Tom Ford, Naomi Campbell, Bernard Arnault
Reason to Stay
Spa Hotel, Hip Clientele, All-Suite Hotel
The winter yang to St. Tropez's yin, Courchevel is just about the chicest word in ski vocabulary. Part of Les Trois Vallées, the city is divided between four ski towns designated by its elevation in meters. The most fashionable is also the highest one, Courchevel 1850. Winter is reliable anytime after December, when the snow conditions are most ideal with groomed runs, vertical cliffs and jaw-dropping glacier runs. True jetsetters can't be seen skiing with just anyone; the on-mountain ESF Ski School allows visitors to cast their instructor online from a selection of Hollywood-style headshots.
No visit was complete without a stay at the Byblos Courchevel. But 2007 marked its final year with the hotel taking on a new identity as Palace des Neiges. The jetset have also decided to move-on, relocating to Courchevel's newest it-hotel Chateau Cheval Blanc. Owned by the Bernard Arnault, chairman of LVMH, the ski-in/ski-out hotel is winter wonderland with a logo complete with in-house boutiques Dior and Louis Vuitton. The all-suite hotel is outfitted in sleek Wallpaper-inspired interiors, terraces with mountain views and private hammam where you might just bump into Tom Ford or Stella McCartney.
If sticker-shock hasn’t made sleep unthinkable, you’ll check-in to a sleek and sexy reception is free of knotty pine or Alpine theme. A dapper staff with freshly slicked hair switches between languages without any trace of accent. Rooms are accessed via muted hallways with whitewash walls and panels of maple woods. Entry-level guest rooms feature exposed beam ceilings with sliding glass doors that reveal mountain views or large heated terrace. Televisions are suspended from art easels opposite cozy seating areas that beg “Please don’t put your Chanel boot on me!” More eccentric design details include cow-print club chairs, Aztec-woven prints curtains and cuckoo clocks painted in bold primary colors. Bathrooms are clean white marble spaces that could be in any big city hotel, with dark granite counter top, heated mirror, and collection of LVMH toiletries. House guests should seize every opportunity to enjoy the afternoon après-ski action in Le White Bar as well as the gastronomy pleasures of the kitchen that are some of the best in the region.
Oversize Guest Rooms, Designer Hotel, Hip Clientele
Restaurant, Lounge, Apres-Ski, Bar