I didn’t know it was possible for a hotel to be badass, but after visiting La Folie Douce at the end of our Tour Du Mont Blanc adventure in the Alps, I’m currently in a state of awe at the perfectly thought out compilation of themes in the hotel and resort, La Folie Douce.
What brought us to Chamonix, France was not the famous ski resort (though we’re dreaming of coming back in the wintertime) but rather the other famous adventure of the Tour du Mont Blanc, a 100+ mile trail that travels through France, Italy, and Switzerland, around Mont Blanc Massif. It’s known as one of the most amazing backpacking trips in the world and after experiencing it ourselves, I totally agree. It’s a trip every mountain lover must do.
Now, the traditional start and endpoint for the Tour du Mont Blanc is Les Houches which is only a few miles away from Chamonix, France. It’s common for most backpackers to spend a few days in Chamonix before or after the tour to enjoy one of the most spectacular mountain towns in the world.
Chamonix exceeded my expectations but even more so, my experience staying at La Folie Douce Hotel went above and beyond my expectations.
Even in the early phases of planning our Tour du Mont Blanc trip, La Folie Douce Hotel stood out to me. It seemed lively but also a comfortable place to recover since we would be staying there after hiking a hundred miles. So when La Folie Douce Hotel decided to work with us to review their accommodation, I was stoked.
It was the perfect place to finish off a Tour du Mont Blanc adventure.
Please note that our stay at La Folie Douce was provided in order to create this review however the opinions expressed in this blog are, and always will be, TRULY our own.
The concept of La Folie Douce is what blows me away about this stunning Chamonix palace at the base of the Alps minus the presumptious vibe you expect from a luxurious ski lodge.
In fact, La Folie Douce couldn’t be any further from that.
La Folie Douce literally translates to sweet madness and that is spot on.
La Folie Douce is a place for mountain people. A place for fun and a lively atmosphere and a place for relaxation and recovery. It’s a place to live like a king and to also be quirky and friendly.
With 3 separate bar spaces, 5 different restaurants, multiple activities for kids, an outdoor heated pool, fitness area, and a spa offering yoga, massages, and facials, there is something here for all ages.
What We Love About La Folie Douce Hotel
A Destination for Everyone
Yep, bring the kids and the grandparents on this trip because we can promise that everyone will be happy.
Whether it’s summer and you want to hike to epic glaciers or take in the view of Mont Blanc from Brévent or its winter and you want to start your day on the slopes followed by a fun evening of letting loose at La Folie’s famous After Party, your stay at La Folie will not disappoint.
What stood out to me most about La Folie is how great a job it does at appealing to the bachelor parties, family reunions, and dirtbags stumbling off the mountain all at the same time.
I know that personally I can fit into two of these groups depending on the circumstance.
Upscale and Lowkey
Imagine combining Aspen, Vegas, and Southern California. My first impression when I walked through the glass doors was welcome to Aspen. With little background knowledge of La Folie, I was nervous walking in straight off the trail of the TMB with greasy hair and dirty clothes. But I was immediately met with a smile and kind hellos.
While La Folie is as upscale as you can get and you can party big or chill to smooth jazz, what the dirtbag in me loved was how hard I could kick back and just chill here.
I mean, just because I want to summit the mountains and sleep under the stars at Lac Blanc, doesn’t mean a hammock between two trees will always cut it for me.
I want good wine, cheese, and chocolate, a yoga class filled with the aroma of essential oils, hot showers that don’t require a button to push, a sauna for my tired muscles, crisp white bedding, and plenty of options for facials, massage, and more.
So did we get this at La Folie? Absolutely!
When You Have To Mix Work + Play
When we arrived at La Folie Douce right after seven days on the TMB and needed to “get back to work” (no slacking in the blogging business).
We were a little early for check in, but that wan’t a problem as La Folie Douche has a really plush work area.
I’ll admit it was hard to work with such comfy couches and the aroma of pork lingering from La Fruitier next to us. I wish there were more places with work stations like this (Starbucks take the hint) because each work area had a large table with it’s own charging station and TV.
I couldn’t help thinking how easy it would be for me to work even if Tati and Jiraiya were with me since there’s even a foosball table in the work area!
Although they would probably not want to sit here very long once they saw the incredible outdoor play area La Folie Douce has. You don’t even have to be a guest of the hotel to enjoy the rad bouldering walls and cargo net obstacle courses.
Of course, if they were out there I would be too because after throwing some flips on the trampoline to prove that I’ve still “got it”, I’d be chilling in the lounge chairs with a Cotes du Rhone in hand.
La Folie has a great kids program with a game room, board games, cooking workshops, magic shows, and movie nights. In the winter, you can leave the kids at the Kids Club and feel good knowing they will be happy and have a blast with so many fun activities. They even offer kids massages!
Restaurants and Lounges
We enjoyed happy hour both nights at Le Janssen. I loved how spacious and inviting the lounge area was here and that I could sip my wine while playing cards with the girls.
La Fruitière is famous for serving up grilled meats and fondues, while the main restaurant, Le Petite Cuisine, is known for its all you can eat dessert or all you can eat breakfast, plus it also serves gourmet dinners.
Rooms at La Folie Douce
We stayed in a premium room with a view. I loved that it had a coffee maker in the room with espresso pods. Oh my! I couldn’t get enough of these!
The rain head shower was heavenly and the glass walled bathroom made it feel like you were in a five star resort (don’t worry there’s a curtain if you need privacy). The bed was so comfortable that it was the first night of our entire trip for me to actually sleep the entire night without waking. A nice perk were the bathrobes and slippers to wear down to the pool/sauna.
Considering how plush the rooms were, I was shocked to realize how incredible affordable they are!
As much as I love European culture, I still can’t quite get over the smell of cigarette smoke in public places and even in many hotels and refugees. Fortunately at La Folie Douce, no smoking is allowed.
Summer and Winter at La Folie Douce
Who wouldn’t love to experience summer in the Alps?!
While you could choose to tackle the 11 day trek around Tour Du Mont Blanc, this adventure is no easy feat and you may be more interested in the equally as rewarding, incredible day trips from Chamonix such as Le Brevent, Le Tour, Les Grandes Mottets, Les Houches, Les Planards, and of course the iconic Aigiulle du Midi.
The Aiguille du Midi Gondola takes you as close as you can get to Mont Blanc, which lies at 12,605 feet and is the highest point is the Alps, without having to hike it.
At La Folie Douce you can purchase an all access pass in the summer to ride all trains and cable cars so that you can reach any trailhead and summit you wish for 49 euros per day and only 39 euros for kids.
In the summer, you can download the ultimate offline trail map app, La Vallée du Trail. What’s cooler, this app has a feature where you can participate in trail challenges which can be timed with with bluetooth beacons.
La Folie Douce’s summer festival seemed so rad but we were too late in the season to get to experience it. During the summer festival there is a lot going on outside. There’s sand volleyball, obstacle courses, a rock wall and trampoline, outdoor bar, and my favorite, different food trucks such as The Butcher, The Fisherman, & La Pianna.
Imagine how rad it must be to walk out your hotel into a winter wonderland, hop on the gondola and ski all day, get a massage, take a nap, and then hit the underground club for a fun night of partying?! La Folie is most known for The Après Ski, a lounge, bar, and theatre under the glow of candelights from 6pm-2am every Friday and Saturday in the winter.
In the winter, download the Chamonix-Mont-Blanc App which gives you access to the weather and snow reports, ski run maps, restaurants on the slopes, live cams, and your current GPS location within the ski resort.
Located at the base of Le Brévent and with epic views of Mont Blanc, La Folie Douce is the perfect place to stay when visiting Chamonix, France. La Folie Douce’s chill vibe will make you feel right at home and their diversity in entertainment options will guarantee you have an epic time here in the Alps.
Make it Happen
Ready to book your trip to La Folie Douce Hotel in Chamonix. Chamonix is one of our favorite mountain towns in the world and you won’t regret your stay at La Folie Douce.
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