L’Apogée Courchevel
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Whisk Around the World: March 2014

Julie Mautner - March 2014

MEXICO
Carlos Couturier and Moisés Micha of Mexico City–based Grupo Habita opened Hotel Escondido, in Oaxaca. It sits on a pristine stretch of the Pacific coastline north of Puerto Escondido—a top surfing destination—backed by the Sierra Madre del Sur mountains. Designed to feel like a secluded village, Hotel Escondido has 16 beachfront bungalows, each with private plunge pool, plus a restaurant, bar, underground nightclub, spa, music room, and beach club. At press time, no exec chef had been named. The f&b director is Juan Martin Severino Larralde, previously at Surf & Turf Tiki Bar and Mangos Restaurant, both in Puerto Escondido. Couturier and Micha left their respective careers in citrus farming and investment banking to launch their boutique hotel company in the year 2000; they now own or operate 14 properties in Mexico and New York City.

FRANCE
The Oetker Collection opened its newest property, the ski resort L’Apogée Courchevel. The hotel, designed by India Mahdavi and Joseph Dirand, offers 53 rooms and suites, a penthouse, and a five bedroom chalet with spa and private cinema. Hotel exec chef Franck Ferigutti leads the signature restaurant, Le Comptoir de L’Apogée, plus two lounges and in-room dining. With 30 years’ experience, Ferigutti became a Meilleur Ouvrier de France in 2000. Prior to joining Oetker Collection, he was exec chef at Domaine de Terre Blanche in the South of France. The restaurant director is Nicolas Marcon, who’s been at the Hôtel du Cap-Eden-Roc (also an Oetker Collection property) in Cap d’Antibes for the last 21 years. The hotel gm is Duarte Bon de Sousa, who most recently supervised the opening of two boutique hotels in Lisbon from the Dubai-based Sacoor Brothers brand. The Oetker Collection now owns and/or operates seven hotels worldwide.

Yannick Alléno opened his second Terroir Parisien bistro at the Palais Brongniart in Paris’ 2nd arrondissement. The first Terroir Parisien launched in March 2012 at Maison de la Mutualité. The new bistro specializes in charcuterie; a dedicated space at the entrance lets customers watch Alléno and his team craft terrines, meat pies, Parisian sausages, ham, and black pudding for eating in or taking out. A €24 ($33) “apéro bag” (to go) serves four with a selection of fresh charcuterie and a baguette. Each evening from 6 p.m., the Rillettes Bar offers pork, chicken, goose, tuna, salmon, and vegetable rillettes with herbs, spices, and condiments, served in tailor-made jars. The new restaurant seats 140 total, with 112 in the dining room and 28 on the terrace. There are two private rooms for eight each, one with a view of the kitchen. Jean-Michel Wilmotte did the design, creating a bistro-chic atmosphere in the spirit of the former Les Halles market district with paving stones, zinc, colorful woods, and leather. Terroir Parisien is open every day except Sunday; checks average €40 ($55) at lunch and €50 ($68) at dinner. When Alléno, who first made his name at Le Meurice, is not in Paris (he’s now involved in 12 restaurants in five countries), Eric Castandet oversees the kitchen.

RUSSIA
The Hotel Nikol’skaya Kempinski Moscow, the company’s second hotel in the heart of Russia’s capital, recently celebrated its grand opening. The 1870s era former home to Count Orlov-Davydov, with views of Red Square and the Kremlin, underwent a six year restoration. It now has 211 rooms on seven floors; six restaurants and bars, a cigar club, a spa, a fitness center, five conference halls, and a grand ballroom. The hotel’s exec chef is Marco Alban, formerly at Grand Hotel Europe (St. Petersburg). Restaurants and bars include Mosaik (for grilled seafood); the Italian bistro A Tavola; Robusto Cigar Club, a Parisian-style cafe; Vendome, for dessert; and the Latin Mojito Lounge with 180 degree views. The hotel f&b director is Nico Giovanolli, who was last f&b at Hotel Baltschug Kempinski (Moscow), and the gm is Burkhard Wolter. Rates start at $330.

MALDIVES
Inspired by a private residence, LVMH Hotel Management, the team behind Alps hotel Cheval Blanc in Courchevel, France, has opened the 45 villa Cheval Blanc Randheli on the island of Randheli. Randheli was chosen for its spectacular environment, lush vegetation, and secluded turquoise lagoon. Guests arrive via the resort’s private seaplane. This is the second Cheval Blanc in the world and architect Jean-Michel Gathy’s second project in the Maldives. (He also created the iconic One&Only Reethi Rah Maldives in 2005). The property has five restaurants, including its signature Le 1947. The exec chef is Laurent Chancel, who was last at The Royal Mansour (Marrakech, Morocco). The gm is Renato Chizzola, previously of the five-star Constance Halaveli (Ari Atoll, Maldives). Each villa has a private infinity-edge pool. Other amenities include twice-daily “gourmet breaks,” 24/7 butler service, “experience alchemists” on-staff to design personalized activities, a marina with fleet of custom dhoni boats, a spa, hammam, 25-meter pool, and private white sand beach.

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