What’s the history behind the exceptionality of Courchevel?
The Paris batsmen were the first to appreciate the snowy slopes of Courchevel. In the last post-war period, when the desire to be reborn was pressing. And here, in this corner of Tarentaise, the worldly spirit expressed itself in dinners and parties set up by the very first, daring hoteliers.
A luxury that those pleasure-seekers could not always afford, unless they send antique furniture and art objects to account. Word of mouth in the “Parisienne good society” and in the Savoyard bourgeoisie did the rest. And success was inevitable. Elegance, prestige and professionalism, inherited from those pioneers of hospitality with the flair of business, still make Courchevel a sought-after ski resort for demanding athletes who, from a ski destination among the five most important in the world, claim a high level welcome.
Keeping up with Cannes, the capital of French social life, in this extraordinary area everything is born with snow. Always perfectly beaten, thanks to the silent nighttime sliding of 34 crawler cats. Always abundant, thanks to the 637 cannons that make it fresh, when needed, just to help nature. Always safe, thanks to the 80 snow sheds, sophisticated devices to disengage radio-controlled avalanches. Six hundred km of ski slopes with 311 descents from greens to very steep blacks in the 3 Vallees circuit and 200 ski-lifts, make this ski area, a highly competitive company.
The Valley of Courchevel spreads in an unusual spiral at 4 levels of altitude (1300-1550-1650-1850) but at the beginning Courchevel was a very ancient village, at the foot of the mountain, whose only resource was agriculture. In winter the inhabitants stayed down, in the summer they grazed their flocks and made cheeses. Then they decided to build where people were starting to get up and up to 4 levels. All levels began to be inhabited in summer, in country cottages. The 1850 level became the top, not just geographically. Courchevel 1850 resorts have developed more than others. After the war, the most modern structures, hotels and luxury restaurants were built here and nowadays all the most luxurious hotels in Courchevel are here. Courchevel 1850 is the classic icing on the cake. Here, the worldliness, luxury and the heart of hospitality are concentrated. Here, hotel silhouettes and large chalets alternate in evocative scenography. Madam Fenestraz was the first to want, here, a Gstaad-style chalet, the village of Bellecote. The beginning of a sophisticated architectural leitmotif that drew the rich profile of Courchevel. Some chalets of the 60s bear the signature of the futurist architect Denys Pradelle, with large windows and a flat, butterfly roof.
Where to stay
Hotel La Sivoliere is situated in the heart of the forest at only a ten minute walk from the city center of Courchevel 1850. La Sivoliere is a 5 star hotel, connected with a snow-white environment, combining alpine tradition and contemporary design. The hotel displays the true Savoy style of wood and stone nestled among snowy pines in the heart of Courchevel 1850. Superb panoramic views take in the resort nestling below and the surrounding mountains.
The hotel has 35 rooms and 20 of them have been totally renovated this year: it is mix British comfort, shimmering and colourful velvet, wood and stone. The bathrooms are also redone and each new suite has a steam shower. All the rooms have an incredible and warm light with a view of the village, the slopes or the forest. Le 1850 Be Organic is the gourmet restaurant of La Sivoliere, run by the chef native of Carpentras, Bilal Amrani. Intimate and cozy, the restaurant welcomes guests into a homey atmosphere to enjoy the unique cuisine of Chef Bilal Amrani, while the dancing flames from the fire place and the logs artfully decorate the walls.
After a long day’s skiing, relax yourself in the wellness area or taking a swim in the pool area. The relaxation area includes a balneotherapy and counter-current swimming pool, steam room, sauna, massage room and a fitness room equipped with cardio-training machines. The Mini Sivo Club is a wonderful service for kids and children, offering a personalised welcome, children’s currency, a special supper table and fantastic play area.
Although there are 4 levels, Courchevel is considered a single territory, all working for the same cause. 95% of hotels are open only in winter, from Christmas to Easter, from December to early May. This is the reason why most Courchevel hoteliers have another summer hotel somewhere else, especially on the French Riviera. Many fans who come here every winter, have got into the habit of going summer on the French Riviera, from the same host.