The Big Six: French ski retreats
Take your pick in Courchevel, Chamonix, Sainte-Foy, Megève, and Val Thorens
Saturday 01 February 2014
L'Apogée is the latest addition to the Oetker Collection, a luxury hotel group owned by the German pizza entrepreneurs, which encompasses such properties as Le Bristol in Paris and Frégate private island in the Seychelles. The latest sibling perches high up in the snow-dusted peaks of Courchevel, with ski-in/ski-out access, a Sisley spa and opulent interiors by Joseph Dirand and India Mahdavi. The 53 rooms are lavished in faux-fur throws, with wood panelling and crisp Alpine views, while the penthouse brandishes a hot tub and a private roof terrace. For the final act of indulgence, grab a glass of fizz at the Champagne Lounge, then move on to Franck Ferigutti's fine-dining restaurant, Le Comptoir.
L'Apogée, 5 rue Emile Allais, Courchevel (00 33 4 79 04 01 04; lapogeecourchevel.com). Doubles start at €900, half board.
This new haunt stands at the foot of the Aiguille du Midi cable car, which links Chamonix with the Mont Blanc massif. Interiors display a simple palette of soft greys and inviting browns, with wool throws and bunk beds for children in the larger rooms. Downstairs, the library has books, board games and DVDs to borrow, while the in-house ski shop will get you geared up for the slopes. A Nuxe spa and indoor pool elevates it to new heights.
L'Héliopic Sweet & Spa, 50 place de l'Aiguille du Midi, Chamonix (00 33 4 50 54 55 56; heliopic-hotel-spa.com). Doubles start at €140, room only.
Le K2 Hôtel, Courchevel
All bases are covered at this new hamlet-sized hotel on the Cospillot slope of Courchevel. Inside it has 29 rooms and five colossal suite-chalets, with five or six bedrooms, butler service, a private pool and cinema room in each. Elsewhere, there's a Goji Spa by Swiss skincare brand La Prairie and a Shu Uemura hair salon, two gourmet restaurants, a cigar lounge and Le 861 bar, which warms guests up with nightly music, before they head off to Le K'baret club.
Le K2 Hôtel, Route des Clarines, Courchevel (00 33 4 79 40 08 80; hotellek2.com). Doubles start at €900, half board.
The small resort of Sainte-Foy is a great base for families, with intermediate runs on the doorstep and more challenging slopes a short drive away in Val d'Isère. Resort specialist, Première Neige, has recently opened La Marquise, a new chalet hotel in the heart of it all, with seven bedrooms that are available to rent on an individual or exclusive basis. Spread over three floors, it hides vaulted wooden ceilings, a suspended log fire and sliding glass doors that give way to expansive balconies and a hot tub.
La Marquise, Sainte-Foy (0131 510 2525; premiere-neige.com). Weekly doubles start at £1,810, half board.
Ferme des Petite Frasses, Megève
This 18th-century farmhouse is now a private chalet, close to the cosmopolitan resort of Megève. Surrounded by Alpine forest, it has six rooms that are furnished with Yves Delorme linens and goose-down pillows. Meals are served by a private chef, who creates plates of creamy truffle risotto and almond millefeuille using produce from the chalet's kitchen-garden. Hot-water bottles and a vast DVD collection cater for cosy nights in.
Ferme des Petites Frasses, 4190 route du Jaillet, Megève (00 33 4 50 21 22 22; fermedespetitesfrasses.com). Nightly rental €1,070, all inclusive. Sleeps 12.
Koh-i Nor, Val Thorens
This new lodge sparkles just like the 100-carat Crown Jewel after which it's named. The five-star complex recently emerged on the slopes of Europe's highest resort, with 63 rooms and 35 private apartments, all with easy access to the interlinked Trois Vallées ski area. Everything seems to be on a grand scale inside, with two restaurants presided over by two-Michelin-starred French chef Yoann Conte, plus an 800sq m spa, complete with two pools, a fitness centre, sauna, hammam and Jacuzzi.
Koh-i Nor, rue de Gebroulaz, Val Thorens (00 33 4 79 31 00 00; hotel-kohinor.com). Doubles start at €390, half board.
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