La Ferme du Lac Vert

Montriond, near Morzine, French Alps, France Book from

Gorgeous refurbed old farmhouse in a traditional Alpine village in Portes du Soleil, available by the room or as a whole chalet for 20-24
Imagine what a mountain chalet ought to be like, and this is it. With knobs on. La Ferme du Lac Vert is a spacious chalet-cum-boutique hotel in the charming small village of Montriond, on the outskirts of Morzine. Once a traditional shuttered farmhouse, it is surrounded by Alpine pasture and just down a winding lane from a jade green lake - hence the name. In winter, it is an ultra-cosy hideaway stuffed with fur throws, twinkling candles and roaring fires; in summer, it is bright and airy with a sun-drenched terrace and a flower-strewn, meadowy garden. It is a wonderful base for snowsports in the Portes du Soleil, as well as hiking, biking and kayaking in warmer months.

English owners Rob and Lucy Mundell spent a year restoring the near-derelict building, after winning a ski competition to Morzine and falling in love with the area. Now, it's perfect for big family parties, groups of friends, or simply ski or mountain enthusiasts who are happy to mingle with other guests in the evenings - it sleeps 20-24 in a range of double, triple and twin rooms.

Highs

  • Beautiful, chalet-chic interiors - exposed wooden beams, antique furniture, vintage lampstands, squishy velvet sofas - plus an alfresco hot tub with knockout snowy views
  • Lovely, relaxed and friendly staff who are passionate about the mountains
  • The food. Restaurant-quality, experimental dishes based on classic French food with a modern twist. 5-course dinners in the winter, light and healthy in the summer
  • Nicholas, the helpful Swiss ski concierge, who can organise ski hire, lift passes and private guides
  • Excellent value for money and a flexible set-up, with a choice of weekly or short breaks in winter, and nightly B&B or H/B rates in summer

Lows

    • Quite a difference in size between the rooms, yet the per person rate is the same throughout. Ask for the biggest and best room available when booking, ideally Pleney, 'the honeymoon suite'
    • Full pre-payment in advance of stay, and there's a minimum stay of 7 nights (Sunday-Sunday) in peak ski season
    • A sociable 'shared chalet' feel rather than a hotel feel - guests dine together around a long oak table, so beware if mingling is not your thing
    • The giant living area is TV-free, so no big screening sessions, and no TVs in the bedrooms either. There is a TV lounge but it is small. Great for kids to escape to, though

Best time to go

In winter, the chalet is open from December to April and the snow is consistently good, though you might want to avoid the peak, expensive and crazily busy ski weeks of New Year and February half term. Pre-Christmas and the week after New Year are brilliant times to go - excellent value with virtually empty slopes. At the end of March, the Rock the Piste music festival is fun, but it can also be very busy. The chalet closes in May, and from June-September it is a wonderful base for summer activities - in our opinion, July and August are the best months. The chalet then closes for October and November.

Our top tips

Don’t miss lunch at La Vaffieu at the top of the Pleney lift in Morzine. The best tartiflettes on the mountain, as well as sublime desserts. Open all year round.

Great for...

Family
Foodie
Great Outdoors
Wedding
  • = Recommended
  • = Best in region
  • = World favourite
  • Alpine Chalet
  • 10 for B&B or full rental for 20-24
  • Half-board in winter, meal plans in summer, restaurants nearby
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Daily Maid Service
  • Towels & Bedlinen
  • Concierge Service
Room:

Rooms

The rooms vary quite a bit in size, but are all priced the same (based on a per person rate). Some are big doubles, some are triples with 3 single beds or a double and a single (useful for a family), and one is a quadruple. A couple are quite tight doubles or twins with not much space around the bed. Ask for the best room available when booking - see details of all rooms here.

La Ferme du Lac Vert used to be a dairy farm, and Lucy has tastefully picked up on this with her interior design. There are cow-skin rugs, cow-print cushions and bright cartoon cow pictures that she painted herself. Even the toiletries are Cowshed! But it's very tasteful, and perfectly combined with traditional touches such as mahogany antique beds and wardrobes, plus cosy faux-fur throws tossed over the beds. We loved the quirky Ottoman lanterns, and armchairs re-upholstered in Swiss army blankets.

While the rooms are old-style and wood-panelled, ensuite bathrooms are gleaming and contemporary, with shiny chrome and grey slate tiles. Most have showers over baths, but Fondulay and Cote D'Abroz have showers only, while Pleney has a roll-top bath and a separate shower. Cosy robes and slippers are just the thing to wrap up in on a snowy evening, plus there's underfloor heating to keep you snug.

Features include:

  • Bathrobes
  • Cots Available
  • Hairdryer
  • Terrace
  • Toiletries
  • Underfloor heating
  • WiFi

Eating

The chalet chef, Chiefy, is a genuine talent, and was a quarter-finalist on Masterchef 2006. In winter, all stays are half board, including afternoon tea. Evening meals are highly sociable, creative 5-course affairs, including a full cheese board. You begin with elaborate canapés - one day we had miniature steak tartares; another, curious but highly moreish molecular-style blobs of exploding Bloody Mary. The main courses ranged from melting braised shoulder of lamb to perfect pan-fried duck breasts with roasted butternut squash and cherry sauce. All were excellent.

Breakfasts combine porridge or hot muesli with a choice of hot dish - perhaps a full English, pancakes with maple syrup and bacon, or grilled tortilla with peppers, feta cheese and braised fava beans. There are also heaps of pastries, a wide choice of cereals and an endless array of herbal teas and freshly ground coffee.

On the chef’s night off, try excellent nearby restaurants. L’Etale in the centre of Morzine serves good Savoyard dishes, and Chez Etienne, a hotel in Montriond, has a classical French menu. Staff can recommend mountain restaurants for lunches.

In the summer you can book B&B or half-board stays. There's often a pop-up restaurant celebrating seasonal and locally sourced produce in surprise tasting menu format - choose between 5 or 8 courses. Otherwise, evening meals have 4 courses, and the emphasis is on lighter salads, delicious BBQs and giant fruit salads. Note breakfasts are Continental and there's no afternoon tea or evening aperitifs/wine.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Children meals
  • Communal dining
  • Half board
  • In house cook
  • Restaurants nearby
  • Vegetarian menu
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

    Skiing: the chalet is 5 minutes’ drive from the Ardent ski lift, which whisks guests up into the mighty Portes du Soleil. This is one of the biggest ski areas in the world, with 650km of slopes, and offers something for everyone, from the total beginner to the gnarly black-run skier or hardened off-pister. Nicholas, the chalet's ski concierge, can organise everything for you (lift passes, ski hire, ski school, guides etc)
  • When your muscles are aching, head back to the chalet for afternoon tea and a restorative soak in the alfresco hot tub
  • In the summer, go boating on Lac Vert, hike through alpine pastures and up the mountains (many of the chair lifts are still open), or try mountaineering, rock climbing and white-water rafting. Golf courses are close, too
  • Road cycling is popular, and keen cyclists can attempt some challenging Tour de France climbs nearby
  • Go shopping in Morzine, a year-round resort. Or head further afield to cosmopolitan Geneva
  • Visit the historic spa towns of Yvoire, Thonon and Evian. Yvoire is a particularly pretty medieval village with lovely (if pricey) shops and restaurants, located right beside Lake Geneva

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Boat trips
  • Canyoning
  • Cycling
  • Golf
  • Hiking
  • Historical sites
  • Kayaking
  • Mountain biking
  • Mountaineering
  • Rafting
  • Rock climbing
  • Shopping / markets
  • Skiing
  • Swimming

Kids

The chalet is probably not ideal for toddlers, but children of all ages are very welcome and there is a 20% discount for kids under 13. It is a big, roomy property with lots of space for children to play, including a TV lounge with a range of family DVDs.

Best for:

Children (4-12 years), Teens (over 12)

Family friendly accommodation:

Pleney is a double room with space for a baby cot. Cote D'Abroz has a double bed and a single bed. Montriond, Vache and Nantaux have a double or kingsize bed, a single bed and space for a baby cot. Ardent has a kingsize bed and 2 single beds. Lapin has 3 single beds and space for a baby cot. If you are hiring out the chalet for exclusive use, you can add 4 rollaway beds into the mix.

Babysitting:

Childcare can easily be arranged with local English-speaking crèches or nannies

Baby equipment:

  • High chairs
  • Baby cots

Remember  baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking

Children's meals:

Catering can be arranged accordingly - early teas, or lighter options if children are old enough to join the grown-ups

Kids Activities on site:

  • DVD library with family films

Kids Activities nearby:

  • Nursery slopes for ski/boarding lessons
  • Day care
  • An ice rink
  • Treetop adventure park
  • Horse riding

Kid Friendly:

Our guests' ratings...

10/
Rooms
10/
Food
10/
Service
10/
Value
10/
Overall

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Rates for La Ferme du Lac Vert