An inspiring adventure
Building a house in the French Alps, that seemed like a good idea to us. We had renovated a Maison du Village, next step, design from scratch, and build.
Mike became an excellent cabinet maker of bespoke pieces, rooms, libraries, Louis 1X lanterns, hallways, stately homes - he has always been an energetic, talented, fast learning, reliable, accurate worker - and put this to good use in the mountains. He arrived, and trained to become a ski teacher, having got the bug at Gloucester Dry Ski Slope, racing slalom every Saturday.
With the sale of our sympathetically renovated 400 year old stone house in Courchevel 1300, we bought Chalet Runca, and completed our search for land. Having scoured the Alps over the period of eight years on reconnaissance adventures, we had got a feel for what was right for us. Actually, it will soon be apparent the similarities of both chalets, and their location - high altitude, great amenities and beautiful nature.
We were very lucky, because in 2004 we found our place in the hamlet of Belleville, near the listed village of Hauteluce, Savoie. And since then the ski infrastructure has developed around us.
We had found the suitable place to have a holiday business, which also gave us energy by having more time to do sports in the mountains.
Climbing, skiing, hiking, mountain-biking, running, even moto-cross!
When we went to Hauteluce to see it for the first time, we felt the enormous peace at the top of this stunning Hauteluce Valley - forests, mountains, space, nature, individual farm estates. In close proximity of Mont Blanc. We were both immediately sold.
In this valley top of Hauteluce, where agriculture and tourism working together is local policy, we were able to build a large house that we have rented out since 2018 for weekly holidays.
Our lives have always revolved around houses and buildings. My family lived in a Grade 1 listed home, Mike's family had restored them.
Since 1999 we have been 100% independent, mainly because quotes for work were always more expensive than just using our time, initiative and attention to detail. We covered design, construction, knowledge about legislation and regulations regarding building in this region - which turned full circle where new buildings are now advised to follow the quality of build of our chalet.
In addition to a great deal of insight into local culture (hunting, fishing, dairy, eco-tourism), it also enabled us to feel part of the community whenever we return.
The renting of apartments is not new to us. We worked for Tour Operators, and had a few years of being self-employed in rented accommodation.
It is very satisfying to see how easily people relax here after all our attention to our own chalets to achieve just that.