Photo courtesy of Fabrice Rambert/Office de Tourisme de Chamonix
When Héliopic opened right next to the Aiguille du Midi cable car station in 2013, it brought a fun new aesthetic with it, eschewing alpine chic for a fun midcentury vibe harking back to the '50s and '60s, when jet-setters started rubbing elbows with mountaineers in Chamonix. While the public spaces—lobby, restaurant, bar—play with bold colors and textures, the 102 rooms that occupy the two huge chaletlike buildings are a study in minimalism, casting a sense of calm by using gray and white bedding and furnishings and nothing in the way of decoration. All of the four types of rooms (single, standard, superior, and family) have balconies and views to the mountains; for larger groups, there are also four nearby apartments, all with whirlpool baths and either a balcony or terrace, ski storage area, and personal wine cooler. For kids, there’s a play area with beanbag chairs to watch cartoons on and free (!) candy dispensers; adults shouldn’t miss the chance for a little “me” time at the spa, with its indoor pool adjacent to a fireplace with hanging cocoonlike chairs, a steam room, ice cave, cold plunge, tepidarium, and tearoom.