The weekend: Take an early flight out of London and you can be skiing or snowboarding on the largest linked ski area in the world – with 600km of slopes across Les Trois Vallées – by the afternoon. For minimal time-wasting, the ski-in, ski-out Aman Melezin hotel is located on the Bellecôte Piste above Courchevel 1850, and even has its own boot room complete with ski butlers, equipment rental, free granola bars and pastries, and a luxury boutique selling designer gear.
Private ski instructors can be arranged for €460 a day. Even more enticing is the fact that it has launched a new couple’s “Ski and Spa Privilege Pass” that is available for three, four or six nights, and includes an unlimited ski pass for for one person, and a spa package with a daily 30-minute yoga session, 50-minute holistic massage and another 30-minute bespoke treatment for the other person, in addition to a room. This means that even if your partner doesn’t like skiing, you will both have a great time.
Where? Located in the French Alps, a beautiful 2.5-hour drive from Geneva airport, Courchevel 1850 is the highest (and most glamorous) resort on the mountain – the lower ones are Courchevel 1650, Courchevel 1550 Le Praz at 1,300 metres up.
The stay: Open from December to April, the Aman Melezin is a premium, zen-like retreat with just 38 rooms and suites (guests never need to sign for anything during their stay so it feels relaxed and most book half-board). My 61 sqm Suite Ski Piste was in a prime location looking on to the slopes and had its own balcony with a table and chairs, as well as a large living room and huge bathroom with a Japanese Toto toilet.
In the afternoon, homemade cakes are laid out for guests to help themselves too, and in the evening there is live music in the bar. The hotel’s on-site Nama restaurant serves sushi, sashimi and Wagyu beef. One of the enduring benefits of staying at Aman hotels is their emphasis on discreet, personalised service, and the experience here is no exception, right down to making sure your gloves are warm and dry.
The spa: The hotel’s 767 sqm spa has a tranquil subterranean swimming pool, fitness studio and five treatment rooms where you can sign up for a “Apres Ski” foot massage using dry brushing and hot oils, as well as “Nourishing” facials and a wide range of other massages, from Thai to deep tissue. Many of the therapists come from the Amanzoe hotel in Greece for the season so are very accomplished.
Lunch spots: La Folie Douce Méribel Courchevel is a mountaintop restaurant famed for its hedonistic shows that include dancing on tables and spraying champagne into the crowd. It’s pretentious, showy and expensive (€35 for a cheeseburger) but great fun when the sun’s out. Le Chalet de Pierres has a beautiful terrace lower down the slopes near the village of Courchevel 1850.
And after that? Head to the Alpine chalet-style Le Coin Savoyard at Les Airelles hotel (airelles.com), for fondue, cigars and “rare” cocktails made with Remy Martin Louis XIII cognac for €370.
Need to know: The Aman Le Melezin’s “Ski and Spa Privilege Pass” starts from £950 per room per night and includes daily continental breakfast, plus one lunch or dinner, and shuttle services within Courchevel. Visit aman.com. Swiss flies to Geneva from both London City and Heathrow from £74 return. Visit swiss.com.