Who needs the beach when there are rolling hills, pony rides and fondue in the French Alps?
Words: Charlotte Pasha
Arriving at the Four Seasons Megève after a flight with two toddlers is bliss. They’re instantly in heaven with the kid-friendly amenities – think chocolate lollipops, mini towelling robes and the kids club of dreams.
Our room is large and fresh – separate sitting room, high vaulted ceilings, lots of contemporary bleached wood. Amenities are top notch: coffee machine, two separate bathrooms and snazzy TVs that pair with your phone. The Four Seasons beds are renowned for their comfort worldwide for good reason.
The day starts by opening the curtains to see ponies grazing atop lush green land and a serious breakfast spread, with everything from local cheeses, meats and cakes to epic granolas and fruit on the buffet. Afterwards, activities range from mountain walks and electric biking to perusing a local market and taking a horse and carriage around town, which is a charming way to explore the idyllic cobbled streets.
Long associated with the Rothschild family, Megève itself is chocolate-box pretty, with brands like Loro Piana and Hermès, delicious patisseries and people watching aplenty. It’s not chichi though; everyone is a walker and jeans are suitable in any restaurant. Local restaurants are excellent – this is both a ski and foodie town. That said, the weather is changeable in the mountains and we experience all the seasons each day – bring your waterproofs, SPF and ‘there’s no such thing as bad weather’ attitude.
Back at the hotel one blissful morning is spent at the indoor/outdoor pool and the spa, where the waiting room has pink quartz and amethyst infused water and my facial uses swanky Olivier Claire products. Poolside lunch is best described as relaxed but elevated fare: build your own poke bowls, sandwiches and salads with moreish chips followed by an Eskimo, the homemade equivalent of a Magnum and not to be missed. For more formal lunch dining, the hotel’s Bar Edmond has a wonderful terrace and serves up club sandwiches, charcuterie boards and fresh salads.
Dinner is at the hotel’s smart Japanese restaurant Kaito. The usual high end dishes – spicy tuna roll, miso black cod – are delicious and beautifully presented, but focus too on the Alps-influenced offerings, like tempura rebluchon and sole meunière .
I would gladly return to Megève for a winter season, when the fur-lined chairs in the lobby and twinkling fairy lights framing the hotel’s wooden chalet-style exterior come into their own. But for those seeking a beautiful, active yet entirely restful summer, you can’t beat it.