Bernard Arnault, the CEO of LVMH, is not known for taking foolish risks. So when he decided to give the hotel business a try with the ultra-luxe Cheval Blanc Courchevel (chevalblanc.com; €1,520), he set his sights on Courchevel’s most glamorous zip code: Le Jardin Alpin.
Its north-facing slopes are among the best, its network of ski lifts the most efficient, and its habitués the most monied in all of Europe. With Arnault’s imprimatur and designer Sybille de Margerie’s bright, futuristic interiors, the property was a big-enough deal to lure chef Yannick Alléno from Paris’s Michelin three starred Le Meurice to open Le 1947, where traditional French dishes get a modern spin.
Just up the mountain, L’Apogee Courchevel (lapogeecourchevel.com; €900) bears the dual stamp of Parisian designers India Mahdavi and Joseph Dirand. The 55 timbered rooms and suites are surprisingly casual, decorated in a burgundy, green and gingham palette, while the two chalets have log fires, perfect for curling up beside after a long day on the frosty mountain.
Courchevel’s equally polished town center is lined with high-end boutiques, including Isabel Marant and Ski Dior, and the bakery Maison Braissand (maisonbraissand.com) is an essential stop for its buttery pain au chocolat.