“A swish temple to design in a hideaway mountain location, with 5 B&B rooms, delicious food and easy access to fantastic skiing and hiking”
Entering is like walking into the pages of an interiors magazine: brushed steel sits against walls of glass, and statement furniture is scattered around the 3 floors, all linked by a striking open staircase. The 5 rooms (4 doubles and a 2-bedroom Family Suite) blend traditional Savoyard stone from the original house with ultra-modern touches such as waterfall showers, digital art and designer lighting. There’s also a state-of-the-art media room, salons with fireplaces, and a dining room where breakfast and dinner are served around a giant resin table. In winter, you’re just 50m from the lift up to Les Arcs, which forms part of the mighty Paradiski ski area, and within easy reach of Val d’Isère and Tignes; in summer, you can hike, bike, paraglide and play golf. Afterwards, return to the sauna and outdoor hot tub, or laze on the balcony as the setting sun glints off the peaks above.
- The flexibility - unlike many chalets, Mineral Lodge is let by the room, so it’s a great option for couples and small families. Larger groups can book the whole place on a catered or self-catering basis
- The tranquillity - this is no bustling resort, just a quiet mountain retreat with spa treatments and stunning scenery
- The spaciousness - there are 2 guest lounges, balconies and terraces with soaring views, and lots of nooks to snuggle up in
- The food - hearty Savoyard staples such as fondue, veal or rabbit stew, and tarte tatin. Local wine and beer is available, too
- Alain’s infectious enthusiasm for design. He hosts regular exhibitions of iconic furniture in the common areas, and some pieces are available to buy
- The design can feel rather spartan - it’s not for those who prefer cosy, more traditional chalet style
- Meals are communal affairs - not to everyone’s taste - and breakfast is a fairly light continental spread, though you can pay extra for cooked options
- If you want to be close to nightlife and après-ski action, stay elsewhere
- Check-in is late (5pm) and full prepayment is required a month prior to arrival
- Some feedback suggests form comes before function (escaping shower spray, slow service), but we didn’t experience this during our visit
Best time to go
Our top tips
- Boutique B&B
- Breakfast (+ dinner on request)
- All ages welcome
- Closed: 29 Apr 2018 - 31 May 2018
- Spa Treatments
- Pet Friendly
- Disabled Access
- Beach Nearby
- Off-street Parking
- Restaurants Nearby
- Air Conditioning
- Guest Lounge
- Daily Maid Service
- Towels & Bedlinen
- Ski and bike hire
- Boot room
Mineral Lodge has 5 spacious and uncluttered guest rooms - 4 with queensize beds, plus a Family Suite that can sleep up to 5 in a double bedroom, a separate bunk room and an extra bed or baby cot.
All blend pristine white walls with swathes of sleek wood and sections of exposed stone. The furniture is a tasteful mix of eclectic pieces - a blow-up pouffe, a rattan armchair, an ottoman made from a bundle of hay wrapped in plastic. Arty photos of minimalist wintry scenes adorn the walls, and the beds are backed by boxy headboards with built-in side tables and lighting. Every room has a sitting area looking out over the mountains or valley, and the Superior Double (Plein Soleil) and Family Suite (Grand Horizon) both have good-sized balconies where you can sit out. You’ll also find flat-screen TVs, WiFi and Bluetooth music systems.
Bathrooms come with waterfall showers (the Family Suite also has a tub), 1 or 2 sinks carved from slabs of stone, and brightly coloured towels and robes (a nice change from the usual white). Some feature tiles printed with artistic photos of local scenes, and we particularly liked the shower in Vue Montagne (one of the standard Double Rooms), which has a glass window through to the bedroom so that you can glimpse the mountains as you wash.
- Bluetooth music system
- Central heating
- Cots Available
- Extra beds
Meals are prepared by Alain and served around a stylish communal dining table on the lower ground floor.
Dinner is available on request and consists of 3 set courses (dietary requirements can be catered for). The cuisine tends towards classical French, with starters such as goats’ cheese terrine with herbs and caramelised balsamic vinegar, fried St Marcellin cheese with roasted peppers, or perhaps a vegetable soup with foie gras. Mains might include chicken with a thyme and olive sauce, a traditional rabbit stew with deliciously sweet onions and a white-wine sauce, or blanquette de veau (veal ragout). For dessert, you might be treated to a fantastic tiramisu, a fruit-filled tart or panna cotta on a bed of fresh berries. Menus often feature local Savoyard staples such as fondue or raclette, too; during our stay we had a superb tartiflette - impossibly creamy and made with local Beaufort cheese - followed by a perfect tarte tatin.
Breakfast (included in the rates) is a simple affair of fresh pastries, yoghurts, fruit juices and jams, along with great coffee. Cooked dishes (eggs, porridge, charcuterie plates) are also available for an additional charge. Hot drinks, including a range of unusual Kusmi teas, are then on offer throughout the day - just help yourself from the sideboard in the dining room - and you can order local wine and beer for an extra cost.
When it comes to eating out, Alain can recommend plenty of local eateries, including Goyet, which is run by his brother and lies a short walk away. He can also advise on mountain cafés for lunch when you're out skiing or walking, and provide packed lunches.
- Children's meals
- Communal dining
- Dinner by arrangement
- Drinks and packed lunches available
- Restaurants nearby
- The chalet is ideally located for skiing. The lift up to Les Arcs and Paradiski is just 50m away, giving access to 425km of pistes with runs to suit all ages and abilities
- If you want a change of scene, the slopes of Val d’Isère and Tignes are just 20km away, while the hidden gem of Sainte-Foy-Tarentaise (a little-known resort with quiet runs and excellent off-piste skiing) is only 10km away
- Other winter sports on offer nearby include snowshoeing, ice skating and tobogganing
- Hiking and mountain biking are the main attractions in summer. The chalet sits in the beautiful Tarentaise Valley (part of the Vanoise National Park), with miles of scenic trails through Alpine meadows and forests
- Rafting, kayaking and paragliding are also available in the area - Alain can advise and book adventure days with local tour company Evolution 2
- There are plenty of lakes for wild swimming if you fancy taking to the water in a more leisurely fashion
- Golf is another draw outside the winter months - there are courses at Val d’Isère and Tignes
- Back at the lodge, you can laze in the sauna or hot tub, or just sit back and soak up the views. Guests come here to get away from it all, so there’s no pressure to pack in heaps of activities
Activities on site or nearby include:
- Ice skating and tobogganing
- Mountain biking
- Plantlife / flora
- Well being
Mineral Lodge might not seem like an obvious choice for families, with its designer furniture and peaceful setting, but children of all ages are welcome.
Family friendly accommodation:
The Family Suite (Grand Horizon) can sleep up to 5 in a double bedroom, a separate bunk room and a rollaway bed or baby cot, and 2 of the standard Double Rooms (Sous les Toits and Vue Montagne) can accommodate an extra bed or cot.
Can be arranged on request
- High chair
- Baby cot
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking
Meals can be tailored to children - just let Alain know of any specific requirements in advance
Kids Activities nearby:
- Skiing for all ages and abilities
- Ice skating
- Mountain biking
- Wild swimming in nearby lakes
- Airport: 1.5-2 hours (Annecy, Chambéry, Grenoble or Geneva)
- Shop: 5 minutes' drive
- Hospital: 20 minutes' drive