Minty Clinch explores the wonders of the Rothschild's latest addition to their ski and golf empire on Mont d'Arbois: a stunning Four Seasons in Megève, France.
The Rothschilds took root in Savoie in 1924, after Baroness Noémie de Rothschild ran into German arms dealer Gustav Krupp at the Palace Hotel in St Moritz, Switzerland. Turning snappily on her heel, she vowed to create a similar resort in France. Nearly a century later, her descendants control a ski and golf empire on Mont d’Arbois, high above Megève’s cobbled centre.
The latest addition is a Four Seasons hotel – the group’s first mountain property in Europe – opened by Noémie’s son, Edmond, in December 2017. The new hotel is ski in, sledge out: a horse-drawn sleigh takes guests to the nearby lifts.
The interior is luxuriously fantastical, with striking objets d’art throughout. Ariane de Rothschild, Edmond’s daughter-in-law, was involved from the start, working with local artisans and lending pieces from her private collection.
In among the treasure trove you’ll find furs, decorative orchids, stained-glass panels and hand-blown pendant light fittings.
All of the 55 rooms have a terrace or balcony, but the signature suites are especially hard to leave – as is the Art Deco spa with indoor and outdoor pool.
Elegant Resorts offer seven nights in a deluxe room with American breakfast, from £4,864 per person.
Food and drink
- Don’t miss the chance to dine at the hotel restaurant, Le 1920. Chef Julien Gatillon – winner of two Michelin stars at Le 1920, Chalet de Mont d’Arbois – has moved lock, stock and rosettes to the Four Seasons
- If you’ve still got room, book a table at Kaito, Megève’s first Japanese restaurant – an essential element in a resort historically proud of its gastronomy. The sake is great, too.
- Visit the wine cellar, a two-storey glass cylinder showcasing vintages from de Rothschild vineyards in Bordeaux and Champagne.
Things to do
- The kids’ club at the hotel is a veritable Mad Hatter’s Tea Party. Stuffed animals stake out small tables and there’s an abacus, perhaps on the principle that it’s never too early to count the cost.
- Down in the village, the 1940s-style Club de Jazz Les Cinq Rues pays homage to great musicians. Clint Eastwood was a regular when he was researching Bird, his biopic of saxophonist Charlie Parker.
- Drop into Hôtel Mont-Blanc for a cocktail à la mode de Jean Cocteau, who painted the mural behind the bar. Cocooned in the dark-red interior, it’s easy to imagine the idiosyncratic artist popping corks with Sacha Distel, Yves Montand, Charles Aznavour and Brigitte Bardot in the resort he nicknamed the ‘21st arrondissement of Paris’.
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