Hotel L’Apogee, The Climax (if literally translated), tucked out of the way above the centre of Courchevel is certainly the climax of my experience of luxury. Quiet, chic, sleek and cosy - this hotel manages to be all of these things and more. A short, smooth ride in their immaculate vehicles from the centre of town, this hotel is a great option for those wanting to experience all The Three Valleys ski area and Courchevel 1850 has to offer. The advantage of being set above the hustle and bustle of the centre, is a measure of privacy and peace relatively unique amongst the many 5 star hotels in town. It also gives it a family friendly feel, although the businessman and the romantic couple would be equally at home here.
A warm greeting at the hotel front desk and a walk through the thickly carpeted corridors to our room is accompanied by some glorious scent – presumably distributed through air conditioning or some other clever system – makes us feel lazily at home among the effortless alpine style of our enormous suite (2 bathrooms so no mirror hogging!). The first evening was spent having a solitary swim in the pool, and a lounge in the hot tub of the hotel’s spa. Live music in the bar accompanies a quick snifter before dinner, and we’re off to Le Cap Horn for hearty alpine fare.
Our first day of skiing begins with the same ease and smiling service as the rest of our stay so far. Down to the bottom floor in the lift and our equipment fitted in the in house ski hire shop, which is then laid out for us to clip into and glide off on immediately. A more remarkable feat is being able to glide up to the hotel again on its own private magic carpet at the end of the day, for heaven forbid a walk uphill with skis. I’m not even able to reach down to undo my ski boots before another smart and smiling helper is doing it for me, twisting the boot open for ultimate ease of foot extraction! A post-skiing snack being called for we are invited for crepes in the bar, where a jocular helper laughs at the speed we consume the delicious freshly prepared treats, and chides us for not having a second. A shower/steam in our room (which are all equipped with steam room showers) and a quick kip in a cuddly hotel dressing gown means we’re ready for another evening of wining and dining with canapes and champagne at the magnificent Barrieres Les Neiges. A dance on the table at La Mangeoire seems like the only logical conclusion to the day, and no worries about getting home when the hotel’s driving service is just a phone call away at all hours. The hotel already does feel just like home and we are sad to part with the team the next day. At every turn they have been warmly welcoming, utterly professional, with a pleasing edge of bantering familiarity which made us feel as if among friends.
The trip back down the mountain and away from the hotel is accompanied by the gloomy realisation that when I step out of the car at the airport, no one will be there to offer me an arm, take my bag, or give a broad smile of sincere welcome (no such luck from the Heathrow meet and greet service). The bump of returning to reality is only tempered by the possibility of returning to our Courchevel home away from home some time next winter. Fingers crossed.
For further information on Hotel L'Apogee or any of our luxury alpine hotels please contact the Oxford Ski team on +44 1993 899420 or click here for more contact information.