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Du Park – Alpine Development Redefines Luxury

Words: Sean O’Meara.
Images: Paul Hyde

It’s a long-standing myth that there is no such thing as the perfect property. The belief being that if you’re at the top end of the property market, you can’t have everything that you’ve become used to. For a cosmopolitan location you’ll sacrifice space, for views you’ll sacrifice convenience, for modernity you’ll miss out on charm and for privacy you’ll sacrifice night life.

I’ll concede that there aren’t many properties that deliver on all the right levels, but one unique development that ViVo Magazine visited is currently setting the standard by which all future top end developments will be judged. Du Park, situated in the stunning village of Mont Perelin overlooking Lake Geneva from the Alpine foothills, is a monumental landmark project.

The property started life as a Belle Epoque hotel and was an exclusive retreat for the European and American elite. Victor Hugo, Charlie Chaplain and Pierre Cardin all holidayed here. The hotel closed in 2000 and was a non functioning yet awe inspiringly beautiful addition to the vista from across the lake until 2007 when it was acquired by the Swiss Development Group. Saying they acquired it doesn’t do justice to the obvious affection and passion that radiates from Swiss Development Group CEO Nicolas Garnier.

All properties benefit from Alpine views.

Draw your bath remotely via text message, perfect if you're heading back from the slopes.

If you’re looking for a project that has been overseen with genuine care and involvement, this one may be worthy of your time. The project’s legacy of sustainability is something Garnier is particularly proud of.

Garnier explains: “We’re not saying it’s an eco development for the sake of it. We’re in a UNESCO world heritage site and we want to embrace that. The environment is the main attraction of this region and it’s our responsibility to protect it. We’re sourcing our materials as locally as possible and taking time to consider every move we make with regards to the local area.”

As a lifestyle concept, Du Park is executed perfectly. It would be hard to find a better distilled concentration of aesthetics, quality and location anywhere else. You can drink your morning coffee whilst taking in the view over Montreaux but be on an international flight within an hour.

It’s that combination of seclusion and access that makes this an exciting prospect. Owning a Du Park apartment or penthouse entitles you to make use of the helipad two minutes drive away (the Du Park vehicle will drop you off and help you load), you’re also close to Lausanne’s private airport, Geneva International, major motorways and rail links too – but if you want to slow it down a bit you can hop on the funicular and trundle down the hill like people did in the 19th Century. Resident privileges also include membership at Lavaux golf course and a 10 year membership at the Kempinski Mirador Country Club.

The attention to detail that has gone in to tailoring the lifestyle package that comes with these properties is remarkable. There’s a Davidoff cigar lounge, a private cinema, two swimming pools, Givenchy spa and treatment room and a wine cellar and tasting room. Du Park residents also have access to two concierge services.

A personal concierge courtesy of the Kempinski and a global concierge presented by Quintessentially, the private London club.

To call this a luxury development would be a lazy generalisation that would be bely the care and love put in to early conceptualisation. A good assessment of Du Parc’s quality can be made when you consider the brands that have put their name to certain elements of the concept. Alongside Kempinski, the ultra luxury hotel group and international power brands of Davidoff and Givenchy, you’ve got Fendi Casa – the Italian design house and BBG-BBGM, the internationally renowned architect and design firm who did stunning work at the W New York hotel.

You can choose a design concept from either of these firms for your new apartment. Other notable interior features include a the Smarthydro bathtub, which you can run by sending a text message so it’s ready and at the perfect temperature when you return from the slopes at nearby Verbier.

A design obsessive would find it hard not to become evangelical about the interiors, everything is automated and tailored and looks perfect. Apartments are 2,000 square foot and penthouses are 6,500 square feet. The high tech and the stylish combine seamlessly, there’s no jarring. But it’s the lifestyle, the concept and the views that make this a truly special property idea. Nowhere else in the world offers the same standard of living.

Photography by Paul Hyde

Highly recommended Can you see yourself running your very own luxury edition of ViVo Magazine? Have a look and see if you qualify to run your own magazine franchise.