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Portetta In Courchevel Is A Ski Getaway That Has It All

Courchevel is not short of luxury hotel stays, but at Portetta, success lies in a simple formula that champions the trifecta of alpine necessities: convenience, comfort and cuisine.

Enveloped by dramatic mountainscapes in the heart of the French Alps, this hotel offers convenience in the form of ski-in, ski-out access to the slopes; comfort found in its cosy rooms and tranquil spa; and an elevated cuisine from Angela Hartnett and Luke Holder.

The Vibe

Conveniently situated at the foot of Belvedere piste – the main slope that runs in to Courchevel Moriond – Portetta exudes a warm and inviting charm. At the heart of the hotel is an alpine salon-lounge. Its centrepiece – a stone-pillared, open fireplace – strikes the all-important balance between homeliness and luxury; logs burn from early afternoon through night, and wood-beamed interiors, vintage woven rugs and deep sofas are suffused in the warm, low light of the fire.

The space, infused with a woody scent, invites you to sit-soft well into the wee hours. Imagine a quainter, more French version of Succession’s Lake Placid retreat.

Thoughtfully arranged with various pockets of seating for socialising by the bar or for cosying up with a book by the fire, interiors are elevated with gilded mirrors on walls, a tasteful mix of glassware and small sculptures on consoles. These homely touches make it a perfectly-balanced setting for families, couples, or intrepid solo-skiers.

The Rooms

A continuation of the rustic, cosy, alpine affair, 38 rooms and six, stylishly-designed duplex lofts overlook the breathtaking Belvedere piste, or look out across the Courchevel valley.

Each room is perfectly equipped to retreat and re-charge post-ski and, with floor-to-ceiling balcony windows, the snowy slopes are never out of sight. The oak interiors of the rooms are accented with soft, warm-toned furnishings and beds so comfortable they are hard to escape. We were particularly pleased to find one firm and one feathery pillow on each side of Portetta’s king-sized beds; the kind of thoughtful interior placement that supports post-ski slumbers and marriages in equal measure. The Bamford products in the bathrooms are also a wonderful way to help guests wind down after an energetic day on the slopes.

The selection of loft spaces can accommodate from four to six guests, with the largest loft boasting a dining space that seats ten. Each has its own interior personality, accented with reclaimed antique furnishings carefully sourced over the years by the hotel’s director, David Elton: eighteenth-century hand-whittled wood trunks and ornate Victorian chairs elegantly add heritage and history. Complete with spacious private lounges, log fires, kitchens, and balconies that open onto panoramic piste views, Portetta’s lofts are ideal for larger groups and families.

The Food + Drink

A masterclass in Italian-inspired mountain food, Cucina Angelina, Portetta’s main restaurant, is one of the truly standout features of the hotel.

World-renowned chefs, Angela Hartnett OBE (the protégé of Gordan Ramsay and with a Michelin-star to her name) has partnered with Luke Holder, co-head chef at Hartnett Holder & Co at Limewood, to create an experience that is truly unique. Offering some of the region’s leading cuisine – and a first of its kind for Italian-inspired mountain food – expect nods to local Savoyard and French classics.

With a focus on sourcing the best-quality ingredients, supplies arrive daily from a market just outside of Paris. Fish is fresh from the French coast, veal is sourced from Le Praz (just 10 minutes away) and beef comes directly from Ireland (dry-aged in Himalayan salt chambers for 28–45 days). Hartnett and Holder’s passion for good, honest and simple food stays true to the hotel’s relaxed, thoughtful approach. Stand-out dishes include the pappardelle, rabbit ragù with pangrattato, and the parmesan cream – a delightful example of how the duo elegantly meld French and Italian cuisine in sumptuous alpine style.

For dessert, the Poire belle Hélène with warm chocolate sauce and the apple tarte tatin are both must-tries and, for the committed après-skier, Portetta’s bar is a must for a post-dinner digestif – a dangerous but unmissable indulgence with an eclectic selection of eight different génépis.

The Spa

One floor below, a post-slope enclave invites guests to submerge into ambient alpine bliss as they retreat from the harsher elements of the piste. Focussing on holistic treatments and founded in centuries of well-being, you’ll find a range of treatments on offer using Bamford, OSKIA or O.P.I products.

The Bamford Deep-Tissue, De-Stress Massage works wonders for post-ski recovery, using a combination of shiatsu and traditional techniques to work on deeper layers of the muscle tissue to treat acute tension and injuries.

The spa team are incredibly knowledgeable about the different muscle groups in the body, boasting the attuned hands of therapists who have dealt with many a sore skier in their time. They’ll leave you feeling suitably supple and ready to go hurtling down a mountain again the following day. For a post-slope glow, the OSKIA Signature Glow Facial is a seventy five-minute treatment that combines lymph drainage and acupressure with specialised facial and eye contour massage techniques, resulting in a lifted, glowing visage.

The Little Extras

Portetta’s in-house ski-shop, located on the basement floor of the hotel, is convenient for ski rental – as well as for any impromptu ski purchases you may need during your stay.

Fresh pastries served all morning from the bar cushion a later start – perhaps for days following a little too much après ski enjoyment – and mornings can be spent in suitably-French style with a croissant by the fire. The hotel scores bonus points for its sublime festive-cocktail selection, too. The ultimate après-ski refresh? The Jardin Alpin, composed of cucumber, fresh mint, gin, sureau liquer, lemon, apple juice and, of course, a dash of génépi.

The To-Do List

Courchevel is the northern-most of the Les Trois Vallées, close to Méribel and Val Thorens. The three valleys comprise the largest ski area in the world, spanning a titanic 600km of piste, and a stay at Portetta grants direct ski-in, ski-out access to the ski system.

Conveniently situated next to the largest ski school in Courchevel Moriond (1650), beginners can take a class with the incredibly helpful ski instructors at ESF. Or, with infinitely skiable surroundings, both novices and advanced skiers can spend their days traversing across the valleys – with a private guide to help navigate the best routes for the conditions on any given day – before heading into Méribel for lunch and on to Val Thorens for a well-earned après-ski. For the more adventurous skier, backcountry skiing with a guide will take you off the beaten track to explore exciting, off-piste territories.

For the fashionably-minded skier, Portetta is a 10-minute taxi or bus ride from Courchevel 1850, where stores on Rue du Rocher are host to the leading names in luxury fashion. Notably, the newly opened Jacquemus store is a must-visit for mountaineering fashion pilgrims. Elevate your return by taking the Gucci-gondola lift from Jardin Alpin.

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