Hotel evaluation: La Sivolière, Courchevel, France
Nestled amongst the pine trees at the top of Courchevel 1850, one of France’s glitziest ski resorts sits La Sivolière. The 5-star boutique hotel has recently undergone an extensive renovation by English designer Sara Copeland and welcomed Michelin Star chef Fanny Rey to run their new restaurant Le 1850 Be Organic.
La Sivolière’s laid-back atmosphere and veritable assortment of nooks and crannies make it the ideal location to curl up with a book and glass of wine. If you’re feeling in the party mood, the resort’s lively nightlife is just a quick 10-minute hop down the hill.
Whilst Courchevel has its fair share of luxury hotels (ten 5 star hotels and five palaces to be exact), La Sivolière offers their guests something distinct: warm, homely hospitality and a commitment to sustainability. In fact, the outstanding service is what helped elevate La Sivolière from a 4-star to a 5-star hotel in 2010.
Some of the staff have worked there for more than a decade, and they seem like one big, happy family. This is in part testament to General Manager Florence Carcassonne, who runs the hotel and pride and vigour.
As a boutique hotel, La Sivolière is less about Lobster Thermidor and diamond chandeliers and more about making guests feel as if they are being welcomed into their new luxurious home. Couples will love cosying up by the fire and making the most of the newly renovated spa and swimming pool.
La Sivolière is a family-friendly hotel that truly believes in providing kids with a fun and memorable stay. They can check-in at their own desk complete with mini chairs and receive a Mini Sivo passport. There’s a roster of activities from cooking workshops to creating their own scented water. Kids can also dine in their own dedicated restaurant, “Mini 1850”, which is packed with books, games and activities to keep them amused while their parents enjoy a moment of quiet.
Dogs are also welcome at the hotel will receive the full 5-star treatment, with their own room service menu, dog sitting service and luxury dog bed
For those of you planning to make the most of the snow, you can rent your ski equipment directly from the hotel and ski right out of the door onto the slopes. Parfait!
In all, there are 27 guest rooms, six suites and two apartments at La Sivolière. All rooms have recently been redesigned by British interior designer, Sara Copeland, who has focused on creating spaces with plenty of light and contemporary furnishings. The walls of each room are made with reclaimed flooring as a nod to sustainability.
Double rooms are bright and comfortable, with large beds with plenty of plump pillows to sink into, comfy chairs and lots of wardrobe space. The bathroom has a bath and deluxe steam shower with a separate loo, and toiletries by diptyque Paris. My balcony had a lovely view of the neighbouring ski slope poking through the pine trees.
Despite its relatively small size, La Sivolière has first-class facilities. The newly renovated spa includes a treatment room, swimming pool, small gym and sauna. Relax on one of the sunbeds and enjoy the stunning views of the French Alps while soft jazz tinkles in the background.
The spa itself has also undergone an eco-friendly makeover. All products used in massages are from the organic brand audacité, a French company based in the US that uses natural and organic ingredients. Each product is chosen with the client in mind bases on their skin type and personal needs.
Food and drink
Breakfast and dinner are served in the restaurant on the lower ground floor and hotel guests can also arrange to have bar snacks or a light lunch on request. The main restaurant is furnished in warm yellows, browns and whites, with some impressive chandeliers made from antlers. A roaring fire completes the cosy feel of the room.
Tucked in one corner of the restaurant is the exclusive Le 1850 Be Organic, which can fit just 12 people at a time (a maximum of two groups of six). Michelin star Chef Fanny Rey has created a very special menu that is 100% organic and avoids the overuse of fat and sugar, and instead focuses on utilising seasonal products to create some truly wonderful dishes. Her signature dish, an enormous plump scallop serve in the shell with black truffle, was a revelation. As was the Dublin bay prawn heated on a hot stone transported all the way from Saint-Rémy-de-Provence in the South of France.
Fanny also prepares the hot breakfast menu, which includes some of the most delicious and creamy scrambled egg that I have ever tasted. Not only does Fanny produce dishes of culinary genius but she is also humble and utterly charming, which makes her a perfect fit for La Sivolière.
Is WiFi available
Yes, WiFi is available free of charge and works very well throughout the hotel.
La Sivolière is open from December to April. Double rooms start at €620 per night half board and suites start at €1400 per night.
Courchevel is part of Les Trois Vallées (three valleys), the largest ski area in the world. You can rent (or buy) your equipment from La Sivolière, which is run by the boutique ski shop L’atelier. If you’re staying for just a couple of days there is plenty of skiing in Courchevel itself, covering four distinct areas. Top top: We recommend hiring a ski instructor or guide as it is easy to get lost in the vast swathes of ski slopes and the multitude of chairlifts.
Outside of winter sports, Courchevel is famous for its buzzing nightlife, designer boutiques and impressive seven Michelin starred restaurants. There’s also an indoor playzone for kids and a huge indoor and outdoor waterpark, Aquamotion, with heated pools, slides & a spa.
Geneva, Lyon, Grenoble or Chambery airports are all a two to three-hour transfer from Courchevel. Geneva Airport serves multiple UK airports including London, Manchester, Liverpool and Birmingham.