Originally built in 1849, Hotel Mont Blanc was one of the first of four hotels in the small french ski town of Chamonix nestled in the valley of the majestic Mont Blanc. Over 150 years later and after a recent extensive renovation, this boutique luxury hotel is the perfect balance of classical French design and modern flare.
We arrived late in the night under a blanket of darkness. It was one of those moonless nights where you could only see what was illuminated by the car headlights. I’ve traveled to some winter wonderlands before but nothing prepared me for the breathtaking view that emerged in that blue tinted early morning light outside our suite’s window as the blanket of darkness drew back behind the mountains. A complete vertical wall of forested, snow covered, mountains wrapped around us jetting out of the ground with magnificent force. In the valley around us, a condensed ski village with plumes of white chimney smoke smudging away the differences between man and nature.
Setting out on an adventure we took the Aiguille du Midi cable cars with their 20 minute sheer vertical climb to the top of Aiguilles de Chamonix where you stand breathless with views of the French, Swiss and Italian Alps. It’s the highest point in the world that can be accessed by cable car. The air was thin and very very cold, and each step was dizzying and had an unnatural feeling to it as if, for a moment, you could experience what it must be like to be a bird looking down on all the world. Of course the skiing is amazing, and though we didn’t have time, the glacier views I hear are also not to be missed.
After setting out each day it was always a warm welcome coming back to the Hotel Mont Blanc. It’s really the kind of hotel I prefer: boutique in size, historic importance to the location, modern renovations for comfort and exceptional food. If you find yourself in Chamonix, even if you don’t stay here, you must eat at the Le Matafan. Wonderful.