The uber-swanky ski resort of Val-d’Isère in the French Alps is awash with luxury accommodation options – but even here, in this snowy fun park for the rich and famous, new hotel Mademoiselle stands out.
It is breathtakingly wonderful. An exquisite, elegant lodge in the style of an old seigneurial residence that I fall in love with the moment I cross the threshold.
Mind you, this comes as no surprise, because Mademoiselle, which opened in December 2019, is a creation of the Airelles group, whose other two properties – Les Airelles in Courchevel 1850 and La Bastide de Gordes in Provence – are ‘palace-rated’ by the French government.
The reception area is the last word in cosy opulence – along with the rest of the hotel. One of those bookshelves on the far wall doubles as a secret staff door…
Mademoiselle sits at the confluence of the resort’s major gondola – the Olympique – and a clutch of beginner lifts
Is Mademoiselle on-track for this ultra-prestigious accolade?
Should it be denied, I’ll be shocked to the marrow.
I’ve stayed in Les Airelles and La Bastide – and the 41-room Mademoiselle is similarly bewitching.
Stepping across said threshold and one beholds wow-factor No1 – the reception area.
I gawp with my correspondingly wide-eyed partner at an opulent velvet sofa and chairs in front of a grand fireplace, dark wooden floors, a lovely timbered ceiling and sweeping hand-crafted wooden staircase.
And delightfully, one of the bookshelves doubles as a secret staff door.
It’s ‘oh my’ central in this room and throughout.
That’s partly down to the highly revered French architect and interior designer Christophe Tollemer, who has overseen the décor of all three Airelles hotels.
Ted falls in love with Mademoiselle as soon as he steps across the threshold into the reception area (pictured)
Mademoiselle is a creation of the Airelles group, whose other two properties – Les Airelles in Courchevel 1850 and La Bastide de Gordes in Provence – are ‘palace-rated’ by the French government. Pictured is the Mademoiselle bar
After a hard day on the slopes, there is possibly no better bar in the world for repairing to for a drink than the Mademoiselle bar (pictured). Apart from the Airelles group’s other ski bar at Les Airelles in Courchevel 1850…
The fair-tale experience at Mademoiselle begins as soon as you enter the property. Pictured are the reception and concierge desks
Here he has meticulously recreated warm Haute Epoque décor using hand-picked authentic antique furniture and paintings from all over France, plush fabrics, aged-oak parquet flooring, pewter chandeliers and Italian frescoes.
Our corner suite bedroom is a masterclass in refinement, with a thick heavy wooden door, a huge old aristocratic wardrobe, a double-sink ensuite with stone floors, rain shower and very expensive-feeling fittings – and two TV screens that, like magic, materialise from behind framed mirrors.
I’m also very taken with the breakfast buffet, where rustic loaves are stationed between two candles in ornate holders.
I WhatsApp a picture of the scene to my chum – and MailOnline’s etiquette expert – William Hanson, who remarks that it looks like I’m in the opening scene from Beauty and the Beast.
Ted’s room, pictured, is a ‘masterclass in refinement’ with a thick heavy wooden door, a huge old aristocratic wardrobe, a double-sink ensuite with stone floors, rain shower and very expensive-feeling fittings – and two TV screens that, like magic, materialise from behind framed mirrors (pictured here on the far left – the other is in the living room area)
Highly revered French architect and interior designer Christophe Tollemer has overseen the décor of all three Airelles hotels
Mademoiselle has a 20-metre-long swimming pool that sits next to a vast sunken hot tub (pictured)
He’s right. But Mademoiselle offers far more than rustic Disney aesthetics.
It leaves skiers and snowboarders wanting for nothing, thanks to a chic ‘boot room’ brimming with top kit for sale and hire run by highly knowledgeable staff.
And with the property sitting at the confluence of the resort’s major gondola – the Olympique – and a clutch of beginner lifts, plus being just yards from the resort’s designer shops, top bars and must-visit restaurants – it couldn’t be in a better location.
Of course you are. But there’s more.
Mademoiselle is also a total dreamland for children.
Mademoiselle’s spa, pictured, is ‘other-worldly’ and at 12,900 square feet, the largest in Val-d’Isère. It has been created in partnership with the prestigious skincare and cosmetic brand Guerlain
The Mademoiselle children’s kingdom is a delight and comes in two parts – a playroom (partially pictured left) and an astonishing tiered treasure island pool (right)
There’s a ‘children’s kingdom’ containing a Mario Kart arcade machine, pinball machine, games consoles, mini-kitchens and drawing boards.
My two-and-a-half-year-old daughter is in raptures.
And the ecstasy continues at the astonishing piratical ‘treasure island’ tiered children’s pool that comes with inflatable treasure chests packed with toys. Plus a floating volleyball net.
This pool lies within another jaw-dropper – a magnificent, almost other-worldly 12,900-square-foot spa, the largest in Val-d’Isère, which has been created in partnership with the prestigious skincare and cosmetic brand Guerlain.
Facilities include a 20-metre-long swimming pool, hammam, sauna, a vast sunken hot tub, sensory showers, and a ‘health bar’.
I sit at this and eat some almonds. But I much prefer the bar upstairs that serves alcohol, which is in a league of its own.
Mademoiselle offers far more than rustic Disney aesthetics. It leaves skiers and snowboarders wanting for nothing, thanks to a chic ‘boot room’ (pictured) brimming with top kit for sale and hire that’s run by highly knowledgeable staff
The Jòia restaurant is overseen by the double-Michelin-starred chef Hélène Darroze. This is also where breakfast is served
The amuse-bouche and truffle-coated nuts served with drinks at the bar (left) and Ted’s farm eggs mimosa style with smoked eel and Oscietra caviar at Jòia (right)
For starters, you get ‘amuse-bouche’ and truffle-coated nuts with your drinks.
Amuse-bouche are normally served at Michelin-starred restaurants before a tasting menu.
Here you get them with a pint of beer.
Then there’s the Jòia restaurant, overseen by the double-Michelin-starred chef Hélène Darroze.
We have a gourmet feast of farm eggs mimosa style with smoked eel and Oscietra caviar (55 euros/£45), hay-roasted rack of lamb (42 euros/£34), fish with Chambery vermouth sauce (36 euros/£29) and a ‘dessert buffet’ to round things off in the sweetest of style.
The Mademoiselle wine offering is seriously fine, with some of the most expensive bottles – including Petrus – displayed in fridges outside the restaurant
Ted sends a picture of the breakfast bread counter to MailOnline’s etiquette expert – William Hanson – who remarks that it looks like a scene from Beauty and the Beast
The scene at the top of the Olympique during Ted’s visit. From here it’s possible to access a superb series of green, blue and red runs
A trip down to the resort on the Olympique lift is highly recommended – because the views are amazing, as Ted’s image here shows
Val-d’Isère is a 40-minute drive from Bourg-Saint-Maurice – and getting to that town by direct Eurostar is thrilling
Life without a scent butler? Unbearable
Last but not least – the service.
‘Oh my’ central again. Faultlessly polite and gracious 100 per cent of the time.
A special mention here goes to the scent butler.
Yes, Mademoiselle deploys people to your room with an array of scents, by Guerlain of course. You are then invited to pick one to be sprayed around by the turn-down team.
So is Mademoiselle perfection? Well, I consider the lights to be a bit bright during dinner (and our in-room tablet doesn’t work), but other than that, it fully deserves a glowing review.
This is a world-class slice of hotel heaven – which looks just as beautiful in real life as it does in the pictures.
I now consider myself an Airelles groupie.
Ted was hosted by Mademoiselle, where rates start from €850 (around £700/$900) for a deluxe room on a half-board basis.
Eurostar’s ski service runs to April 11, 2020.
Eurostar services direct to the French Alps stop at Moutiers, Aime-la-Plagne and Bourg-Saint-Maurice, making it easy to access many of Europe’s top resorts including Courchevel, La Plagne, Tignes, Meribel and Les Arcs.
Val-d’Isère is a 40-minute drive from Bourg-Saint-Maurice.
There are three options allowing skiers to pick which train suits them best:
- Friday overnight – arrive on a Saturday morning while other holidaymakers are just beginning their trip.
- Saturday daytime – enjoy a relaxed journey watching the countryside pass by and avoiding long coach transfers form the airports.
- Saturday overnight – an extra night-time service over half-term.
Fares are from £80 each way.
For more information visit www.eurostar.com/uk-en/train/france/ski-train.
For more on Val-d’Isère visit www.valdisere.com/en and en.france-montagnes.com.