“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.”
Restaurant and hotel on a lake. Surrounded by protective mountains, the water of Lake Annecy is reputed to be the purest in the world, inspiring Paul Cézanne’s splendid painting of the same name. It’s hard to imagine a more perfect place. The restaurant and terrace of Auberge du Père Bise are beautifully located in the bay of Talloires, facing this pristine lake, which reflects the restaurant’s glimmering lights. The comfortable and stylish rooms all have a view of the lake. Chef Sophie Bise handles her products with an artistic touch creating dishes that are as lovely to look at as they are to taste, based, more particularly, on fish from Lake Annecy. ... Learn moreless
Hotel and restaurant in the mountains. In the heart of the French Alps, overlooking the village of Megève, the Chalet du Mont d'Arbois is a unique place steeped in history, with a mix of warm elegance and discreet luxury in the pure tradition of the Rothschild family. The authentic Savoy architecture of the three chalets, located a stone’s throw from the starting point for the Mont-Blanc Évasion ski slopes and the Mont d’Arbois golf course in summer as well as its gourmet cuisine guarantee successful stays. At the Chalet du Mont d’Arbois well-being means that you can enjoy the hot tubs, benefit from the spa and its broad range of beauty treatments and swim indoors and outdoors in the pool. ... Learn moreless
Hotel and restaurant on a lake. This fine early 20th-century mansion on the banks of Lake Annecy is a rhapsody of blue and gold: the blue of the façade and the lake viewed from the terrace meets the golden yellow of the wood cladding the walls and the sun that shines into the guestrooms through the large picture windows. This house offers an intimate setting with a warm, cosy ambiance. And all around is resplendent nature, as celebrated by the Chef's cuisine. Since 2010, Yoann Conte, following in the footsteps of Marc Veyrat, has drawn his inspiration from the passing seasons and their plants to reinterpret local cuisine, serving, for example, fish from the lake with fresh herbs and alpine flowers. ... 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
Hotel and restaurant in the mountains This chalet, set against a backdrop of mountains and perfectly located at the centre of the ski resort, has been welcoming skiers to its warm atmosphere since 1937 and for four generations. The elegant, spacious rooms are cosy, a “treasure room” awaits the children, and a spa decorated in stone and timber offers treatments and the opportunity to relax. A day of sport on the magnificent ski slopes of the “Espace Killy” continues in the relaxed atmosphere of the wine bar, or the delicious dishes served by the restaurant. And as a finishing touch, there are the magnificent views over the Bellevarde Olympic run which you can see from the terrace and some of the rooms. ... Learn moreless
Restaurant and hotel on a lake. Jean-Pierre Jacob loves poetry and has named his restaurant after Rimbaud’s famous poem, The Drunken Boat. Like the visionary poet, this two-star Chef audaciously plays with colours and images, turning each dish into a voyage for the senses. The splendid view of France’s largest natural lake, Bourget, may even awaken the poet in you. Jean-Pierre Jacob bases some of his creations on pike and powan from the Savoyard lake. The Hotel Ombremont boasts classical or contemporary rooms and suites with a view of the lake or the wooded park, in an atmosphere of calm and serenity. ... 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
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. 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
Restaurant in the mountains. The restaurant Jean Sulpice is located at the heart of the Trois Vallées ski area, in Val Thorens. Sports lovers can ski there from Méribel, Courchevel and Les Ménuires, and enjoy views over the mountain peaks. As creative as he is talented, Chef Jean Sulpice loves these mountains and pays tribute to nature through a generous, inventive and authentic cuisine. He has assembled an enthusiastic team around him and his wife and sommelier, Magali, and they work to coax the best out of the flavours of the high mountain pastures and regional ingredients with dishes such as mousse of Beaufort cheese with mountain herbs and flowers. He also adds a modern twist to mountain plants, particularly wild wood sorrel known as oxalis. ... Learn moreless