The affluent mountain resort of Combloux is close to Chamonix but much quieter, so you have the advantage of the stunning surroundings without the crowds. Although it is not right at the foot of the slopes, there is a little navette which arrives every 15 minutes in season to take skiers there, so you don’t have to walk with aching limbs at the end of the day.
This is a truly welcoming place to stay. The house used to be a farm, which belonged to Colette’s grandparents, then her parents, who opened a few rooms to guests, and now it is hers. With their wood-clad walls and ceilings and wooden furniture, the bedrooms are rustic without being cloying. A few of them (Nos 3, 5 and 6) look out over the village church with its pealing bells, and the mezzanine rooms are perfect for families.
Recommended by Michelin, the cuisine is based on well-prepared ingredients that come fresh from the market. Expect plenty of hearty fondues, all served in the splendid wooden bar and restaurant, though in summer you can have lunch beside the swimming pool in the original orchard. Altogether, an unpretentious, rewarding find.