In the heart of Mont Blanc country close to the Italian and Swiss borders is Megève, the French ski resort. It rose to prominence in the 1920s, as the destination of choice for the well-known and wealthy. While there are runs for all abilities, it’s often favoured by beginners and intermediates who wish to balance some skiing with an indulgent break. The pistes are relatively low, yet offer beautiful vistas and reliable snowfall from mid-December to the end of March. Spring and summer stays bring glorious weather and the opportunity to walk, cycle, dine and shop in the many boutiques.
5* M de Megève
Enjoy all the cosiness of an Alpine chalet in full contemporary style at M de Megève. The design here is deeply sophisticated, befitting a sleek boutique establishment. A new wing was added in 2019, housing some of the hotel’s 42 bedrooms, and there’s a spa (with a counter-current pool) beneath the ground floor. Nothing says romance quite like a horse-drawn carriage rides around a snow-covered French chocolate box town – and this is something the hotel offers completely free of charge (although it must be pre-booked). It’s a perfect setting for a proposal or a memorable anniversary, followed by an exquisite French meal at Le M Restaurant.
Les Fermes de Marie
Guests here are housed in one of 70 bedrooms, some in chalets and ‘mazots’ (a kind of Savoyard mountain hut). Les Fermes de Marie came into being in the 1980s but now has a classic chalet feel (think Game of Thrones-style; wood panelling, fur throws, sheepskin cushions and rustic four-poster beds). Its new-look Pure Altitude Spa was launched in 2019, with 17 treatment cabins, hot and cold ceder ofuro soaking tubs, a child-friendly indoor-outdoor swimming pool and an adults-only indoor pool. There’s also a hot tub on the terrace, the Traditionnel restaurant and two further eateries that open during high season.
Four Seasons Hotel Megève
Positioned a little away from the centre of the village, the hotel is now the only one in Megève with ski-in, ski-out access and the 55 bedroom Four Seasons property, provides a secluded base surrounded by nature. However, there’s plenty going on within the resort. A great choice for families, it has a programme of activities and a club room for younger kids, a Teen Zone furnished with games and a screening room, plus an in-house ski teacher. The brand new 3,864sq.ft Mont Blanc suite has three connected bedrooms and two smaller suites so is ideal for families. Adults can enjoy wine tastings in the hotel’s 15,000 bottle-strong cellar, dinners at ‘’La Dame de Pic – Le 1920’ which will welcome Anne-Sophie Pic as she takes up her first winter residence this season and enjoy some down time in the tranquillity of the pure white spa.
Les Chalets du Mont d’Arbois, Megève, A Four Seasons Hotel
The hotel is made up of three large Savoyard‑style chalets, each with its own personality. They’re named Ève, Noémie and Alice in homage to the Rothschild family, who collaborated with Four Seasons on both this property and Hotel Megève. Many of the Rothschild’s own antiquities have been included in the design and buildings, which encompass a total of 41 rooms. The hotel runs a shuttle to the slopes and village, there’s a dog walking service for those visiting with pets and in the winter holidays, Chalet des Enfants provides activities for younger guests. Guests can enjoy a super dining service at the recently opened restaurant, called ‘La table de Noémie’, either on the terrace, or as room service with dishes crafted from locally sourced mountain‑grown ingredients.
L’Alpaga, a Beaumier Hotel
If you’re travelling with a larger group, take a look at Alpaga. Its three-storey chalets can sleep up to 20, with apartments catering for 6, as well as rooms for singles, couples and families. The restaurant, La Table de l’Alpaga, has been recognised with two Michelin stars and specialises in fine plant-based cuisine and there’s a bistro, L’Onyx, as well as lighter food served in the lobby-side bar. Spa de l’Alpaga offers a little hydro adventure, with an in-pool bubble couch and massage jets, all moodily lit and clad in dark grey stone for atmosphere. Alpaga may be a high-end hotel, but it suits those who prefer a relaxed approach to finery.
Zannier Hotels Le Chalet
With just 12 suites and a three-bedroom private cottage set across three chalets, Zannier Hotels Le Chalet creates an intimate environment for its residents. Each residence has its own balcony or terrace and suits longer stays – the hotel can be booked in its entirety for extra exclusivity. And with fewer guests, there’s ample opportunity to enjoy a little solitude in the sleek spa, or indulge in a quiet meal. It has ski-in and ski-out access and a dedicated ski concierge, with Patiserrie Buffets served every morning to set guests up for a day on the slopes. Apres-ski, those staying at the hotel can feast on French-style tapas, Alpine gastronomic creations and attend ‘Bistronomique’ evenings.
Flocons de Sel
Featuring one of the best restaurants, not only in the region but the world, Flocons de Sel has been awarded a rare three Michelin stars for its cuisine. Chef Emmanuel Renaut – himself indigenous to the Haute-Savoie area – is at the helm and invites guests to join him on nearby forest walks, to experience foraging for mushrooms and medicinal plants, while learning more about sustainability. Initially designed to be a family home, this 5-star Relais & Châteaux property is set high up overlooking the village. The hotel incorporates a spa and three restaurants. Bedrooms and suites are spacious, all with either terraces or balconies, some with open fires or wood-burning stoves.