Those who believe skiing holidays benefit from a liberal sprinkling of the ultra luxe should sample the welcoming decadence of Courchevel’s Hôtels Barrière Les Neiges. Relatively new to the luxury scene - it only opened in late 2016 - this mountain-framed hotel's design is a fusion of rustic charm and contemporary sophistication - playful and elegant all at once. The entrance feels almost like a gallery (made all the welcoming by a roaring fire and lashings of red highlights) while the spa is a secluded haven of calm, with a few playful details of course. When it comes to public spaces, Hôtels Barrière Les Neiges clearly has a fondness for the vibrant.
That said, rooms are made to unwind in - picture cloud-like beds, ultra modern bathrooms, rich timber, covetable upholstery, faux cowhide (complete with flex of gold) and monochromatic photographs of the surrounding peaks in all their snow-capped glory. Art continues throughout the hotel with Koons-esque sculptures and silver screen icons watching on as you float through the corridors - presumably en route to Spa Diana Barrière to discover the meaning of bliss (and bid farewell to any post-skiing kinks).
While clearly a celebration of all things luxurious, the hotel is decidedly family-friendly - and feels all the more inviting as a result. There is a dedicated kid's spaces, and a tempting pool and a projection room, while the hotel can arrange for private ski instructors (for adults and children alike) who can cater days on the slopes to all abilities. It's rather remarkable just how much ground you cover when someone with an intimate understanding of the ski field leads you down the mountain - and does all they can to make your (well my) ski style a touch more graceful.
The surrounds are the definition of 'winter wonderland'; mountains tumbling over themselves into the distance with Mont Blanc standing proud upon the horizon, a liberal shrinking of snow making the entire scene all the more perfect. But should it be the après-ski culture that lures you to this deliciously decadent corner of the world, make sure to stop by Cave des Creux, a charming restaurant situated on the slopes some 2,112 meters above sea level, with a terrance clearly created with winter sun seekers in mind.
Back in Hôtels Barrière Les Neiges, the ski room is sure to delight piste lovers - helpful hands ensure you simply step out the door and onto the slopes (even buckling you into your boots), ski-in, ski-out at its best. Dining here is also a gastronomic treat. Should you crave something with an Argentinian twist visit Restaurant B Fire by Mauro Colagreco (a chef worthy of his stars), or sample Savoyard cuisine with a raclette in a custom-built chalet designed for the secluded enjoyment of aromatic cheese, or indulge in a long lunch at Le Fouquet’s - part installation, part ode to all things fabulously French. Thank goodness for the brilliance and sheer expanse of Les Trois Vallées’ slopes, otherwise you’d never dare leave.