It's hard to believe it’s already December! With the holiday season fully underway, we’re featuring some of our favorite places to unwind in front of a fireplace this winter—hopefully with some of your favorite people. Speaking of winter, we’re highlighting a recent trip to the Scandinavian Arctic, complete with a viewing of the Northern Lights. Beaches more your speed? We’ve got the lowdown on some of the best hotels in Anguilla. From all of us at First in Service, we wish you and your families a wonderful holiday season and a very happy New Year. Cheers to 2019!
Erika Reategui and Fernando Gonzalez
Spread over five Alpine villages, Courchevel is part of the largest ski complex in the world. As our specialists Vida Talandis and Mona Behringer recently discovered, the famous French resort has something for everyone. From the glitzy playground of Courchevel 1850, to family-friendly La Tania, to the classic French village of Le Praz, old-world charm is found both on and off the slopes.
How would you compare it to Aspen or Park City?
In addition to being stunning beautiful, Courchevel really has that European charm. Skiing is for all ages, all skiing levels, and non-skiers as well. Many of the hotels and chalets are ski-in, ski–out. We found the service to be quite fantastic and very friendly. Every hotel has its own unique personality. Since it is a short season, everyone always seemed welcoming.
What were the top things on your Must Do list?
We know you ate well. What restaurants stood out?
If you like fine dining you’ll be in heaven. Courchevel has more Michelin-starred restaurants than any other ski resort in the world. We loved the entire experience at Kintessence, the two-Michelin starred restaurant at K2. Koori, the new Japanese sushi restaurant at L’Apogée Courchevel, was also a standout. And the Mediterranean cuisine at Le Strato, from two-Michelin-starred chef Jean-André Charial, was also excellent.
What were the best après-ski activities?
There are plenty of options. Bars are very friendly and have nightly activities and live music. So you just have to walk the street to hear music coming from somewhere. Nikki Beach was very fun at night. The bar at Le Chabichou is very active in afternoon with locals as well as visitors. Many hotels have transfers to any place in the town so you can get dropped off anywhere and picked up too.
How was the shopping?
Shopping is exciting here with lots of options. You can stock up on everything from your favorite designer fashions to great French pastries, cheeses and wines. There are even weekly markets that sell a variety of souvenirs.
Did you get to experience Courchevel’s contemporary arts scene?
Courchevel is full of exciting galleries and art throughout town. Even the hotels have art collections, which are all in good taste and unique to each property. We loved the floor to ceiling “Living Wall” at Le Chabichou.
Where did you stay?
We got to experience two top hotels. Le Strato by Courchevel 1850 has a bold mix of contemporary design and antiques. We got personalized, boutique-style pampering all the way. All rooms have balconies or terraces and ski-in,-ski-out facilities. The Michelin-starred restaurant was stellar and the piano bar, where the bartender knew our names, was a blast. The chalet L’Apogée Courchevel, at the top of Courchevel 1850,was also spacious and warm with VIP service. Ski-in, ski-out, fantastic views, great spa, a cigar bar and Michelin-starred restaurant.
Anything else to add?
This is a town where people love to entertain. We truly felt like locals while being guests because people are warm and inviting. The location is just so beautiful and everything feels so comfy.