It’s the part of the Alps known mostly to Italian and French insiders – for now. Courmayeur, an all-season resort just over the Italian border from Mont Blanc (or, if you prefer, Monte Bianco), is an underdiscovered gem: spectacular outdoor facilities for skiing, hiking and other mountain-based fun; exquisite dining, from Michelin-starred tasting menus to Franco-Italian comfort food; and a charming, walkable village full of great shopping – all within easy striking distance of your favorite European gateway, and all delivered with the ready smile and open arms that characterize Italian hospitality at its finest.
With the recent opening of Le Massif, its first five-star establishment, Courmayeur is getting a long-overdue boost to its visibility – and to its ambitions to rival any other Alpine resort in comfort and pleasure. Le Massif’s team is enthusiastic about its mission to induce guests to fall in love not only with Courmayeur, but with the whole Val d’Aosta region of northern Italy – an area rich in historic sites and exceptional natural beauty. “Once people come to Courmayeur, they never want to leave - or to go anyplace else,” says Marcello Cicalò, group director of operations for Le Massif. “We hope the same will be true of Le Massif.”
Once people come to Courmayeur, they never want to leave – or to go anyplace else.
Built of natural materials and tucked into a hillside just steps from the center of the village, Le Massif is a cross between a luxurious retreat and a cozy cabin in the woods. Casual in feel and impeccable in its appointments, the hotel is the ideal base from which to discover Courmayeur’s year-round delights: to embrace the out of doors, restore and refresh in the hotel’s mountain-spring-fed spa, or snuggle by the fireplace. Le Massif also offers bespoke wellness programs based on a philosophy that balances stress relief, mindful nutrition, aquatherapy and daily physical exercise. The hotel is proud of its ecologically sound principles in construction, energy use and management – important in a fragile habitat. “The mountain takes care of us, so it is only natural that we should take care of the mountain,” Marcello says.
Fantastic food and drink are central to any stay in Courmayeur. Le Massif spoils its guests with its conviction that even a humble panino grabbed on the slopes should be surprising, delightful and perfect. At La Loge du Massif, the hotel’s mountain chalet, long, sunny lunches and sunset aperitivo hours merge seamlessly into dinner by starlight. Back in the village, Le Chétif honors the Valdostana table – think rich stews over polenta, local cheeses and hams, mountain berries and chestnuts – with creative twists, and the Cervo Rosso steakhouse satisfies cravings for flame-grilled meats. Wherever they dine, Le Massif guests can count on a warm welcome home by Berny, the hotel’s charming head barman, offering nightcap suggestions, a ready ear, and a huge smile at the end of a perfect day.