“In front of the Little Door “ 

Day Seven in her new role as Sales Manager and Sophie travels to Courchevel to see Le Portetta – read the blog from her visit here.

Having only skied once before, when I was sixteen, the event is still an ongoing joke in the family, whereby my dad did not understand how to ‘snowplough’ or should I say stop! You could say I was a little dubious, but equally excited! 

After a super easy journey from Luton to Geneva of 1 hour 20 minutes – (just enough time to squeeze in 2 episodes of the Crown) I arrived to 10 degrees and clear blue skies! 

Thibaud my driver, was waiting so after a quick stamp in my passport – I was greeted and on my way to Courchevel Moriond (1650). The transfer was around 2hrs 20 minutes, which genuinely flew! He kept me company with an amazing 90’s playlist and explained how he had skied in 1650 as a child as his mother had been an instructor. 

On arrival, it felt like I had jumped into a Christmas movie on the Hallmark Channel. I entered the magical alpine lodge that is Portetta! 

With huge welcoming smiles from the team and Medhi, I instantly knew why this place was special. 

For anyone who has stayed or booked Portetta, you will know Medhi, assistant Manager who has been there 17 years. For me, Mehdi is the Prince of Le Portetta clearly respected and admired by staff and guests alike, many of whom have been coming year after year. 

Originally built as Trolles chalet in the 1950’s by the mayor of Courchevel, the aesthetics still embed that alpine homely vibe, traditional yet trendy. 

As I made my way to my room, the fire was being lit in the lounge… The skiers wearily arrive back, chatting and laughing with the team whilst donning their warm slippers, so welcome after a long day on the slopes. The hotel is ski in, ski out, a priority for many skiers. It is important to explain the name Portetta was given as it is situated in front of the middle mountain in the valley, which is also named Portetta translated means “little door.” 

As I passed through the cosy lounge with centrepiece fire, I was introduced to Florian the sommelier, who told me to hurry back as happy hour kicked off at 4pm!  

On opening the door of my room, I was struck by the glow from the piste and the imposing Mont Jovet directly in front – what a view!  

So keen not to keep Florian waiting, I quickly freshened up into something more appropriate, not forgetting socks and thermal leggings and headed down to a scrumptious sofa, that hugged me by the roaring fire! 

Every Tuesday and Thursday at Portetta, there’s live music from 4-7pm. I was lucky enough to hear the super talented Charlie, playing acoustic favourites mine being Landslides by Fleetwood Mac… the atmosphere was perfect, with a lounge full of guests! The clientele was a cordial mix of Americans, Germans, and of course French. It was such a lovely atmosphere with families playing UNO and children devouring huge hot chocolates! What a life! 

One of my most favourite things to do when I visit anywhere for the first time, is to go for a run and see the local area. However, as I succumbed to the Alpine cocktail… I brisk walk would do it! 

Courchevel 1650 is a quaint village vastly different to the globally renowned higher resort of 1850 and just one road meant I could not get lost! Small local restaurants and souvenir shops are perfect for guests who wander out to explore the village. The main square is marked by a huge Christmas tree (still decorated) and bakery with the most divine smells tempting the skiers just back from the mountains. 

One of the most important things to note, is how well 1650 is connected to the other villages. You can take the shuttle bus service taking 10 minutes, leaving every ten mins for free between the three valleys. In the evening this shuttle moves to every half an hour, I loved the cosy, more relaxed village of 1650 to settle in – feeling a sense of place, with easy access to the 1850 its big sister. 1850 has big runs, glitzy designer shops and a very high price list, yes its beautiful but commercial. 

So, dinner was WowWee! As you are aware Portetta’s restaurant Cucina Angelina signature chef, is Angela Harnett, and if you have visited Limewood before or Murano in London, you will not be disappointed… Opting for a sirloin steak, pepper sauce and a French salad it was divine. The atmosphere mirrored Limewood, low key but stylish and homely.  

With amazing black out curtains, I had a super rest, I almost needed sunglasses on when I opened them. The view was incredible – was I in Frozen? 

Breakfast was French buffet and whilst not being a great morning eater, I could not resist the fresh juices, chopped salad and pastries. For those needing an added kick you can also order pancakes, porridge plus oeufs cooked anyway you like! 

I had a big day planned, with the first part being a tour of the property. Firstly, we checked out the spa, offering tired muscles much rejuvenation with quintessentially English Bamford products to help. It has a costal scandic vibe, whitewashed walls, and wicker wooden mirrors – the word chill comes to mind! They also have a newly renovated gym if you still have energy to burn! All of this is accessible by the lift meaning you do not have walk through the hotel to get to this area.  

The property is boutique with 38 rooms and 6 loft apartments. I particularly loved the family and large family valley rooms! The second bedroom offers bunk beds, a lounge for all and a super view! However, the most impressive room categories are the lofts. With two or three bedrooms some duplex, cosy fireplaces, open plan kitchens, and huge balconies they are a wonderful option for groups of friends or multi – generational families. 

So now it is on to the ‘important stuff’ – from Medhi who adds I need to get ‘Geared Up’. I am quickly learning a great ski holiday is all about minimising hassle -namely things like carrying ski equipment or for me even walking in it!  

Portetta has ski hire facilities in the basement of the hotel – once fitted on arrival day, warm boots are ready for guests each morning.  Lovely Max from Ukraine helped set me up, ready for my instructor, Roland who had worked as part of the ski school for 30 years! Even for those who do not ski, taking the lift to the slopes was incredible, the view brought goosebumps, feeling so lucky to be here! After an hour’s lesson, I was flying, lucky not literally! My passion for skiing was reignited.  

Back at the hotel, the après ski was in full swing at Fire and Ice Bar with its beautiful terrace decked with Chesterfield sofas and fur throws. Feeling rejuvenated and proud, I quietly observed the slopes in front embracing the winter sunshine. 

After an action-packed day, a long bath was needed and then down to dinner again, I honestly have never felt so hungry, Skiing is a workout!  

Opting this time for the Sole meunière. I thought last night’s dinner could not get any better – I was wrong! With an early start the next morning to fly home, I headed back up to my lovely room. With a helping hand from the Bamford sleep mist on my pillow, I was soon away to the land of nod, Ready for my 530am wakeup call!



To make an enquiry about Portetta or to find out more, please contact Theresa Feeney.

E: Theresa@highlifemarketing.com