Chalet À La Mode: The Design Is Spare But Thoughtful In The Lodge Les Murailles

The Crobeddu brothers – who spent their boyhood in the historic Burgundy and Bourbonnais provinces of France – had their hearts set on this enchanting Chalet in the Alps and waited two years to acquire it.

Then, foot by foot and nearly inch by inch, Frédéric and Fabrice outfitted this family refuge, bathed in quiet peace and soaring beauty. It stands in the hamlet of Murailles, tucked in Manigod, a small commune in the Rhône-Alpes. The intimate, unspoiled village preserves its own cherished history with rehabilitated rural farms, small chapels and a few shops, offering local wares such as Reblochon, the region’s soft French cheese. People say a visit there feels like being in a postcard picture.

“I discovered Manigod thanks to my older brother,” explains Fabrice. “Frédéric and I have been mountain lovers since childhood, but we fell for the sight and the quality of life here.” This particular property, near Geneva and Annecy, is golden: Parets – light, playful wood sleds – were proudly produced here, starting in the early 1900s. Children coasted to the village school on them, and they are a cherished Manigod symbol.

Now the Lodge les Murailles embodies the past and the present, honoring sacred hours away with family and friends in a shelter built from enduring wood and stone with minimalist details, warm bedding, a floating staircase and contemporary ski lodge detailing. “Wood is comfortable and functional, yet here, it flirts with modernity,” expresses Fabrice.

He adds that he and his brother envisioned the lodge as a cocoon – if a cocoon could be a spacious chalet with a guest cottage that sleeps up to 24 people. With natural light streaming in on every floor, the hideaway, perched on a peak of nearly 5,000 feet, is open all year. It has nine bedrooms and a terrace with a sweeping panoramic view. The activity calendar includes soirées on the slopes and festivities for all seasons.

“The restoration was carried out with a local carpenter, following the architectural lines of an old-fashioned chalet,” Fabrice describes, “and the lodge is in harmony with the environment.” That includes making the most of every drop of sunlight with the carefully placed windows, though a technology connection was also key. Even at high altitude, the Wi-Fi is reliable for remote work, and an elevator stops at all levels.

The kitchens and a plush screening cinema are state-of-the-art, but the built-in bunks and ladders were crafted down to the last rung with the kind of sturdy, handsome carpentry that transcends centuries.

No stone was left unturned – you can schedule massages for your room, request groceries or book a chef to cook meals in the cottage (melty fondue is a favorite tradition). Memo to self: don’t forget to arrange for ski passes and preorder a panier d’accueil (welcome basket), perhaps with a platter of charcuterie or cheese and some bubbly. After all, you are in France.

Photography by Patrick Sordoillet. Styling by Stephanie Boiteux-Gallard. Interior Design by Sylvie Crochet. Architecture by Agence D’Architecture Buchart.

For more like this Chalet, be sure to check out this alpine retreat in Austria.

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