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Luxury Le Ferme “Farm” Hotel of the French Alps

Le hameau Albert 1er Le Fermae Hotel ChamonixDark and rustic hand hewn wooden beams in a mountain refuge and a view of the snowy dome of the Europe’s highest mountain peak from your terrace, enwrapped in the luxury of 5 star amenities and personal service is the Le Hameau Albert 1er in Chamonix at the foot of famous Mont Blanc. For English speakers it’s an odd name for one of the world’s deluxe private hotels in a special place, the Alps resort of Chamonix Mont Blanc, but once the story is put together it makes perfect sense as an ideal Alpine mountain resort experience. In 1901 the railway came to the mountain village at the foot of Mont Blanc. In 1903, Joseph Carrier, a local grocer who operated the stagecoach line from Geneva to Chamonix and Martigny saw the end of his coach business with the arrival of the iron horse and decided to go into the hotel business. In 1903 he opened his modest hotel a short distance from the station and christened it La Pension de Chemin de Fer.

Indoor Outdoor Poll Le Ferme Albert 1er ChamonixIn 1924, the first Winter Olympics was held in Chamonix, bringing lots of tourists to the incredible views of the valley and sportsmen for the rugged mountains (see Skiing Chamonix). Albert the First (the 1er stands for premier), the King of Belgium, an avid mountain climber often came to Chamonix and following his death in 1934, the hotel was named for him. In 1997, with a Michelin star under the belt for the restaurant of Marcel Carrier, the hotel was expanded with the addition of three sections called “Le Ferme” the farm, the signature accommodation of the property with a unique design constructed of the wood from 15 ancient mountain farmhouses joined together in a rustic but luxuriously cozy “hamlet” of a hotel. The Ferme rooms are in one section, the spa and indoor/outdoor pool in another and one of the two restaurants in the third, all interconnected and enveloped in the rustic though still modern and stylish atmosphere.

Le Ferme RToom at Hameau Albert 1er photoA 5 star destination in the French Alps with a 2 Michelin star restaurant and part of Chateau & Relais group of world class luxury hotels, the Hameau Albert 1er Hotel of Chamonix offers three varieties of rooms. Aside from the 12 rooms of the Ferme, the original historic building of the Albert 1er offers 21 rooms, with views of Mont Blanc or the Garden. The rooms are contemporary with mountain themed art and antique furniture. There are two independent chalets for cozy privacy or families. The Chalet Grepon takes its name from the granite stone which is a principal feature of the décor, features a contemporary style with a bedroom, a bunk room, and terrace views of the Brévent and the Aiguilles Rouges mountains. The Chalet Soli, which accommodates 2 to 6 is more authentic mountain style like a hunter’s cottage with wooden beams throughout, two double ensuite rooms, and two single beds on a mezzanine floor, a lounge living room with fireplace, private sauna and terrace with Mont Blanc view, and breakfast served.

Dining Experience at Albert 1er

Le Carrier Restaurant Hameau Albert 1er photoThe Hameau Albert 1er offers two unique and high quality destination restaurants. The Restaurant Albert 1er has long been gourmet feature of Chamonix, with two Michelin stars, gaining the first under Pierre Carrier back in 1988. The calm and soft atmosphere of the long standing destination restaurant with its décor renovated in 2008 presents modern French cuisine with a Savoyard twist, influenced by the Mont Blanc Haut Savoie and Italian Piedmont regions, with the culinary magic of current head chef, Pierre Maillet. The La Maison Carrier, located within the Le Ferme, in keeping with the rustic Alpine theme offers traditional 'montagnarde' cuisine and chalet farmhouse architecture of a timeless past. Stéphane Gassot is the chef of La Maison creating a dining experience based around popular recipes of the local region. A special feature of the Maison Carrier is the smokehouse, right in the restaurant where the meats are cured by a open fire in a draft chimney, managing to fill the environment with the aroma, but amazingly without the smoke. In summertime, the outdoor garden terrace adds the additional pleasure of the view of Mont Blanc. The Wine Bar and new Quartz Bar offer a refuge to relax and imbibe from mountain adventures or a day of shopping in the village, or a cog rail trip to the Mer de Glace, from the Montenvers Station just beyond the gate. For a glimpse of the past, the original stage coach which once carried 19th Century passengers over the mountain passes can still be seen, parked at the entrance to the Albert 1er.
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