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“The Alps are a deep land where the sky, tired of being blue, has lain down on the mountains.” The origin of the quote seems to have been lost somewhere between the Grandes Jorasses and the Mer de Glace, along a mountain path lined with saxifrage and veronica. But who could disagree while contemplating the majesty of Mont Blanc? Stretching skyward for 4,810 meters (15,781 ft.), the highest peak of the Alps reigns in glory over the landscape, with the Aiguille du Midi and the Dent du Géant on one side and the Dôme du Goûter on the other, the glaciers at their feet. One cannot help but be overwhelmed by the beauty of the scene and the power of the mountains.
The legendary peak looms over the towns of Megève and Chamonix, whose names are synonymous with clean air, winter sports and Savoyard specialties. Mont Blanc is the lord of an immense domain with names that inspire reverie: the Aravis Range, home to well-preserved old villages like La Clusaz with its splendid 17th-century chapels, the Chartreuse Mountains bristling with beech and fir forests… Whether explored on foot, skis or snowshoes, the mountains cast their spell. Gliding through white powder between snow-laden pines on the slopes of the Espace Killy in Val d’Isère, or Les Trois Vallées between Courchevel, Méribel, Les Menuires and Val Thorens, skiers enjoy a setting unlike any other in the world. And in springtime, hikers take in the spectacle of pastures scattered with flowers, surprised here and there by a glimpse of a furry marmot. The villages offer the delicate craftsmanship of the wood carvers, a skill once cultivated to pass the long winter evenings, and the delectable flavors of the mountain cheeses: Beaufort d’Alpage with its floral aromas, the pungent Tomme de Savoie, Reblochon with its subtle hint of hazelnut.
The Alpine lakes are as spectacular as the peaks around them. On the shores of Lac du Bourget, France’s largest glacial lake, Aix les Bains proffers its Belle Époque charm. From the lookout point in La Chambotte, the lake reveals its sinuous contours, marked by cliffs plunging down to the water’s edge, where coots and purple herons thrive. To the north, beyond Lake Annecy, Lake Geneva sprawls in a crescent between the Alps and the Jura. As vast as an inland sea, at times battered by fierce storms, it straddles France and Switzerland - just as the Mont Blanc range is shared among France, Switzerland and Italy. But, in the words of the legendary mountain climber Walter Bonatti, “The mountains belong to no one.”
Hotel and restaurant in the mountains. The beauty of the alpine surroundings of the Aravis ski slopes, the creativity of its cuisine and the way every guest’s expectations are listened to turn this chalet with its elegant design into an exceptional destination in the heart of the village of La Clusaz. After a vigorous day on the slopes, relax in the superb Cristal Spa where, in addition to the fantastic treatments, guests can enjoy the hammam, sauna and pool. Gourmets will adore Le 5 restaurant, which offers dishes made from responsibly sourced local and regional products. After dinner, cap the night off with a cigar in the English-style smoking room before retiring to a rustic but refined guest room. ... Learn moreless
Hotel and restaurant in the mountains. The Château des Avenières, nestled in lush green countryside on the Salève hillside, with panoramic views of Mont Blanc and Lake Annecy, is the work of an American lady who, at the beginning of the 20th century, built it in honour of her late sister and her husband, a Hindu astronomer, who gave it its very special character: a chapel with a golden mosaic where the Zodiac, the Kabbalah and Egyptian tarot combine in the midst of French-style gardens... Today the estate also boasts a kitchen garden which supplies fresh herbs and vegetables. An utterly heavenly spot - for the stay of your dreams. ... Learn moreless
Restaurant and hotel in the mountains. On the Megève heights, three-stars Chef and MOF (Best Craftsman of France) Emmanuel Renaut offers imaginative, colourful, timeless cuisine with a mountain flavour. He boldly injects colour, bitterness or acidity where they were not found before, to make each dish original and surprising. His cuisine reflects the scenery, with its soft, undulating parts, interrupted like a divine surprise by endless summits. Walk in the mountains with Emmanuel Renaut to discover mushrooms, flowers and wildlife. The hotel has several chalets which associate functionality with design in a cosy and relaxed atmosphere and a loft-type style. The treatments in the spa are inspired by the mountain: Megève pine trees, flowers and water ... Learn moreless
Restaurant and hotel in the mountains. At the foot of Mont Blanc, Pierre Carrier, Perrine and Pierre Maillet have taken over this hotel, devoted to fine dining, founded in 1903 by “great grandfather Carrier”. The rooms in the main hotel or the chalets in the garden offer both modern and warm comfort. On the one hand, there is the superb menu at the Albert Ier with its recipes influenced by the Piedmont and Liguria and, on the other, the Maison Carrier with its specialities to be enjoyed in the atmosphere of an old farmhouse or with a view of the majestic beauty of Mont Blanc. The indoor/outdoor swimming pool also boasts vistas of the eternal snows. An equally stunning and delicious address. ... Learn moreless
Hotel and restaurant in the mountains. At the foot of the famous Face de Bellevarde Olympic slope, Les Barmes de l'Ours welcomes guests into an elegant and traditional setting. Each floor of the the hotel offers unique and warm decors inspired by Scandinavia, North American cabins, alpine chalets, and contemporary lofts. La Table de l’Ours, a fine-dining restaurant, is renowned for its high quality regional cuisine, while the Rôtisserie and Coin Savoyard tend towards choice cuts from the butcher and local specialities in a more relaxed atmosphere. Sports lovers and pleasure seekers will appreciate the hotel's pro shop, pool, and 1,000 m2 spa. Lastly, a cigar bar, bowling alley, and family play area come to complete the selection of offerings aimed at freeing the body and mind. ... Learn moreless
Restaurant and hotel in the mountains. The immaculate façades are as white as driven snow. This typically Savoyard chalet at the foot of the ski slopes exudes discreet elegance with its traditional décor and no-one is left unmoved by the warm welcome of a family who are passionate about their profession. The large spa takes you on a veritable sensory journey, and the high point of the Chabichou is the memorable opportunity it provides to sample the sophisticated gourmet cuisine of two Chefs: Michel Rochedy and Stéphane Buron. It showcases fine ingredients such as Bresse pigeon and creates subtle pairings of flavours such as caramelised pork belly and verbena and creamy truffled polenta. ... Learn moreless
Restaurant and hotel on a lake. Located on the edge of Lake Annecy and protected by the surrounding mountains, the Auberge du Père Bise is a peaceful and authentic setting conducive to relaxation. A unique spot on the waterfront with mountain views… This stunning property, taken over by chef Jean Sulpice and his wife Magali, has long been witness to the richness of our gastronomic heritage. Passionate about nature, which has become his signature, chef Jean Sulpice traverses the Savoie region so dear to him, exploring it with originality, independence and gourmet enjoyment. Come and discover the new Auberge du Père Bise by Jean Sulpice with its hotel comprising 23 rooms and suites, gastronomic restaurant, bistro and delicatessen. ... Learn moreless
Restaurant and hotel in a village. Overlooking Lake Annecy and facing the Bauge Mountains, Le Clos des Sens is a discrete historic manor built in 1866. Between contemporary preciosity, a rustic touch and true authenticity, the table setting continually dialogues with the works of art, setting the scene for the culinary creations of Laurent Petit. The chef's cuisine, lakeside vegetarian that is 100% local, is an ode to the three lakes of Savoy: Léman, Annecy and Bourget. The lounge-fireplace design, the beautiful terrace with old chestnut trees, as well as the swimming pond that borders a remarkable garden of herbs, lend themselves to dreaming. As for the spacious rooms, they distinguish themselves by their strong character. ... Learn moreless
Restaurant and hotel in the mountains. In an idyllic setting in the heart of the ski region of Trois Vallées, La Bouitte has opened its doors to a sublime and timeless mountain since 1976. René and Maxime Meilleur, father and son, have built with their hands a unique chalet, an ode to Savoy living. Comforting and pure, their cuisine is the perfect balance between simplicity and elegance, delivering a chiselled and mischievous interpretation of the region's best products. The wine list is immense and the evenings for oenophiles are not to be missed by those who love wine. The lounges and rooms, delicious cocoons sculpted in wood, and especially the very caring family atmosphere make La Bouitte a residence of incomparable charm. ... Learn moreless
Hotel and restaurant in the mountains. Modern, architect-designed buildings show off their clean lines in the heart of 99 acres of magnificent parkland. Gaze through the huge picture windows of the guestrooms at a magnificent panorama of mountains, not to be beaten by the views of Mont Blanc to be enjoyed from the restaurant’s panoramic terrace. The French cuisine with its modern twist and the well-being rituals of the Sangoma Spa are just what you need to soothe body and mind alike as you relax. Outdoors, golf lovers will enjoy the synthetic greens and the 18 tees of the innovatively eco-friendly 9-hole course. Finally, an artificial lake is dedicated to water sports. ... Learn moreless