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March 2, 2024

Inside Les Chalets du Mont d’Arbois, a Four Seasons Resort

We check in to the Rothschild family's former residence in the chic French ski resort of Megève.

By Emma Al-Mousawi

Is there anywhere that offers quite the same sprinkling of quintessential winter charm as the Alps? From my carved wooden balcony at Les Chalets du Mont d’Arbois, Megève, a Four Seasons Resort, I think not. As I survey the Christmas-card-worthy landscape beyond, the twinkling lights of Megève sparkle back at me from the valley below. 

The winter-only resort stands on the edge of town peering downwards from the elevated base of the Mont d’Arbois slopes. A century ago, Megève was a little known medieval farming village. Its fortunes changed in 1919, when it caught the eye of Baroness Noémie de Rothschild – or her ski instructor to be exact – whom she tasked with finding the perfect plot to create a French winter resort to rival St Moritz.

By the 1950s, Megève had become a playground for the French elite and Hollywood stars. Today, the cobblestone enclave retains much of its original beauty but alongside the boulangeries and greengrocers are Hermes and Loro Piana boutiques, Michelin-star restaurants, and cocktail bars to cater to the destination’s well-heeled clientele. 

[See also: The Best Alpine Ski Resorts to Visit this Winter]

The terrace at Bar Mont d’Arbois / ©Four Seasons

Despite its pedigree, Megève feels somewhat under the radar, making it a favorite amongst wealthy families looking for a discreet slope-side destination. 

Les Chalets du Mont d’Arbois is the former Rothschild residence and is the family’s second property in Megève to collaborate with the Four Seasons. The other – Four Seasons Hotel Megève which opened in 2017, two years prior – is a few minutes drive uphill. Together, they form the Four Seasons Megève Collection, and combined, the offering is designed to cater to everything a guest could desire. 

Stay

Les Chalets du Mont d’Arbois is different from your usual Four Seasons hotel in that it feels boutique. Made up of three alpine chalets named after Baroness de Rothschild’s great-granddaughters – Alice, Eve and Noémie – altogether there are just 41 rooms and suites with the option to privatize Chalet Alice. 

Ariane de Rothschild (wife of Baroness de Rothschild’s late grandson, Benjamin) worked alongside Pierre-Yves Rochon’s studio to create the interiors, bringing her eye as a dedicated art collector. The result is a traditional alpine aesthetic (think pine beams and paneling, traditional fireplaces and faux fur throws) with its own quirky personality (flashes of eclectic print, eccentric animal-head portraits, impressionist landscapes and antique pieces).

[See also: Etoile du Nord: Val D’Isere’s Ski Chalet of the Moment]

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The lounge in Chalet Alice offers a boho feel / ©Four Seasons

All three chalets differ slightly: the largest Eve, which houses the reception, spa and restaurant La Table Noémie, was built in the 1960s and offers a more modern alpine feel. The oldest, Noémie – built in 1927 as the Rothschild’s original residence – has a more traditional feel. The newest, Alice, built in 2005, has splashes of boho chic and boasts a large communal lounge and professional kitchen, allowing guests to bring their own chef should they opt to privatize the chalet.  

Rooms have a cozy aura with lofty wood-paneled ceilings and plush soft furnishings. Our two favorite suites are located in Chalet Noémie. 

The first, Suite Flocon is a great choice for couples with its wraparound terrace gazing onto the valley and Megève below. Families or those who want more space should opt for the luxurious 1,500-sq-ft Suite Noémie. With enough room for five adults, the three-bedroom suite has a dine-on balcony and the master bedroom features its own seating area, dressing room and ensuite with hot tub bath.

Chalet Eve is the largest and houses the reception, spa and restaurant La Table Noémie / ©Four Seasons

Guests can also opt for a night in the magical Suite Idéal. Located away from Les Chalets du Mont d’Arbois near the mountain’s peak, this serene hideaway is only accessible via ski lift and offers exceptional views of Mont Blanc and comes complete with private butler. 

Dine 

Bar Mont D’Arbois offers a cozy setting from morning to night. Tuck in to laid-back lunches beside an open fire or wrap yourself in a faux fur throw on the terrace with a cocktail.

Les Chalets du Mont d’Arbois’ restaurant La Table de Noémie is an alpine-inspired steakhouse focusing on local produce. Expect A5 wagyu and chateaubriand served with a morels sauce and truffle, as well as blue lobster and seabass. The wine list is extensive with Rothschild vintages featuring heavily, as well as old and new world wines sourced from the 14,000-bottle wine cellar at Les Chalet’s sister property up the road.

La Table de Noémie / ©Four Seasons

The hotel’s chauffeurs are on hand to whisk guests to the Four Seasons Hotel Megève where there’s the pick of three more restaurants. This includes chef Anne-Sophie Pic’s one-Michelin star La Dame de Pic – Le 1920, with a tasting menu that reflects Haute-Savoie traditions utilizing produce from the Rothchild’s Trente Arpents Farm just outside Paris.

Japanese fusion restaurant Kaito is also a must-visit (everything ordered was delicious, particularly the caramelized miso yuzu eggplant and the Sole with shiso and jalapenos). 

For Apres ski, Idéal 1850, Four Seasons slopeside restaurant and champagne bar offers an extraordinary panorama over the entire valley accompanied by truffle pizzas, oysters and burgers.

Bar Mont d’Arbois / ©Four Seasons

Relax 

The ethereal-feeling spa at Les Chalets du Mont d’Arbois is a smaller carbon copy of the spa at its sister hotel. Adorned in white marble, it features an indoor-outdoor pool and an outdoor wooden sauna with dazzling mountain views. 

The treatment menu is also the same, with everything from detox treatments by French natural brand Olivier Claire and plumping facials, to massages infused with CBD. My tailor-made massage with soothing rosehip and argan oil was the perfect antidote to a day on the slopes.

The spa at Les Chalets du Mont d’Arbois / ©Four Seasons

Explore 

Getting around is made easy with a fleet of chauffeur-drive minivans on standby to take you here, there and everywhere.

Obviously, the big draw in Megève is the slopes and the hotel is a one-minute ride away from the ski-center where you’ll find a Four Seasons dedicated locker room and an expert team ready to fit you with your equipment.

From here, you can access 36 ski slopes and 20 miles of cross-country ski trails. The hotel can also arrange private lessons with Ecole du Ski Français.

Away from the slopes, there are plenty of winter experiences to be enjoyed: from a horse-drawn carriage through the picturesque streets of Megève, to a shoe-snowing Four-Seasons-style with a trek through a snow-lined spruce forest culminating with charcuterie and mulled wine in an igloo. 

Suite Noémie from $7,753 per night. Contact res.megeve@fourseasons.com, +33 (0)4 50 78 62 98, fourseasons.com

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