Andy Mossack enjoys the hospitality of a family-run alpine-style hotel on the Vercors Plateau.
Despite the stress of driving a snaking alpine ascent for over an hour, the blissful serenity of the Vercors High Plateau was well worth the effort. Even better, was the warm welcome from Hotel du Golf sibling owners Richard and Sandra Sauvajon, whose family have owned land on the High Plateau for generations. After the family farm was destroyed during the Nazi assault on the High Plateau in 1944 to oust the French maquis resistance fighters, a modest inn was hand-built in Corrençon to generate an income.
Fast forward many years and much has changed. The modest inn is now a handsome hotel with twenty-two beautiful rooms, built in that traditional rustic alpine chalet style, most of it through the talented wood-crafting skills of Richard’s brother. The hotel has all kinds of arty bits and pieces running throughout giving it a classy bohemian vibe. And while the stunning Chartreuse mountains and the Dauphiné Alps are right on the doorstep, it also happens to be just a five-minute walk to Corrençon Golf Club, one of the most spectacular mountain golf courses I’ve ever played.
This is a family hotel that oozes style and character from every plank of wood. The rooms come in a mixture of suites, duplexes, family rooms and more bijou retreats, all different, and all with interiors fashioned in what I would call, ‘mountain chic.’ Free WIFI, flat-screen TVs, ensuite bathrooms and plenty of sitting space. Some have wood burners for those winter evenings to snuggle up to with a nightcap after a day skiing the Massif.
Nothing like that was needed for me on this visit though, as it was the height of summer so the outdoor pool, jacuzzi and sun-drenched terrace were all I needed to get by.
But there’s more. Rather than rely on simple mountain fare to offer guests in their restaurant, Richard and Sandra have handed the culinary ropes over to chef Guillaume Monjuré and his sommelier partner Chrystel Barnier to run a gourmet restaurant by the name of Palégrié. Each night a different tasting experience depending on the market. No menu, just sit back and enjoy each dish as it comes out with Chrystel pairing up some delicious fruit of the vine variations. Palégrié also provides the space for breakfast, where local producers supply ingredients farm to table fresh.
The Vercors High Plateau area is still relatively off the beaten tourist path, particularly in summer, which baffles me because this is a fiercely protected nature reserve. 65 square kilometres of hiking heaven, containing nothing man-made except a few refuge huts and a bounty of fauna, flora, wildlife, and more than a few stunning vistas.
So, with Hotel du Golf as your base, you’re free to explore the reserve and wander a few of the nearby mountain villages such as Corrençon, Villard-de-Lans, Autrans and Méaudre. But you can also take a drive through the quite awesome Gorges de la Bourne, one of Europe’s most spectacular drives.
I’ve experienced many hotels that brand themselves as ‘family run’ yet find the owners are nowhere to be seen. I found Richard and Sandra to be about as front and centre as you can get, and that speaks volumes about a business. Hotel du Golf has a proper soul and it’s made with love and affection. I suggest you go and visit and find out for yourself.
Tell Me more about Hotel du Golf in Corrençon-en-Vercors
Hotel Du Golf, 784, route du Clos de la Balme, 38250 Corrençon-en-Vercors
T: +33 (0)4 76 95 84 84 E: Hôtel : email@example.com
Restaurant : firstname.lastname@example.org
Rooms from €124 per night depending on season.