Review: Le Chalet Zannier, Megève
Inside the hotel is rustic yet refined, with everything you’d expect from a luxury ski lodge
Location: Perfectly tucked away in a residential street on the edge of Megève, a quaint French ski resort. It is a five-minute walk to the centre of the village, while the closest ski lifts – at Mont d’Arbois – are a five-minute drive. The nearest airport is Geneva, which can be reached by car in about 90 minutes. Alternatively, Sallanches train station is a 20-minute drive from the hotel, with the journey from Geneva’s central station taking around an hour and 45 minutes.
First impressions: This boutique property, part of Zannier Hotels, is utterly charming. I arrived after dark, when twinkling lights around the wooden façade of the property illuminated the falling snow. Inside the hotel is rustic yet refined, with everything you’d expect from a luxury ski lodge – alpine views galore, cosy blankets to nestle under and sumptuous cuisine, all set to a never-ending soundtrack of embers crackling on the fire. Smiling staff clamour to meet your every whim; this is a place for those seeking privacy and outstanding personal service. It’s for that very reason that the super affluent who seek seclusion and prefer to shy away from high-profile places will choose Le Chalet time and time again.
The facts: With just 12 rooms, eight of which are suites, Le Chalet is as small and intimate as they come. My cosy room, built into the rock face of the mountain side, had views of the surrounding alpine scenery. More than 40 staff ensures everything runs like clockwork and that service levels remain exceptionally high. This includes a speedy chauffeur service that runs daily from 7am until midnight and sees guests shuttled to and from the village or to the slopes and back. All meals are served in the chic La Ferme de mon Père. Among my favourite dishes were the black truffle risotto and meunière-style dover sole, while the 30-day matured Simmental rib steaks had my husband’s mouth watering from the moment he saw it on the menu. The restaurant is popular with non-guests, as is the hotel’s wine bar, which serves tapas to complement an impressive wine list. The underground spa is wonderful, but be warned, with only two treatment rooms it gets booked well in advance. The area also has an indoor pool, a hammam and sauna.
Explore: Megève is home to two ski areas – Evasion Mont-Blanc and Les Portes du Mont-Blanc – which offer 250 miles of runs across more than 200 slopes. Megève is suitable for both novice and expert skiers, with an excellent ski school based by Mont d’Arbois. The village is well worth exploring. It’s home to many excellent restaurants, including trendy Chamois, which serves oozingly good raclette and fondue by the bucketload. The cobbled streets of the village are lined with high-end shops, however this place is anything but pretentious. Unlike many ski resorts, Megève is popular year round, and it doesn’t quieten down in the summer months thanks to its 3,000 inhabitants.
Wow: I adored the decor and aesthetics of Le Chalet, it felt like a true home from home. The impeccable service – attentive and friendly without being over-the-top – was also impressive.
Book it: Rooms lead in at £434 per night including breakfast and afternoon tea.
Hollie is editor of Aspire’s print and online products. She is responsible for the running of the club and ensuring the content produced and the events organised are relevant to the Aspire audience. She was previously deputy news editor and cruise writer for sister title Travel Weekly. She loves exploring new destinations and is gradually ticking new countries off her list. She most enjoys writing about cruise, South America and Japan. Before working in the travel industry she held news reporting roles at the East Anglian Daily Times and Ipswich Star.