Experimental Chalet Verbier


Goodbye cows and cuckoo clocks, hello Alpine Baroque hip. Thanks to a few soigné Frenchmen keen on craft cocktails and boutique vibes, good times in notorious party-fueled Verbier are as secure as a Swiss bank account.

Everything’s under one snow-capped roof at the new Experimental Chalet Verbier. An intimate hotel, sexy cocktail bar, louche nightclub and, for those who still have energy to ski, a driver to whisk you to the lifts and back. The Experimental Chalet, Verbs’ newest hotel, and The Farm Club, the long-lived nocturnal classic for gamboling Brits and disco-mad Genevois bankers, are in stylish hands now.

Catering to the cool kids, a small posse of French entrepreneurs picked Verbier for their first Alpine foray, adding another jewel to their happening hotel-and-bar studded crown that includes Ibiza, Menorca, London, Venice and Paris. “For me and my partners, Verbier was love at first sight,” explains co-founder Pierre-Charles Cros. “It has great energy, the skiing is fantastic, and the fabulous après ski is the perfect link. We have a more relaxed style compared to Courchevel for instance but, like them, we are also very professional.”

The hotel is awash in a palate of deep jewel, pale moss and soothing sorbet tones. There are thirty-nine airy light rooms and suites. Sweeping views open onto ragged Valais peaks, and Mont Blanc glitters in the near distance. Bedrooms feature floor to ceiling windows, some with balconies, while the master penthouse boasts a fireplace and outdoor jacuzzi on a private patio. Milanese architect Fabrizio Casiraghi has achieved a comfortable, minimalist quality, a fais comme chez toi feeling that reflects, according to Pierre-Charles, “a time when the family chalet would have been decorated with more elegance than we’re accustomed to seeing nowadays.” The restaurant serves fresh, local fare – think succulent roast duck on the crown, foie gras terrine with smoked fera snatched fresh from Lake Geneva. The bijou spa includes a hammam, jacuzzi and three treatment rooms where superb clinicians minister to thirsty skier’s skin using Biologique Recherche, French tailor-made unguents of the highest quality.

Experrimental Chalet Verbier

Come sunset, a phalanx of hipster barmen are ready to soothe thirst and spirit alike. Inventive cocktails are served between six o’clock and the early morn, alongside an open crackling fire and moody French rap music. Tucked on the first floor of the Experimental Chalet, the bar makes a tony hideaway for après-ski, for apéro hour, or for a jet-fuelled launchpad before making a proper night of it.

Connected to the new hotel, The Farm Club is a grand old bird, proudly responsible for several generations of outrageous behavior, cheesy dance moves and savage hangovers. After four decades and counting, her venerable plumage continues to attract capering night owls like a Mick Jagger peacock strut.

The evening is young when the clock strikes minuit, just when things are getting going at the Farm Club, now cleverly reached via a secret VIP door off the Experimental Chalet lobby. From gyrating Royals to minxy Madonna, Richard Branson and the Family Fleming (of James Bond fame), this boîte defines Verbier after dark.

“We don’t want to change anything here,” declares Pierre- Charles firmly. “Apart from the carpet.”