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Five most luxurious French hotels to enjoy in this winter
A new generation of luxury hotels is on the rise in France, combining old-world hospitality with the latest trends.
In the days when Audrey Hepburn and Carrie Grant visited the slopes of the Megeve and Brigitte Bardot revived Meribel, it was chic to spend a winter break at a luxury hotel, hanging out with other guests after skiing and drinking evening cocktails under glamorous chandeliers. Then came the changes, and with them the rise of luxury lodges and the modern extravagance of hiding from the public. But this winter, a new generation of luxury hotels is on the rise in France, combining old-world hospitality with the latest trends in dining, design and wellness, as well as the most prized convenience of the modern age - privacy.
Browse our gallery and discover the best of the best:
Les Chalets du Mont d'Arbois
The re-launch of Les Chalets du Mont a'Arbois hotel represents an in-depth collaboration between the hotel brand and the Rothschild family. The five-star historic hotel is comprised of three sheltered and recently renovated villas located close to the Megeve ski slopes, ranging in style from rustic chic to boho, reflecting the diverse personalities of the three Rothschild sisters - Eve, Noemi and Alice, by whom they’re named. Add to that the soothing views of the mountains, the outdoor-indoor pool, and the organic Bamford spa treatments in the privacy of your accommodation and the refined dinners at the Prima Restaurant, we are sure you will be more than pleased.
Saint-Nicolas de Véroce is an unlikely place for one of France's hottest new five-star hotels: In this sleepy hamlet on the outskirts of Mont Blanc, cows outnumber the residents. Yet, with its unmistakable sense of luxury and dedication to local produce, the charming 17-bedroom Armancette Hotel has managed to get three Michelin star chef back from retirement in order to create menus for La Table d'Armante. Design lovers will certainly appreciate the elegant blend of the classic exterior of the Swiss Lodge, with sleek contemporary interiors using local stone, wood and fur.
La Refuge de Solaise
Meanwhile, the cosmopolitan Val d'Isere now boasts the tallest hotel in France: it stands at 8,369 meters along Mount Solaise, and is a stylishly remodeled cable car station. Ranging from lavish suites accommodating four to 18 guests, to a 14-bed dorm (with 16 extra bedrooms and suites in between), La Refuge offers unparalleled ski-in / ski-out access as well as two restaurants, cocktail bar, spa and pool with a view extending into the distance. Don't miss Exterier's botanical wellness treatment made with hand-picked alpine flowers and herbs by the mother and daughter team behind the brand.
In neighboring Courchevel, the iconic Le Chabichou represents a new generation as chef and patron, Michel Rochedy, handed over his crown after a 56-year reign. Proponents of Rochester's dynamic, Gastronomique restaurant guests have no reason to fear: Rochedy's 32-year-old second in command, Chef Stéphane Buron, has taken the lead. Continuing its focus on inventive cuisine, Buron will offer nine-course tasting menus filled with seasonal local ingredients and innovative techniques. The hotel itself, after renovations worth more than $ 11 million, has 41 contemporary bedrooms next to the leisurely Bistronomique restaurant and Chabichou bar.
Hotel Le CouCou
Those who seek the heart of the action will find no better than the Hotel Le CouCou, in Meribel. Located along the ski trail in the smart Belvedere enclave, just above the infamous Rond Point après-ski hub - a house of free-flowing vodka, table dancing and live music - Le CouCou offers 55 apartments and rooms, two private mountain lodges, two Chef Riccardo Giraudi restaurants and a spa Tata Harper. With minimalist interior design from French brand Pierre Yovanovitch, it reveals the discreet luxury that has defined the next generation of ski hotels.
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