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Emmanuel Renaut
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Owner and Grand Chef of Flocons de Sel
My Route du Bonheur… Around Mont Blanc

Emmanuel Renaut is one of the leading figures in modern French cuisine. After working with, amongst others, Christian Constant and Marc Veyrat, he settled in Megève in 1998, in a region that today he could no longer bear to leave…

I probably decided to live in the mountains even before deciding to become a chef. As a small child, I spent my summer and winter holidays in the shadow of permanently snow-covered peaks in Saint-Gervais-les-Bains and Les Houches. Later on, I did my military service in the mountain infantry in Chambéry. Then I had the opportunity to work alongside Marc Veyrat, which introduced me to another mountain. I like to walk through the mountain pastures and pick flowers and gather plants or mushrooms. As soon as the snow arrives, I strap on my skis or snowshoes and get away from it all. My skis are never too far from the kitchen…

Relais & Châteaux proposes its Routes du Bonheur for your inspiration: they are suggestions of itineraries that you can adapt to your preferences and desired experiences. Our advisors are at your disposal to individualise your routes and help you make reservations at our properties.
Example for a 10 nights stay from 1578€*
* Minimum indicative rate per person, subject to availability, on the basis of a double room with double occupancy, including accommodation, breakfast and dinner (menu, without beverages) in the properties suggested for the itinerary.
Activities on site and nearby must be reserved by you.

My Route du Bonheur
Step 1: 2 days, 2 nights (France)

Chalet du Mont d’Arbois

A home away from home in Megève
Chalet du Mont d’Arbois
On the other side of the village, the Chalet du Mont d’Arbois is much more than a hotel: it is a real paradise for golfers in the mountains. The hotel has a magnificent view of the surrounding landscape. Each of the three chalets displays the French tradition carried on by the prestigious Rothschild family. As the owners of the site since the 1920s, this family has greatly contributed to Megève’s international fame.
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Flocons de Sel, Megève

Pure nature, pure cuisine
Flocons de Sel, Megève
Founded in 1998, our restaurant is primarily inspired by nature. Our modest ambition is to offer a little piece of the mountains on each plate. Here, the seasons and the ingredients are very distinct. Our modern cuisine has been recognised by the most distinguished critics and seeks to bring out all the flavours of the surrounding area. Looking out over the mountain, Flocons de Sel offers visitors a magical experience. The hotel has only a few rooms, spread over three small chalets, so that my wife Kristine and I can take care of our guests like old friends.

Close to the property...

Exploring Megève’s heritage

Behind every stone there is a story. Explore the centre of the village in the company of a heritage guide, who will tell you the story of Megève and of its incredible inhabitants. These local guides reveal a hidden past and heritage that sometimes even those who live here are unaware of. You will discover the work of mountain architect Henry Jacques Le Même, creator of the “Mégevan” chalet, as well as the church and the Calvary trail. Tours should be booked in advance.

Walking in nature…

Outside the restaurant, the Route du Leutaz is a veritable nature reserve. A playground that I take advantage of regularly. When guests feel like going for a walk, I tell them: “In that spot you will see wood sorrel, wild caraway, hogweed, wild raspberries or chanterelles, and if you look in such-and-such a direction you will most likely see some chamois.” It all depends on the season. Sometimes, in the early morning, our hotel guests come with me to collect herbs or flowers on the mountain. We only have eight rooms, which means we have plenty of time for our guests.

Exploring the baroque churches

How many of these baroque churches are there, built from the seventeenth century onwards in the Maurienne, Tarentaise and Beaufortain valleys, and in the Val d’Arly? Almost eighty sites are listed with this very distinctive style, often modest from the outside but magnificent inside. Step through the doors and you will discover splendid gilded altarpieces decorated with wooden sculptures.

We can advise you on booking your route. Contact central reservations :

1 800 735 2478

Indicate the code : RENAUT

Calling from another country ? Click here

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Step 2 : 2 days, 2 nights (France)

Hameau Albert Ier

Cuisine, architecture and culture imbued with a high mountain spirit
Hameau Albert Ier
I really like the Carriers, a marvellous family who have been constantly developing their hotel for over one hundred years. At the foot of the Mont Blanc massif, their establishment, whose terrace and pool have a unique view of the mountain, is a real oasis of calm. Pierre Maillet and Pierre Carrier have also created a menu which showcases the riches of our region.

Close to the property...

A trip up the Aiguille du Midi

This is one of the few places on earth where you can be high up in the mountains in just a few minutes. At 3800 metres above sea level, facing Mont Blanc, this spot is a sheer joy. Even as a child I would often climb the Aiguille du Midi to do the Vallée Blanche route. But the most wonderful feeling was the first time I climbed up by the Cosmiques Ridge. An unforgettable climbing experience, with 400 metres on one side and 1200 metres on the other side of the ridge.

The Mer de Glace

The Mer de Glace can be reached from Mont Blanc by the train, known since 1909 as the Montenvers railway. This impressive glacier is almost seven kilometres long and nearly two hundred metres thick, and is one of the biggest in the Alps. As a child, my parents would take me to the caves in the ice. Today, I feel the same pleasure and the same magic returning here with my own children. In Montenvers, you will find a hundred-year-old building made entirely from wood, where you can enjoy hot chocolate or a blueberry tart.

We can advise you on booking your route. Contact central reservations :

1 800 735 2478

Indicate the code : RENAUT

Calling from another country ? Click here

Revenir en haut de page
Step 3 : 2 days, 2 nights (Italy)

Hotel Bellevue & Spa

Plunge into the springs of Gran Paradiso
Hotel Bellevue & Spa
With its beautiful views, this hotel truly merits its name. Run by Laura Roullet and her parents, this Relais & Châteaux offers above all a warm welcome. The terrace and gardens, with their views of the valley, would by themselves make the visit worthwhile. And yet the Roullet family are continuing to expand, with a new 1200 m2 spa. Ask them to take you to the little chalet close to the hotel, an ideal spot for discoveries and fine walks.

Close to the property...

Gran Paradiso National Park

Gran Paradiso is the only peak higher than 4000 metres (4061 metres) which is located entirely in Italy, between the provinces of the Aosta Valley and Turin. It dominates the national park which bears its name. Established in 1922, the park, which was once a hunting reserve of King Victor Emmanuel of Savoy, is truly a paradise for lovers of mountain wildlife: ibexes, chamois, marmots, stoats and golden eagles can all be seen here.

The waterfalls in Lillaz

This hamlet in the municipality of Cogne is the starting point for some superb walks in the Aosta Valley and it also has some very beautiful waterfalls. Close to the village of Lillaz, a succession of waterfalls, almost 150 metres high, forms the Grand Eyvia. In winter, when they are frozen, the sight is even more impressive.

On the route...

The Pont d’Aël, Aymavilles

Built in 3 BC, this Roman aqueduct bridge is situated 66 metres above the Grand Eyvia and once supported an aqueduct nearly six kilometres long, enabling the irrigation of crops in the valley. The former watercourse is today used by hikers to cross the gorge on their way to Cogne.

We can advise you on booking your route. Contact central reservations :

1 800 735 2478

Indicate the code : RENAUT

Calling from another country ? Click here

Revenir en haut de page
Step 4 : 2 days, 2 nights (Italy)

Hermitage Hotel & Spa

Glide from country to country across the slopes of the Matterhorn
Hermitage Hotel & Spa
Facing the south side of the Matterhorn, 2050 metres above sea level, this hotel enjoys an exclusive location between two countries and two beautiful ski areas. For three generations, the Neyroz family has been perfecting the art of luxury in a traditional alpine building in perfect harmony with its environment. Behind splendid larch trees, the hotel, spring-water swimming pool and spa offer much more than a moment of relaxation.

Close to the property...

The legend of the Matterhorn

Situated on the border between Italy and Switzerland, the Matterhorn is one of the legendary peaks of the Valais Alps. Its pyramid-like shape –from Zermatt – and the story of its ascent (the summit is 4478 metres high) are part of the mountain’s legend. The English poet John Ruskin spoke of the most noble cliff in Europe. I often go climbing but I have never had the chance to explore its famous east and north faces.

Cervino golf course

This superb par-69 course, 5300 metres long, is the highest golf course in Italy. Founded in 1955 at the foot of the mountain, it is also one of the oldest Italian courses. It was completely redesigned a few years ago by the architect Luigi Rota Caremoli, and transformed from a 9-hole course into an 18-hole course. It offers a spectacular view of the Matterhorn.

We can advise you on booking your route. Contact central reservations :

1 800 735 2478

Indicate the code : RENAUT

Calling from another country ? Click here

Revenir en haut de page
Step 5: 2 days, 2 nights (Switzerland)

Hôtel Victoria

An inspirational, unforgettable panorama
Hôtel Victoria
Let’s leave the mountains now and head to the shores of Lake Geneva. A final haven of peace set 700 metres above the water, the Hotel Victoria offers a kind of contentment at the end of your trip. Owners Toni and Barbara Mittermair will welcome you like old friends to this splendid residence. Built in 1869, it is steeped in a Belle ?poque style which is outshone only by the warmth of the reception.

On the route...

Relais & Chateaux The Chalet d’Adrien, Verbier

High above the resort of Verbier, the Chalet d’Adrien offers postcard-worthy views of the Valais. This lovely family hotel was founded by the grandfather of Brigitte de Turckheim, the current owner. In a very warm and friendly atmosphere, you have the choice of two restaurants. At La Table d’Adrien, enjoy local wines and the cuisine of chef Mirto Marchesi, who displays his Italian roots with ravioli and risottos that subtly evoke the other side of the mountain.

Relais & Châteaux Le Chalet d’Adrien

A day in the mountain pastures

The Chalet d’Adrien offers various excursions in the region. These include watching the sun rise at a height of 3300 metres from Mont Fort (with views of the Matterhorn, Mont Blanc and Monte Rosa!) and a day spent in mountain pastures, during which you can watch cheese being made in a dairy at 2000 metres above sea level. Enjoy a lunch cooked over a wood fire in the mountains before a leisurely return trip to the chalet.

The Verbier Festival

In twenty years, this classical music festival has become one of the most important in Europe. Its extremely rich programme includes talented performers from all over the world. For several days in high summer, the ski resort and neighbouring villages are filled with the sound of strings, bows and brass. An academy has been set up and each year it brings together fifty or so musicians from the most prestigious conservatories. Don’t miss the masterclasses held inside the Chalet d’Adrien itself.

We can advise you on booking your route. Contact central reservations :

1 800 735 2478

Indicate the code : RENAUT

Calling from another country ? Click here

Texts : © Guides Gallimard