Destination: France: Courchevel
This hotel is as cool as Les Airelles is classic. A thirty-one-room, Asian-style hideaway on the Bellecôte piste, it’s sleek, discreet and very comfortable. Le Mélézin proves that the minimalist Aman aesthetic can work in the mountains as well as in the Asian tropics. Aman founder Adrian Zecha skied here for years before he converted this four-story slope-side hotel into one of his company’s properties with the help of American designer Ed Tuttle, who has worked on many Amanresorts. I find it less ostentatious than nearby Cheval Blanc and Les Airelles.
The bar’s huge windows look out onto the slopes, while an inner courtyard made of tinted clapboard gives guests a peaceful refuge. 200-year-old oak beams, red-cedar wood, slate stones, silk chenille panels and leather and suede upholstery and other gorgeous materials outfit common spaces. Asian touches appear in such details as the cylindrical woven baskets in which room service is delivered and the antique Chinese chair that adorns a corner of the gym. The overall ambiance is beautiful, quiet and discreet; Le Mélézin is for those seeking total privacy and pampering. Spacious bedrooms have large walk-in closets, a major plus with bulky skiwear, while some of the bathrooms have window-sided hot tubs that look out onto the mountains. The Mélézin and La Vanoise suites have fireplaces. What’s not to like? Le Mélézin may be less suited to rowdy families or to those seeking a rustic, old-world and old-wood atmosphere. Rooms from $1,010.
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