Published by Lyn on 11 July 2016
On a recent trip to the French Alps, Andy Hodges parked his bike at the White Eden chalet, just south-east of Bourg-Saint-Maurice in the Tarentaise Valley.
Perched high above the Tarentaise valley in the ski station part of Sainte-Foy-Tarentaise, White Eden is a truly luxurious hideaway. Immaculately presented and furnished, this really is a gem in the mountains and gave us a real feeling of being pampered after a hard day's cycling.
Richard and Robin made us feel very much at home after a long day in the saddle and the spa facilities soak away aches and pains, while the flavoursome, local cuisine produced by Jeroen is a treat for the eyes as much as the stomach.
5 things we liked
1. The building itself.
The design of White Eden and artistic additions complement the beauty that the Alps almost takes for granted. Individually designed rooms with an attention to every detail mean this is, as my cycling partner Lee described it, "more like a high-end spa than a hotel." Nothing has been overlooked and the artwork reflects the 'patrimoine' that the Tarentaise and Vanoise celebrate with such passion.
2. The food
The views may be a feast for the eyes but a cyclist also rides on his (or her) stomach! After a hard day's cycling, quality local produce which celebrates the rich food culture of the valley makes for a perfect finale. The team know and promote local cheeses (if you are ever planning to cycle in the French Alps, you need to know your cheese!), meats and wines. Chalet Eden does so, and does so so well!
3. The spa
Soak away the aches and pains: after a hard day climbing the cols that surround White Eden (including the highest true road col, Col de l'Iseran, not too far up the valley) a long soak to ease the aches away before contemplating tomorrow's epic is a must. A beer or glass of the excellent local sparkling wine will see you forgetting the climbs and beginning to refresh ready for another ...
4. The cycling
Surrounded by cycling giants, White Eden has no shortage of world class cycling challenges on the doorstep. Surprisingly, the uphills are not as fearsome as you may expect. A low gear, some steady pedalling and a day of sunshine will see you enjoying the view from an Alpine col that will soon be in the Tour de France (every year or two they'll be in the area, it's that good!). Petit St Bernard? Madeleine? Cormet de Roseland? All are within reach, especially if you're also travelling with a car or van like we were.
Although there is no specific bike storage at present, our steeds were safe and secure in the locked underground parking and storage facility that opened into the hotel.
This is truly a luxurious getaway that is surprisingly good value – we were amazed to discover the summer rates are little more than an average B&B in the UK. Prices start at €98 per room per night for B&B or €340 per person per week, which is more than reasonable for such a wonderful Alpine retreat.