An imposing fortress-inspired bolthole framed by snow-dusted pines and ragged mountain peaks, boutique hotel Aman Le Mélézin puts a contemporary spin on the classic ski lodge. A pared-down palette of blonde wood and creamy textiles keeps things warm and cosy in the Alpine rooms: retreat to piste-view balconies, private hot tubs or fireplace-boasting suites after a long day on the slopes. You’ll find much to tempt you away from fresh powder snow, thanks to an inviting cocktail bar, fine Japanese dining and a pampering muscle-soothing spa.
11am. Earliest check-in, 3pm. Late check-outs until 6pm can be arranged for half a night’s stay.
Double rooms from £2637.79 (€3,000), including tax at 10 per cent. Please note the hotel charges an additional local city tax of €3.30 per person per night on check-in.
Rates include an à la carte breakfast of hot drinks, fresh juices, yoghurt, fruit, pastries and cooked-to-order dishes, dinner or lunch at six different restaurants, both in and around the hotel, and a daily 1.4 per cent booking fee.
Limber up with a free pre-ski yoga session at 9am every day; private tuition can also be arranged for a fee.
The hotel is closed from mid April to mid December.
At the hotel
Lounge, library, gym, spa, yoga classes, ski room with valet service and direct access to Piste Bellecôte, kids club, free WiFi throughout. In rooms: flatscreen TV with multilingual VOD, DVD players are available on request, Bose bluetooth speaker, minibar, Nespresso coffee machine, kettle, free soft drinks and bottled water, Aman Spa toiletries.
Our favourite rooms
A world away from Aman’s trademark sun-kissed suites, the rooms here take inspiration from the Alpine setting with oak panelling, French furniture and floor-to-ceiling views of the snow-dusted larch trees (mélèzes) that give the hotel its name. Kitted out with a king-size bed and a private hot tub, Chambre Ski Piste rooms are our top pick. Smaller and less bright, Chambre Junior rooms are best for little Smiths. Sprawling suite La Vanoise has a cosy fireplace and spectacular views of the slopes from its south-facing balcony.
Framed by Capri-stone-clad walls and seductively lit columns, the hotel’s heated indoor pool is sleek and serene. It’s flanked on either side by an inviting Jacuzzi – just the thing for a post-ski soak.
Aman’s promise (it means ‘peace’ in Sanskrit) is honoured in the hotel’s restorative two-floor spa, a holistic hideaway kitted out with a sauna, hammam, fitness and yoga studios, five treatment rooms, a 14m plunge pool, Jacuzzis and therapeutic showers. Much of the focus is on post-ski recovery; try the Thai massage to stretch and soothe tired muscles after a long day on the slopes. The hotel also runs wellness workshops throughout the season; book ahead for nutritional advice and personal-training sessions.
Light packers, rejoice: the hotel has travel essentials such as plug adaptors and hair straighteners for impeccable après-ski dos, as well as a ski room from which guests can hire everything they’ll need to hit the slopes.
Smokers needn’t brave the elements thanks to the hotel’s cigar lounge. Two Chambre Junior have been adapted for disabled guests, who also have access to all public areas.
Welcome. An extra bed (€225 a night for over-11s, €185 a night for children aged 5-11, free for under-5s) or baby cot (free) can be added to all rooms (except the Chambre Junior). A free kids club welcomes 3–12 year-olds from 9am to 10pm.
Book a Family Apartment if you’re travelling with the brood: the hotel will connect a Chambre Mélézin (king-size bed, slope-view balcony and large ensuite bathroom) with a Chambre Junior kitted out with twin beds, a dressing area and its own bathroom.
3–12 year-olds can mingle and play at the kids’ club, a free supervised activity centre with toys, games an arcades, open from 9am to 10pm.
Gentle Bellecôte slope is ideal for hesitant first-time skiers. Nearby ESF 1850 is an international ski school offering individual and group lessons for over-4s in Alpine ski and snowboarding. Toddlers aren’t left out of fun in the snow: their children’s village has supervised play for tots as young as 18 months. Little ones will be well entertained with a range of daily activities run by an experienced children's host. From noon to 9pm, the Kid's Club at Aman Le Mélézin offers arts and crafts, puzzles, board and arcade games and interactive cooking sessions. For shy Smiths, the TV room also has a broad range of movies and documentaries.
Aman Le Mélézin’s pool has a shallow end, but you’ll need to keep an eye on your little ones if they’re not confident swimmers.
Well-behaved children are welcome in the restaurant and bar at all times. There’s a kids’ menu for fussy eaters, and colouring books and crayons are provided for leisurely lunches, too.
No need to pack
The hotel is well equipped for family stays: leave changing mats, bottle sterilisers, potties and highchairs at home.
Keep your eye on the slopes from the restaurant’s terrace.
Keep things relaxed and cosy with cashmere knits, Moncler jackets and graphic patterns.
Nama’s intimate dining room evokes a manor-house setting with its oak columns, bronze statues and tasteful paintings. From sushi, sashimii and Wagyu beef, each dish is prepared with a focus on the finest local ingredients. Chef Keiji Matoba specialises in washoku, a traditional form of Japanese cuisine concerned with harmony: expect exquisite flavours and impeccable presentation.
Inspired by the aesthetic of a gentleman’s club, Mélézin Bar has enticing views of the slopes and village. Order the signature Mélézin cocktail, a violet-scented concoction made with local blueberries and a generous dose of champagne, or sample the bar’s inspired selection of Japanese whisky and sake. Pour yourself a tipple from the cigar lounge’s whisky and rum carafes; in fine weather, commandeer a deck chair on the bar’s outdoor terrace for bubbly afternoon tea.
Lunch is served from 12.30pm to 3pm, dinner from 7pm to 10pm. Tipples are poured at the bar until 1am.
Soothe post-ski munchies with French comfort food and a selection of Japanese morsels from Nama’s menu, which can be brought to your room around the clock.
Set right on the Bellecôte piste, Aman Le Mélézin is in the pine-framed village of Courchevel 1850 at the heart of Les Trois Vallées, Europe’s highest-altitude resort.
Lyon-Saint Exupéry and Geneva airports are a two-hour drive away; both are international hubs serving flights to destinations across Europe, Canada and the Middle East. The hotel can organise private airport transfers in a luxury car from €500 each way (or call the Smith24 Team on 03333 319 601 to arrange transportation). Alternatively, Chambery Airport is an hour and a half away from the resort. Flying privately? There's an altiport 5 minutes from Aman Le Mélézin.
A 40-minute drive away, Moûtiers-Salins-Brides-les-Bains serves high-speed Sncf trains to Paris and Lyon, as well as Eurostar services to London and Thalys trains to Brussels during the ski season. Private-car transfers cost from €100 each way.
Winter road conditions and the hotel’s slope-side location mean you’re unlikely to get much use out of a car, but there’s free valet parking at the hotel if you plan to explore further afield.
Courchevel has its own altiport for helicopter landings.
Worth getting out of bed for
A stay here is all about fresh air, sun-bathed mountains and fresh powder snow. Start your day with a gentle yoga warm-up, get yourself kitted out in Aman Le Mélézin’s ski room, and glide over to the Bellecôte ski slope just outside the hotel. Repeat as necessary, perhaps with the judicious application of soreness-soothing massages at the Aman Spa or an hour or two curled up in the library in front of the fire, a rum-laced hot chocolate in hand. If you’re more in the market for pulse-racing thrills, there’s plenty in the Alps to keep you busy: trade your skis in for a snowmobile or a 470-horsepower snow plough at Courchevel Aventure, soar in a paraglider over the snow-shrouded valleys (try a tandem flight with Team FBI Parapente), or practice your triple axels and camel spins at the Patinoire du Forum ice rink. The hotel can arrange a number of unique experiences, take your pick from first tracks, scenic helicopter flights and the new Moonbiking.
The hotel’s half-board rates include meals at neighbouring restaurants, easily reached on foot or with a free shuttle. La Table du Jardin Alpin is well-known for its indulgent buffets; the rustic table laden with home-baked pâtisseries is particularly appealing. Sample tempting Sardinian fare at Cala di Volpe and regional dishes at Le Coin Savoyard, or stop by Le Chalet de Pierres for grilled meats and fresh oysters. Pierre Gagnaire’s restaurant at Les Airelles has two Michelin stars to its name; for something a little more laid-back, La Folie Douce is an on-trend pit stop in Méribel.
Courchevel 1850 is the heart of the valleys’ après-ski scene. Open until 4am, Le Kalico (+33 (0)4 79 08 20 28) has mulled wine, live music and guest DJs. Dance the night away at La Grange (+33 (0)4 79 08 14 61) or Les Caves (+33 (0)4 79 08 12 74), the village’s legendary spots to see and be seen.
Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this Alpine hotel in Les Trois Vallées and unpacked their fur-lined boots and reblochon, a full account of their luxury ski break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside Aman Le Mélézin in Courchevel 1850…
Fresh from a head-to-toe refurbishment, hotel Aman Le Mélézin is a far cry from the tropical out-of-this-world retreats that have made the resort group’s name. Inspired by the imposing architecture of a French fortress, this Courchevel 1850 stay cuts an eye-catching figure on the slopes. Overlooking snow-capped peaks, photogenic pine forests and the gentle Bellecôte piste, its aesthetic is very much in keeping with its Alpine surroundings. Toffee and cream-hued rooms are pared-down and cosy, dressed with bold oak panelling in contemporary patterns; many have balconies overlooking the valley and some are decked out with private terraces and pine-view hot tubs. In the kitchen, chef Keiji Matoba rustles up Japanese washoku fare – a tantalising departure from the region’s cheese-and-charcuterie staples. A serene spa, fireplace-toting library and piste-facing bar complete the hotel’s cosseting arsenal – an indulgent recipe, in short, for effortless skiing breaks with all the trimmings.