When you’re a skier it’s often the little things that count – such as a lift from the hotel ski locker/ski shop which give you direct access to and from the slopes; and said lift has a bouncy, padded floor as does the room from which you access the snow in order that you enjoy good grip in your boots and those same boots don’t disturb other guests with their whump and clatter.
Le Kaila, Meribel’s newest and only five-star hotel, has just such a guest service and has mastered the art of the little things to provide one overall big thing that is just about as good as it gets. Indeed, ‘big things’ are also part of the scene here – my room enjoyed the kind of space and size that’s more North American than French Alpine – high timbered ceilings, a bed the size of a small ocean-going yacht and a spa bath the size – almost – of a swimming-pool.
Other attractions like subtle lighting and a balcony overlooking Meribel’s main drag and the slopes made me reluctant to leave the room, but there are plenty of temptations to do so, not least of which is the hotel’s Spa Nuxe, which features six treatment rooms including two double booths and the option of a four-hand massage.
Simple dishes featuring local produce
Unfortunately time didn’t permit me to enjoy this or the generously sized swimming-pool with bay windows that overlook the slopes, the Turkish bath or sauna – instead a rendezvous with the hotel’s L’Ekrin Restaurant was on the menu (sorry).
Chef Mickaël Mibord focusses on simple dishes featuring the best local produce – we enjoyed mouth-watering Charolais beef medallions with delicious gingerbread croutons and a selection of crispy vegetables, followed by a fantastic cheese board consisting of the best that Savoy has to offer – Beaufort, various Tommes and a wide range of goat cheeses. Oh, and the local pinot noir we chose was very good too – light and easy to drink and far better than most Savoy reds I’ve had in the past.
Further examples of the ‘little things’ cropped up throughout my brief stay – double glazing that more than adequately keeps out the sound of Meribel’s not-always-silent night time streets; thick curtains that kept out the light for those skiers who like a lie in; a sensational breakfast buffet that more than adequately prepares you for a hard day on the slopes; and should you need it, top line, brand new rental gear to use on said slopes (the hotel will also sort out your lift pass for you, and other such dreary stuff).
If you’re a skier and money is no object then you’ll probably find that Le Kaila is the answer to your ski dreams.
B&B from €430 per room per night.