LET IT SNOW
Travel+Leisure India|April 2021
With its gentle slopes and challenging off-piste runs, Megève attracts skiers of various levels. MANDIRA RAI visits to shred some powder with her husband and two kids, and discovers many other thrills in store in the French commune.
MANDIRA RAI

GENEVA WAS GETTING smaller and smaller in the rear-view mirror. We, on the other hand, were inching closer and closer to Megève, blanketed away in the French Alps. That was my eureka moment, when it dawned on me that Mont Blanc was more than just my husband’s go-to brand for pens—it was also Europe’s highest mountain. And we were staring right at it.

For the wife of an avid skier and mother of two powder hounds, planning our winter holidays invariably means a frenzied search for new slopes to pound. And Megève, France’s first ski resort, had always been on our radar.

After World War I, French baroness Noémie de Rothschild frequented the swanky ski town of St Moritz in Switzerland, but didn’t get along with the aristocracy there. She was looking for a French rival to the Swiss town. Megève, with its proximity to Geneva, gentle slopes, and unrivalled views of Mont Blanc, emerged as a strong contender. This eventually led to her setting up the first ski chalet in the area in the 1920s. Ever since then, Megève has been renowned as a stamping ground of the rich and glamorous, and even though the intent of this family holiday was to get maximum miles under our skis, we were happy to partake in all its pizzazz with as much French savoir faire as we could muster.

Once up the mountains, we headed towards what would be our home for the next 10 days: Les Fermes de Marie, a Savoyard experience that we had been building up in our heads for months. Built from 100-year-old reclaimed wood from farms in Megève and its surrounds, this hotel was touted to be quintessentially Alpine. And our semi-detached chalet, complete with a roaring fireplace, fur throws, woodenbeam ceilings, and stellar views of the Rochebrune mountain, lived up to the reputation. The pièce de résistance, however, was its sublime spa with Japanese ofuro soaking tubs—exactly what this mama needed after long days of shredding some powder with the brood.

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