Chalet Les Chats Bleus had been a dream of my parents for a long time and it was back in 2003 that they first invested in a plot of land just above the village of Les Gets. The plot was chosen due to its fantastic piste side position, which when built, would allow us to ski all the way back to the chalet door. Unfortunately, back in 2003 the Les Gets town hall didn’t give my parents a building permit, and it took another 5 years before the dream became a reality.
During those 5 years, my parents spent a lot of time thinking about the chalet, and the technicalities of building it. I remember spending many days in the shops looking for furniture and my parents buying many chalet magazines to find new ideas that would make Les Chats Bleus truly special. I remember listening to many discussions between my parents and the architect as they drew up the best plans possible for the new chalet.
Most of the surrounding chalets in Les Gets, and indeed in general, have living spaces which are divided into several rooms with these generally being at the top of the building and the bedrooms below. My Father wanted to do something different, creating an open plan living room complete with the kitchen, dining room and lounge all within one space. There are also two terraces positioned specifically so the sun shines on them throughout the day. The true spirit of this chalet, however, is the fireplace. Open at 360 degrees it provides a place to gather round with friends and family and relax. It really brings a warmth to the chalet.
So why the name Les Chats Bleus? Well, my grandparents come from the town of Le Touquet in Northern France where a very famous chocolatier is based- ‘Au Chat Bleu’. This chocolate maker and confectioner has been in Le Touquet since 1912 and was originally set up by two elderly sisters. Children loved this shop and it became known as “the blue cat” (Les Chats Bleus) because of the owner’s blue Persian cat. For our family, and many others, the chocolate produced here is simply the best chocolate in the world. My parents also used to call my brother and I “Les Chats” when we were growing up, and this is ultimately how the name ‘Les Chats Bleus’ was chosen.
The chalet was eventually finished in time for the 2008-2009 ski season, and has been a part of the Ski Famille programme since then. We are happy that so many families have enjoyed their ski holidays and made great memories in our chalet over the years, and we continue to think about new projects for the chalet so we can improve it in the future.
Written by Adrien Bournoville