14 Rocailles B La Tzoumaz
14 Rocailles B, La Tzoumaz is an immaculately designed eight bed luxury apartment, with large mezzanine area. Situated right in the heart of the village it is walking distance from the lift station, restaurants, bars and shops. La Tzoumaz is a small-time, unspoilt and uncrowded Swiss village on the other side of the mountain from Verbier. It just happens to have access to some of the best skiing in Switzerland.
412 km of piste, 92 ski lifts, good restaurants, cosy bars, skating, para-gliding, cross-country skiing, sledging, swimming pool (in the village), sauna (in the apartment block), thermal baths (at the foot of the mountain), good bracing walks, rare fauna (in the summer) 45 minutes from Lake Geneva. But to be honest, what La Tzoumaz is really about is fresh mountain air, expansive skies, landscapes and great skiing.
14 Rocailles B is in the centre of La Tzoumaz, just a short walk from everything the village has to offer. In recent years the village has benefited from investment in an upgraded lift system, improvements to the slopes and local amenities. The growth of the resort with the addition of many more luxury chalets on the outskirts of the village means that the central location of 14 Rocailles B has become even more of an asset.
The apartment has been in the family since 1981, when our mother fell in love with the village and bought the apartment. We mainly use it for family and friends, but also rent it out every so often, both to contribute towards the cost of upkeep and to make it available to others to enjoy. We want to keep our mother’s memory alive by keeping it as a happy, relaxed and fun place to spend time. So please feel free to put your feet up and treat it like home for the duration of your stay.
La Tzoumaz, also known as Mayens de Riddes (its original name), the village is named after the word ‘tzoumer’ which means taking a break. The village is in the Rhone Valley, in the canton of Valais. It is on the north-facing side of the same mountain as Verbier.
La Tzoumaz has a well-stocked supermarket (which includes a butcher, baker and post office), a bank (with ATM), a tourist information office, 2 ski shops (Perraudin Sports and Monet Sports), a newsagent and a laundry. The Ski School is located in the lift station and open from 08.00 to 18.30.
There are two well-stocked ski shops. Perraudin Sports, situated on the village square, is the best for ski-hire. Monet Sports is located opposite Hotel La Post.
La Tzoumaz Kids’ Club, run by the ski school, provides childcare for children between the ages of two and six, from 08.30 to 17.00. Details from the Ski School.
Tel: +41 27 306 5272
The nearest surgery is at the bottom of the mountain in Riddes. Rue de Sous-Ville. Tel: +41 27 305 2505. There are three medical centres in Verbier, details can be found on www.verbiernet.com.
Most ski injuries requiring hospital attention are taken to the Hospital in Sion, about a 30 minute drive from La Tzoumaz.
Tel: +41 27 603 6700
SWIMMING AND THERMAL BATHS
A heated indoor pool and sauna is situated in the same building as the lift station. There are also some fantastic thermal baths, with a complex of different pools, at the bottom of the mountain in Saillon, which is definitely worth the 20 minute drive at the end of a hard day’s skiing.Opening hours: 08.00-21.00.
Tel: +41 27 743 1170
Situated close to the lift station next to Le Pistard cafe. Generally they speak reasonable English.
Open Monday to Friday, 08.00-12.00 & 13.30-18.00.
Tel: +41 27 306 1851
Every visitor is required to pay a tourist tax of CHF 2 (adult) and CHF 1 (children). This is payable at the Tourist Office.
There are a number of restaurants in the village.
Les Fougeres on the High Street offers good traditional Swiss food (steaks and fondues) in a cosy atmosphere (open log fire). La Tzoumaz, at the entrance to the village, has a good quality menu in a traditional Swiss setting. Hotel Le Post, on the village square, is particularly good for pizzas, and offers a large menu. Central, opposite the lift station, is a favoured haunt of the ski instructors. The recently extended Le Pistard, next to the Tourist Office, is fast becoming the most popular day-time restaurant and is great for Swiss breakfast before skiing.
CABANE MONT FORT
Possibly the best situated restaurant in the world. Stunning views, good Swiss mountain food. Hard to imagine a better place for lunch. On the Le Chaux run down from Col de Gentianes. Highly recommended.
Tel: +41 27 778 1384
A Verbier institution, directly below Les Ruinettes on a forest descent back to Verbier. Frequented by British royalty and various celebrities. Good place to get stuck on a bad weather day, but need to get there early to secure a table.
Tel: +41 27 771 2524
A popular lunch destination on the North Savoleyres slopes (La Tzoumaz side) at the bottom of the Savoleyres Nord (205) lift. Also great for mid-morning Vin chaud.
Tel: +41 27 306 8055
CROIX DE COUER
A new restaurant/bar just near the top of Tailley lift, it is particularly good for a late afternoon hot chocolate, or something stronger, before the final run home.
Located in La Chaux, run by same management as Chez Dany, this is a high quality restaurant with an excellent menu.
+41 27 778 20 00
A destination if you are looking for a long lunch. Need to reserve a table in advance. Situated close to the bottom of Savoleyres Sud lift (208).
Tel: 027-771 6834
OFF PISTE RESTAURANTS (LA TZOUMAZ)
AUBERGE LA TZOUMAZ
Situated at the entrance to the village. Good quality menu in a traditional Swiss setting.
Tel: +41 27 306 2050
HOTEL LE POST
On the village square. Good for pizzas. Offers a large family-friendly menu.
The nearest restaurant to Rocailles B. On the High Street. Good traditional Swiss mountain food (steaks and fondues) in a cosy atmosphere (open log fire).
Tel: +41 27 306 4141
Close to the main lift station. This relatively new cafe has become the destination of choice for breakfast and lunch. Good on salads, crepes and sandwiches as well as an excellent continental breakfast. Closed in evenings.
Tel: +41 27 306 2056
Les Trappeurs, nearest to the apartment, offers good traditional Swiss food (particularly steaks).
Vitho on the village square is a lively, young and popular bar with music
Les Trappeurs on the High Street is the longest established bar in the village and is a good quiet drinking place
(with free Wi-fi if you buy a drink).
Tel: +41 27 306 4963
SKIING AND SNOWBOARDING
‘Quartre Vallees’, Switzerland’s largest ski area, offers a wide range of skiing. In total there are 92 lifts and 412 km of piste, with skiing and boarding for all standards.
The highest point in the region is the Mont-Fort at 3,330m altitude (10,925 ft).
There are 5 different resorts: La Tzoumaz, Nendaz-Siviez, Thyon, Verbier and Veysonnaz in the ‘Quartre Vallees’ area. La Tzoumaz nestles against the same mountain as Verbier, Mont Savolyres, and is at the same altitude (1500m). However, unlike Verbier, it is situated on North-facing slopes and hence enjoys a longer ski-season, lasting from early December all the way through to late-April.
ACCESSING THE SLOPES FROM THE APARTMENT
There is a free bus service from the bottom of the drive to the lift station. Alternatively it is a five/ten minute walk through the village. It is also possible to drive from the apartment and park at the bottom of the lift station (although note that in peak weeks it pays to arrive early as parking on the roadside can extend some distance away from the cable car).
SKIING AT LA TZOUMAZ
The resort has a 8 seat cable car, 5 chair lifts, 5 drag lifts and 1 children’s ski lift. The cable car (Tzoumaz-Savoleyres, 201) takes 10 minutes to the top of Savoleyres where there are some great blue and red runs for all standards. There are 12 ski runs with a total length 28 km (30% easy, 60% intermediate, 10% difficult), a snowboard piste, a natural ice rink and a 10 km toboggan-run (long 10 km). A favourite is the Taillay run which runs alongside the Taillay lift and then down to the village. On the other side there’s a good run from the top of La Tournelle (207) lift, which has a good steep start that will appeal to the speed merchants.The resort is also directly linked to the Four Valleys ski area, with 98 more ski lifts and a total of 400 km of ski runs. The Verbier zone of the Four Valleys is renowned for its off-piste opportunities.
SAVOLEYRES TO VERBIER
You can join the main Verbier piste by skiing (on a blue run) from Savoleyres across the top of the Taillay (204) lift and then down towards Verbier before cutting through the woods to Le Carrefour. From here you can get up to Les Ruinettes station by cable car, starting with Mayentzet (107), or ski all the way down to the main station in Verbier, Medran 1 and 2 (101/102).
SKIING AT VERBIER
Les Ruinettes is the central station of the Verbier slopes. The Attelas stations are a good start point, with some long (although often crowded) red routes all the way down to Verbier on one side, and some runs down to Lac De Vaux on the other. The skiing at Mont Fort and La Chaux is particularly good. If skiing Mont Fort it can pay to head there first to avoid spending too long queuing for the cable car. The top of Mont Fort has a challenging black run down to Col de Gentianes. The ‘High mountain tour’ from Col de Gentianes down to the bottom of Tortin is one of the more demanding and spectacular runs. The other option from Col de Gentianes is the long red run down to La Chaux, which is hugely enjoyable and has the not insignificant benefit of Cabane Mont Fort en route. The challenging black route (technically classified as ‘High mountain tour’) of Tortin is perhaps Verbier’s most famous and can be accessed from the top of La Chassoure lift (119).
VERBIER TO SAVOLEYRES
If skiing over in Verbier, keep a note of the time. To return you will need to get to the Savoleyres cable car (200) by 16.00 (it closes at 16.15/16.30) by catching the bus either from Carrefour or Medran. It is an efficient and regular service that will only take five minutes (with no more than a ten minute wait). Note, there is a ‘high mountain route’ (Vallon D’Arby – Col de Mines) back to La Tzoumaz from Lac de Vaux on the other side of the mountain from Verbier. This route is often closed because of avalanche risk and is only recommended for competent skiers, but It gives you much more time over the other side and means you don’t have to worry about lift times when skiing back.
The resorts of Nendaz, Veysonnaz and Thyon 2000 can be accessed via Tortin. This area offers a further 48 different lifts and 220 km of slopes with a wide variety of skiing. If skiing in this area be sure to leave enough time to get back to Verbier in time for the last lift to Savoleyres (unless returning via Vallon D’Arby or alternatively driving from La Tzoumaz to Nendaz).
Verbier is known for its off-piste and itinerary runs. Amongst these are popular mogul fields Tortin, Gentianes, Mont Fort and Plan du Fou as well as more advanced itineraries Vallon D’Arbi and Mont Gelé (which are often closed). Notable off-piste runs are the Backside of Mont Fort, Bec des Etagnes, Stairway to Heaven, Highway, Marlenaz, Croix de Coeur, Bacombe, Col des Mines, Creblets, Couloir de la Banane, Col de la Mouche, The Rocky Garden, The Hidden Valley (down to Auddes-sur-Riddes), Couloir des Dix, Col de la Banane, and the less accessible Bec des Rosses, annual host for the finals of the Freeride World Tour. Off-pistes skiing can be dangerous, and sometimes lethal, due to the risk of avalanches, hidden obstacles, crevices, extremely steep runs, and other hazards. Verbier is one of only a few resorts to contain a mountain with no pistes coming down it (Mont Gelé).The nearest heli-ski landing spots is at Croix-de-Coeur
La Tzoumaz has, at 10 km (with 848m descent), the longest sledge run in Western Switzerland. It starts at the top of Savoleyres and finishes back at the village. There are sledges you can use in the Cave or they can be hired in the village (from Perraudin Sports, Monet Sports or Auberge Le Central). It is fantastic fun, but be sure to wrap up warm with cover for your face as there can be a lot of spray and to wear appropriate footwear. At some weekends with a full moon it is open at night.
Ski passes can be bought at the cable car station. You will have the choice of buying a lift pass for Savoleyres, Verbier or 4 Vallees (which includes Mont Fort). Complete beginners may be able to make do with a Savoleyres pass. You should ask the ski school for advice. Lifts are free for children under 6.
There are four types of run classification in 4 Vallees. Blue: Easy/beginner. Red: Intermediate. Black: Difficult. High mountain tour: Difficult.
La Tzoumaz has an excellent ski school for all standards. It is also possible to hire guides through the ski school. If staying in a peak week we strongly recommend reserving a place at the ski school before your trip as it can get fully booked. Located in the lift station and open from 08.00 to 18.30. Tel: 027-306-5272. www.snowsportslatzoumaz.ch
HELI-SKiING AND PARAGLIDING
Flights leave from the Croix-de-Coeur for the Petit Combin or the Rosablanche. The flights cost between CHF 500-600. Details from the Ski School.
There are three official snowshoe trails. Enquire at the tourist information office.
There is a rink in the village square, where boots can be hired.
There is a Red Bull sponsored snow park, with a variety of jumps, in the La Chaux ski area where boarders often congregate.
If you have a car, La Tzoumaz is fairly accessible to a number of other resorts. Avoriaz and the Portes du Soleil is just over an hour away (through Monthey, Val d’Illiez and Champoussin) as is Chamonix. Crans Montana is also about an hour away in the other direction and then Zermatt and Saas-Fe a further hour from there.
Rocailles B was built in 1981 and has been in our family ever since. It is a spacious 4 bedroom (2 double, 2 twin) apartment with two bathrooms, a large lounge, modern well equipped kitchen, and a mezzanine area with study and den. We primarily use it for family and friends, but rent it occasionally to help contribute to the cost of upkeep. It is available for a maximum of 8 guests. We want it to be a happy, relaxed and fun place to spend time. So please feel free to put your feet up and treat it like home for the duration of your stay. The following A-Z notes are intended as reference for our guests.
There is a car parking space in the building
Each apartment has a storage cage in ‘The Cave’ in the basement. You will need the apartment key to get into this area and then the cave key will let you into No.14 cage, which contains wood and sledges.
There is a cot and high chair in the storage area off the small bedroom
The apartment has an iPod player, CD player and DVD player and screen (in the gallery upstairs).
Replacement filters are in the cupboards. Instructions for use in the cupboard in the hall.
The cooker is an induction cooker. This means the plates don’t heat up as with traditional cookers, but that heat is transferred directly to the pan (and it only works with induction pans). Instructions for use are in the cupboard in the hall
Instructions for use are in the cupboard in the hall
Electricity is left on, but in case of any problems the fuse box is by the front door.
The agent is Romeo Cosiglio (at Agencie Carron Immobiliere on the High Street opposite the village square, 027-306-3753). Please feel free to call me (Simon Gravatt +44 791 261 9045) whatever the time and however trivial. The concierge for the building is Madame Nendez (027 306-1855).
Instructions for use are in the cupboard in the hall.
Swiss law requires the transparent fireguard on the floor in front of the fireplace. Ensure the black fire screen is in front of the fire whenever you leave the apartment. Before lighting a fire ensure the lever on the right inside the fireplace is pushed up. This opens the vent (if not open, smoke will come into the apartment). When first lighting the fire, smoke can sometimes come back into the apartment, so it is advisable to open the window a little to create a through draught. Wood for the fire stored in ‘The Cave’, is included in the rental price.
There is a hairdryer in the cupboard in the master bedroom.
The apartment has Wi-fi access. The modem and Apple airport just need to be plugged in. The network is called ‘Gingerland’. (Note there are two Gingerland networks, one with a password & one without , which is supplied on booking the apartment)
The main key lets you into the building as well as the apartment and the key locker room. In the apartment there is a full set of keys in the bowl on the cupboard in the hall. These include spare apartment key, laundry room key, cave key, storage area keys.
Cushions for balcony furniture are stored in the master bedroom cupboard. If using the balcony furniture, please return the cushions and store the furniture against the wall as found (and bring them inside in bad weather).
No pets allowed.
You may need to turn radiators on to maximum when you arrive.
There are three large rubbish bins at the bottom of the drive. All rubbish needs to be deposited there. There is a tip in the car park at the entrance to the village for larger items and glass for recyling.
SKI LOCKER ROOM
There is a ski locker room for storage of boots and skis on the ground floor of the building.
STORES AND PROVISIONS
The storage area off the front bedroom contains some spare ski clothing, miscellaneous provisions, first aid box. Please feel free to help yourself to anything in there. (We keep our own provisions at the other end of the storage area and ask that you do not take these).
There is a telephone (+41 27 306 6405). We would prefer that you use it for incoming calls only, but if you do need to use it for outgoing calls then please let us know so that we can pass the cost on to you.
TOWELS AND LINEN
Towels and linen are provided. You will find these in the cupboard in the hall.
3 Elsynge Rd
SW18 2HW, London, UK
Home: +44 20 7450 0188
Mobile: +44 791 261 9045
528 miles from Calais via Besancon (620 via Geneva), the drive takes nine or ten hours.
DIRECTIONS BY CAR FROM MARTINGY
Autoroute du Rhone to Riddes exit. Follow signs to La Tzoumaz (effectively up mountain behind Riddes). Continue on road up mountain until you reach the village 15 km and 12 complete turns later.
14 ROCAILLES B IN LA TZOUMAZ
After La Tzoumaz restaurant take the left fork (immediately in front of electronic information sign) and drive down to centre of village. Pass the village square and supermarket on right. Then take the next right (where road widens) up a small fairly steep drive. The drive takes you right up to the garage door of Rocailles B which can be unlocked by the apartment key.
Nearest airport Geneva, 90 minute drive from Geneva (100 miles). We tend to hire a car, alternatively there are regular trains from Geneva airport to Martigny (just under 2 hours), where it is possible to get a taxi to La Tzoumaz
Nearest train station is Martigny (nearest smaller station is Riddes).
For times and prices go to www.rail.ch
Thirty minute drive from Martigny. There is a reliable local taxi in La Tzoumaz, Pierre–Andre Monnet (Tel: 027-306-1840, Mobile: 079-628-3775). It costs approximately CHF100.
There is a company called Taxi Alpina Transfers that offers shared shuttle minibus transfers from Geneva airport and Verbier for CHF70 per person (we haven’t used them, but presumably they would also go to La Tzoumaz)
Normal arrival time is 17.00pm. Please let us know if you need to arrive earlier. (It is generally possible to leave your bags in the apartment even if the cleaners haven’t finished).
The easiest entrance is through the garage. The door at the side of the garage door can be opened using the apartment key. The garage door can then be unlocked from the inside by moving the small catch. Exit the garage through the door marked apartments and take the lift (or stairs) to the fourth floor. No 14 is at the top of the stairs.
This should be up to date, but to double check, you can call us of course.
Normal arrival time is 5pm. Please let us know if you need to arrive earlier. (It is generally possible to leave your bags in the apartment even if the cleaners haven’t finished). The easiest entrance is through the garage. The door at the side of the garage door is unlocked by the apartment key. The garage door can then be unlocked from the inside by moving the small catch.Exit the garage through the door marked apartments and take the lift (or stairs) to the fourth floor. No 14 is on the right at the top of the stairs.
The departure time is 10am.
Strip the beds and leave dirty sheets and towels in a pile in the hall.
Empty the fridge and handwash any dirty plates or cutlery and put away.
Please make a note of breakages.
Clean the fireplace and stock up firewood from THE CAVE and close the vent
(the lever on the right inside the fireplace needs to be pulled down).
Please take out rubbish and dispose of it in tip at bottom of drive.
Make sure that all windows and shutters are closed, lock up.
Return apartment keys as soon as possible to Simon Gravatt (3 Elsynge Rd, London SW18 2HW UK)
We would appreciate it if you make an entry in our visitors’ book and if you’d tell your friends about the good time you’ve had during your stay at 14 Rocailles B.
We accept payment in Euros, Swiss francs or Pounds sterling.
The Swiss francs or Pounds sterling price is determined by the exchange rate at time of booking.