After a very busy summer season we are putting the final touches to Morin for the winter. In an effort to reduce our carbon footprint we have finally completed the long process of replacing the roof on the main chalet (the Green House was done last year). So the whole place is now a little taller, and prouder, and with an extra 40cm of insulation – cosier than ever. And as the first snows of the season have come and coated the garden we are glad to report that it feels like a warm, fluffy duvet wrapping the whole place – ready to face any Beast from the East type of weather that might be thrown at us over the coming months.
We have also prepared the garden for its winter sleep – it worked very hard over the summer but has bounced back once the stretch tent was dismantled and packed away. A couple of the trees that hadn’t be pruned for who knows how many years have finally dropped their leaves and are left looking a bit like Edward Scissorhands. We gave them one more chance and I think they are going to repay us next year – fingers crossed.
Our final bit of building work for the season ahead is now complete. It may be the last bit of work for this season but will be the first thing that guests and friends will see. We’ve made significant changes to the winter front entrance – you can now go straight through into the Snug as soon as you arrive. No more holding your breath and squeezing past the staff stairs. We hope you’ll like it!
Now all we are waiting for is you – our friends and guests. We will introduce you to our new staff team next time. Olivia and Morin are ready to welcome you all to our Home from Home in the Alps. See you soon!
The snow that was rather elusive last season has arrived in the Portes du Soleil with avengance. We’ve not seen this much snow here for years – it’s turned Morin into a true Winter Wonderland. Unfortunately we’ve been rather busy with renovations and implementing our high-speed internet connection to take advantage of the lifts opening for the weekends as early as 3rd December, but we are hoping to enjoy some of the pillowy snow before we leave the chalet for the winter season. Currently there’s a covering of about 60cms in the garden!
Another milestone in the winter season is the arrival of our new team – we’ve got a full complement this year to help Olivia look after you. They arrived just in time to settle in before the latest dump of snow. James from Dublin (chef), Harry from Poole (driver), and Blake & Amy (your hosts) from St Austell – not forgetting Clive the schnoodle from France and Germany via Bury St Edmunds… For such a small chap he really does enjoy the snow, coming back into the chalet with snowballs stuck to his legs and face like a bee with pollen.
We are extremely pleased with what’s been achieved in 2017 – we’ve made leaps and bounds with many of the rooms and bathrooms and are now happy to put our feet up for the winter and have a well earned rest while our guests enjoy the results. But we’ll be back sometime during the new year to enjoy them ourselves too!
With just over a month to Christmas and Morin’s first winter guests, we can finally see the wood for the trees – or maybe that should be ‘the bathroom for the tiles’, now that we’re on the last leg of our bathroom upgrades!
As well as nearing completion on the refurbishments we’re preparing for ‘Wi-Fi Day’ when we’re able to start using our new high-speed internet connection. We’re really looking forward to streaming movies without… any… stuttering… We’re having new satellite TV installed too, with UK TV streaming. Everything will be ready for Christmas. Very exciting!
Once we have finished with the works inside we will turn our attention to improvements to the garden and other areas outside. It might be a strange time of year to start planning for new plants and shrubs, but we’re keen to press on – we want everything to be perfect for our first Morin wedding, coming up in summer 2018! There are lots of decisions to make – marquee vs tent, round tables vs bench tables, buffet vs table service, disco vs live music – but fortunately for us Morzine is able to cater for a wide variety of options.
As I look out over the garden, no longer hidden under autumnal leaves but blanketed in pure white snow, I can’t help but feel excited about the winter season that lies ahead – and the summer beyond looks to be pretty good too!
It was serendipity that led us to Morzine after a chance conversation with an old friend almost 20 years ago. We stayed at The Farmhouse, and took time to explore Les Portes du Soleil, gradually falling in love with the region as we did…
We had (and have) skied as a family in other areas of France, and when we didn’t have to take children with us (when the world was once again our oyster!) we tried the USA, Canada, Japan and New Zealand… but nothing could keep us away from Morzine, and we found ourselves returning time and time again. It’s not just beautiful, but convenient too – where else can you hop on a plane and then up into the mountains in just a matter of hours?
Our enthusiasm for the place evidently rubbed off on Olivia who came to Morzine (and The Farmhouse) to see what all the fuss was about. She’s never left, and some ten years later has made Morzine her home. She too had fallen in love with Morzine and its people and everything the region has to offer – the skiing and winter sports, cycling and a myriad of summer activities.
It was while Olivia was managing Chalet Morin that the previous owners offered it up for sale. Under the pretext of skiing Olivia asked us to visit. Enthused by the potential of the buildings and the wonderful gardens (despite the uncertainty that Brexit had created) we were determined to make the place our own. Morin was born.
That was just over a year ago – we celebrated our first anniversary on 17th October 2017 – and in that time we have made quite a few changes to Morin, upgrading and improving various aspects from top to bottom. It has admittedly been quite a challenge working with a 60+ year old building, trying to pay homage to the original ‘concept’ while fitting in essential alterations to meet the demands of skiers and travellers today – but we are so pleased with the results!
The upgrades started with new bathrooms and the small chalet in the garden. Of our eleven rooms, five are now en suite, with six sharing three bathrooms – so that’s one bathroom for each ‘pair’ of non en suite bedrooms. We are planning one or two additional bathrooms in the next year or so when all Morin’s rooms will have private bathrooms – either en suite or as family suites.
The garden chalet – our delightful ‘Green House’ – has had a complete overhaul and is now ready for guests. It has a brand new roof and roof light, which has enabled us to offer a cabin-like cosy double bedroom on the first floor, with a lovely sitting room and new bathroom (with a deep soaking tub) on the ground floor. The sitting room can also be used as a second bedroom for two people, making this an ideal family and friends suite, or a snug chalet just for two…
Outside in the gardens we have had quite a challenge with the wildlife, with both moles and voles giving us a run for our money! Fortunately we’ve become quite adept at dealing with them (in an eco-friendly manner, of course), and the lawn is now looking very good indeed after an intensive year of treatment. We have high hopes for keeping it in good trim, despite the great big trench that was dug right across it this week to install cabling for our latest development – the long awaited 4G!
Our big addition outside this year was a large wooden deck – a direct extension from the full length south facing terrace, which has also been replaced. This means that on warm sunny days guests can enjoy meals in the garden. And who knows what the garden will bring in the next couple of years – there is already talk of a swimming pool and an all-year yurt!
We came to Morzine because of our love of winter and skiing, but over the past 12 months Morin has shown us that Morzine offers so much more. We already loved the place, and have been surprised by how much there is still left to discover, whatever the weather, whatever the season.
Wild flowers, fresh mountain air, skiing, mountain hikes, cycling, wild swimming – what’s not to like?