Balthazar The Loft | Villars (VD)
Updated: Jan 16
Discover this spacious luxury 3-bedroom, 3-bathroom penthouse apartment in the heart of Villars sur Ollon. We have stayed in quite a few Air BnB’s over the years but this definitely ranks amongst the best of them, don't miss the video at the end of the article!
We started speaking to Fiona and Olivier about planning a trip to their gorgeous place at the end of last year and were so excited as the date drew closer.
The first thing which struck us is that Fiona is super organised and sent us lots of very clear information about the kinds of things we might like to try during our visit, and she even put us in touch with the local tourist office who helped us organise skiing lessons for Jude and Alba and handi-ski for Elio. Closer to the date, she set up a WhatsApp group so that we could finalise our arrival and ask any questions we might have during our stay. This was a really practical idea and helped us to organise ourselves. We also received an email explaining everything for the check-in (parking, locks etc...).
We had been keeping an eye on the weather forecast and were delighted to see that lots of sun and mild temperatures were predicted so we arrived to find the village of Villars sur Ollon bathed in late afternoon sunshine. The apartment is easy to find with allocated parking directly outside where we were greeted by Olivier who took us inside to show us around.
The Balthazar Loft is on the top floor of a lovely wooden chalet building with secure access and on the ground floor there is a very useful area to store ski equipment. We climbed the stairs up to the penthouse apartment and let out a collective “wow!!” when we entered.
The apartment is even bigger and EVEN NICER than it looked in the photos and we took a moment to take in our surroundings including the bottle of champagne, orange juice and Toblerones which are left as a welcome gift to all guests.
The apartment is beautifully decorated and boasts sunny balconies with views of the village. Olivier explained a couple of things before leaving us to explore.
Jude and Alba were so excited to discover the bedrooms, two of which have mezzanine levels especially appointed for children with books and toys, making is a perfect place for them to hide away to entertain themselves (just keep an eye on them going up and down the ladders). The master bedroom is huge and extremely comfortable with an en suite and tasteful decorations. In fact two of the rooms are en suite making a total of three bathrooms which is practical for larger groups and they all include lovely Rituals toiletries, fluffy towels and sparkling fixtures.
We unpacked a few things and popped the champagne to enjoy a glass on the balcony before we started to think about dinner. We had brought our own food for the first night and the kitchen contained everything we needed to reheat food but you could easily prepare meals from scratch in the large aga with plenty of pot and pans and all the utensils you might need. We all settled down to eat around the large dining table and Jude invented a game for us to play which made us all laugh and before we knew it, it was time for pyjamas and a film together on the luxurious corner sofa. The apartment has Netflix so it was easy for us to find something suitable for all and Alba was soon snoozing in my arms.
We all had a good sleep and woke up to more sunshine on Sunday morning. Elio was a bit irritable so we decided to split into two groups with me staying at the apartment with him and Jean taking Jude and Alba to do some sledging sledges which Olivier had kindly left for us. They came home pink cheeked and happy in time for lunch which we ate on the balcony in the sunshine.
In the afternoon we set off to explore the village. The apartment is really well located within easy access to shops and restaurants with everything within reach on foot including the tourist office, bakery and supermarket.
That evening Jean and I had planned to get a takeaway while Jude and Alba had a pizza for dinner. They were quite tired and wanted a good rest before their skiing session the next day so they went to bed early leaving Jean and I to enjoy our food and a film together on our own.
The apartment is really well located with everything you might need within reach on foot including the tourist office, bakery and supermarket.
One of the things we were really excited about was exploring one of the many skiing areas. The great thing about the apartment is that it is literally across the road from both the ski rental shop and also the little train that takes you up to the slopes. We were heading for Bretaye which was about 15 minutes on the train and a great spot for beginners with a ski school and also the handi-ski for Elio (you can see more about those experiences on the article about Villars coming soon). Jude and Alba were both very tired after their skiing lesson so we stayed at the apartment in the afternoon after a well-earned late lunch. Jude had brought some Lego with him but there were so many things for them to do, including a large chest full of games, that he barely touched it!
As our last night approached, we set the table with cheeses, charcuteries, bread and salad and enjoyed a last family meal in this wonderful place. We were heading off somewhere else afterwards so we took advantage of the super modern washing machine in the apartment before we left which is really practical for families.
We were really sad to leave the following day and Jude and Alba were both pretty annoyed with us for wrenching them away. In the morning we took a quick trip to Gryon for a little look around and a trip to their famous bakery before heading back to the apartment and packing up the car.
Thank you so much to Fiona and Olivier for inviting us, for their excellent hosting, thoughtful suggestions and incredible organisation. I think we’ll have to have a little break before we use another AirBnB, this one is going to be really hard to beat! You can check the availability and book your stay here!
Take a virtual tour with Camilla:
Balthazar The Loft