When the Rothschild family decided in 1910 that their usual ski haunt of St Moritz was becoming too commercialised and boring, they searched for a new spot. A spot they wished to make ‘the finest ski resort in the world’.

They settled on Megeve.

Situated in the Haut-Savoie department in the Rhone-Alps region of south-eastern France it borders on Switzerland (Geneva is 60 min away) and is close to Italy.

In 1921 Baron Noeme de Rothschild opened an important hotel in the village and this saw an influx of celebrities into the area.

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[a young Brigitte Bardot enjoying the night life – she still visits from her home in St Tropez]

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The Hotel Mont Blanc. Note the Bentley motor car on the right. Legend has it that wealthy Italians from Turin and Milan drive small cars in their own country and keep their Bentleys, Maseratis etc in Megeve where the taxman cannot see them.

This hotel has the famous restaurant ‘Les Enfants Terribles’ – the other branch is on the Champs Elyss in Paris.

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[view from Jean-Pierre and Genevieve’s lounge and kitchen – another major hotel is up on the right hand side of the picture]

snowpoloposter

polo

The wealthy Europeans know how to play – and play they do. Various events are held over the snow season (December-April) : Snow polo; snow golf; World Junior ski championships; World Curling championships – the list goes on and on. During the summer, the village gives itself over to golfers and mountain hiking.

Megeve is brim full of exclusive and non-chain boutiques (other branches in St Tropez), restaurants, night clubs, jazz clubs, and casual bars where you can lean against the counter and sip your apres-ski hot wine watching the passing parade.

Many locals travel to their chalets in horse drawn carriages or merely skim across the freshly groomed ski channels on each road.

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[a stream runs through part of the village with many quaint stone bridges]

In all there are 3,000 registered inhabitants with numbers swelling to 8,000 during the snow season. There are 445km of ski slopes with over 10 lifts and 10 aerial tramways. In addition, the Mont Blanc ‘domaine’ nearby has a further 95km of cross-country skiing.

Megeve was also featured in the 1969 film Downhill Racer, starring Robert Redford and Gene Hackman. Sacha Distal, a famous French entertainer was long regarded as the ‘king’ of Megeve, hanging out with his wife Francine and other luminaries such as Jean-Paul Belmondo, Yves Montand and Johnny Hallyday.

On promenade with Dick:

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Baron Rothschild – you got it right!

Comments

4 Responses to “MEGEVE – the finest ski resort in the world?”

  1. tapeworm in dogs on October 6th, 2010 1:16 pm

    Superb Content, Top Notch, and User Friendly are the best way to describe this post, reading this motivates me.

  2. Exercise Balls on November 12th, 2010 8:53 am

    nice post. thanks.

  3. Ron Tedwater on November 18th, 2010 1:24 am

    Thanks for the post

  4. gina on September 27th, 2013 6:44 pm

    a bella zoccola succhiami la minchiaaaaa

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