner, the chalet has an instant, dramatic impact, while plenty of natural light softens the aesthetics. A mishmash of quirky paraphernalia, the décor is sumptuous and modern with voluptuous tiger-skin rugs, purple chairs and pop art - including a painting above the main fireplace by Burton Morris. The six-bedroom chalet's standout feature is a Harley-Davidson V-Rod, designed by Porsche, in the entrance, while little Asian details throughout, including a 1930s chandelier from the palace in Jaipur, India, adds a touch of far-flung delight to the open-plan property.
Tel: 44.1242 547705; www.akvillas.com
Writer: Rhian Owen
Dr Lammel Surgery, Ramsau am Dachstein, Austria
Cross-country skiiers and jumpers in the Austrian Alps can rest safe in the knowledge that any mishaps will be swiftly taken care of by the new medical practice burrowed on a hill in the remote town of Ramsau am Dachstein. Dr Lammel Surgery is housed in a rugged, spruce-clad building designed by Graz-based firm Hammerschmid Pachl Seebacher Architekten (HPSA), who took inspiration form the area's historical hay barns. Inside patients will find a simple, efficient space, comprising three treatment rooms, a waiting room and a pharmacy stocked with essential supplies. Rough larch wood benches in the waiting room and thick loden-covered walls give the practice a distinctly alpine touch.
Ramsau 127, 8972 Ramsau am Dachstein, Asutria; tel: 43.3 687 81081; www.doclammel.at
Writer: Manfredi Conti
Element 47, Aspen, Colorado, USA
The Little Nell hotel commissioned architectural firm Bentel & Bentel to spearhead the renovations of its restaurant. Contemporary eatery Element 47 adds to the wide array of restaurants in classic ski destination Aspen. By incorporating materials such as stone, wood and blackened steel in conjunction with rich leathers, Bentel & Bentel have created a vibrant setting for the dining room and bar. Walls are hung with intriguing art work by Philip Vanderhyden, Jose Lema and Cameron Martin, to name a few, carefully selected by hotel owner and art connoisseur Paula Crown. Chef Robert McCormick's menu draws from local produce and sustainable seafood from both coasts, preferably chased down with Element 47's private label champagne Marc Hébrart Sélection Brut.
The Little Nell, 675 E Durant Avenue, Aspen; Tel: 1.970 920 63 30; element47aspen.com
Writer: Micha van Dinther
Villa Iergl, San Cassiano, Dolomites, Italy
Burrowed in the charming village of San Cassiano (part of a sensitively preserved UNESCO World Heritage Site) is the newly restored Villa Iergl. One of the first houses to be built in the Dolomite Mountains, the 19th century farmhouses has been carefully converted into a four-bedroom chalet with contemporary amenities such as a sauna and Turkish bath. The exterior was renewed by architect Karl Hezin Castlunger, who sourced larch wood from rustic Austrian barns, while interior designer Insam Bruno took a similarly traditional route, laying stone from the Luserna and Piasentina regions and vintage planed oak floors throughout. There are over 1200m of trails to swish your way down nearby, and - once you're off the slopes - the villa is also able to organise a host of additional services upon request, including a chef, masseuse, and taxi or helicopter transfers.
Str. Freina 49, San Cassiano Alta Badia, 39036 Alto Adige, BZ, Italy; Tel: 39. 0471 849 500; www.iergl.it
Writer: Jessica Klingelfuss
Wildwood Snowmass, Snowmass Village, Colorado, USA
Nestled in the Colorado mountains, right in the midst of some very venerable ski towns, lies the Starwood property Wildwood. The 151-room resort recently received a makeover by interdisciplinary design firm Reunion, who have achieved a colourful and playful look by undauntedly merging inspiration from ski lodges of the last four decades together in one. Après-skiers can enjoy a cosy living room featuring open fireplaces, retro board games and art in the form of Rachel Denny's deer heads covered by cashmere woollens. Fashion designer Steven Alan has swung his magic wand over Wildwood's entire collection of in-room accessories and staff uniforms.
40 Elbert Lane, Snowmass Village; Tel: 1.970 923 84 00; wildwoodsnowmass.com
Writer: Micha van Dinther
Register for our daily bulletin of the stuff that refines you