Living in the mountains for more or less extended periods has become an option that many city dwellers are beginning to consider. Some have even taken up residence in their second homes in ski areas, at the foot of snow-capped peaks, to telecommute. In addition to the virtues of fresh air and open spaces, there is also a satisfactory infrastructure offer (schools, health facilities, fast Internet connections, etc.). During this winter season, the resorts in French-speaking Switzerland remained open. While on the French side, the ski lifts were and are closed until further notice.
Windows of gondolas open, ventilation, masks in the queues, hydroalcoholic gel, distancing, visors for staff … The pandemic has changed our habits even on the ski areas. After the end of the season was cut short in mid-March by the first wave of the coronavirus, the Swiss resorts are staying the course. They are banking on a reinforced protection plan in order to be able to continue to meet the demand of visitors. Thus, the number of visitors to the Swiss Alpine sites is high this year, despite the pandemic. Downhill and cross-country skiers, tobogganers, snowshoe hikers and walkers… All have understood the benefits of the mountains for their health and well-being. To keep the privilege of enjoying the snow, they have been disciplined in respecting health protection measures.
Grimentz-Zinal: How the “Covid-Angels” are keeping an eye on the ski slopes
Some wealthy Europeans used to head to far-flung, sunny destinations during the winter holidays. This year, they opted for a luxury stay in a mountain resort. Although uncertainty reigns and travel restrictions apply to some of them, Switzerland remains attractive on several levels (lifestyle, crisis management, financial strength, federalist system, etc.). The Prestige division of Comptoir Immobilier is currently offering luxury residences. This is the “Guernerés Exclusive Lodge” project in the preserved village of Grimentz (Valais). These properties are aimed at a demanding local and international clientele, wishing to acquire an exceptional property with a range of personalized services (concierge, maintenance, cleaning, etc.).
More information on this project in our magazine (p. 26-27)
The Vaud and Valais Alps include many resorts, varying in size and style from quaint villages to “international” ski resorts. Among them: Verbier, Zermatt or Crans-Montana. These places are easily accessible from the main Lake Geneva cities (Geneva, Lausanne, Vevey, Montreux).
Buying a ski residence allows you to spend time with family or friends. It can also be an interesting source of income during holiday periods. Buyer clients have understood this. The vast majority of them choose to rent their mountain accommodation when they are not there. Therefore, location, features and access (road, rail, heliport; distance to an airport) should be carefully considered. It is also important to consider the activities – for various age groups and seasons – offered by the resort in question. In order to provide the flexibility needed in the current situation, some schools, especially those targeting an international audience, accept registrations for a single term. It should also be noted that with health concerns, smaller, less crowded ski areas are tending to appeal too.
Purchasing a property in Switzerland is a safe and profitable investment. The natural environment, the quality of the tourist facilities, guaranteed snow cover (use of artificial snow) and the high altitude of the resorts are guarantees of the future value of the investment. Before committing to the purchase of a property, seasonal or long-term rentals are wise, as they allow you to test the location. An “option to buy” clause is often built into the rental agreement.
The typical model of mountain dwellings is being rethought to better reconcile housing and work. While retaining the charm of the rustic, apartments and chalets should have similar features to those of the main residence. This applies to both the level of comfort and technology (home automation, energy efficiency, audiovisual equipment, Internet connection, etc.). As in the city, homeowners particularly appreciate the generous balconies and terraces, as well as the large picture windows, which bring in light and provide a view of the landscape. You too can adopt a lifestyle that matches your ambitions!