This week sees some of the best ski hotels in Courchevel re-opening for the new winter season. If you’re planning on traveling to ski then Courchevel is the place to do it.
Les 3 Vallees area is the largest ski area in the world, with enough runs catering to all abilities to ensure that even at peak times the queues are near non-existent.
The off-slope activity is also high-end and there are some outstanding places to eat, shop and stay. And the hotels are not just places to crash at night after a long day’s skiing, they’re also brilliant destinations in their own right. Here are the two that really stand out.
Les Grandes Alpes
In the heart of Courchevel, Les Grandes Alpes gives you a contemporary chalet experience and aims to create a “private home atmosphere with the amenities of a 5-star hotel”. Throughout the hotel the décor features warming textures and alpine woods complemented with artwork, sculptures and patterns inspired by the surrounding landscape.
It’s in a good spot and includes ski-in ski-out access, a Spa by Valmont, restaurant Le Bizan, and personal butler service. It has nine individually designed three and four-bed apartments, which can be configured into 30 guest rooms, catering to couples, groups and families.
Located in the center of the ski village, the Les Grandes Alpes is right next to the ski lifts and designer boutiques and has a sleekly-designed L’Atelier ski room where guests can prepare for a day on the slopes with heated boots before accessing the snow directly from the hotel. A partnership with world-famous, hand crafted Swiss ski equipment manufacturer ZAÏ, allows guests to select their ski equipment at the convenient boutique onsite.
After a day of exploring the snowy slopes, guests can retreat to the hotel for après ski spent at Bellini’s Bar, while Bizan Restaurant offers contemporary Japanese cuisine. For guests who wish to host their own soirées in their private apartment, there’s a team of chefs to prepare cuisine to suit all preferences, from a simple family dinner to a multiple course tasting menu. Each apartment is complete with a fully equipped kitchen and private dining room.
To ease hard-earned aches from an active day on the piste, the Spa by Valmont has an extensive treatment menu using Valmont products to be ski-ready for the next morning.
For more see grandesalpes.com
Owned by Bernard Arnault, chairman of Louis Vuitton Moët & Hennessy, this hotel has a five-star palace rating (one of only 16 in the country) and comprises 36 rooms and suites over five floors, each with its own distinct personality.
All have spacious living rooms, a terrace or balcony with mountain views, a separate dressing room and a bathroom with chromotherapy hammam showers and a separate bathtub, whilst a curated art collection ensures every room’s uniqueness.
There’s direct access to the slopes just outside the rear door via a ski service where staff will even warm up your boots for you. They can also create personalized itineraries to enjoy the natural beauty of the surroundings, according to individual ability. Or they can sort out a helicopter to take you to Italy for some heliskiing that isn’t permitted in France.
Après ski is excellent here. Within the hotel is the restaurant 1947, the only restaurant in Courchevel with three Michelin stars. From chef Yannick Alléno it recently got its third star and joins a select club as one of just 26 three-star restaurants in the whole of France. The food is, as you’d expect, incredible and worth visiting the hotel for even if you’re not staying here.
Onsite there is a Guerlain spa with treatments designed especially for skiers as well as a sauna, steam room and indoor pool. Just outside there’s an authentic Mongolian yurt decorated with club chairs, fur rugs and oversized wooden coffee tables, creating a cosy cigar lounge.
This is not only one of the best hotels in the area, but one of the finest places to stay anywhere in France.
For Vogue Magazine