Owner and operator of iconic luxury hotels such as Le Bristol Paris (finest luxury hotel in Paris), Hotel du Cap Eden Roc (French Riviera) or Brenners Park Hotel & Spa, German based luxury hotel group Oetker Collection opened in 2015 its first mountain resort, L’Apogée Courchevel, located in Courchevel (French Alps), the most western resort of the Three Valleys, the biggest connected ski area in the world. It consists of four satellite villages: Courchevel Le Praz, Courchevel 1550, Courchevel 1650 and Courchevel 1850.
The contemporary sleek luxurious resort of L’Apogée is located at the highest peak with breathtaking views of all Courchevel, featuring some of the largest luxury rooms and suites in Courchevel, including an expansive Penthouse and two stand-alone chalets, each with separate facilities. Bathrooms are another WOW factor of L’Apogee, abundant in marble and boasting the highest standard finishes such as under-floor heating and a large walk-in shower with steam facility. You will appreciate the residential feel (home-away-from-home) of all accommodations, with plush materials such as extra soft wool carpeting and curtains, as well as the thick Egyptian cotton towels.
L’Apogée Courchevel has an exceptional ski-in/ski-out facility: a 40-metre private conveyor belt to carry guests straight on to the slopes. The Ski Room has been conceived to provide the ultimate assistance for the skiers – specialised Ski Concierge staff are ready to fulfil the wishes of the most demanding guests. For the ultimate relaxation after extensive skiing, the resort houses an expansive Wellness and Spa offering, the highlight being a dramatically lit mosaic heated indoor pool, along with a Technogym state-of-the-art expertly equipped gym, complemented by a sophisticated Kinesis station.
The six treatment rooms of the Spa provide a wide range of treatments from basics such as manicure / pedicure (as well as hairdresser’s) to sophisticated skincare and body care treatments by La Prairie exclusively for L’Apogee. Families with children and pets are highly welcome, with a fully equipped Kids Club to keep them entertained during adults’ activities.
Pamper yourself with the ultimate three-hour Swiss Bliss Treatment, a“dream” experience that suspends time using techniques based on a true synergy between face and body and drawing on principles of the signature La Prairie Skin Caviar which lifts and firms, this special program simultaneously “works” the entire body – from scalp to toes – producing a sensation of total relaxation and well-being.
Besides the world class skiing facilities which are being impeccably maintained (Courchevel’s couloirs are considered some of the most difficult black runs in the world) guests have a very wide selection of dining and entertainment including outdoor ‘apre-ski’ day-time lounge-type / disco, which a normally the key attraction of summer beach destinations.
The resort has seven restaurants with Michelin stars, of which four have two stars, including Le Chabichou (the only luxury complex open all year-round). L’Apogée Courchevel boasts two restaurants, Le Comptoir de L’Apogée (French and international cuisine) for all day-dining – including a buffet breakfast. Japanese restaurant KOORI, which ranks highest among Asian themed restaurants in Courchevel. Upon a late evening arrival, I have taken pleasure in ordering in-room
Service throughout the entire resort is of a high standard, with a personalised approach – you will be recognised by name and staff go out of their way to serve. Some of the staff would know guests very well considering that during the Summer season they would work at the French Riviera resorts of Oetker Collection, Chateau St Marin and Hotel du Cap Eden Roc. Front Office, Guest Relations, Concierge an Housekeeping provide close-to-perfection service. The rotation of staff between resorts depending on the season is a major advantage in striving to provide the highest standards of service. Loyal guests are pampered between the resorts, staff remembering their preferences to the smallest details.
In 2013, luxury giant LVMH opened its fist Cheval Blanc luxury resort, marking an important shift towards luxury ‘over-branding’. Louis Vuitton is one of the key major brands which boast a generous store within the Cheval Blanc Resort hotel, the Spa is exclusively branded Guerlain. Many other LVMH-owned luxury brands have a direct or indirect presence at the resort, even if display windows – Dior, Fendi, Loro Piana and Bulgari
In its early years of operation, Cheval Blanc Resort would even host trunk shows / fashion shows with the highest concentration of such events around the Russian Christmas and New Year’s celebrations. This motivated major other international luxury brands to open up shop in Courchevel, including Hermès, Valentino, Brunello Cucinelli, Prada, Cartier, Moncler, Gucci and Chanel. Most of the luxury brands would include in their store selections limited edition ski related products.
Besides the high-class skiing facilities, Courchevel also has a wide range of entertainment options, with discos, clubs and lounges. Themed evenings especially during the peak periods of the winter season are a must. Unlike similar Swiss resort towns or even nearby Megeve (French Alps), Courchevel has the shortest season, opening just before Christmas each December and closing last week of March.
One of the challenges when opting for Courchevel is reachability – most foreign (especially long-distance travellers) prefer to land into Geneva Airport and from there a swift two-hour drive to reach Courchevel. Courchevel airport has a very short and steeply sloped runway, with a length of 525 metres (1,722 ft) and a gradient of 18.5%. The airport has a dangerous approach through deep valleys, which can only be performed by specially certified pilots. Nowadays, the most frequently chosen option for a faster transfer to from Courchevel is by helicopter.
Oliver Petcu in Courchevel
More from REVIEW
Jumby Bay Resort, an idyllic luxury resort on a private island in Antigua – a dream come true (REVIEW)
Aman, Six Senses, Rosewood, One&Only are among the international luxury hotel groups recognised for their long standing expertise in operating …
Opened in December 1913 by Robert Steffen, a local schoolteacher in Gstaad, with investors from Lausanne and Geneva for the project originally called the …
Hotel Bristol Warsaw, flawlessly embodies the DND of the Luxury Collection brand of Marriott Intl (REVIEW)
The Hotel Bristol Warsaw constructed from 1899-1900 on the site of the Tarnowski Palace by a company whose partners included Polish pianist Ignacy …