THE MIDDLE EAST'S NEW TRAVEL MAGAZINE: FOR BEAUTIFUL DESTINATIONS, HOTELS, THINGS AND EXPERIENCES
THE MIDDLE EAST'S NEW TRAVEL MAGAZINE: FOR BEAUTIFUL DESTINATIONS, HOTELS, THINGS AND EXPERIENCES
THE MIDDLE EAST'S NEW TRAVEL MAGAZINE: FOR BEAUTIFUL DESTINATIONS, HOTELS, THINGS AND EXPERIENCES
THE MIDDLE EAST'S NEW TRAVEL MAGAZINE: FOR BEAUTIFUL DESTINATIONS, HOTELS, THINGS AND EXPERIENCES
THE MIDDLE EAST'S NEW TRAVEL MAGAZINE: FOR BEAUTIFUL DESTINATIONS, HOTELS, THINGS AND EXPERIENCES
THE MIDDLE EAST'S NEW TRAVEL MAGAZINE: FOR BEAUTIFUL DESTINATIONS, HOTELS, THINGS AND EXPERIENCES
THE MIDDLE EAST'S NEW TRAVEL MAGAZINE: FOR BEAUTIFUL DESTINATIONS, HOTELS, THINGS AND EXPERIENCES
THE MIDDLE EAST'S NEW TRAVEL MAGAZINE: FOR BEAUTIFUL DESTINATIONS, HOTELS, THINGS AND EXPERIENCES
THE MIDDLE EAST'S NEW TRAVEL MAGAZINE: FOR BEAUTIFUL DESTINATIONS, HOTELS, THINGS AND EXPERIENCESM
THE MIDDLE EAST'S NEW TRAVEL MAGAZINE: FOR BEAUTIFUL DESTINATIONS, HOTELS, THINGS AND EXPERIENCES
THE MIDDLE EAST'S NEW TRAVEL MAGAZINE: FOR BEAUTIFUL DESTINATIONS, HOTELS, THINGS AND EXPERIENCES
THE MIDDLE EAST'S NEW TRAVEL MAGAZINE: FOR BEAUTIFUL DESTINATIONS, HOTELS, THINGS AND EXPERIENCES
THE MIDDLE EAST'S NEW TRAVEL MAGAZINE: FOR BEAUTIFUL DESTINATIONS, HOTELS, THINGS AND EXPERIENCES
THE MIDDLE EAST'S NEW TRAVEL MAGAZINE: FOR BEAUTIFUL DESTINATIONS, HOTELS, THINGS AND EXPERIENCES
THE MIDDLE EAST'S NEW TRAVEL MAGAZINE: FOR BEAUTIFUL DESTINATIONS, HOTELS, THINGS AND EXPERIENCES
THE MIDDLE EAST'S NEW TRAVEL MAGAZINE: FOR BEAUTIFUL DESTINATIONS, HOTELS, THINGS AND EXPERIENCES

Near+Far’s best hotels in the world: Aman Le Mélézin – Courchevel 1850’s ultimate elite hideaway

A Japanese-meets-Alpine ski-in ski-out hideaway with subterranean spa and prime piste-side location that epitomises stealth wealth

Isabella Sullivan

8 January 2024

aman le melezin hotel review

Aman Le Mélézin Near+Far rating: 10/10

Why book Aman Le Mélézin

In recent years, Courchevel 1850 – one of the most glamourous and sought-after ski resorts in the world – has seen a steady influx of high-brow GCC visitors (including annual visits from the Dubai Royal Family). They come for the snow-capped peaks, the roaring fires and chalets, but also the elite brand hotels and luxury brands (Chanel, Fendi, Saint Laurent and Burberry et al.) who sell their skiwear in chocolate box-style shops. Perfectly positioned in the manicured Bellecéte piste, Aman Le Mélézin is a sanctuary for these travellers, a Japalpine (Japanese-Alpine) cocoon of intimate exclusivity and stealth wealth.

The hotel feels a world away from those that line these pistes, with their dark wood and red Savoyard interiors, and is instead, neutral and discreet: a twisted 100-year-old bonsai tree, muted woods, fawn carpets, and Japanese details all create an utterly calming haven on the slopes. This, and just 31 rooms, a tangible family – yet private and peaceful – home feel, and all the facilities you’d need from a luxury ski holiday (bubbling jacuzzis, indoor swimming pool, sauna, plunge, spa, boot room and yoga studio) and the chicest Japanese restaurant in town all scream quiet luxury. What makes this hotel so fantastic is its unique partnership with some of Courchevel’s most chi-chi restaurants, with all rooms booked on a half-board basis and allowing guests to enjoy lunches and dinners at some of the area’s most renowned establishments and truly soak up the Alpine lifestyle.

courchevel 1850 alps landscape
roaring fireplace at the Aman Le Mélézin bar

The vibe: 9/10

In contrast to its competitors, largely traditional Savoyard-inspired chalets with bustling communal spaces, Aman Le Mélézin effortlessly combines its signature Asian aesthetic with touches of the locale and has a peaceful, more private home feeling to it than a convivial hotel. With it, the hotel attracts its signature discerning and genteel crowd. You’ll see the same faces at breakfast and at the piste-side bar, or by the many fireplaces in a cosy corner, and give a gentle smile and nod, and cosy up with a tea or champagne, playing chess, reading a book, scrolling on your phone, whatever you fancy. The hotel is incredibly popular with GCC travellers, and you’ll find many fellow residents and citizens floating around.

Aman Le Mélézin itself is built to resemble a traditional French fortress, cutting an imposing figure on the bright white slopes and sitting just a short walk above Courchevel 1850 village centre. Inside, solid oak panelling and parquet flooring are brightened by fawn carpets and neutral hues, bonsai trees by roaring fireplaces, and a fitness studio reminiscent of a Japanese ryokan displays a projection of the gleaming white slopes. Renovations in 2016 saw the hotel undergo a complete and ultra-slick renovation and the grand completion of two underground floors, including a sprawling subterranean Aman Spa, making it one of the total knock-out accommodations in the entire Trois Vallee.

Aman Le Mélézin piste rooms
Aman Le Mélézin Suite Le Mélézin

Rooms and suites: 10/10

Tasteful, comfortable, plush and modern, yet still perfectly encapsulating their Alpine surroundings. There are 31 in total spread over four floors: each room and suite is decked out in cream and taupes with lots of natural wood, which seems to warm your soul as you enter from a day on the slopes and touches like mood lighting and the occasional fireplace. An ode to Aman’s brand roots, Oriental touches are found throughout, like bonsai trees, orchids, fruit bowls and monochrome screens, combined with fireplaces and plenty of cosy throws. Rooms range from the petite yet perfectly proportioned Chambres Junior and Nord through to the five categories of the suite – all offer views of either the manicured Bellecéte, the town below or the dusty snow-covered Vanoise mountains. Most have balconies or terraces for soaking up the dramatic views, and some even boast outdoor hot tubs.

On a visit to the hotel just a week after opening, and a week of extraordinary weather with brilliant blue skies, the gleaming white through all the large picture windows in our Chambres Ski Piste, streaming onto our crispy white sheets and marble bathtub. Rooms are fully set up for skiing – multiple heated towel rails and plenty of hanging and storage space. As one would expect, rooms are equipped with flatscreen TVs, dozens of complimentary blockbuster movies and music, Nespresso coffee machines and a free mini-bar with soft drinks, bottled water and French snacks and treats.

The food and drink: 9/10

Aman Le Mélézin’s food offering is one of the most comprehensive and innovative of all ski resorts. On the surface, there’s one restaurant – Nama – but guests will soon discover a world of culinary delights. Nama itself is sublime; Aman’s signature Japanese restaurant, which features in many of its resorts, and in the Alps, offers a welcome relief to the likes of fondue and tartiflette. Guests can dine in the restaurant itself, but it also spills out into the entire ground floor – the cosy Library by the fireplace and a selection of bites in the bar. Standouts include black cod, the spinach and truffle salad and, of course, sushi. Those craving a cheese board or plate of French fries can also order from the comforting all-day French menu (available in-room as well), also served in The Library and bar. Breakfast epitomises the Aman brand, with simple, wholesome favourites done impeccably and a minimal menu but serving staff that almost never says no. It’s all egg dishes (the best wobbly French omelettes), chia puddings, green juices, croissants and pastries and cold cuts and cheeses, all sourced from the highest quality local farms. Uncommon for the French mountains, all dietary requirements and non-dairy substitutions are welcome – a delightful relief.

What makes Aman Le Mélézin’s dining offer superlative in the town is the chance to dine at a handful of local hero outlets. All guests are booked on a half-board package and can choose from either lunch or dinner at a strong selection across Courchevel 1850 stretching to nearby Meribel. Have a traditional lunch on the pistes at the Instagrammable Chalet du Pierres (ski in and ski out) or Meribel’s famous party Le Folie Doux, or head to unashamedly Savoyard Les Airelles for La Table des Airelles – the grandest buffet in the valley and a decadent multi-room affair with dessert by Cedric Grolet, and a bevy other unique, standout concepts where three courses are included at each meal.

Spa and facilities: 10/10

For just 31 rooms, Aman Le Mélézin has facilities to rival a sprawling resort. The bottom two floors are a hive of either activity or tranquillity, home to the Techo Gym gym and ryokan-inspired yoga studio and boot room – where a handful of the most charming, friendly men will whip you into the shiniest skis and boots and assist you right onto the piste – and welcome you back with coffee and snacks. The Aman Spa is wonderful, and there’s nowhere better than after a day on the slopes. Spread over two floors and a cocoon of warmth and wellness, the fragrant steam alone eases chills or post-ski aches. Surrounded by stone-clas walls, lit columns, cream loungers and flanked by two bubbling hot jacuzzis, the hotel’s heated indoor pool is ideal for laps, and just outside lies a Traditional Turkish hammam, wooden sauna and ice-cold plunge pool for invigoration. The signature Aman Spa is housed on the second basement floor and offers sublime treatments from deep tissue and Apres-ski foot massages to hammams and winter-combatting facials. All rates include access to the kids’ zone, daily yoga and a 24-hour free shuttle bus in the Courchevel 1850 area – invaluable for restaurant visits.

The service: 9/10

Fantastically friendly, efficient and unapologetically French. One feels more like residing in a warm family-owned townhouse than a hotel. The general manager, Alexandra Vesin, has been there for decades, presiding over the army of staff with unrivalled elegance, grace and hospitality – she’s ever-present and seems to know all guests by name. At her side is a meticulous and caring team largely sourced from other Aman properties so truly entrenched in the standards of the brand. Elsewhere, the ski room team are a delight, pandering to the worries of beginner skiers with grace and humour and advising veteran alpinists. Subtle yet stand-out, housekeeping’s twice-daily visits are a delight, often leaving behind thoughtful Aman-branded keepsakes on the perfectly pressed bedding.

310 Rue de Bellecéte, 73120 Courchevel, doubles from AED6,660 a night (on a half board basis for two) France; aman.com; +33 4.79 08 01 33

Sign up for the latest travel news, reviews, inspiration and so much more from the Middle East and beyond straight to your inbox.

Latest reads

Circle Text Subscribe Now

* indicates required

SUBSCRIBE

For the latest, relevant, news for the luxury-loving independent travellers, where to go now, unmissable travel offers, travel tips and what to do, buy and see, direct to your inbox...

* indicates required

SUBSCRIBE

For the latest, relevant, news for the luxury-loving independent travellers, where to go now, unmissable travel offers, travel tips and what to do, buy and see, direct to your inbox...