There is still time to enjoy a ski break this winter, and Europe’s recent cold snap is an excellent reminder that the slushy streets of Paris are no match for the clean, white powder on the slopes of the French Alps – best enjoyed from a cozy luxury chalet.The villages of Courchevel are named for their altitudes, with Courchevel 1850 at the apex. This season a new arrival, the Barriere Les Neiges Hotel, has sailed to the top of the luxury accommodation ratings in a resort that is already rated as one of the chicest anywhere in Europe – a favorite with oligarchs and the Parisian smart set.
The Barriere Les Neiges is no giant resort hotel. Though it is magnificently spacious – particularly its enormous spa and wellness area – there are only 22 rooms, 20 suites, and a penthouse (of 310m2) here, and if early reports are to be believed these spaces will be in high demand in the coming years.
The first thing any ski veteran will check when arranging their accommodation is its location. In Courchevel this doesn’t come much better than doorstep access to the Bellecôte slope and a short walk from the best boutiques, bars and dining of Courchevel’s village center. You may find yourself spending many evenings in the Hotel Barrière Les Neiges though. There are three restaurants to choose from. Fouquet’s comes to Courchevel and Barriere Les Neiges direct from Paris where it’s been delighting diners on the corner of Avenue George V and the Champs-Elysée since 1899. You can expect to enjoy a classical French menu in the Alps, given some locally inspired twists, and decorated in Alpine style complete with an open fire.
BFire has been created by Mauro Colagreco for Barrière. The flames here come from the wood-fires this legendary Argentine chef loves to cook over. Colagreco’s Le Mirazur sits at number four in the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list for 2017 with two Michelin stars, and he will be aiming even higher in his new venture. Finally, you can enjoy the taste of the mountains in Chalet Fouquet’s, an Alpine-style dining room (available for private dining) where Fouquet’s chefs concentrate on Savoyard specialties.
If you’re concerned about the effect of this indulgent dining then find the perfect balance by complementing your dinner with a spa trip. The Barriere hotels’ Diane Barriere Spas are justly celebrated, and the wellness offering at Les Neiges Courchevel lives up to and surpasses the group’s standards. It is an enormous 1,000m2 space affording the privacy and serenity that one needs to renew and revitalize. Seven treatment rooms – including one for two complete with hammam and Jacuzzi – offer a range of therapies specially designed for winter sports and to the mountain lifestyle. Biologique Recherche are behind many of the bespoke beauty treatments you can enjoy alongside a swim or a soak in the terrace hot tub.
Everyone is spoiled at Les Neiges Courchevel, and there is an equally complete experience for some of the hotel’s most demanding guests in the Kids Club: The Studio by Petit VIP. A magical playground designed to give young children and older kids their own spaces is staffed by specially trained hosts who deliver an entertainment and educational program designed around 10 arts and majoring in individual attention.
For their accommodation, Les Neiges Courchevel have not attempted to reinvent the wheel. Rooms, suites and the enormous penthouse deliver the classic virtues of Alpine hospitality with a luxury chalet feel. Space, light and traditional materials are complemented by stylish, clean design and the latest in information and entertainment tech.
Balconies and terraces help Deluxe and Prestige rooms make the most of the stellar views. A hammam adds ultimate indulgence to Junior Suites. Personal butler service in Deluxe Suites add a touch of l’art de vivre to these south facing rooms. The 310m2 L’Appartement Les Neiges penthouse takes its occupants – it can accommodate eight guests in three rooms – to the peak of luxury with private dining and spa facilities.
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