Cross Country:43km of trails
Hotel - Bed & Breakfast
23 March 2017 (4 nights)
L' Alpaga is a beautiful 5-star hotel in Megeve, just five minutes away by car from the centre of town, the hotel occupies a tranquil setting all of its own. With 27 rooms and suites along side 5 of its own luxury catered chalets, there are a range of accommodation options at this fantastic hotel, so whether you're looking for a romantic break or something for a large group or family, L'Alpaga is sure to have an option for you.
La Table de L'Alpaga, the hotels main restaurant has recently been awarded a Michelin star for its amazing food and guests are highly encouraged to indulge in culinary at least once during their stay.
The excellent wellness centre is the perfect place to wind down after a fabulous day on the mountain with a dark stone pool with inside ludic bath, hammam, hot tub, two treatment cabins, and a fitness centre.
Guests can enjoy a sunbathe on the large balconies and terraces that are oriented south – southwest. Each chalet has modern living spaces and exudes a feeling of perfect harmony with the landscape of Megève: a shingled roof in keeping with tradition, exposed beams and balconies topped off by a metal roof.
L'Alpaga is in the heart of the Alps in Megève, at 1100 metres of altitude. It offers a breathtaking view of Mont Blanc and a ski season that runs from Christmas all the way to Easter.
All bedrooms are equipped with a flat-screen television, direct telephone line, WiFi, iPod docking station, and a safe. The luxurious bathrooms in dark stone have a sink on a stone counter top, bath, shower and Hermès products.
- Classic Room: 25m²
- Deluxe Room: 30m²
- Prestige Room for 3 people: 42m² (2 of which are duplex)
- 2 bedrooms are connecting for 5 people
Megeve is one of the most stylish resorts in the alps, with a very pretty, if low altitude, ski area.
Just over an hour’s drive from Geneva airport, Megeve in the French Haute Savoie is both pretty and chic, with a pedestrian zone around the fine medieval church, outside which stands a huge pine tree, tastefully decked with white lights. Smart boutiques and alluring bars and restaurants abound. There is a huge choice of well-appointed hotels and most of the taxis are horse-drawn sleighs or carriages rather than diesel-puffing saloon cars.
As far as the skiing is concerned, Megeve has three ski areas of its own and although the maximum vertical drop is not much more than 1,000 metres, the wider region can boast an impressive 300km of pistes in total. For the most part it is promenading skiing below the tree-line and the slopes are littered with cosy chalet-style mountain restaurants.
To understand the Megeve of today, it is first necessary to know something of its history. The story goes that in 1916 Baroness Maurice de Rothschild became disenchanted with St Moritz and its German visitors and so decided to create an equivalent resort within her own country. On the advice of her Norwegian ski instructor, Megeve was chosen as a site with potential and the Baroness duly opened the resort's first luxury hotel, the Mont d'Arbois, in 1921.
In its heyday in the 1950s and 1960s, Megeve was in the same league as Gstaad and St Moritz and used to claim more crowned heads of state among its guests than any other place in Europe. Visitors included the Aga Khan, Rita Hayworth, Roger Vadim and Brigitte Bardot. Megeve became the winter equivalent of St Tropez, but by the early 1970s it was already loosing that title to the purpose-built resort of Courchevel 1850 in the Trois Vallees. With its brand new hotels, its higher, more snow-sure slopes, and its bigger ski area, Courchevel effectively stole Megeve's mantle. But today the mood is changing and Megeve is regaining its popularity, not to mention its fashionability.
Megeve is perhaps best understood as a resort that happens to have some good skiing, rather than as a ski resort. Many of the winter visitors coming here have no intention of skiing – they just enjoy being in these pretty but relatively low altitude mountains and appreciate the luxurious hotels, the walking, the shopping, the eating and the drinking. In an average season for snow, the pistes will probably only be in peak winter condition for eight weeks or so, but this is not something that worries most of the visitors since they are not obsessive skiers. However it should be stressed that with the help of a high-mountain guide, skiers will be surprised to find how good and extensive the off-piste possibilities are.
Megeve does good business in summer as well as winter and for this reason it has the reassuring ambience of a year-round small mountain town, as opposed to a seasonal resort.
Most chalet holidays and hotel holidays packaged by operators other than ourselves include in the price return charter flights and coach transfers to the resort. Many regional departure airports are also available. Please enquire for details. Additionally, many tour operators offer the option of rail travel to French resorts either by daytime or overnight Eurostar or overnight Snowtrain.
For clients travelling on tailor-made holidays with Ski Solutions A La Carte we are able to offer a wide range of scheduled flights from a variety of UK airports to suit personal preferences with such carriers as:
Swiss for Geneva or Zurich British Airways for Lyons, Geneva, Zurich, Salzburg, Turin or Venice There are several low-cost carriers which have widened the choice of departure points and destinations in particular from Birmingham, Bristol and Edinburgh which we are happy to book on your behalf as well as other scheduled airlines.
Easyjet for Geneva, Basle, Zurich, Innsbruck, Salzburg, Lyons, Grenoble, Turin, Milan or Venice Ryanair for Salzburg, Friedrichschafen, Basle, Grenoble or Turin as well as Globespan , bmibaby and Flybe.
Onward transfers to resorts are by hire car, taxi, train (Switzerland and Austria) or scheduled bus service as appropriate. For French resorts we are able to offer the popular daytime Eurostar service which runs weekly on Saturdays.
|Lower Depth:||20 cm||Piste Conditions:||Hard base, light dusting of fresh snow|
|Upper Depth:||90 cm||Runs to Resort:||Heavy|
|Fresh snow depth:||4 cm||Off-Piste:||Varied|
|Best Snowfall week||29-Dec-2014||18-Apr-2016||02-Jan-2017 (8%)|
|Best Base week||02-Feb-2015||14-Mar-2016||13-Feb-2017 (8%)|
Cross Country:43km of trails
Very pretty ski area, mostly below the tree-line, but snow cover can be unreliable.
The two main ski areas are Mont d'Arbois and Rochebrune which are independent of each other, save for a cable car connecting the two base areas (1,100m). The Rochebrune sector has mostly green, blue and red runs, one of the longest of which, L'Olympique (blue) now has artificial snow cover throughout. (Indeed, generally speaking, Megeve has made huge investments in snow-making equipment in recent years and therefore its relatively low altitude is not such a big problem as it once was.
From the Rochebrune summit drag lifts you can go up to L'Alpette (1,880m), another region of red and blue pistes, equipped with snow-making facilities, from which you can work your way on drag and chairlifts to Cote 2000, which generally has the best quality snow in this area. A quad chairlift rises up to 2,014m and the starting point of Megeve's Women's World Cup Downhill run. This is an excellent, undulating, steepish black piste which offers stunning views towards Mont Joly and Mont d'Arbois, as well as down into the valley and across to Le Jaillet.
On the Mont d'Arbois/Bettex/Mont Joly sector some of the prettiest runs are those that run down to the hamlet of St Nicolas de Veroce, where there are lots of old wooden chalets and huts that function as farms in summer - there are still over 100 small farms in the Megeve region. Although the snow cover is not always excellent here, because the snow is lying on top of alpine meadows rather than rocks, the odd bare patch will not do much harm to your skis.
Princesse is a beautiful long black run with varied terrain, going from Mont d'Arbois down to the base of the Princesse telecabine. (When this lift was renewed it more than doubled its capacity from 1,100 people per hour to 2,800.) From the top of Mont Joly (2,350m) there are two challenging runs - a red and a black. The red has a sharp right-hand bend that which is happily well protected with netting, in order to prevent reckless skiers going over the edge. There is also a lot of challenging off-piste terrain that can be accessed from the top of Mont Joly.
Le Jaillet, on the opposite side of the valley from the rest of the skiing, is Megeve's third and smallest and quietest ski area, but it is certainly worth a day of anyone's time. The runs are best suited to intermediates, but there are two good steep runs down from the Christomet summit - one red and the other black. Le Jaillet is usually the first of Megeves ski areas to close sometimes as soon as the beginning of March.
There are lots of other ski areas within easy driving distance, including St Gervais and Chamonix, and the Mont Blanc area ski pass covers not just Megeve but a total of 190 lifts and 700km of runs. The new and more modest Evasion Mont Blanc covers 117 lifts and 450km of pistes effectively all the resorts around Megeve, but not those in Chamonix area.
Not ideal, but good for beginners.
Culturally speaking Megeve is not the snowboarders ideal resort: its a little too sophisticated and middle-aged. On a more practical level, there are still quite a few boarder-unfriendly drag lifts in the area. However there is a Fun Park with a half-pipe on Mont Joux and a boarder-cross course at Rochebrune. For beginners and early intermediate boarders there are plenty of broad, gentle slopes that make learning fairly easy. For more sophisticated riders there are some very good off-piste powder possibilities after a fresh snowfall, especially through the trees.
Mountain restaurants some of the very best in the Alps.
Most visitors to Megeve take their food and drink seriously and, accordingly this resort has a good selection of high quality eating places amongst the 30 mountain restaurants dotted around its ski area. On the Rochebrune sector, the restaurant at L'Alpette is especially worth visiting and even non-skiers can get there by paying a small fare for a snowcat shuttle from the top of the Rochebrune lift. It has a very comprehensive menu, including a large selection of champagnes and digestifs, and a large fireplace with armchairs in front of it. Theres a good terrace for sunny days. Super Megeve, actually next door to the top of the Rochebrune lift also has a fantastic large sun terrace. There are both service and self-service restaurants and there is a superb outdoor barbecue of meats and local sausages in good weather.
Le Radaz is a farm converted into a restaurant and has wonderful views up towards Cote 2000 from its sunny terrace. It serves excellent local cheeses. The Auberge du Cote 2000 is another farm-turned-restaurant: it can also be reached by car and the terrace gets plenty of sun from February onwards. There are many traditional Savoyarde specialities including Croute au Fromage.
On the Mont d'Arbois sector, the Chalet Ideal Sport (owned by the Rothschilds) at the top of the Princesse gondola is popular with gourmets and fur-coated poseurs and does superb grilled meats, while L'Igloo has a sun terrace which affords fine views of Mont Blanc. Les Mandarines, below the Mont dArbois summit has a good reputation among the resorts many gourmet visitors and the puddings are especially recommended. The Club House du Mont dArbois at the foot of the slopes is popular with non-skiers and those watching over young children.
On the Jaillet side the Auberge du Christomet is the best bet.
Three schools, but the international is best for the Brits.
As well as the normal Ecole du Ski Francais, Megeve also has an International Ski School. This is a young school with youngish instructors and a modern attitude. It generally serves the interests of British skiers better than the ESF and class sizes are limited to no more than eight. Needless to say in this chic resort private instructors are much in demand and should be booked as far in advance as possible.
The resort offers 3 different kindergartens with varying age ranges accepted in each. Club des Piou-Piou is situated at the top of the Chamois bubble and so ideally placed for skiing parents who like to check-up on their offspring during the day. It takes children from 3 to 10 years of age and is part of the ESF. The Princesse kindergarten is located at the base of the Princesse gondola and takes children from 1/2 years of age and again works in conjunction with the ESF. MegLoisirs is situated close to the Sports Centre and takes children from 18 months upwards.
This lift passes covers the lifts at Les Contamines as well as those of the Megeve pass;family reductions.
6 day lift passes (Evasion Mont Blanc): -Under 15: ?141 -15 to 59: ?176 -Over 60: ?159 Free over 80 years old
One of the key gourmet centres of the Alps.
With over 80 restaurants in the vicinity, Megeve is one of the gourmet centres of the Alps - with prices to match. The first thing to be said about eating out here is that tables at the best establishments must be reserved well in advance, especially at weekends and that means many weeks ahead in some cases . Many of the best restaurants are to be found within the resort's top hotels: Les Enfants Terribles restaurant at the Mont Blanc with its Art Nouveau meets Savoyard decor is especially recommended, as are those at Les Fermes de Marie, Le Lodge Park and Le Fer a Cheval. All four of these places score just as highly on ambience and decor as on food. The Chalet du Mont d'Arbois, formerly a Rothschild family home, has good food including some notably good beef fillet and, as one might expect, an impressive wine list.
The major gastronomic event in Megeve was the opening of three-star La Ferme de Mon Pere by star chef Marc Veyrat who also has a hotel-restaurant by Lake Annecy. The opening times are somewhat erratic but reservations have to be made several weeks in advance for peak dates. However trade has not seem to suffered at Megeves many other gourmet haunts such as Emmanuel Renauts two Michelin-starred Flocons de Sel (a mecca for Chartreuse lovers, with an adjacent boutique selling rare vintages of the liqueur), Jacques Megean, Michel Gaudin or Pascal Gillets complementary pair of restaurants in the Chalet St Georges, the Table du Pecheur and the Table du Trappeur. More modest restaurants include Les Griottes, the Pizzeria Santa Lucia, the Brasserie Le Cintra and the Piano a Bretelles, which also has a dancefloor. Le Chamois, founded in 1904, has a reputation for doing the best cheese fondues in the region.
Outside the centre of Megeve, 10 to 15 minutes drive (E23 taxi fare away at night) away along the Route du Leutaz lie several excellent restaurants which do well at night and also at midday, although they are not situated on the pistes. La Sauvageonne Chez Nano has a wonderful spacious cocktail lounge on the first floor of a large contemporary wooden chalet. Theres a huge open fireplace as well as an additional mezzanine area and the chairs are carved out of huge tree trunks and the tables are simply sections of similar trunks. Downstairs is a cosy, atmospheric restaurant serving good and interesting if not quite gourmet food. The fresh salmon raviolis with fresh herbs and ginger blinis are especially good. There is a very good range of puddings, most of which have to be ordered at the beginning of the meal. For lunches there is a large sun terrace beside a small lake. Next door is Le Refuge, recently bought by Nano. It is smaller and more compact and offers hearty Grandmother-style Savoyard cuisine.
On the same road up to Rochebrune, just before La Sauvageonne, LAuberge du Grenand is a somewhat over-the-top old chalet decorated with masses of colourful dried flowers, antiques and pictures. A wide-ranging menu includes all the Savoyard specialities such as fondue and braserade (even the bison and ostrich version) as well as most classic French dishes. Tables are a bit crammed together, but thats part of the ambience and the service is charming and friendly. There is an attractive sun terrace and in the evening there are two services 7.00pm and 10.00pm, both of which are often packed.
A very lively scene in high season.
Megeve has an exceptionally vibrant nightlife scene, although it must be said that things can be pretty quiet midweek, especially in low season periods. At the end of the afternoon popular cafe-bars in the middle of the village include the Cascade, Le Prieure, the Chamois and La Caleche which is located beside the church, where the resorts famous Traineaux (horse-drawn taxis) ply for hire. The Village Rock Cafe is favoured by teenagers and those in their twenties while the Puck is much frequented by locals. Palo Alto, located just by the ice rink at the beginning of the pedestrian zone, is open from 6.30pm until 5.00am daily. The ground floor is a piano bar with live music it has very comfortable seats and a chill-out lounge feeling. There is also a small dance-floor. Downstairs there is a full-blown disco-nightclub, but overall the upstairs section is preferable.
Pallas is a newly refurbished bar/restaurant just above the ice rink. It has friendly staff, lots of appealing booth-style seating areas and also a lounge section with armchairs and so on. A disco-nightclub operates downstairs on Friday and Saturday nights.
Le Club de Jazz Les Cinques Rues is a long-time Megeve institution. Its a cosy place with an open fireplace. It has an intimate feel and hosts some top Jazz musicians in the course of the season, but even those who are not especially lovers of Jazz will like the ambience and, quite likely, the music, which normally gets going round about midnight. The cocktails are good, but quite a lot more expensive (typically E14) after dinner than before it.
Les Caves de Megeve is probably the best disco in town. Its plush and smartly decorated in the style of a library/drawing room with lots of leather book-spines on the shelves. The Cargo Club is a newish nightclub thats open from 11.00pm to 4.00am. Its nothing very special but, like most things in Megeve, it is quite smart.
An excellent choice.
Megeve is one of the best resorts in the Alps for non-skiers. There is a huge choice of designer shops, including Hermes, Yves Saint Laurent, Marlboro Classics, Poivre Blanc, Sugar, Quiksilver and Blanc Bleu. There is also Megeves very own chic Allard boutique, run by the wealthy descendants of the man who invented ski trousers. The resort has a large open air ice rink in its centre and hosts a weekly travelling market.
Meeting skiers for lunch up the mountain is fairly easy and there are plenty of attractive walking paths through the forest for those who enjoy promenading. The many luxury hotels here mostly have lavish spa facilities designed for pampering their non-skiing guests during the daytime. Each January Megeve hosts an up-market equestrian event which includes Snow Polo, pony jumping on snow, Skijoring and a display of luxury horse-drawn carriages.