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Megève emerged as a serious haute winter playground in the 1920s, thanks largely to the Baroness Naomie de Rothschild, who built her famed Palace Hôtel du Mont d'Arbois here. Since that time, everyone from Hubert de Givenchy and Rita Hayworth to Ringo Starr and Saudi royalty has descended upon this tiny French hamlet, parking their private jets in the nearby Geneva airport.
9:00 AM Transport Yourself
Follow their lead today by setting yourself up at Les Fermes de Marie (Chemin de Riante Colline; 33-04-50-93-03-10), Megève's smartest address, with seriously chic suites set amid semiprivate chalets and one of the Alps' top spas. For breakfast with old-world appeal, we recommend home made bread cooked in a wood fire from Refuge du Boulanger.
10:30 AM Tunnel Vision
Most of the downhill action is set within three key ski zones: Rothschild-owned Mont d'Arbois, and then Rochebrune and La Jaillet. The area encompasses some 200 miles of mostly advanced slopes, with 81 lifts—all accessible with a single daily pass. Novices can amuse themselves on the miles of walking trails amid Megève's peaks, while little ones can pass the day at Jardineige, a tunnel-filled Snow Garden.
1:00 PM Savor the Summit
Each meal in Megève should be embraced as an opportunity to experience the town's exceptional restaurants. For lunch we recommend L'Alpette (33-04-76-80-70-00), perched some 6,000 feet in the Alps. Dishes like Potée Savoyanne (a steaming pot of pork loin, sausages, vegetables, and herbs) are as impressive as the views of nearby Mt. Blanc.
3:00 PM A Walking Tour
Set out on foot to explore the town's numerous medieval alleys and pristine 13th-century landmarks. Shoppers should keep an eye out for the Hermès boutique tucked into an 18th-century town hall.
5:00 PM Knee-Deep in Mud
Head back to Les Fermes de Marie and its renowned spa, The Beauty Farm. (Design-minded patrons will appreciate the granite soaking pool and Alpine wood-accented swimming pool.) The signature reflexology and mud baths help soothe ski-damaged muscles.
8:00 PM Dinner, in 12 Acts
Finally, end your day with a meal at another of Megève's celebrated restaurants. Our pick: La Ferme de Mon Père (367 route du Crêt; 33-04-50-21-01-01), where a colossal 12-course menu dégustation includes scallops stuffed with polenta and pale green moss mousse. Chef Marc Veyrat created the restaurant to evoke the spirit of his father's farm. No word on whether Veyrat père's estate also housed a 20,000 bottle wine and cheese cellar.
WHO SHOULD GO:
Anyone with a love of the finest French cuisine served in a scenic alpine setting.
Well…just about everything—and with the Ski Pass Mont Blanc you can do it all. Pass-holders have access to 10 resorts close to Megève, including Chamonix, the ultra competitive slope an hour away.
The "old Europe" feel. With its horse-drawn sleighs and festive town square, Megève is picture-perfectly quaint, particularly in the snow.