Le Boutik Hotel – Annecy, France

Sitting on the north-west edge of the Alps, about 20 miles south of Geneva is the delightful medieval town of Annecy. The pretty cobbled streets buzz with life and feature a wide variety of interesting shops and boutiques, alongside the many bars and cafes that spill out on to the alleys. The squares hold regular bustling markets and there is a cool cultural scene.

Le Boutik Hotel Lake Annecy

This ancient pedestrian centre is criss-crossed by canals and rivers and the town is appropriately nicknamed the ‘Venice of the Alps’. Annecy also sits at the tip of crystal clear Lac d’Annecy, itself fringed by parks, ringed with cycle paths and dotted with yacht sails and colourful canoes. Given the most vivid imagination anyone would be hard put to invent a more picturesque landscape.

Le Boutik Hotel Lake Annecy

Strangely this jewel of a destination is often by-passed by tourists who rush onwards into the mountains – perhaps for their winter ski fix or summer activities and sightseeing. The local region has recently rebranded itself as ‘Annecy Mountains ’, and is aiming to repair this oversight with the launch of a new marketing campaign.

Le Boutik Hotel Lake Annecy

Personally, we have never needed to be convinced, as Annecy is always a regular stop for us at any time of year. We often add a night or two here in the winter, especially when visiting the excellent local ski areas of Le Grand Bornand and La Clusaz, which are an easy 30 minute hop up the road – a great alternative to making the much longer schlep up in to the Tarentaise.

Le Boutik Hotel Lake Annecy

There are excellent hotels and the selection has just been significantly improved with the opening of the modestly-sized designer hotel, Le Boutik. Located close to the lake and in the pedestrian medieval city it is also in a perfect location for either exploring the city or relaxing by the lake.

Le Boutik Hotel Lake Annecy

Le Boutik Hotel is quirky, interesting and charming, has its own exclusive shop, as well as an extremely welcoming retriever called Bethov who is is usually found helping at reception. The hotel just has just twelve highly individual rooms, each with its own unique theme.

Le Boutik Hotel Lake Annecy

Le Boutik Hotel Lake Annecy

We enjoyed number #5 – Black Reflexion – the ‘astrophysicists room’. With a black and white palette and scientific angle it featured a ‘black hole’ drawn in chalk amongst a wall of scientific formulae. Bizarrely we awoke to hear the sad news of the death of Stephen Hawking who first theorised the existence of the aforementioned void. Spooky.

Le Boutik Hotel Lake Annecy

Other rooms include Old School decorated with antique maps and charts, Moody Blue with mid-century styling and the loft-like New York, whilst out in the walled garden is the cosy and woody Cabane that just sleeps one. Around each of the rooms, as well as public areas, are myriad inventive designer touches – designer lamps, vintage finds, bronze mirrors or old typewriters.

Le Boutik Hotel Lake Annecy

A modest buffet breakfast is included with hand made cakes and breads and fresh orange juice. It is taken in a stylish downstairs room overlooking the garden whilst the hotel shop stocks cool products from Danish designers and manufacturers.

It is worth a good browse – hotel guests get 15% discount on an eccentric selection that might be anything from cool furniture to eco-friendly cosmetics and ceramic cacti.

Le Boutik Hotel Lake Annecy

After breakfast we simply stepped outside the door to happily lose ourselves in the maze of the medieval streets, stroll the lakeside paths and enjoy a riverside coffee before our short trip up in to the mountains. A short break made in heaven.

For more information visit Le Boutik Hotel

For details on the the Lake Annecy region visit www.lake-annecy.com and www.thonescoeurdesvallees.com

For information on skiing visit Le Grand Bornand and La Clusaz

CELLOPHANELAND* were guests of Le Boutik Hotel and Annecy Mountains

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