Review: Grand Hotel Soleil d'Or

Set in the picturesque village of Megéve, this alpine resort is blessed with historic charm

Location: Set in the picturesque alpine village of Megève, Grand Hotel Soleil d’Or is a one-hour drive from Geneva or a 15-minute transfer from Sallanches train station and, as such, a popular destination with mountain lovers year-round.

Megève is beautifully located in a wide valley and blessed with historic charm. The five-star hotel is a short walk from the medieval centre, with its array of boutique shops, bars and restaurants.

First impressions: Megève is a jewel in the French Alps’ crown, competing with resorts such as Courchevel for the attention of well-travelled and well-heeled visitors and the Soleil d’Or, meaning golden sun, plays its part.

The impressive hotel front proudly bears its name in art deco typography spanning the width of the perfectly symmetrical facade. The entrance is friendly, modest and homely with a hint of boutique luxury, the essence of which pervades throughout.

The facts: Grand Hôtel Soleil d’Or, Megève’s first hotel, opened its doors in 1901 and underwent a complete renovation in 2019. Combining modern elegance with the region’s traditional charm, it offers an exclusive experience for those wishing to enjoy the natural beauty of the French Alps.

In its armoury, the property boasts Megève’s only rooftop bar, with breathtaking views of the mountains; the Chez Mademoiselle Conseil restaurant, a tribute to the hotel’s first innkeeper, serving dishes that revisit recipes sourced from old cookery books; and a well-equipped spa with heated pool, sauna, hammam, Jacuzzi and three treatment cabins.

There’s also the popular La Chocolaterie, a comforting chocolate shop at street level, decked out with relaxing sofas, plush throws and a welcoming open fire, serving desserts, freshly baked cakes and a wide selection of hot chocolates.

In high season be prepared to queue. The hotel’s main building has 17 rooms and suites, all individually decorated. Directly adjacent are three four-bedroom chalets, each furnished in its own unique style and fully equipped with everything you could need for a family or friends getaway.

Ideal for: Megève has the largest ski area in the Evasion Mont-Blanc region and attracts enthusiasts of all levels during the winter season.

It’s equally popular for the remainder of the year with hikers, cyclists, kayakers, equestrians and lovers of cultural history. The Soleil d’Or is suitable for couples and families and the ever-attentive staff ensure your stay is both comfortable and memorable.

Explore: Our trip was late in the ski season so conditions were at their best higher up the resort. Megève’s vast ski area is spread over three main mountains, with numerous sub-sectors on or linking to each mountain.

Its largest ski area is Mont d’Arbois, with mostly gentle tree-lined runs linked to the spa resort of St Gervais. It also directly connects to Mont Joux and from there to Mont Joly, which offers tougher, more open terrain and Megève’s highest run, topping out at 2,355 metres.

On the other side of town is Megève’s third main ski area, Le Jaillet, linked to two further resorts (Combloux and La Giettaz), all of which add up to another sizeable area of mostly intermediate skiing. Out of winter season, each area offers its own resolutely charming identity with activities ranging from golf to paragliding. Shuttle services from the hotel to ski lifts and neighbouring villages are available at short notice.

Wow: On our final day and, after a bluebird morning on the slopes with Mont Blanc majestically shining on the horizon, we returned to the hotel and convened for lunch at the small, elegant seating area outside, indulging in fine wine, local charcuterie and regional cheese, plus a spot of people-watching. The sun bathed us in late spring warmth and suddenly it all made sense. Golden sun indeed.

Book it: B&B starts from €299 per night based on two sharing. soleildor-megeve.com

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