Ski property specialist MGM has welcomed the introduction of a new online booking service for the hire of skis and snowboards in the historic French Alpine town of Samoëns hour by road from Geneva Airpor, where it is selling apartments in its seventh residential development in the town.
‘We do all we can to make living as easy as possible for the buyers of apartments in our résidences de tourisme, like Les Chalets de Laÿssia taking shape close to the central square, and this new service will make life even better for them,’ says Richard Deans, who heads MGM’s UK sales office in London’s West End.
The new service means that, rather than queuing in a ski shop, the owners of MGM properties in Samoëns will be able to hire their skis and snowboards before they leave home in the UK at no extra cost. The one-click booking service at www.chaletskishop.com enables them to preselect their equipment to match their height, shoe size and level of skill.
When Les Chalets de Laÿssia is completed next year it will comprise three chalets finished externally in the town’s traditional timber-cladding. Together they will contain 55 two-bedroom and three-bedroom apartments to be sold on a leaseback basis. Each property comes with an underground car parking space.
Outside, south-facing terraces will incorporate two pools – one of them for children – set within landscaped gardens with views of snow-capped mountains.
Facilities within the scheme will include a sauna, jacuzzi, steam and fitness rooms. An OdesCimes spa and beauty centre will have a variety of massages and body treatments on offer.
‘Already more than half of the apartments have been sold off-plan, many of them to Britons who regard the French Alps are ideal for year-round holidays,’ says Richard. ‘Once the winter snows have melted on the ski slopes, the mountain villages and pastures enjoy sunshine and temperatures as high as 30°C in mid-summer.’
Samoëns is tipped to become even more popular as a place to buy a year-round holiday home following speculation that Club Med, having shunned several other French Alpine locations, is about to announce plans for a five-star Trident Club in the resort.
The prices of properties still available to buy at Les Chalets de Laÿssia start at €225,000 for a one-bedroom apartment of 38 sq metres rising to €304,000 for a two-bedroom apartment of 55 sq metres. These prices exclude French VAT at 20 per cent which is waived under the leaseback arrangement.
Skiing in Samoëns:
Samoëns is located within the Grand Massif area, the third biggest ski area in the French Alps, so in the winter it offers great skiing for families as well as experienced skiers. This Haute Savoie region between Geneva and Chamonix boasts 265 km of slopes at altitudes of up to 2,500 metres. As many of the major slopes are north-facing, they retain their snow for longer periods than many other resorts.
The Grand Massif includes five interconnected resorts. In addition to Samoens, they include Les Carroz, Flaine, Morillon and Sixt-Fer-a-Cheval. Each is less than 30 kilometres from the motorway. Chamonix and Annecy, both of which offer year-round attractions, are just 40 minutes away by road.
In winter a gondola lifts skiers from Samoëns to the slopes in just eight minutes and a six-seater chairlift takes them to the top of the ski area in a further 12 minutes. This means that skiers can reach an altitude of 2,100 metres from the village in just over 20 minutes.
Other popular winter activities include dog sledging, raquette trekking and climbing frozen waterfalls.
Buyer case study:
Among early off-plan buyers at Les Chalets de Laÿssia were a Wimbledon couple – independent town planning consultant David Simpson and his wife Susan, a former civil servant who now runs her own trade and investment consultancy.
As a family – they have a grown-up son and daughter – the Simpsons have been keen skiers for many years. ‘But we were unsure whether to buy a place where we could ski or somewhere in the sun,’ said David. ‘Samoëns in the French Alps offers both. It’s a great year-round destination and easy to reach from the UK.’
The Simpsons opted for a spacious three-bedroom apartment on two floors after being impressed by the quality of friends’ MGM leaseback property – and the letting and management services which went with it – in the French Alpine ski resort of Sainte Foy.