GQ Magazine

Nestled in the French Alps, the Hotel Mont-Blanc is dripping in A-list history aprés-ski luxury

2 décembre 2015


Alpine Hideaway

This season, the pretty village of Megève celebrates 100 years since it answered the call for a French alternative to the aristocratic Swiss ski resort of St Moritz.

The shout went up and Baroness Mimi, the wife of Baron Maurice de Rothschild, went looking for her own slice of Alpine charm - and found it in a relatively low lying Savoyard valley facing Mont Blanc.


In 1924 she renovated an old guesthouse overlooking the village and commissioned a young architect to build her traditional mountain chalet. He constructed a further 200 in the surrounding area - ensuring Megève remained picture-perfect even as other resorts were bringing in the concrete mixers.

By the Fifties, Megève was enjoying more than its fair share of visiting luminaries, sufficient for the French polymath Jean Cocteau to pronounce it "the 21st Arrondissement of Paris". It's not hard to see the allure: today there's more than 200 square miles of ski runs, quick and easy transfers to Chamonix and beyond for higher-altitude and heli-skiing - and one of the most famous hotels in the region.

Cocteau and his fellow revellers based themselves at the 40-room Hotel Mont-Blanc slap bang in the centre of town, where he decorated the restaurant (named Les Enfants Terribles after his fourth novel) and introduced an array of stars to its charms. So today, besides his mural fresco in the dining room (recently restored to its Fifties heyday replete with an excellent Steak au Poivre) and his quotes carved into the ceiling beams of its champagne bar, Le Georges, you'll find an Enfants Terribles suite, a Sacha Distel suite, and a Les Liaisons Dangeureuses suite - the last named for the first filmed version directed by Roger Vadim (whose wife Brigitte Bardot was also a guest).

Of course, there's also an award-winning spa, complete with snow room, sauna, jacuzzi and indoor pool, but if savouring the Savoyard fare is more your style our advice is to book a table in its teeming bistro, then to head to Le George, order an aprés-ski hot chocolate and watch les toutes Megève pass by...


February tends to be the best bet for snow, but January is usually a touch less busy.


The Enfants Terribles suite, with views over the village square.


The annual BMW Snow Polo Masters takes place over the weekend of 23-25 January.

Spa Pure altitude centre Megève