We have been going to Meribel for many years for it's wonderful mix of fantastic skiing and scenery and its charming village atmosphere and architecture. But one thing has always been missing: a top quality, spacious, modern hotel with great interior design. Previously we had the choice between staying at Le Grand Coeur or renting a chalet.
Le Grand Coeur has wonderful service and a great location, but the rooms are small and old fashioned and the views from most of the rooms are average. And reservations during holiday periods are something that seem to be handed down from generation to generation! (You need to go every year at the risk of losing your place in the queue!) Their are some amazing catered chalet rentals in Meribel but it isn't always easy to line up logistics with friends and family to rent an entire chalet (sharing with strangers doesn't really appeal to us) and well sometimes you just want the hotel experience.
And so we were quite excited when we heard about L'Helios. The location is amazing - absolutely perfect: within walking (or sledding!) distance of the town centre and ski-in/ski-out right at the heart of the resort. And the rooms are wonderful - spacious, flexible (we asked and were allowed to visit some of the larger multi-room/connecting suites - with beautiful interior design that would not be out of place in a boutique hotel in London or New York but adapted to the alpine setting. As far as we could tell every room has a stunning view of the valley and it was magical to gaze up the valley at the lights of Mottaret and the moonlit Mont Vallon in the evening on our balcony after dinner. The larger suites would be ideal for a family (even a large one) and would be like having a chalet experience but in an hotel.
This is the hotel's first season and this showed through from time to time, some details were missing and the service wasn't always as seamless as one would perhaps expect from a hotel of this size and standing. However, this was always acknowledged in a friendly and courteous manner and the owners and staff always did their best to smooth over any of these minor hiccups. Clearly these will have to be corrected and improved upon, but I'm willing to give them the benefit of the doubt and expect they will be loyal to their early customers when the time inevitably comes in a year or two when their 18 rooms are booked up solid on a quasi-permanent basis.
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