ALP FOR HEROES
Only 44 miles from Geneva, the mountain village of Megève in the French Alps is a skiers’ paradise: 130 groomed Alpine runs, powdered terrain and views of Mont Blanc. Then there’s Mont d’Arbois which sits just above Megève – and is home to Les Chalets du Mont d’Arbois, now managed by the Four Seasons hotels and resorts group.
Aurore Franquin, Director of Sales and Marketing for Four Seasons Hotel Megève, explains the history. “Noémie de Rothschild, the grandmother of the current Baron de Rothschild, discovered the village of Mont d’Arbois in 1920,” says Aurore. “Noémie decided to build the first hotel there called Palace des Neiges, which opened in 1926. She also invested in Megève itself, turning the village into the well-known place it is today alongside founding the first cable car and first ski lift.” Noémie’s legacy is continued by Edmond de Rothschild Heritage, run by the third generation Baron and Baroness Benjamin de Rothschild.
The Four Seasons group is putting down strong roots in this part of the French Alps. In December 2017, it opened Four Seasons Hotel Megève, a brand new 55-room contemporary hotel, nestled in the mountains with ski-in and ski-out access. The 18-hole Golf du Mont D’Arbois, designed by three-time British Open champion Sir Henry Cotton, is also part of the Four Seasons’ portfolio. The five-star Les Chalets du Mont d’Arbois opened for its first season under Four Seasons management in 2017.
“The hotel is an existing collection of three chalets, five minutes from the slopes,” says Aurore. “They are very traditional with typical Savoyard architecture.There are 41 suites across the main chalet and the two other chalets Noémie and Alice which are a short walk away. These two chalets can be reconfigured with your own private dining area and kitchen. Then we have La Suite Idéal, a unique place, based at the top of the slopes where you have a huge suite overlooking the valley. It’s perfect for families. There’s a large living room and three bedrooms – a master bedroom for the parents then the other two bedrooms for kids or the nanny.”
Les Chalets du Mont d’Arbois offers the best of both worlds with the option of using the facilities at its sister hotel. “Guests can use the kids club, the teen zone and the Art Deco-inspired spa, the largest in the French Alps, at Four Seasons Hotel Megève,” says Aurore. This wealth of choice also extends to the restaurants. Les Chalets offers Prima, which serves local gastronomy. Alternatively, guests can choose from two options at Four Seasons Hotel Megève: there’s Japanese fusion fare at Kaito, or French cuisine at Le 1920 (which relocated from Les Chalets and is presided over by the two-Michelin-starred chef Julien Gatillon). Edmond de Rothschild Heritage also has four other restaurants, including Idéal 1850 on the mountaintop, where skiers and hikers alike can meet to sample the speciality of spit-roasted meat.
As Les Chalets du Mont d’Arbois enters its next chapter, Four Seasons will be making renovations. “We will be making a few changes to the décor in the rooms to upgrade the product but it will keep within the same spirit, atmosphere,” says Aurore. “The idea is to maintain that traditional feeling which represents the art de vivre of the Rothschild family.”