This region, with its winter woods, with grandiose ski slopes and great boutiques – it feels like the Côte d’Azur in white, like St. Tropez in the snow! The ski area in Savoy around Courchevel in the French Alps is the most exclusive France has to offer during winter – and it seems as if the beach jet set of the summer relocated and put on skis.
Courchevel is elegant and casual at the same time, it ‘feels’ very different than Austria, Switzerland or Italy – Courchevel is a new, different experience, kind of snow with Oh-là-là. Also, très chic! And a bit extravagant. For me, the number one address at 1,800 meters altitude is L’Apogée Courchevel from the prestigious Oetker Collection. And indeed, half the staff of the Hotel du Cap Eden-Roc of Cap d’Antibes, also part of the Oetker Collection and traditionally closed from November to March, works here over the winter. It feels to me as if all those employees just shipped the Côte’s philosophy of life in large moving boxes into the mountains.
Chef Jean-Luc Lefrançois, who loves to work magic with black truffles –and who is also responsible for the most famous chocolate fondue far and wide– provides the culinary delights. L’Apogée Courchevel has 53 rooms and suites, plus several chalets.
There is even an airfield at 2,000 meters, the runway of which is not horizontal: landings are uphill, take-offs downhill, and the view from the airplane window is spectacular – not only in the sky, but already from the runway! And the most beautiful thing up here in Savoy at Christmas time? That the winter is still truly winter! The winter clouds regularly provide the most beautiful Christmas decoration – with absolute reliability.
Photo: © L’Apogée Courchevel