5 unique and exciting experiences at the most beautiful palace-hotels in the French mountains

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Alps - Mont BlancNature and Outdoor ActivitiesMountains

Les cinq palaces de Courchevel, dans les Alpes proposent des expériences insolites et sur mesure à leurs hôtes comme  une journée de ski avec déjeuner gastronomique en altitude avec le Chef Jean-Luc Lefrançois.
© Apogée Courchevel, Oetker Collection - Les cinq palaces de Courchevel, dans les Alpes proposent des expériences insolites et sur mesure à leurs hôtes comme une journée de ski avec déjeuner gastronomique en altitude avec le Chef Jean-Luc Lefrançois.

Reading time: 0 minPublished on 11 March 2024, updated on 7 June 2024

Have you ever dreamt of exploring the Alps differently? If so, this winter is the time to schuss down to Courchevel in the French Alps where, at the heart of the Trois Vallées, the world’s largest ski area, no fewer than five palace-hotels invite guests to savour French art de vivre and unique experiences that will fully immerse them in mountain life. Overfly Mont-Blanc in a hot-air balloon at first light; ski with a Michelin-starred chef; have dinner in a yurt buried in the snow; or head out along cross-country trails by electric mountain bike at night… Here are five exciting options that will definitely recharge your mountain batteries!

Ski with a Michelin-starred chef at L’Apogée Courchevel

How about a combination of skiing and fine dining? At L’Apogée Courchevel, Oetker Collection, this is eminently possible thanks to Michelin-starred chef Jean-Luc Lefrançois, who also happens to be an experienced and enthusiastic ultra-trail runner, triathlete and skier. In order to combine the joys of the slopes with the pleasures of the tastebuds, this mountain palace-hotel is offering an exclusive ski adventure in the company of this outdoor champion, whether your preference is for downhill, cross-country or ski touring. After two hours of effort, you’ll be rewarded with a picnic consisting of the chef’s own culinary creations at the top of Courchevel’s stunning mountain summits. Savour these delicacies with a spectacular view as a backdrop before heading down to the cosy cocoon of your chalet, where the chef will swap his ski boots and anorak for a chef’s hat and apron! On the menu: a demonstration of his signature dish, “breaded soft-boiled egg in a brioche shell with winter vegetables and slivers of dry-cured Grisons meat”. You won’t want to miss a single bite as you savour his cuisine while enjoying (in moderation, of course!) an accompanying glass of champagne. Bon appétit!

Stay at L’Apogée Courchevel

Have dinner in a yurt hidden away in the forest with the Hôtel Barrière Les Neiges Courchevel

This is an experience curated by the Hôtel Barrière Les Neiges Courchevel that will light up the stars for guests of all ages! Suitably wrapped up, head out onto the pistes on a snow-mobile at the very moment that the silhouettes of the trees appear like shadow puppets against the night sky. It’s hard not to keep a watchful eye on the track in front of you, perhaps looking out for footprints in the snow, and who knows, even coming across a wolf! There’s no chance of getting lost in the forest like Little Red Riding Hood as the destination for the evening for our intrepid explorers is a large yurt buried in the snow and illuminated by blazing torches! Once you’re safely snuggled up in its warm cocoon, you can relax and savour a personalised supper created by Éric Provost, the head chef at this mountain palace-hotel.

Stay at the Hôtel Barrière Les Neiges Courchevel

Savour the French Alps’ most glittering Michelin-starred dishes at K2 Courchevel

Dishes that combine pineapple and cauliflower, white haricot beans and caramelised pear, and stewed prunes and curry are just some of the bold recipes created by Sébastien Vauxion, the chef at Le Sarkara, the two-Michelin-starred dessert restaurant at K2 Courchevel, one of the five mountain palace-hotels in this Alpine resort. To the hushed backdrop of this unique restaurant (its name means “sugar” in Sanskrit), savour panoramic views of the mountains and sweet delicacies without equal. From the “starter” to the actual dessert course, Sébastien Vauxion’s dishes combine highly unusual textures, flavours and cooking methods, to the extent that this son of market gardeners even incorporates sweet flavours into his vegetables and root crops. The art of pastry-making at its peak!

Stay at the K2 Palace, Courchevel

Explore by electric mountain bike at night with Le Cheval Blanc Courchevel

At Le Cheval Blanc Courchevel, magical moments in daylight can now be replicated in the dark! To enable you to explore the slopes in complete solitude and in a truly unique fashion, the hotel is offering its guests an opportunity to criss-cross the resort’s dedicated Nordic ski trails by electric mountain bike… at night! With a light firmly fixed to the front of your bike, and a starlit canopy above you, head off for a few easy laps and plenty of fresh mountain air with the immense icy peaks of the Alps as a backdrop. Skiing by day, mountain biking by night – the perfect recipe for some sweet dreams in this palace-hotel in the mountains!

Stay at Le Cheval Blanc Courchevel

Ski at dawn with Les Airelles Courchevel, Les Airelles

Station yourself on the summit of La Saulire (2,740m), contemplate in complete peace and quiet the view across the Courchevel and Méribel valleys, then glide down immaculate slopes, creating the first tracks of the day in their pristine snow… Who hasn’t dreamt of skiing all on their own through such exquisite landscapes? Whether you’re a beginner or experienced skier, Les Airelles Courchevel is offering its guests this exclusive tête-à-tête experience before the ski area opens for the day, enabling you to carve your way through fresh overnight snow amid the cocooned tranquillity of the mountains. Not a single sound or breath of air, just the rhythmical crunching of your skis that accompany you on your descent to the Jardin Alpin, home to this palace-hotel in the mountains. For our early-risers, this is the perfect time to enjoy a gourmet breakfast and savour the oven-warm viennoiseries prepared by the hotel’s pastry chef.

Stay at Les Airelles Courchevel, Les Airelles

By France.fr

The magazine of the destination unravels an unexpected France that revisits tradition and cultivates creativity. A France far beyond what you can imagine…