“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”
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.
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.
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.
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
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