Skiing, après skiing, one star Michelin restaurant, fire places, spa area and antiques all over?
The Bellevue Hotel in Cogne has it all.
Cogne lays in the Aosta valley in Northern Italy. From Geneva airport it just takes a good 2 hours driving; through France, through the Mont Blanc Tunnel and into the Aosta Valley.
Acces from Turin and Milan is of course also possible but not necessarily shorter.
Cogne has an enviable location; right in the heart of a protected National Park, the Gran Paradiso. At over 4000 metres high, the Gran Paradiso is the focal point of the National Park that bears its name. The mountain also lends its name to the tourist area that that includes the valleys of Cogne, Valsavarenche, Rhêmes and Valgrisenche, as well as the slopes that climb up from the valley bottom to Mont Fallère and the Vertosan Valley.
At about 1550 metres high (and just as many inhabitants) it’s a fairytale like setting in the winter. The village has just a handful of shop, bakers and butchers, just enough for a stroll in between walking or skiing and dinner.
We stay at the Bellevue Hotel which is the only house that stands on the large plain next to the village. So in winter it means that you literally walk out the door and onto the most perfect snow carpet for nordic skiing and walking to be found anywhere in Europe. It has great uninterrupted views of the Gran Paradiso glacier.
Hotel Bellevue has been in the Jeantet-Roullet family for various generations since 1925. And it’s now being proudly run by the younger generation these days.
Inside, the hotel is full of antiques from all around the Aosta valley, they call them ‘poor’ antiques because it’s mainly antique household objects or childrens’ toys. This gives it all a very warm & welcoming feel. There’s 28 rooms and 7 suites, some with jacuzzi and open wood fire places, some with one or two balconies, with or without view of the glacier.
We go for the corner room on the 3rd floor becuse it has great light in the morning, glorious views from one balcony of the glacier and from the other of the skiing piste. You don’t really need a fireplace nor jacuzzi in your room if you know that downstairs there’s various fire places to warm those toes on and a great spa area in the basement (but with huge windows facing straight out onto the piste and glacier).
Apart from this, the ultimate treat is the hotel’s restaurant; fabulous dining with an impressive wine list, some of which are local high altitude vintages with pricing from very affordable to the ubiqutois Petrus of course. From this year, the new sommelier is putting more bio-dynamic wines on his wine list so we’ll be interested to see how they compare with the already outstanding wine cellar he manages. A small part of the restaurant (4 tables) has actually obtained a one star michelin status, however we recommend to eat at the ‘regular’ restaurant because the standard there is quite impressive as it is. Another plus of the restaurant is that they have a ‘maitre fromagier’ who takes care of the ‘affinages’ of the cheeses, and yes indeed the choices of local cheeses are baffling!
Price-wise Bellevue starts from about 170€ to 390€ (for a double room) without half board. We strongly recommend half board because at 40€ per person per day it’s definitely worth every cent.
Also try and book early and go there before the annual big nordic ski race of the Gran Paradiso (around February) because rooms get snatched up very quickly and they are more expensive at that time.
Our + points: restaurant, chalet style interiors, right on the piste, spa
Our – points: spa isn’t huge