1) As a city dweller one of my top tick offs on my luxury list is outdoor space and this is something that Megeve has in abundance once you take the lifts to the mountain tops. This may sound a little ludicrous as you’re out in the largest mountain ranges in Europe but as the photographs show even in one of the most desirable resorts you still have the lone mountain goat feeling.
2) The Swarovski decorated Christmas tree which stands approximately 11 meters high and is adorned in 3,000 Swarovski crystals – fairy tale stuff.
3) Not a taxi in sight – the preferred method of travel from slope to sauna is horse drawn carriage.
The Experience: My love affair with Megeve began in 2009 when my brother-in-law kindly introduced this winter wonderland to me and my (now) husband and we’ve been enchanted by it ever since.
My brother-in-law’s family have owned a quaint little chalet in this magical place for over 30 years and suggested that we give it a try after being thoroughly disillusioned with the most recent snow holidays we’d had. So that’s exactly what we did, a quick flight from the UK into Geneva airport and an hour(ish) private transfer from the airport to the chalet and I felt like we’d been transported into a land of fairy tale magic.
Town: The small market square (Place d’Eglise) is the heart of Megeve and charismatically combines traditional old worldy feel factors such as town church, drinking water fountains and petit boulangeries with high couture fashion, home-ware boutiques and galleries. The architecture of the buildings is stereotypical chocolate-box style and throughout the festive winter period there is a huge fir tree decorated with thousands of Swarovski crystals; the crowning glory of the Megeve magic.
Slope Experience: Bubble lifts are easily accessible from the town centre and comfortably carry you to the action. There are a vast range of different runs for all levels of skill and experience but my personal favourite is up to Rochebrune and over to Petite Fontaine. Although there are a couple of flat points I just never tire of this and always notice something different with each run.
Our experience of this resort shows that many of the skiers/boarders are fair weather and are there more for status than for snow action. Typical behaviour is rise late, leisurely ski, long mountain side restaurant lunch and a vin rouge fuelled ski back to town for a glass of Moet before dinner. So as action junkies we’re always first on the slope (9.00am ish) to take advantage of the late risers and as such each trip we are lucky to have, or so it feels, the mountain to ourselves – as the pictures illustrate.
Each year we take a trip to Megeve the last week in January and conditions have been just perfect; heavy dumps overnight with mornings full of fresh pow (off-piste sometimes to wait height) and clear blue skies. This year we went mid-February which did coincide with school holidays and there was a notable difference in how busy the resort was – for the first time ever we had to queue (albeit for 5 mins or so) for chair lifts.
Accommodation: Having the luxury of family owned property I’ve not yet encountered the hotel experience that Megeve offers, however the people we have met that have been staying in hotels couldn’t have been happier with the indulgent facilities and personal service they present.
Food: There is a fantastic array of restaurants, many of which boast Michelin stars, so each evening of your stay you can indulge in a fine dining or at the absolute minimum exceptional quality cuisine if you wish. Some of my favourites include; Le Vieux Megeve which is fab for raclette and fondue – I don’t even like cheese that much but managed to munch my way through goodness knows how many kilos of the melted yellow goo! Another fave of mine is Aunt Alice’s which from the outside and upon entering looks like an old fashioned Chinese restaurant but do not let appearances deceive you. I had the best tuna served with bamboo sticky rice and I still dream about it to this day.
Alternatively the town is peppered with delightful delicatessens and boulangeries so if you fancy opting for a night in or picnic lunch you will be spoilt for choice here too.
TLE Insider Tips:
1) Book restaurants well in advance as they are extremely popular, particularly in February half-term holiday.
2) Definitely pay a visit to The bakery –If you have a sweet tooth you’ll think you’re
3) Megeve seems to be a favourite with the fair weather and leisurely skiers / boarders so take advantage. of the open space and that first into the pow feeling by hitting the slopes by 9.30am.
4) If you want to feel like a local make sure you titivate yourself with fur, in fact the furrier the better. Ladies of all generations, both on and off the slopes, look like they’ve just stepped out of a movie scene which is quite apt given that Megeve is the resort where Audrey Hepburn’s Regina Lampert meets Cary Grant’s character in the film Charade.
i) Romantic breaks,
ii) leisurely long weekends,
iii) even non-skiers or boarders can enjoy the delights of this resort as there are some great walking routes and lots of foodie and shopping distractions.