Les Airelles, Courchevel
There’s new life in the palace on top of the hill, courtesy of master architect Christophe Tollemer.
Courchevel is known for two things: snow and celebrities. Of all the alpine hotspots in Europe (of which there are plenty), it’s the most densely packed with starry names. Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge, Roman Abramovich, George Clooney and the Saudi royal family have all carved through its ivory snows, and also checked into at least one of its 11 five-star hotels.
All incredibly opulent, none is perhaps as show-stopping as the newly revamped Les Airelles. Renovated by Christophe Tollemer, it is metaphorically—actually, literally—a palace. Think Prussian glamour at its height: wood panelling, ornate ceilings, gold mirrors and malachite-green granite bathrooms.
A mere 80-metre pole-push from the lifts, Les Airelles feels more like a chalet than hotel, albeit one with a spa that uses La Mer products, has a private ice rink, and a choice of three restaurants. Not to mention cryotherapy on site and a private penthouse that features butler service and access to a Bentley 4x4 and private helicopter.
by CHARLOTTE SUTHERLAND-HAWES