Like the Olympics, but cooler in every way, next month’s Winter Games will set the Russian government back £50 billion. We’ve done some rudimentary sums and that seems like a lot, even for Russians. Of course, unless the weather does a dramatic turn around, Sochi (which reached 63F last February) will be hard pushed to live up to Val d’Isère’s epic 1992 Games. Val’s fearsome “Face de Bellevarde” run – originally created for the mens downhill event – is just one of the reasons why the pro skiers keep returning. One of the others is Val’s seemingly limitless choice of five-star chalets vying to greet you after a hard day on the pistes. Which bring us nicely onto the subject of Le Chardon Mountain Lodges…

Le Chardon is a portfolio of five plush chalets nestled in the private area of La Legettaz in Val d’Isère (but still ridiculously close to all the action). Traditionally designed and family-run, over the last two decades the ski in / ski out lodges have prided themselves on delivering the finest 5 star food, service and atmosphere. They also have one of the best views around: an unobscured panoramic of the Manchet Valley opening out to the calm magic of the Vanoise National Park.

Val d’Isère has long been a Mecca for snow-sports’ lovers offering some of the most varied and challenging skiing in the world. At an altitude of 1850m, the diverse terrain connects with the neighbouring resort Tignes to complete the Espace Killy, affectionately known as ‘le plus bel espace de ski du monde’. Espace Killy has over 300km of marked pistes, almost endless off piste and one of the most advanced lift systems in the world.

If you know Val d’Isère well, imagine taking a short detour at the last bend of Piste M on the Solaise Mountain and you’re pretty much at the Le Chardon door.

Well that’s the accommodation sorted. Just need to do a few warm up stretches and you’re good to go.

Le Chardon is kicking off the year with an offer for LUSSO readers. SALE: 20% off all sole occupancy chalet bookings for ANY remaining week of the 2013/14 season confirmed before Friday 31st January. Availability can be seen here: For sales enquiries call: +44(0)131 209 7969.