House and garden

March 19, 2018



More relevant, of course, is where you could stay in a seaside resort where, over the years, as the appeal of Flaine's utilitarian style architecture has waned, its once fashionable hotels have been converted into stifling apartment buildings. Only Le Totem - an original Breuer building - remained until it too was finally abandoned in 2013. Three years later, the Sibuet family (famous for several luxury hotels in France, including the Fermes de Marie in Megève) relaunched Le Totem after a lightning fast renovation, as the first of its small brand Terminal Neige, which will deploy a handful of hotels in unconventional alpine locations (the Terminal Neige Refuge du Montenvers opened its doors above Chamonix a few months ago).


The brand is focused on youth and affordability, and The Totem is the reference in this area. It's a no-frills experience - small rooms (although the suites and three-bedroom Loft are larger), no room service, no water next to the bed, no chocolate on the pillow, no shampoo or conditioner, a paid spa - but it's fun and lively, colourful and creative. It's run by a young and overflowing team of couples and families who meet in a large social area that is a lounge (with an original Breuer fireplace at one end), bar and dining room all in one. Exposed concrete pillars and walls, retro arcade games, Navajo Indian-inspired fabrics and furniture from the middle of the last century define the look of the place and floor-to-ceiling glass windows offer a breathtaking view of the forest and snow-capped mountains.



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