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Winter wonderland in the French Alpes

Nathalie's Mégève Guide

Megève, the most Parisian of the french ski resorts nicknamed "le 21ème arrondissement de Paris" by Jean Cocteau, states clearly its will of safe-guarding value such as authenticity, tradition, art of living and entertainment.  "The Megève ski season may be short and sweet, but what the medieval French village lacks in altitude, it more than makes up for in attitude" (ELLE Magazine). Here you'll meet VIPS "incognito" - top financiers, the Paris smart set and people from the show biz...! So don't be surprised if you bump into  Baroness Nadine de Rothschild at the local bakery.

Although I have learned serious skiing since I was a kid, I am first of all a "sunny-weather lover" and après-skier who simply wants a relaxing and unforgettable holiday in the snow during the cold months. I have experienced St. Moritz, Gstaad and Arosa in Switzerland; Kitzbühel and the "Arlberg" region in Austria as well as Courchevel, Chamonix and even the Olympic mountains of Albertville in France. Megève, however, is by far my preferred winter wonderland!

Especially families with kids will enjoy it here. There is a fantastic day nursery (from 2 - 12 years) called Meg' Loisirs (T:587784), a ski-lift for children can be found in Rochebrune and all ski-schools offer special kids programmes throughout the winter. Each April, Mégève organises a whole week for children called "Les Petits Princes".

In spite of its international reputation, Megève remains a lively mountain village with numerous cultural assets, customs and a pure and beautiful chalet style architecture. This truly unique getaway in a woody countryside offers peace, privacy and impeccable taste.

In Megève you'll enjoy style with substance! It starts entering tourism at the beginning of the XXth century. In 1921, the village takes a big step under the aegis of the Baroness Noémie de Rothschild. After she built the Mont d'Arbois Palace hotel, the place has become a playground for the rich & famous, attracting royalty of the state and the screen. Famous key figures such as the King Albert I of Belgium, the King Umberto of Italy, the Danish Royal Family, the Princess of Bourbon Parma and Playboy Prince Ali Khan spend their holiday here as well as Rita Hayworth, Cary Grant and Brigitte Bardot. After the Second World War, Roger Vadim shoots the film "Les liaisons dangereuses" with Gérard Philippe and Jeanne Moreau.

The Sixties are the period when Megève becomes the unbeatable après-ski and entertainment holiday resort. It is then the turn of the Jazz blooming in its night clubs and the renowned Casino. End of the Eighties the brothers Jean-Louis and Marc Sibouet introduce an innovative and dynamic hotel concept: their "Hotels du Charme" are inspired by the traditional chalet-style architecture of the Savoyard farms, offering upscale "Alpine Chic" plus ample concessions to modernity. Today, 4 extraordinary hotels belong to Sibouet's "Compagnie des Hôtels de Montagne" in Megève: "Les Fermes de Marie" with an indoor spa, gourmet restaurant and cozy bedrooms in eight restored mountain chalets; the "Lodge Park" with its handcrafted wood furniture and "Out of Africa" decor, the "Hôtel Mont Blanc" located in the heart of the village and recently restored to its original opulence by interior designer Jocelyne Sibouet , and finally the warm and friendly "Au Coin de Feu" chalet, featuring stone fireplaces and English antiques mixed with traditional Haute Savoie style.  Recently I discovered the brand-new hotel chalet Le Cerf Amoureux. Although it is located approx. 10 minutes outside of town, in Sallanches, it is worth to go there if you are looking for a calm and very romantic spot.

There is also the beautiful Relais & Château Hotel & Restaurant "Le Chalet de Mont d'Arbois" that belongs to famous Savoir-Vivre Expert Baroness Nadine de Rothschild.

The art of cooking, also, is at the top, thanks to exceptional talentous chefs. Marc Veyrat and his already famous "Ferme de mon Père" and Emmanuel Renault and his very promising "Flocons de Sel" have been awarded with 3 stars in the Michelin guide. I personally prefer the little romantic bistros which you can find all over the place. The local food is superb, especially the cheese fondue with white wine. Best après-ski-bar: "Le Cintra" where I always enjoy a glass of champagne and fresh oysters. Alternatively you can take your aperitif at the "Club de Jazz des 5 Rues" where France's best Jazz musicians usually play until midnight.

All through the winter, Megève stages exciting events from golf, polo and vintage car races on ice to dog-sleigh competitions, ice hockey and the Megève Ski Open...

A great Society event will be held end of January: 'Le Gala de Mégève', organised by Nathalie's Preferred Partner Le Protocole. You have to be a member of Nathalie's Lifestyle Club to be on the guest list and to get your personal invitation.

Adventure awaits you around each corner. Stroll and saunter, walk and wander. Whatever the season, you can be sure to be uplifted!

Click "Next" to see my detailed Mégève Guide - the BEST at a glance....



* This special feature "Mégève" has been produced in 2005 by Nathalie Gütermann for All rights reserved. The reproduction or other use of any text, photos etc. needs the prior written permission of the Chief Publisher.

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