Le Coucou, Meribel, France

best bed: Le Coucou, Meribel, France

Le Coucou, Meribel, FranceI arrived at this gem of a hotel, deep in the French Alps (about two hours from Lyon, 1 ½ from Geneva,) completely worn out. I’d been at a hectic four-day trade show. Two days later, I left a new woman. I can only imagine what a week would have done for my body and soul. Most people come to Le Coucou for a luxurious ski holiday. I came to spa. They do both extraordinarily well. The hotel is part of the small Maison Pariente Collection helmed by two beyond charming sisters and their father. The family has a long history in the area and know everything there is to know about creating the perfect ski vacation. The attention to detail is outstanding but never taken too seriously.  Wonderful humorous touches are found throughout, often referencing the cuckoo bird (coucou in French) … the cuckoo bird does not build its own nest, but rests in those built by others…guests are the cuckoo staying in this heavenly refuge built by someone else. Le Coucou is true ski-in/ski-out perched right on the piste. Boots are heated overnight, skis always ready. The team is ready to help with everything including getting your boots done up properly or finding the perfect instructor. If you don’t want to bring your own gear, they can arrange all you need rentals.  As for the non-ski stuff…the rooms are large, all have balconies, views and lots of space to put your belongings. The beds are covered it thick duvets allowing open windows at night if you so desire.  The Spa treatments are insanely good; the pool, steam & hammam the perfect place to relax. Coucou opened in 2019 then had to close for Covid. While it is new property, it runs like a well-oiled machine, friendly but never straying from professional. Designed by architect Pierre Yovanovich in close collaboration with the family, he has mastered chalet chic; elegant, practical, fun but never cutsie. Be sure to look up at the Matthieu Cosse frescoed dome in the lobby and see if you can spot the lone cuckoo amungst the owls. A return to this slice of paradise now tops my bucket list.

Number of rooms: 55 (39 are suites) 2 independent chalets each with four bedrooms and private pools

Sweet Suite: I stayed in a junior suite. It was perfect. Tons of space, walk-in closet, enormous deck. But if you are traveling with a small group or family the chalets are a must. Not quite stand-alone but very independent (you can enter through the hotel or via a private entrance) they come with four bedrooms, all ensuite, all huge; their own private spa area with pool; their own ski room with access right to the slopes, large living spaces, decks and endless views.

Favorite thing:  The service. I had planned to say the Spa… a dreamy oasis with the finest products and skillful therapists (I looked 10 years younger after my facial and am now fully committed to both Tata Harper and Aime products) …until I made the ultimate rookie mistake and forgot to empty the safe of all my most precious travel valuables including passport…The wonderful staff at the Coucou brought everything to my next destination 2 hours away without batting an eye. That is what I call top notch service! Above & beyond.

Nearby: The town of Meribel and the whole of Three Valleys, the largest connected ski area in the world with around 600 k (370 miles) of slopes… you need never ski the same run twice. There are also 120 km of cross-country trails. Lots of bars, restaurants & shops.

Amenities: 3 restaurants, Indoor & outdoor pools, spa, ski shop, BeefBar Restaurant, BiancaNeve Italian Restaurant, Le Fumoir Restaurant with Savoyard (Alpine) specialities, treats every afternoon in the bar, best kids club I’ve ever seen, Teen Lab including a ping pong table and foosball, Bar, snow shoeing, tobogganing, pony sledging, hot air ballooning, dog sledding, snow mobile, heliskiing, paragliding, gym, yoga, laundry, steam room/hammam and of course, skiing!



****Le Coucou offers a special amenity to guests who book through me or any of my partners at Wells Luxury Travel****

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