The station again Menuires Located within the 3 Valleys ski area is celebrating its 60th anniversary, part of its real estate portfolio is particularly aged. Iconic for its towering 70s concrete blocks, quickly described by its detractors as ‘Telka’, the Savoie resort has had to adapt to continue to attract an increasingly discerning clientele, but one that is willing to spend more and more money. his mountain vacation. This is how he equipped the Owners Area (which also covers Val Thorens and Saint-Martin-de-Belleville) is responsible for creating a virtuous dynamic.
Under the guidance of the municipality, tourist offices, professionals who live from tourism companies and ski lift companies, the first idea was to fight against “cold beds”. The bane of ski resorts is that these apartments are often never renovated and are rarely used, generally less than 4 weeks per season. Thanks to a 20-year effort with the sector’s apartment labeling policy and incentives to carry out work with subsidies, Les Menuires can be proud to have only 15% of cold beds.
And to go even further, beyond a place to visit apartments and receive owners, the resort wanted to be a real “showroom”, whose renovation would illustrate the dynamics of the apartment to follow. For that, there’s nothing like staying at the Brelin residence, this enormous 600-room bar overlooking the middle of the Croisette district. A symbol of triumphant 1970s modernity with a shopping gallery on the ground floor, multiple elevator shafts opening directly onto the slopes, this building attracted the Chirac family, who own an apartment. In this way, the municipality, which had a triplex of 55 m², carried out an exemplary renovation on the site, to show both the residents of the residence, as well as future owners or those who are curious, what could be achieved.
“We were not calm when we showed the apartment to the residents of the residence for the first time, remembers Laurence Rivail, director of the Owners Area. They are often families who have owned it for a long time and don’t necessarily appreciate the changes. But against all odds, the feedback was very good. People thought it was beautiful and we had a lot of requests for information, especially about the radiators and the wood paneling of the rooms.’ With a budget of 1700 euros per m² (equipment and furniture included), this apartment with an old-fashioned decoration has been completely transformed. (see slideshow).
The stated objectives: decoration and colors “timeless style”, functional designs, optimized space, all this in the framework of an ecological renovation with environmentally friendly materials, reinforced insulation and low cost equipment. From the entrance hall, with the small alcove for changing after skiing, you get comfort and practicality. And although we are not fans of the 50 shades of gray throughout the accommodation, the nobility of the materials and the difference in the cocoon are evident.
This is particularly due to the wooden cladding found in most rooms, combining visual appeal and the camouflage of reinforced insulation. The glass has also been changed to help thermal performance, the radiators have been replaced with stylish four panel radiators. Real decorative elements, these radiators are mirrored in the bathroom or in one of the bedrooms. Like the resort’s motto, “Friendly Menuires”, the convertible sofa disappears from the dining/living room. The maximum accommodation capacity is certainly between 8 and 6 people, but this is the accommodation to comfortably occupy with only one bathroom.
Furthermore, the effect of the space is strengthened by removing several partitions, replacing some with curtains. Another strong trend: the creation of various niches, storage and multipurpose equipment. In this sense, the “children’s” bedroom is particularly successful. The bed with reading nooks and privacy curtains is inspired by today’s youth hostel beds. And the convertible sofa with flat screen on an articulated arm easily transitions from entertainment to sleeping area.
The bathroom, as we now appreciate it, has an XXL shower and the master bedroom upstairs is the star of the show. It truly is treated like a hotel room, with its headboard featuring plenty of storage and lighting. And above all, the bed is placed facing the window and not at 90° as in the past, to fully enjoy the wonderful view of the mountains. It remains to be seen whether the investment of those 1700 €/m² is profitable. “We do not measure these data in return on investment, admits Laurence Rivail. What is certain is that our owners who renovate are renting their properties much more regularly. On the contrary, if nothing is done, the quality will not be there and neither will the customers.’ It should also be noted that if the renovation of this apartment is exemplary, there remains another step that is much more delicate: the renovation of the common areas. With hundreds of co-owners in this poorly insulated 1970s maze, the challenge promises to be significant.