Our luxury chalets mix skiing with the festivities

It's Christmas Time, mistletoe and wine... Val d'Isere is always a magical place to visit, but for our guests arriving on the 23rd December we promise a Christmas to remember.

With the smell of mulled wine, mincemeat pies and an array of festive treats to greet them, guests will arrive to afternoon tea served with our premier champagne (for those ready to kick the festivities off immediately).

At Le Chardon our ethos is to make Christmas as individual as the guests we spend it with. We like to know about the preferences of each group in advance so that our catering fits around their traditions.

On Christmas Eve, Val d'Isere hosts its weekly street party with music, entertainment, ice carving, vin chaud and lots of stalls. This is a great event for families and lots of fun. However, for our European guests who exchange gifts on Christmas Eve and have their main meal during this evening, they will forgo this and wait for the Christmas Day events instead. A little different to our UK families who tend to hold off all celebrations until the 25th December.
Although the chalets are decorated in preparation for our guests arrival, inside we hold back a few Christmas tree decorations for our younger guests who enjoy adding a final touch to finish off the Christmas cheer - especially when those last few decorations are edible and just high enough for little arms to reach.

Each chalet is managed independently in terms of how Christmas is planned. Some guests enjoy a little fizz with their brea
kfast and may make time for present opening in the morning. Others choose to open presents later in the day and make the most of the skiing.It really depends on the family and what they want to do. We are very flexible about fitting in with individual traditions and plan our catering around our guests' day.

Most guests will go skiing at some point though on Christmas Day and generally we prepare for an early dinner around 5pm. This arrangement suits those who look forward to spending a good portion of the day skiing. In Val, the pistes, bars, shops and restaurants are open as normal on Christmas day, so there are never any issues should anyone get stuck on the mountain.

It's hard to convey the real magic of skiing on Christmas day when traditionally this is a day of so little activity. You are also acutely aware that waiting for you back at the chalet is the smell of Christmas dinner and by the time you have finished on the mountain and relaxed in the hot tub your appetite is more than ready for the feast to come.

A fabulous firework display lights up the Val d'Isere sky on the evening of Christmas day, a spectacular way to end the most perfect of days. Except if any guest would like to go to midnight mass, drivers are on-call to take them and bring them back to the chalet.

The key to making Christmas so special in our chalets is that we offer guests exactly what they want and are as flexible as possible on meal times and what we serve. I guess, just like each of our own families, we all have different traditions we like to adhere to over the festive period and they become part of what makes our family memories. More often than not they have been handed down through the generations and will continue to be long into the future. This is what we try to replicate in our chalets.

Merry Christmas to all our guests, friends of Le Chardon and staff. Here's to a great 2013 for one and all.