Spend Christmas at Richard Branson’s mountain retreat

Week-long exclusive use of The Lodge in peak season costs how much?

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Sir Richard Branson’s Swiss chalet in Verbier is available over the Christmas and New Year period for a truly special and exclusive experience. The Lodge is Branson’s luxury mountain retreat and comes complete with nine bedrooms and suites, an indoor pool, indoor and outdoor Jacuzzis and a friendly team of 15 experienced staff, including a spa therapist and award-winning chefs.

Christmas at The Lodge is run on an exclusive use basis and is completely tailored to the guests’ desires. For families with children, the magic starts from the moment they arrive, when the children are invited to bake treats and decorate cookies on Christmas Eve and write notes to Santa on a slate to leave above the fireplace, with milk and treats for the reindeer too. On Christmas morning, children will be surprised to see the dusty snow prints that Santa left behind, before being treated to a very special visit from the man himself – and his elf, (or Mrs Claus) on a sledge piled with personalised sacks of presents for every guest staying at The Lodge.

Christmas Eve dinner usually takes the form of a three-course menu accompanied by eggnog, champagne, mulled wine and of course mince pies with an après tipple around the open fireplace.

On Christmas Day guests are usually treated to a breakfast brunch after presents with mince pies and bucks fizz to celebrate the occasion, followed by a traditional Turkey dinner with all the trimmings later that day, but this too can be completely customised. As a bonus, the ski lifts are open on Christmas Day and the slopes are usually at their quietest, making some mid-afternoon skiing an added option for some fresh air, before returning for the Queen’s speech and Christmas Day lunch.

During New Year, guests experience a four- to five-course tasting menu, followed by a champagne countdown on the master-suite balconies to watch the spectacular firework displays in the centre of Verbier. Guests can make the most of the vibrant nightlife with pre-organised tables at local bars, or on request arrange a local band or DJ for a private performance back at The Lodge.

The chalet’s team of 15 act as a personal concierge and tailor every aspect of a stay and the festive period is no exception. With 195kms of marked pistes to explore in Verbier, those interested in getting out on the slopes will be advised on the best runs away from the crowds or, for something out of the ordinary, organise activities including heli-skiing, paragliding or a customised once in a lifetime mountaintop picnic.

Any request can be fulfilled from private yoga lessons to expert childcare and nights out to remember, so guests can relax, safe in the knowledge that every detail can be catered for.

Exclusive use rates during Christmas and New Year start from CHF 226,842 (approximately AU$350,000 at today’s exchange rate), based on seven nights arriving 22nd or 29th December 2019 and are for the exclusive hire of The Lodge for 18 guests.

Rates include breakfast, afternoon tea and dinner, all drinks including alcoholic and champagne, Christmas festivities, a 24-hour driver service within Verbier and a dedicated team to look after guests. Rates exclude one evening meal over the course of the week.

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