Le Mélézin - French Alps

The term Chalet  is often used to describe a wooden building or house in the Alps.  These houses typically have sloping roofs with overhanging eaves; think "Heidi" from the Hollywood movie with Shirley Temple.  

Three years ago, I was able to go to Courchevel, France on a skiing trip.  We went in February during Chinese New Year (Peak winter time in Europe) so the snow was always fresh every morning from the snowfalls at night.  While we were there, we stayed on the French Side of the Alps (where we could see Mont Blanc!), at Aman Resorts, Le Mélézin 1850.  The 1850 stands for the altitude at which the hotel is located at.  

Le Mélézin is a Swiss Chalet that boasts ski-in service.  What that means is that I can go down to the basement of the hotel, hop in my ski boots and ski right out the door without taking any other transportation!  When I'm done for the day, I ski right back into the hotel doors, jump out of my boots and walk the stairs back up to my room.  It was an extremely cozy hotel with only 31 rooms (of which 24 have balconies!).  

The main materials used in the hotel were of course wood.  Darker woods for the public areas and lighter grains for the rooms and suites above.  Even the ceilings were clad in wood.  The suites themselves were quite simple, elegant and clean.  The palette itself is inspired by the Alps outside. Primarily neutrals, greys, wood colors, with a hint of purplish blue that reminds me of the color of the shadows that the trees cast when the sun goes down.  

What stood out to me the most in the entire hotel was the plush beige carpet throughout the public areas.  This was a surprise to me because coming from the US, carpet and snow go horribly together.  From the snow and mud, the carpet gets really nasty, dirty, the fibers get stuck together, there's little bits of leaves and twigs stuck in it...and well, you get the picture.  The carpet at Le Mélézin was spotless and amazingly comfortable. 

On another note, for the price they're charging and compared to hotels of a similar level in Asia, the bathroom fell below the bar. They used the exact same tile for the floors, wall cladding and stand-in shower.  It lacked interest and reminded me of toilets in public spaces instead of a luxury hotel experience.

Lastly, I'd like to finish off with a picture of another Chalet I passed by while skiing.  I don't know the name of the hotel, but I've been told it used to be an old hunting lodge and the exteriors have been done in the traditional Austrian Chalet style.  All the figures of the foxes, other animals and faux windows are painted on.  It's so romantic!  Hopefully, one day I'll return to Courchevel and see what the interior of this Chalet is like!

 

  A view of Le Mélézin from the hill above.

A view of Le Mélézin from the hill above.

   The Dining Room where we ate breakfast every morning.  The velvets used on the upholstery were a really nice touch in combination with the weather outside and the wood all around.

 The Dining Room where we ate breakfast every morning.  The velvets used on the upholstery were a really nice touch in combination with the weather outside and the wood all around.

  While watching skiiers fly down the slope, grab a hot chocolate and cozy up next to the fireplaces on the terrace!

While watching skiiers fly down the slope, grab a hot chocolate and cozy up next to the fireplaces on the terrace!

   The bedroom suites also boast plush clean carpets.  The low ceilings give the rooms a more cozy atmosphere.  Cut out windows bring in much needed light and fresh air into the suite.  

 The bedroom suites also boast plush clean carpets.  The low ceilings give the rooms a more cozy atmosphere.  Cut out windows bring in much needed light and fresh air into the suite.  

   The living area.  The view was amazing and the balcony through those glass doors overlook the main ski trail!

 The living area.  The view was amazing and the balcony through those glass doors overlook the main ski trail!

   The not so glamorous and really dark bathroom...

 The not so glamorous and really dark bathroom...

   The Austrian - style Chalet with the Painted Exterior.  It feels like it belongs in a fairy tale.

 The Austrian - style Chalet with the Painted Exterior.  It feels like it belongs in a fairy tale.

    A Closer image of the Austrian Chalet.  The exterior paintings of foxes and game birds make it's purpose as a hunting lodge quite obvious.

  A Closer image of the Austrian Chalet.  The exterior paintings of foxes and game birds make it's purpose as a hunting lodge quite obvious.