LE BRISTOL, PARIS
Best For: The Height of Romance in The City of Love
No destination in the world lends itself more perfectly to a romantic escape than Paris, and couples should look no further than Le Bristol, the first hotel in France to be awarded ‘Palace’ status. With a glittering past guest list that includes Hollywood and fashion icons such as Rita Hayworth, Charlie Chaplin and Josephine Baker, glamour and romance are enmeshed in Le Bristol’s DNA.
Whether it be relaxing in the recently redesigned courtyard garden, the Jardin Français, experiencing the latest of the hotel’s unique Les Ateliers du Bristol workshops, a spectacular cheese ageing cellar, or enjoying a delicious cocktail during the hotel’s iconic ‘Bristol After Dark’ evenings, Le Bristol Paris offers a variety of unique and memorable experiences for couples to enjoy during their time in the city of lights. Guests may also be lucky enough to meet sweet little Socrate, the son of a highly treasured male Birman cat named Fa-raon, who retired from his role as the hotel’s permanent feline resident and iconic mascot last year.
HOW: Rates at Le Bristol Paris start from €1,100 (currently approx. £917) per night, room only. Click here for more information.
CHRISTIANIA, VAL D’ISERE
Best For: Family Ski
The perfect way to introduce children to the slopes, Scott Dunn offers its renowned childcare in the heart of Val d’Isère for guests of Christiania, with the Scott Dunn Ski Explorers programme for kids aged 3 and 4 years. Located just 100m from the main lifts and with its open fire and friendly atmosphere, the 5 * Christiania combined with renowned childcare and support makes it the perfect ski holiday for families.
Ski Explorers is designed for little ones to enjoy a taste of skiing, familiarising them with the joy of being on skis without the pressure of a structured lesson. Nannies will be on-site to keep a watchful eye on and support the children during the 2-hour session which can be added on to the Scott Dunn Explorers kids club. To ensure the best care and attention, the sessions are held in small groups with a maximum of 6 children at a time and little ones will be kept fuelled with hot chocolate and tasty snacks to keep energy levels up. Scott Dunn offers a convenient ski school drop off and pick-up service meaning that parents’ ski day, or long lunch, can be free from disruption.
HOW: Scott Dunn offers a seven-night stay at Christiania, Val d’Isere from £1,725 per person. This is based on a family of four travelling on a B&B basis, flights, private transfers and two Explorers kids’ club spaces for 6 days as well as 3 morning Ski Explorers sessions. For more information visit www.scottdunn.com or call 020 8682 5040.
ELEVEN EXPERIENCE’S CHALET PELERIN & CHALET HIBOU, LE MIROIR
Best For: Epic Alpine Adventure
Set high up in a hidden corner of the French Alps, in the tiny historic mountain village of Le Miroir – which has just 30 full-time residents – Chalet Pelerin and Chalet Hibou offer thrill-seekers the ultimate private chalet experience for epic winter alpine adventures. A playground for mountain lovers, both Chalet Pelerin and Chalet Hibou are dream bases for alpine exploration where you can choose your own daily adventure – from skiing and ice climbing to heli-skiing and snowshoeing. Led by Eleven’s team of expert guides who know every peak and trail, explore the region’s centuries-old churches and sapphire blue lakes. Come sundown, recharge in the hot tub and sip French wine on the patio overlooking panoramic views. Guests can choose to arrive by car, private helicopter, plane, or train.
HOW: Winter rates at Chalet Hibou start from £6,542 per night for private chalet buyout based on 14 guests. Rates at Chalet Pelerin start from £4,597 per night for private chalet buyout based on 10 guests. Price includes private concierge, full guide service, all gear for activities, pre-arrival planning with an Eleven Experience Manager, all meals and house alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. Click here for more information.
ARMANCETTE, SAINT-NICOLAS VEROCE, FRENCH ALPS
Best for: A Remote Winter Wonderland
Armancette Hôtel, part of the new Almae Collection which launched last year, is a family-owned hidden gem in the remote town of Saint-Nicolas Veroce in the French Alps. Open year-round, this 17-room hotel is located within the former bakery of the village offering direct access to the slopes by a chairlift just outside the door. Larger groups, or those looking for ski-in ski-out facilities, can book one of the three standalone chalets which can sleep between 8 and 14 people. Home to an impressive spa, with indoor and outdoor swimming pools, an outdoor jacuzzi, three treatment rooms, a state-of-the-art fitness suite, destination dining restaurant, tea room and wine bar, it is perfect for couples and families alike looking for an off-the-beaten-track winter escape in the lesser-known ski region of Evasion Mont-Blanc.
When not skiing, spend your days relaxing and unwinding in the impressive spa, tasting the finest French wines with the Armancette sommelier, while the little ones are taken care of in the kid’s club, or discover the breathtakingly beautiful surroundings through a range of activities including dog sledging, snowshoeing, helicopter rides or cycling adventures.
HOW: Rates at Armancette start from €750 (approx. £626) per night on a room only basis. Breakfast at an additional cost of 35€ per adult and children from 11 years old; 12€ for children aged 4 to 10 and complimentary for children under 4. Click here for more information.
LES FERMES DE MARIE, MEGÈVE
Best For: An Indulgent Alpine Escape
Les Chalets des Fermes is a collection of ten luxury, ultra-private chalets in the heart of Megève, from the destination’s most iconic hotel, Les Fermes de Marie. Perfect for those looking for an incredible mountain holiday, away from the crowds, guests can have their meals delivered straight to their door or indulge in the luxury of a private chef. Megève offers a plethora of exhilarating alpine activities for all tastes, from skiing and hiking to dog sledging and a personal butler will arrange the likes of helicopter rides over Mont-Blanc overlooking the mountain range.
HOW: Rates at Les Fermes de Marie start from €270 (approx. £230) per night on a B&B basis. Rates at Les Chalets des Fermes start from €8,316 (approx. £7,077) on a seven-day basis. Click here for more information.
TERRE BLANCHE HOTEL SPA GOLF RESORT, PROVENCE
Best For: Families and Golf Enthusiasts
Set in 300 hectares of the spectacular Var countryside in the South of France, Terre Blanche Hotel Spa Golf Resort offers understated luxury and exceptional service. With superb restaurants, two championship golf courses and an impressive spa, it’s ideal for a relaxing break. Located within the large private estate of Domaine de Terre Blanche, it’s within easy reach of the beautiful Cote d’Azur, the cosmopolitan city of Nice and glamour spots of St Tropez and Antibes. It’s also surrounded by historic market towns and villages, where a wander around a local market should not be missed.
The design and layout of the estate make Terre Blanche feel more like a village than a resort and the 114 suites and villas which surround the hotel offer privacy and tranquillity. Olives, mimosas, oleanders, rosemary, lavenders, pink laurels, cypress and pine create a heady blend of scents and a multitude of sculptures enriches the natural beauty of the estate. Terre Blanche has a very well-run kids club, taking children from two to 12 years. Close to the tennis courts and golf driving range, it has its own heated pool and lots of space in which to have fun. A range of sporting, artistic and musical activities keep children entertained, and there are plenty of opportunities to explore the grounds.
HOW: Scott Dunn offers seven nights at Terre Blanche from £2,100 per person based on two people sharing on a B&B basis, including economy flights from the UK and transfers. For more information, please visit www.scottdunn.com or call 020 8682 5080
Best For: An Unforgettable Family Alpine Escape
Part of the prestigious Oetker Collection, L’Apogée Courchevel is one of Europe’s most stylish Alpine retreats located in the heart of Courchevel’s exclusive Jardin Alpin at the very top of the former Olympic ski jump. Families seeking the ultimate escape to reconnect in magical surroundings should opt for the gorgeous Chalet L’Alpensia, spread over five floors and directly connected to the hotel, with the most spectacular mountain views in all of Courchevel 1850.
Sleeping up to 11, Chalet L’Alpensia is an architectural jewel blending the comfort and seclusion of an exquisite private home, with all the amenities and services of a five-star hotel. All the exclusive services of L’Apogée Courchevel – with its swimming pool, spa, boutiques and restaurants – are steps away, and there is a private conveyor belt to whisk guests straight back from the chalet’s neighbouring 600km of piste. The hotel can arrange ski and snowboarding lessons for all abilities, or for those who prefer to shake off their skis and just explore Courchevel, they can ‘mush’ the huskies, swoosh the toboggans, snowshoe in the hushed forest trails and even fly in a hot air balloon over the snow-capped mountains.
HOW: Rates for Chalet L’Alpensia are available upon request. Click here for details.
HÔTEL MADAME RÊVE, PARIS
Best For: Arts & Creativity
Eight years in the making, the highly anticipated Hôtel Madame Rêve launched in October 2021, located in the iconic 19th-century Louvre post office building, with an expansive 1000 sqm2 rooftop offering magical panoramic views. Paying tribute to the history of the building, a private collector agreed to donate eight hundred works of Mail Art, which can be found on display in the 82 design-led rooms including 19 suites – either overlooking an internal vertical sky garden or the dreamy Parisian cityscape. Guests can spot various pieces of Mail Art and graffitied quotes in rooms boasting magnificent evening views over well-known sights including the Eiffel Tower, the Sacré-Coeur or Notre-Dame Cathedral – fitting when the hotel walls are marked with words from various artists like French dramatist Jean Racine: “We have nights more beautiful than your days.”
Located in the 1st arrondissement of Paris, in the capital’s creative district – dubbed the new Golden Triangle, the heritage building is one of the most recognisable in the city. It has been a familiar address to Parisians for over a century – bordered by streets lined with cafés and galleries such as the Pinault Collection and within walking distance to the picturesque Tuileries Gardens and the legendary Louvre Museum – with whom the hotel will partner with for bespoke guest experiences.
HOW: Room rates start from €500 per night. For more information, click here.
DOMAINE DES ETANGS, MASSIGNAC
Best For: Reconnecting with Nature
Domaine des Etangs offers a truly unique experience in the heart of one of the most beautiful areas of rural France. Set over 1,000 hectares of protected nature-filled countryside comprising forest, grassland and lakes, Domaine des Etangs is a converted private home that has been transformed into a unique hotel. The property comprises a 13th-century château, as well as six farmhouse cottages ranging from one to five bedrooms, surrounded by landscaped gardens and lakes.
The goal throughout the experience at the Domaine, is to draw on and rediscover the innate richness of this surrounding region; land, nature, produce, craftsmanship and history, and to express it in all its forms. Everything is in tune with the seasons and what the earth is willing to offer. During a stay, guests can reconnect with nature and take boats out on the lake, discover the flora and fauna with the on-site forest rangers, forage with the gardener and learn about the local birds.
HOW: Rates start from €400 (approx. £340) per night on a B&B basis. Click here for more information.
CHÂTEAU TROPLONG MONDOT, BORDEAUX
Best For: Wine and Culture
Château Troplong Mondot, the renowned Premier Grand Cru Classé wine estate in Bordeaux, invites bon vivants to stay in the recently renovated The Keys of Troplong Mondot boutique hotel. The property is set on the Mondot hilltop with some of the best views over the UNESCO world-heritage town of Saint-Emilion. Those looking for total privacy can opt to stay in the rustic Vineyard House, a two-bedroom cottage hidden away in the middle of the vines. Bespoke wine tastings include walking tours of the estate or longer tours aboard the vintage Land Rover – all ending with wine tastings. Fuelled by fabulous food in the recently relaunched destination restaurant, Les Belles Perdrix, by Michelin-starred Chef David Charrier, guests will leave Aquitaine for Provence.
HOW: Rates at The Keys of Troplong Mondot start from €249 (approx. £212) per night on a B&B basis. Rates at The Vineyard House start from €279 (approx. £238) per night on a B&B basis. Click here for details.
LA BASTIDE DE MARIE, MÉNERBES
Best For: Authentic Provence
Nestled among 57 acres of vineyards and gardens, in the heart of Luberon Natural Park, La Bastide de Marie is a fully restored 18th-century farmhouse estate, with just 15 suites that have been lovingly restored by the owner, Jocelyne Sibuet. While staying at the boutique hotel, guests can enjoy a freshly-prepared breakfast each morning and cycle to local villages Ménerbes and Lacoste. After visiting the local markets and lavender fields, guests can return via La Bastide de Marie’s own vineyard to taste the Domaine de Marie rosé wine. Back at the hotel, warm up and retreat to Maisons & Hotels Sibuet’s Pure Altitude Spa.
HOW: Rates start from €329 (approx. £280) per night on a B&B basis. Click here for details.
VILLA MARIE, ST TROPEZ
Best For: Winter Sun and Sea
Swap the falling temperatures of the UK for the clear blue skies of St Tropez. Villa Marie, St Tropez is a hidden gem located in the heart of a three-hectare pine forest just outside the village of Ramatuelle, with breathtaking views over the Bay of Pampelonne. Completely secluded and resembling more of a private house than a hotel, the 45-room hotel reinvents the charm of the Riviera with laid-back Italian glamour, offering delicious Mediterranean cuisine. Guests can take in the tranquil atmosphere of the French Riviera down on the beach or enjoy the indulgent Pure Altitude spa, with treatments inspired by the location including restorative wraps scented with the divine fragrances of pine, rose and jasmine. The stylish restaurant Dolce Vita is set in the gorgeous gardens of the hotel, spread across different levels and surrounded by the scents of Provence.
HOW: Rates start from €329 (approx. £280) per double room. Click here for details.
ROYAL CHAMPAGNE HOTEL & SPA
Best For: Health and Hedonism
Kick-start 2022 with a winter wellness escape at Royal Champagne Hotel & Spa, uniquely located amidst some of the world’s finest vineyards, including that of Dom Pérignon. Nowhere else in the Champagne region can one explore the braided vineyards before returning to relax in a world-class destination spa, comprising nine treatment rooms; state-of-the-art fitness facilities; a wood-lined yoga studio; eucalyptus-infused sauna; manicure and pedicure stations and a mosaic-tiled Hammam. Completing the experience are two temperature-controlled, chaise-longue-lined swimming pools – one indoor, one outdoor – along with a dedicated team who deliver invigorating juice blends and guide guests to multiple relaxation lounges.
Guests can indulge in highly personalised facial and body treatments and cures in partnership with the acclaimed French brand, Biologique Recherche. Brand-new for the hotel is a partnership with French skincare brand, AIME – the brand’s first hotel collaboration – to introduce an experiential package for the most serene night’s sleep.
HOW: Rates at Royal Champagne Hotel & Spa start from €433 per night (currently approx. £360), B&B. The Sleep & Glow kit costs €95 (currently approx. £79) and is available year-round, available to purchase at the time of booking or upon check-in. Click here for details.