VERBIER is having a “moment”: the young royals are rejecting family ties to Klosters and setting up camp in the new capital of cool. Well, that’s according to the gossip sites. What we can tell you is that, in Chalet Chouqui, it has a top-of-the-line lay-over that features something money – or shared genes – cannot buy: a business partnership that brings a high-altitude hospitality expert and a polar explorer together at a single resort. Ski Verbier Exclusive was founded by David Pearson and Tom Avery to manage 18 Verbier properties, including a Fiona Barratt-designed, shared-use chalet, No 14, topping out in Chalet Chouqui, the last word in Swiss alpine luxe.
Built with firm entertaining credentials in mind, Chouqui sleeps 18 (serviced by 12 dedicated staff), and features two sitting rooms and nine bedrooms decorated with herringbone tweeds, faux fur throws, reclaimed wood and custom-made English furniture. As well as the usual down-timing technology (including an impressive wine cellar, a games room and state-of-the-art Sonos music system throughout) there’s a cinema, 15-metre indoor pool, hot tub and hammam. But where Chouqui really scores is in its dedication to the cause of alpine adventure: in addition to organising transfers, lift passes and ski equipment hire, Ski Verbier Exclusive will arrange private guiding, heli-skiing (and parapenting), ice karting and dog sledging.