One of my favourite alpine retreats lies in the exclusive Jardin Alpin of Courchevel’s 1850; L’Apogee is one of the most luxurious, modern hotels in the Alps, located in a resort that boasts some of the finest and most varied skiing in the world. Superbly positioned high up to offer ski-in/ ski-out access, guests are straight onto the slopes first thing, stealing first-dibs on fresh, unchartered powder (ski-valets make this super smooth and stress-free), and the hotel’s elevated position above the former Olympic ski jump looks out to beautiful views across a valley bejewelled with snow-topped pine trees.
Only 3 years old and designed with no expense spared, L’Apogee offers an ultra-comfortable stay in the mountains. The style is chalet-chic meets design-hotel, and guests are made to feel utterly relaxed and right at home in an incredibly inviting environment.
Rooms are spacious and sumptuously furnished with fur bed-spreads, sheep-skin chaises, carved wood furniture, bespoke leather headboards and modern amenities, adding colour and luxury to the typical wood-panelled chalet-style rooms.
Some rooms include balconies, which I love for a morning coffee taking in the gorgeous views and fresh mountain air.
The larger suites are perfect for families to stay together with plenty of space (and with an excellent kids’ club, I’d highly recommend L’Apogee for young families).
If you’re travelling as a large family or group of friends, the hotel has two exclusive 5-bedroom chalets, which are truly stunning. Flashy features include a private spa and home cinema (the kids’ dream after a tiring day on the slopes), and we can arrange a private chef service to give you complete flexibility and privacy.
For a really spoiling stay, hire out the 4-bedroom penthouse equipped with its own sauna and steaming rooftop hot-tub looking up to the mountain peaks – perfect for soaking hard-worked limbs after a day carving your way across the mountains. Time to order Champagne on ice!
Bar L’Apogee is where to get your apres-ski fix with cool cocktails and live music. Or, if you’re completely wiped out, take yourself off to the pool to indulge in a post-skiing soak. The hotel’s fabulous Spa L’Apogee by La Prairie is incredibly inviting and if there’s one time a massage is truly deserved, it’s at the end of a day skiing!
Perhaps my favourite room in the hotel is the cosy Cigar Lounge. It’s my kind of relaxing apres-ski hangout, serving up cocktails, shisha - whatever you fancy - in an ultra-stylish setting with an open fire, warm lighting and tasteful features.
Be sure to dine at Koori at least one evening during your stay; this is the hotel’s super cool Japanese restaurant where you’ll be treated to exquisite fresh sushi. The interiors are contemporary Japanese style; dark woods, designer chairs and beautiful artwork all adding to its super trendy vibe. Dishes at Koori are works of art, bursting with colour, and the chefs use an incredible variety of foods and flavours which will surprise even the most adventurous foodies. Sit up at the circular bar to watch the spectacle of dishes being expertly prepared. For a more relaxed evening, Le Comptoir L’Apogee has a wonderful atmosphere and excellent menu incorporating delicious traditional French cuisine. I particularly love the views from here and we’ll always request a table by the window.
Some people like to go where they know when it comes to skiing, whilst others like to try a new mountain for each trip. Skiing is a real passion of mine and having been fortunate enough to have enjoyed a range of skiing experiences and luxury hotels in the Alps, across Europe, North America and Canada, I know just what makes each area and hotel stand out.
Every time I explore a new destination, whether it’s on an adventure holiday in Peru or a luxury beach escape in the Indian Ocean, I return home full of excitement to share the amazing sights I have seen. Through my own experiences I have developed a love of helping others experience the great wonders of the world; truly getting under the skin of the extraordinary destinations that are at your fingertips. Getting the details right, from which hotel is perfectly located for exploring away from the crowds, to which local guide is most knowledgeable on history or culture or art, is of paramount importance to me. I am constantly seeking out new and exciting experiences and exploring off the beaten track to ensure my clients are receiving the best and most honest first-hand advice.
Take a look at my travel diaries for food for thought on your next trip...