WALKING into a fairytale isn’t something that only happens in Disney movies. Or in a generic Hallmark adaptation of *insert your favourite Christmas film*. In Megève, you begin to understand the appeal of living in the Alpine version of Paris. Le vingt-une arrondisement du Paris, if you will.
I’m spending my afternoon in a horse carriage. With La Durée on my left and Dior in front of the sturdy horses, the eponymous brands are masked under facades of buildings reminiscing of children’s storybooks. It’s a quiet opulence that whispers to you. Megéve is not loud.
Interior of Four Season’s Megève
I’m staying in one of Four Seasons’s famous Chalets. Away from prying eyes, they’re the secret gem of the resort. With a handmade tapestry and views overseeing Mont Blanc in all its splendour, it’s not difficult to make yourself at home. Word of mouth pigeonholes Megève as a location known for lunching, and not sporting. However, its rich history says otherwise.
The story goes that when Noémie de Rothschild transformed Megève into a ski resort in the 1920s, she was determined to make it a world-renowned destination. Over the last 100 years, the family has worked hard to achieve its goal, going one step further with the opening of Four Seasons Hotel Megève and Chalets du Mont d’Arbois.
View from Four Season’s Megève
The village is often visited by novelist Jean Cocteau and singer Charles Aznavour, and it was here that in 1967 Jacques Revaux composed “For Me” (“Comme d’habitude” in French), which would become the most famous French song on the planet when Frank Sinatra adapted it to create his signature song “My Way”.
Over the years, the resort has been popular with the likes of Audrey Hepburn, Brigitte Bardot, Gerard Depardieu and Roman Polanski, to name a few. It’s the reclusiveness yet vivaciousness of the land that draws people together from all walks of life.
Our time in Megéve is far from recluse. With Four Seasons at the forefront of winter sports, including their own private ski lift, we spend the days from 8 am until late afternoons skiing, snowboarding and, of course, apres-skiing.
After a particularly eventful morning when my snowboarding partner insisted upon ‘stabilising my core so that I have less mobility in my hips’ by—and this is a direct quote—going into a headstand, I’m spending the afternoon day drinking rosé unapologetically.
More so, my friends kindly help me coin the term ‘snow-ga’– a combination of yoga and snowboarding that should never see the light of day.
Landscape of Megève
With some perspective, I can see why Megéve is hard to describe. From Michelin restaurants and afternoons spent snowshoeing trying to find forest igloos—how exactly do you explain your time spent there to someone who has never been on the grounds? It’s not quite Chamonix, but definitely entertains a large part of Mont Blanc enthusiasts, if they have the open-mindedness to explore.
I’m certain I could spend the rest of my life living comfortably in any of the Chalets du Mont d’Arbois. There’s something about the warmth and alpine luxury that elevate them from hotel to—‘this is what I want my house to look like.’ I remember mentioning this to one of my fellow editors the other week, to which they kindly replied with ‘I’m very proud that you’ve finally peaked in pretentiousness.’
It’s the poetry of the mountains that speaks to you most. And if you have the ears to listen, you can still hear Jean Cocteau’s lyrical whispers. The Four Seasons not only nurture that legacy but also bring forward a sense of kinship that helps you build friendships to last a lifetime. Each corner carries the spirit of Noémie de Rothschild with it. And she’s smiling down at Megéve nodding approvingly.
by Adina Ilie
For more information: https://www.fourseasons.com/megeve/