If you are heading to the French Alps and to Chamonix in particular, and are searching for a luxury hotel with a gastronomic restaurant, Hameau Albert 1er (Albert Premier) is the best place to stay. Chamonix and the French Alps are great places to visit whether in the summer or in the winter. I went to Chamonix and Zermatt in August this year Paris was so hot, and I felt like hiking in the cool crisp air of the Alpine mountains.
I stayed at Hameau Albert 1er based upon several recommendations and the hotel lived up to my expectations. The hotel is located within walking distance to the pedestrian centre of Chamonix, but it is not in the centre itself, where people congregate, shop, eat and drink. This is an important point if you want tranquility. The hotel buildings, including its two restaurants, are not right on the street; they are surrounded by lovely vegetable and flower gardens. As a result, the rooms are very quiet, unlike many of the other hotels in the town, which overlook busy squares and streets buzzing with cars and trailer homes.
A bit of history: the hotel was built in 1902, one year after the arrival of the railway to Chamonix, as a “railway” hotel by the current owner’s grandfather. Chamonix has been the center of Alpine sports (skiing in particular but also hiking up to the Mont Blanc) for many decades. It hosted the first Winter Olympics in 1924.
I stayed in a suite on the third floor with a bathroom almost the size of the sleeping room and small sitting area. The suite has air conditioning. Some people say it’s necessary to book a room with airco, but I don’t think so. It gets hot during the day in August, about 28 to 31 centigrade, but it cools down at night. Only a few rooms at Hameau Albert 1er have air conditioning. If this is important for you, book right away.
The hotel has a small swimming pool (you can’t do laps, but it’s good for splashing around), a spa and a spacious lawn for lounging in the sun, all of which you appreciate after a long day of hiking or skiing.
The hotel is best known for its restaurant, Albert 1er (“Albert Premier”), which earned two Michelin stars and is considered by many to be the best restaurant in the Chamonix area. Albert 1er serves cuisine that is based on the local produce and traditional dishes of the Mont Blanc region, updated for modern tastes and sensibilitie. For more casual dining, the second restaurant, Maison Carrier, offers cuisine from the region, a bit more traditional than the food at Albert 1er, served in a cozy rustic atmosphere. I had a chance to dine at both restaurants, and both were excellent, although Albert 1er is very special indeed.
Strong points of Hameau Albert 1er:
- quiet beautiful location, perfect for those who want a relaxing holiday
- good beds, quiet rooms
- parking on the premises
- excellent service: the staff provided me with great tips on where to hike, where to eat in town, what to see
- large lovely garden bordered by flowers and vegetables
- stunning views of the mountains
- Albert 1er restaurant (2 Michelin stars)
- swimming pool and spa
- walking distance to center of Chamonix and cable cars/ski lifts in Chamonix, hiking trails
Weak points of Hameau Albert 1er:
- my room could have had more storage space for clothes, shoes, and other articles
I would come back to Hameau Albert 1er if I am ever in Chamonix again and I recommend it highly to anyone who is looking to spend time in the French Alps.
Hameau Albert 1er
38 route du Bouchet
74400 Chamonix Mont Blanc
+33 (0)4 50 53 05 09
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Recommended reading: Travel Guide to Chamonix: best way to get to Chamonix, when to go, where to stay, where to eat, activities like hiking, and more.