By Anya Cooklin-Lofting
As winter approaches and we begin to book in those much lusted-after ski holidays, why not start to consider how to turn your winter escape into an opportunity to properly switch off? The frenzy and excitement of the slopes are cornerstones in the very best ski holidays, but what about genuine rest and relaxation? Some frequent skiers believe it’s essential to transform their ski chalet into a haven of relaxation, keeping genuinely off-piste moments serene and tranquil. This month, I spoke to two experts in the field, interior designer Louise Bradley, and founder of How to Spa, Maud Ganry Boutaric, about how to practice chalet-style self care on your next ski break.
Louise Bradley, who works internationally with clients to design elegant, contemporary yet classical homes, believes in the significance of meticulous space planning to achieve a perfect balance. In her words, “every design decision should lead to a stunning vista.” In this way, you channel the beauty of the mountains into every room, yielding their calming and awe inspiring presence.
She also suggests reimagining traditional chalet elements, such as updating the classic log fire with a “floating” fireplace adorned with bronze details and an inset niche for logs. “Textures and colors play a crucial role,” Bradley notes, advocating for rich and warm layers of velvets and chenilles in earthy tones for added visual depth.
Entertainment spaces are equally crucial for Braldey’s clients, not just for gatherings but also for younger members of the family. In one alpine project, Bradley and her team created a multifunctional lower ground floor garage, doubling as a party space with a bar for clients who love entertaining on a grand scale.
Maud Ganry Boutaric, the mind behind How to Spa, is a pioneer of elevating relaxation within your ski chalet, achieving a spa-like quality from the comfort of your home and/or chalet with spa-inspired relaxation kits full of lotions and potions. “I believe that the best way to achieve a spa experience at home is to stimulate all of your senses,” says Ganry Boutaric, “from soothing sore muscles to tantalising the tastebuds.”
“Incorporating fragrances into your at-home spa routine is key,” Ganry Boutaric says. She recommends candles like the Mon Evasion candle by Nyssae, characterised by sweet and comforting fragrances including notes of Lily of the Valley, Orchid, Tonka, and Ylang Ylang. “It’s a vegetable wax in a glass container, and I believe that ethical products like this enhance the overall experience.”
When it comes to taste, for a holistic spa experience, Ganry Boutaric suggests flavors such as jasmine flowers, delicate rose petals, and a zest of bergamot bark. Vallée du Nil from Nunshen, a delicate green tea, is her top pick for its suppleness, aromatic qualities, and refreshing taste, creating what she calls, “beautiful moments of escape.”
Addressing the toll a ski holiday can take on your skin and muscles, Ganry Boutaric advocates for self-massages with arnica to ease joint pain after a day on the slopes. For winter-specific skincare, she recommends L’Huile d’Hiver from Oden, a face oil formulated to moisturise and protect against the harsh winter elements.
So, from creating the perfect environment in which to relax to upping the ante on your at-home treatments, why not take a leaf out of the very restful books of Bradley and Ganry Boutaric. In fact, both the designer and the wellness experts have beautiful books available to buy now. Bradley’s Interior tome is a study in elegant interiors by Bradley herself and writer Helen Chislett. Ganry Boutaric has published two volumes in the REAL series on relaxation and spirituality. You can read them online REAL N1 and REAL N2, or there is the option to order them as a gift for a friend.