Since opening its doors in 1992, Aman Le Melezin has led the way in slopeside luxury in one of the most exclusive ski resorts in the world.
Thirty years on, its reputation and appeal – further enhanced by a careful refurbishment in 2017 – means it continues to be the first choice for high-end alpine clientele in France’s coveted Courchevel.
It’s luxury right from the start with Aman Le Melezin. From the sleek SUV that transfers guests from the airport to the hotel, to the staff with umbrellas waiting to shelter us from the oncoming blizzard like us, the hotel’s opulence is felt even before entering.
The interiors of the property feature a blend of alpine comfort and minimalist oriental touches typical of Aman. A 100-year-old bonsai tree with intricate twists sits in the center of the lobby, complementing the oak paneling and warm neutral tones that run throughout the hotel’s six floors.
Check-in is a smooth and seamless process, aided by a warm welcome from the property’s highly experienced team, many of whom have been here for decades.
The hotel is a stone’s throw from the center of Courchevel 1850, the largest and liveliest of the resort’s four villages. Known for its exclusivity, disproportionate number of chic designer boutiques and vibrant afternoon and nightlife scenes, it remains the place to be in the Alps.
The region’s main draw, however, is its extensive and world-class skiing offerings. Part of Les Trois Vallées, the largest ski area in the world, there are over 600 kilometers of pistes to explore. Suitable for all levels of skiing, there is a fair amount of green (14%) and black (10%) runs, although most of the runs on offer here will suit intermediate skiers.
More than 180 ski lifts connect Courchevel to the other resorts that make up the Trois Vallées area, including Val Thorens and Méribel.
When we visit the opening weekend of the first full-throttle season since the outbreak of the pandemic, there is a palpable error of caution. As per the rules in France, everyone must show proof of vaccination to enter bars and restaurants, and reception helps us translate our UAE vaccination certificates into European certificates.
They also make sure we are booked in for our fit to fly PCR tests and have our negative certificates printed and ready for us before we leave for the airport. Masks are mandatory in all common areas of the hotel.
Aman Le Melezin has 31 intimate rooms, most of which directly overlook the wide and winding Bellecôte slope on which the hotel is located. There are 11 categories on offer — from the cozy and compact Junior Room to the sprawling Le Melezin Suite. Several of the suites also feature outdoor hot tubs, for those who really want to elevate their experience.
Our Ski Piste Suite measures 699 square feet and includes a separate living room, an oversized double vanity bathroom with a separate deep soaking tub and shower, and a south-facing balcony directly overlooking the piste. The room is designed to perfectly frame the stunning scenery that surrounds the hotel.
Rooms are outfitted with state-of-the-art features, from Dyson hairdryers to Nespresso machines and smart TVs, though the latter remained firmly off during our visit in favor of watching the world go by on the runway below.
Aman’s touches are felt everywhere. From exotic fruit bowls to miniature bonsai trees on the bedside table, to your own-brand daily treats left out at bedtime, every detail has been considered.
The Melezin staff are friendly and professional. From arranging transportation to booking restaurants, they are on hand to help you at every turn.
The hotel’s general manager, Alexandra Vesin, has been at the property for nearly three decades and welcomes guests as if welcoming old friends into her family home. The waiters are helpful and polite, and although service is sometimes a bit slow, everything is delivered with a smile.
The service that really stood out was that of the ski room staff, which is a real selling point at Aman Le Melezin. With state-of-the-art equipment available that can be borrowed directly from the property, installation is a breeze. The knowledgeable team asks a few questions to establish the level of skiing and the equipment is ready and waiting whenever guests want to hit the slopes. They are also there to greet you as soon as you ski, helping you carry your skis along the short path and helping you take your boots off, with slippers ready and waiting.
With the fir-lined Bellecôte piste on the doorstep of the chateau-style property, there is an easy green run to the main lift station, which links the resort to the wider Three Valleys ski area.
Weather permitting, you can enjoy lunch or afternoon tea overlooking the slopes on the hotel’s outdoor terrace. Inside, you can make yourself comfortable in the living room, where an open fire burns all day.
Away from the slopes, you can take advantage of the hotel’s many leisure facilities. In 2017, the property underwent an ambitious renovation project that involved developers digging under the hotel to create two new basement levels, which now house a spa, gym and superb restaurant. yoga studio.
But the hotel’s crowning glory is the Aman Spa, a tranquil space spread over two floors. The turquoise pool, flanked by ivory columns, inviting sun loungers and two Jacuzzis, is the perfect place to indulge in a little après-ski relaxation. There’s also a plunge pool, traditional Turkish hammam, and sauna, plus Aman’s signature spa.
Aman Le Melezin’s dining offering moves away from traditional Alpine cuisine in favor of the brand’s roots, offering a Japanese-inspired menu in its main restaurant. With plates designed to be shared, the menu includes a premium raw offering, as well as dishes such as Black Cod, Wagyu Sirloin and a favourite, Gomaae Spinach and Mushroom Salad.
Those looking for something a little more hearty can order from the in-room menu, also served in the lounge, where they’ll find burgers, fries, and a classic French cheese platter.
Aman Le Melezin also offers a brilliant initiative for full-board guests, allowing them to dine at several partner restaurants around the resort. Included are the famous Hotel Les Airelles, just a short drive from Aman, which will satisfy any craving for a truly festive alpine setting; the famous La Folie Douce in nearby Méribel, known for its theatrical après-ski; and the exquisite slopeside lunch spot Le Chalet de Pierres.
Highs and lows
While the beautiful rooms and unparalleled leisure facilities make Aman Le Melezin one of the best hotels in Courchevel, the ski storage was a real highlight.
The only thing that could have been improved was the waiting time at breakfast, which sometimes raised a few eyebrows.
Aman Le Melezin offers unparalleled luxury in one of Europe’s most exclusive resorts. With its prime location, helpful staff, expansive suites and impressive wellness and leisure facilities, this is a stay that will appeal to skiers and non-skiers alike.
At the end of the line
Stays at Aman Le Melezin start at €1,800 ($1,964) per night, half-board, double occupancy, taxes and fees included. Etihad offers daily flights from Abu Dhabi to Geneva. Economy fares start from Dh1,010 one way.
This review was conducted at the hotel’s invitation during the global coronavirus pandemic. It reflects hotel standards at that time; services may change in the future.
Updated: March 16, 2022, 05:21