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Stay the night: Chalet Bear, Klosters, Switzerland

Cosy furnishings, hand-made mattresses, a roaring fire, and top food. Minty Clinch grins and bears it

Chalet Bear is the labour of love of Gilly Norton, a fan of the royal resort of Klosters since she was just 10 years old. She bought the property, a log house within two minutes' walk of Prince Charles's favourite watering hole, the Wynegg, in 2005 after the death, at the age of 97, of the previous owner, her friend Luzi Jugli.

Jugli selected his logs from the surrounding forest and built the chalet himself, completing it just before the Second World War. Gilly, an art designer who studied at the Courtauld Institute in London, spent a year refurbishing it under the guidance of an architect from Chur, whom she met at a dinner party in Marrakech. It's all very Klosters, as is the chalet itself.

All the walls and ceilings are made of wood, predominantly broad planks cut from high-altitude pine. The logs that make up the exterior walls require regular applications of local moss to keep the natural organic insulation up to scratch. How green is that?

Guests relax by a log fire in the cosy double sitting room surrounded by crimson sofas, fresh flowers, ancestral portraits and bright rugs bought by Gilly during a visit to Egypt. This is very much a home from home rather than just a house to let.

The bedrooms

Chalet Bear has four individually designed bedrooms, furnished with an eye for detail and luxury. Spacious double beds with hand-made mattresses are decked out with embroidered linen from Oka and The White Company. Huge German bath tubs with decorative wood-panelled sides provide the perfect après-ski soak, glass of champagne resting on the broad stone surround, eyes held by the orchids in the corner. Delicious bath products by Abahna, an organic range from the Netherlands, make it a hard call to get out and go down to dinner.

The food and drink

Mind you, missing dinner would be a big mistake. Chef Adam Wrench and his partner, Charlie Partington, run a very smooth operation in their first year in the Alps. As a Whitstable boy, Adam loves to cook fish, but all his dishes, English traditional with contemporary fusion influences, are immaculately prepared and portioned to satisfy rather than overwhelm. Breakfast is served in front of a roaring fire and afternoon tea is available but Charlie makes sure everyone has a cuppa or a glass of something as soon as they come through the door. There is also a DIY bar, with a fridge full of wine and beer, plus Scottish and Irish whiskies, for the rare moments when she is not around.

The extras

There's an office-den where a computer and a large flat-screen TV ensures all essential contact with the outside world. The ski-in chalet is a five-minute stroll down the main street from the Gotschna cable-car for rapid access to the six mountains covered by the Davos-Klosters lift pass. Klosters has a comprehensive calendar of winter events, including illuminated free-ride mountain bike races and night polo on snow.

The access

Children and dogs are welcome. Unfortunately, there are too many steps to allow wheelchair access.

The bill

Seven nights for eight people sharing costs from £9,000, including accomm-odation, breakfast, afternoon tea, dinner with house wine and complimentary bar. Flights and transfers cost extra.

The address

Chalet Bear, Doggilochstr 12, Klosters 7250, Switzerland (00 44 7710 48668; klosters-ski-chalets.com).


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