Photo courtesy of Salome Abrial/Office de Tourisme de Chamonix
This iconic five-star hotel, on a quiet corner in the center of town, has been welcoming nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts since 1849, years before the well-heeled few were strapping wooden planks to their boots and pointing them downhill just for the fun of it. Purchased by one of the Taittinger champagne heirs in 2010, Hôtel-Mont Blanc underwent a significant renovation in 2013 and emerged with a clean new interior design—classic Savoy architecture and French elegance punched up with contemporary accents and bright pops of color—supervised by designer Sybille de Margerie (who similarly lent her creative force to Paris’s Mandarin Oriental and the Cheval Blanc in Courchevel). Nearly all of the 20 rooms and 20 suites have breathtaking views of the mountains and Mont Blanc; two top-floor suites have their own saunas. The year-round heated indoor/outdoor pool and Jacuzzi is a favorite with guests, and the Clarins spa is just the ticket for soothing muscles after a day on the slopes.