Hotels

Your Glacier-Adjacent Alpine Escape Is Here

With All The Grog and Ice Caves You Would Expect

By Sarah Freeman ·
69a23d8b9350769b18709536a0a693cb15 PhotosTerminal Neige – Refuge du Montenvers
August might seem like the wrong time to plan a retreat in the French Alps.

But we know a giant glacier that begs to differ.

At the Terminal Neige Refuge du Montenvers, a historic mountaineers-lodge turned 20-room Alpine-chic hotel, now open on the eastern border of France. See the slideshow.

You'll arrive by train before being guided to the wood-paneled Altitude Suite. It's decorated with all the comforts of home. If your home happens to be filled with miners lamps, wooden chimney bookcases, claw foot bathtubs and leather travel trunks used as bedside tables. If not, you'll get used to them.

Behind the hotel's granite façade, you'll find two restaurants. The first is called Montenvers Restaurant, where you'll experience "mountain cuisine." Which means snail cassoulet, morel toast and steak tartare in these parts. The second is all scenic al fresco veranda designed for sipping Eaux de Vie while you stare at the Mont Blanc summit.

But if you choose to tear yourself away from such leisures, there are endless opportunities for summer hiking and skiing in the winter. Plus there's an ice cave just a gondola-ride away waiting to be traversed.

And it's not about to traverse itself.

Sarah Freeman is often accused of hiding secrets in her hair. She can make any cocktail, as long as that cocktail is a rye Old Fashioned, and has never met a saison she didn’t like.

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