I have a travel confession to make.
I’ve never skied one day in my entire life. I’ve never tried it. I’ve never put the boots on, been on the bunny hill, took a lesson, NOTHING. But after spending 2 days in the French Alps, I finally understand the hype.
There was an appeal about Chalet du Mont d’Arbois that was effortless, comfortable, and unfussy. This five-star property got the details right: soft lighting in the bedrooms, cozy beds, luxury in the bathrooms. The effortlessness began in my room and continued throughout the lodge. The fire was always crackling, the couches seemed inviting, and there was always a cup of hot tea waiting for me.
These simple pleasures celebrated winter in a way I hadn’t previously experienced. I usually think of winter as the time to head to the Caribbean, and mountains as places to explore on foot in the cool summers. Instead of dreading winter, these lodges celebrate what the seasons offer, and set the stage for a memorable winter getaway.
After breakfast, we headed out in the storm to see the town of Megeve. A pedestrian boulevard is the core of the town, and as we began our stroll, fellow travelers were playfully tossing soft snowballs at one another. Blackboards outside cafes offered vin chaud (hot wine) and the shops were stocked with every type of boot, hat, and snow jacket you could imagine.
But although Megeve is a ski town, it is also in France. The gourmet shops are every foodies dream, and the cheeses, sausages, and herbs will lure you in if you try and walk by. Even if you swear not to buy anything, the vibrant jars of preserves, tarts, and chocolates will have you thinking: well maybe as a gift for someone back home…
The center of town is home to a 10 meter Swarovski Christmas tree. When I read this before arrival, I imagined an entire tree made of crystals. Not exactly as I envisioned, but still beautiful, was a real pine tree covered in Swarovski snow flakes – and no two were the same.
After a couple hours, the cold chased us inside to a cozy cafe where we got a table next to the heater by the window and sipped our hot wine. In the afternoon, we were ready to head back to the lodge – and the jacuzzi, lemongrass scented steam room, and spa that awaited us. A massage was the perfect ending to the day – and I began thinking how much better it would be if I’d spent the day on the slopes.
This weekend got me thinking I might try and get out on the bunny slopes some time soon – stay tuned to find out how my first lesson goes.