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The Clubhouse – Chamonix, France

The warm welcome extended by Sandie, The Clubhouse’s brilliant and cheery Manager, is the first indication of the overall friendliness and warmth that this boutique chalet-cum-hotel extends all of its guests.  Now in its 9th season, The Clubhouse is a triumph in art deco restoration and small yet perfectly formed – just 20-bed spaces helps create a homely feel.

Rooms are a good size, nicely decorated and the Black and Red rooms both have double showers.

Owned by Jonathan Downey (London’s The Player, Milk & Honey), the bar and lounge area is naturally the hub of the chalet with a roaring fire and beautiful lighting & furnishings echoing its 1920s origins.  The location is great – just a five-minute walk into Chamonix’s lively town centre and virtually across the road from the nursery slopes yet set back enough from the main road to ensure a good night’s sleep.

SCENE:

  • Largely British couples, groups, families and Geneva-based ex-pats of all age ranges.

FUEL:

  • Restaurant – Breakfast and dinner are served in the lounge every day (8-10am and 7.30-9pm respectively).  As well as cereals, toast, freshly squeezed orange juice, homemade bread, cheeses and meats, eggs and porridge are cooked to order to help kick-start the day.  A three-course dinner is included in the rate and this, apart from Sandie & her wonderful team, is perhaps The Clubhouse’s secret weapon.  The chef is ex-La Trompette & Chez Bruce, and it shows.  The menu is thoughtful, seasonal, a perfect blend of international cuisine with an emphasis on British and French dishes (Oysters & Roast Beef; Tarte Tatin & Lemon Posset), and for the foodie skier, it’s an absolute winner.

PLAY:

  • Bar – A beautifully mirrored bar sits at one end of the lounge and is usually manned by an expert cocktail maker brought in from one of the London clubs.
  • Massage – Locally-based Kiwi, Hattie, from Pure-Fix Massage, can be called upon to ease any post-ski aches and pains in the Clubhouse’s spa room.

CONTACT DETAILS:

VISIT DATE:

  • 4 – 8 January 2012

WEATHER:

  • Between -1 and -4 degrees celsius – non-stop snow apart from some rain; no sunshine.

ACCESS:

  • Geneva airport and train station (3-hours by TGV from Paris) is around an hour away by road; there are plenty of companies who operate shuttle buses.

TIPS:

  • Tall people might not be suited to the low beams in the Myla Suite; the Black and Red rooms are perfect for couples; groups of friends can take over the entire Clubhouse; the bunk rooms are very nicely decorated, warm & cosy with two sets of bunk-beds and plenty of space for a family.

THE FAT MOUSE VERDICT:

  • The Good – The hospitality and beautiful décor; incredible food; great location; a beautiful bolt-hole in the mountains; sense of home-from-home with no door keys and a chilled, relaxed atmosphere.
  • The Bad – The towels have seen better days!

MACARON RATING:

  • OOOO ¾

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