Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

View 14 Peaks from Your Private Spa Pool

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

View 14 Peaks from Your Private Spa Pool

Article excerpt

Byline: Cathy Hawker

FIRST impressions count -- which is perhaps why Saas-Fee still has some work to do. What greets most new visitors as they arrive at the head of Switzerland's Saas Valley, two-and-a-half hours east of Geneva, is a monster multi-storey car park.

But walk a little bit further -- or hop on an electric bus -- and Saas-Fee's family appeal becomes more clear. It's an authentic, dual-season and utterly scenic car-free Swiss mountain village with plenty to amuse non-skiers from wine tasting, golf and tennis to public pools and toboggan runs.

Old chalets and barns, cosy bars and restaurants and a lively apres-ski scene mean it has multi-generation appeal, but with all the safety and civility you'd expect in Switzerland. After dark so-called Shush Police roam the village fining exuberant revellers [pounds sterling]130 on the spot for being too noisy as they wander home.

Saas-Fee sits at 6,000ft, surrounded by 14 peaks topping 13,000ft, and is loved by snowboarders, skiers and climbers. This is one of Europe's most snow-sure resorts, where the Allalinhorn and Dom glaciers provide the Alps' second-longest season and the resort is used by international ski teams as a summer training base.

"Saas-Fee is special because it has skiing at high altitude on slopes open for 10 months of the year," says Simon Malster of Investors In Property. "There are five-star hotels next to cheerful popcorn bars filled with snowboarders.

"Best of all, local authorities are thinking big, looking at replacing existing lifts with high speed gondolas to create Europe's highest lift system."

LIFT UPGRADES "In Saas-Fee, lifts currently take you to 10,000ft in 25 minutes," says Malster. "The local lift company has announced ambitious plans to build a high-speed gondola up to 12,800ft to link with Zermatt, which would dramatically lift Saas-Fee's profile."

Investors in Property has a threebedroom resale chalet at Mountain Village in Saas-Fee from [pounds sterling]519,700. The refurbished south-facing chalet is in a quiet area at the back of the village.

A one-bedroom apartment above the village is [pounds sterling]313,800 and a threebedroom off-plan apartment in The Peak is [pounds sterling]915,000 for 1,320sq ft.

Chalet Ridge, a built-to-order four-bedroom chalet opposite the beginners' slope at the front of the resort is [pounds sterling]1.314 million. Malster says that under planned Swiss legislation (see below) this will be the last new build opportunity in Saas-Fee.

Newly built Chalet Dom, close to the Dom Hotel in the centre of the resort, has three apartments, but only one is available to non-Swiss residents. The four-bedroom top floor home is [pounds sterling]986,000.

Swiss developers SDG have two new chalets available to British buyers. …

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