Skiing and stylish interiors might not be natural bedfellows, but it’s a relationship that seems set to change for good. Last season the sleek-yet-convivial Experimental Chalet Verbier injected the Alpine ski weekend with a much-needed dose of cool, and now Pierre Yovanovitch has taken up the mantle, outfitting the new five-star Le Coucou hotel in his own inimitable style.
Replete with two restaurants, a bar, a spa, two swimming pools and much-coveted ski-in/ski-out access, Le Coucou is the third property from the Maisons Pariente group, who are also behind Hotel Crillon Le Brave in Provence and Hôtel Lou Pinet in St Tropez. Yet while its Méribel location is hardly subversive – this enclave of ski mecca les Trois Vallées is famously beloved by Brits – the lauded Parisian designer’s characterful sense of form and colour feels avant-garde against the backdrop of the French Alps.
Unlike the aforementioned Experimental Group, Yovanovitch hasn’t been shy with the pine, and it’s this playful sense of place that proves – again – to be the designer’s masterstroke. Across the property’s spaces, the winningly retro carved wood panels and detailing are uplifted by richly pigmented colour: think mustard, teal, carmine and forest green, plus polka-dot carpets (and sometimes ceilings to match) in denim blue and pink-tinged terracotta.
The 55 rooms are all individually designed and, naturally, dotted with Yovanovitch’s own furniture designs, including his pleasingly plump chairs upholstered in tactile bouclé. There are cosy nooks aplenty, maximised with curvy bespoke sofas, and a spacious indoor pool lined by an arched recess for rows of loungers.
Cuisine at restaurant Bianca Neve is – somewhat rebelliously – not French but Italian, and chef Riccardo Giraudi serves up hearty Alpine fare such as risotto with truffle and parmesan and a gianduja soufflé with chocolate and hazelnuts to share on charming tableware illustrated with motifs of miniature skiers.
There’s also a second, more casual dining space, aptly named Beefbar, which will specialise in sourcing rare meats like Australian Wagyu and Japanese Kobe. It’s this sense of generosity and wit, wholly characteristic of Yovanovitch's projects, that embodies the hotel from room to restaurant. From £374 per night. lecoucoumeribel.com
Like this article? Sign up to our newsletter to get more articles like this delivered straight to your inbox.