|Hôtel De Charme Les Airelles, in the heart of the Jardin Alpin, is primed after a three-year renovation.|
Hôtel de Charme Les Airelles in the French Alps is ready for the upcoming ski season. How do we know? A $43 million facelift that improved on its offerings for families and upgraded its 37 guest rooms and 14 suites—that’s how. Of course, guests come for the pristine slopes. Les Airelles doesn’t disappoint: it’s located at the edge of Les Trois Vallées, one of the top ski areas in the world.
Those seeking premium accommodations should consider the 5,900-square-foot Private Apartment, which is on the top floor and has direct elevator access, four bedrooms, a private en suite spa and panoramic views of the mountains. Each bedroom has a bathroom with steam shower, fireplace and walk-in closet. The Apartment also has a private Jacuzzi overlooking the mountains, full bay window sauna, sensory shower and an ice fountain. Note: The middle of the main living room has been set apart as the dining space. It also has a private bar filled with vintage wines and spirits that are kept behind a glass-door cellar adjacent to a fireplace. Top Touch: In between the four bedrooms sits a home theater. Guests can also get a whiff of the outdoors via the Apartment’s 1,600-square-foot terrace, which includes an outdoor Jacuzzi.
Chalet Ormello is the best option for families and groups. Open since the 2009-2010 season, the new luxe ski villa, with seven double bedrooms and two master bedrooms, accommodates up to 15 guests. Modern amenities include a professional kitchen, outdoor and indoor swimming pool, Jacuzzi, steam room, fitness room and film-screening room. Note: Note private butler service is available upon request for any of the hotel’s accommodations.
Après-ski, or after perusing the myriad boutique stores, guests can alleviate the stress on their bodies at the 7,000-square-foot Valmont Spa. It has a pool with small waterfalls, sauna, saunarium, Turkish bath, sensory showers, indoor and outdoor hot tubs and a snow cave, which recreates an ice universe of fine powder snow for cooling down at -10 degrees Celsius in between sauna sessions. An 11-person team of masseurs, physical therapists, osteopaths, beauty experts, a barber for men and a hairdresser for women will help with guest requests.
The spa has five treatment rooms, one of which offers balneotherapy and solarium services. There is also a bar offering herbal teas and fruit juices and an advanced fitness center with Kinesis Personal and Power Plate systems. Note: A personal trainer is at clients’ disposal throughout the day. The signature treatment, we hear, is the moisturizing and regenerating Glaciers Vitality Treatment, and while the most requested masseur is Christopher Pirel, the most sought-after estheticienne is Marilyn Sany. Contact Spa Manager Jonathan Blasenhauer (011-479-003-838) with further questions.
As much as the ski-in/ski-out layout of the resort makes it possible to walk from one village or hotel to another, we hear the resort has opted for getting around in style. Hôtel de Charme Les Airelles provides a Hermes-designed horse-drawn carriage, which shuttles guests around Courchevel.
Meanwhile, head concierge, Guiseppe Pochintesta ([email protected]) is known for making the impossible possible. Like the time he had a helicopter dispatched to Paris to bring back new movies that had yet to be shown in theaters. He then rented out the entire theatre in Courchevel so a client could watch the films privately.
|Chalet Ormello can host 15 guests and has its own film-screening room.|
There are four restaurants at Hôtel de Charme Les Airelles. At the top end is the two-Michelin-star Restaurant Pierre Gagnaire, where, we hear, the must-try dish is the entrecote de boeuf de galice, while the saisi à la poêle runs a close second. Meals at La Table du Jardin Alpin can be taken alfresco on the terrace, which is accessible from the ski slopes. Inside the restaurant, a fireplace is the focal point, making for warm cozy dinners. Le Coin Savoyard has a genuine carnotzet, or wine cellar, where guests can dine on a variety of regional specialties, including selected meat cuts grilled on a wood-fire and fondue. After dinner, we think a trip to Bar des Airelles for a cognac by the fireplace makes for a perfect end to an evening. Note: There is also a smoking room available for cigar puffers.
The hotel is only five minutes from Courchevel Airport (where you can arrive via private helicopter) and 30 minutes from Moûtiers Rail Station.
Luxury travel advisors interested in planning a stay at Hôtel de Charme Les Airelles should book early. The resort is only open from November through April and fills up during Christmas and New Year’s. Sales Manager Jean-Pierre Lerallu ([email protected]) is the contact for luxury travel advisors.