Le Strato – Courchevel 1850
by Abdon FLORES
Since few years ago Courchevel is well known for being a luxury destination. During winter time it is the place to be due to high standards and night life it proposes. Right, at 1850 meters of altitude this winter station offers nineteen 5 stars hotels, seven Michelin starred restaurants and a shopping street where all the high end brands have opened a boutique.
In this snowy paradise, the hotel Le Strato shines since 2009. The idea of this magnificent place was due to Laurent Boix-Vives, former CEO of the winter sport products brand Rossignol. The name Strato is actually the name of the most successful ski the company produced. It is a name that conveys an idea of speed, of segments, like the facets of a diamond or the layers of a mountain. All that contained in a word.
The hotel has 23 suites with surfaces going from 40 to 101 m², two rooms, and an independent chalet called Timeless, with 140 m² distributed in three floors. Being a new brand hotel, technology is a strong attribute specially electronics and telecommunications. Rooms are intelligent and are able to auto-regulate temperature. In terms of décor, it mixes paintings and sculptures of 19th century with modern and colorful furniture. The interior design was achieved by Maison Héritiers while the architectural project was under Jean-Pierre Jourdain’s rule.
A Spa is a mandatory area in such a facility. The one at Le Strato is dealt by French brand Sothys. It’s a refined, modern Spa of 800 m² that has three individual cabins plus one for couples. A unique one hour ski treatment is proposed in order to alleviate all the misfits skiing can provoke. The pool is another strong spot in the hotel; it has a beautiful view to the Alps, and in the same area there are a Jacuzzi, a hammam and a couple of saunas. Many of the sporty, ludicrous journeys end here, in this peaceful corner. Also, a hair saloon service is available upon appointment.
The culinary angle will always be a critical aspect in a hotel. The Michelin star of Baumanière 1850 speaks for itself. Chefs Jean-André Charial and Glenn Viel have developed a consequent menu that has truffles as a distinguished ingredient. But the fundamentals of their cuisine remain Mediterranean enhanced by seasonal products like Alaska giant crab or urchins from the Galicia Sea. This season the restaurant will be serving only dinner (except Sunday nights). Room service is available from 06:00 to 01:30. For reservations: +33(0)4 79 41 51 80.
The Bar at Le Strato is another convivial spot, just the right place to take a break from the ski and have a drink or a hot chocolate accompanied by pastries “home made”. On this regard, there is a must try at home: the “Strato Cocktail”.
A very important area, being Courchevel a winter destination, is the ski room. Here you will find everything you need in order to conquer the Alps and their breathtaking slopes. It must be said that this winter station has state of the art ski lifts to access any of the 99 trails. These trails, by the way, account for 150 km, plus 66 km for cross-country skiing. A very French activity is walking on snowshoes; this is actually a very demanding exercise that has a major prize: you will contemplate the Alps in a more full, panoramic, detailed way. For this to be a success, it’s better to hire a coach through the hotel or directly in Raquette-Evasion (www.raquette-evasion.com).
Bad weather will always be annoying in the mountain. Le Strato is very well prepared for that with a well furnished library located in a sort of small gallery. In this arty place, you can admire the paintings by avant-garde artist Anselm Boix-Vives, father of the hotel’s founder, a painter whose works have a good rating nowadays.
Le Strato is part of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World collection. It will remain open until April the 2nd. Major closest airpots are Lyon and Geneve. Courchevel is also reachable by train from Grenoble, Chambery, and Moûtiers Salins.