Le Soir

March 3, 2023

The hotel La Cachette is the first hotel to be established in Les Arcs 1600. For its 50th anniversary, it has given itself a facelift.

Four stars, a privileged location in the heart of Les Arcs 1600, a unique architecture: after two years of closure, the hotel La Cachette has regained its pure lines...

It may be called La Cachette, but there is nothing secret about it... Located in the heart of Les Arcs 1600, at the foot of the slopes, the emblematic hotel of the resort welcomes its first guests this season after two years of closure. The reason for this was first the health crisis, then the change of owners and the work that followed. This hotel, the very first in Les Arcs 1600, was designed by the same team of architects and designers as the rest of the resort, led by Charlotte, a disciple of Le Corbusier. Their architecture, typical of the 70's, modernist and innovative, is still being talked about half a century after its implementation.

La Cachette Hotel is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. For the occasion, it is getting a new lease on life. At the helm is the Friendly Hotel group, which already owns the Totem in Flaine and the Victoria Lodge in Val d'Isère. "We were lucky enough and had the opportunity to take over this property, but it was in its original state and had undergone a number of changes over the years," says Laurent Chelle, co-founder of the Friendly Hotel group. "To renovate it, we wanted to work with people interested in mountain architecture and leisure real estate, and with the ambition to respect the original spaces.

The group called on the architectural firm Patriarche, which was responsible for the renovation of the Notre-Dame de Paris roof structure.

A maximum of biosourced materials

The first step was to remove the fixtures and fittings that had been installed over the years, to go back to basics, to promote transparency and light penetration, and to reorganize the common areas to better meet the needs of today's clients. "We had the impression that every time there was a view, an obstacle was put in place that made it a bit of a chalet," recalls Laurent Chelle. "We reopened the views, we cleared them."

Then, to give back to the place its cachet and its authenticity, notably by favoring vintage furniture, even original when it was possible. Not entirely, for obvious reasons of functionality. But with nods to history, like these tables signed Perriand that welcome visitors in the lobby, or this assembly of colored lights also imagined by the designer.

In this same spirit of reuse and local anchoring, the Friendly Hotel group asked the architects to work with a maximum of raw, local and/or bio-sourced materials. Wood, straw and hemp have thus found their place in the interior design, as have the woolen fabrics from the Arpin spinning mill, which has been established in the valley for 200 years, or the furniture found at Selency.

Today, the hotel can accommodate 265 guests in 88 modern and functional rooms. All of them offer either a view of the mountain or a view down to the valley.

But what characterizes it is its volumetry. Its floors are staggered to avoid the shadows cast by the balconies on the lower levels, generating an oblique façade on the mountain side. The movement implies an equally oblique façade on the valley side, to ensure equivalent surfaces from floor to floor. "This inclination brings an additional 30% luminosity in the rooms," explains Laurent Chelle. "On the other side, we have an incredible view of the Tarentaise: we can see the entire valley. In addition, the cantilever allows us to create a path protected from the snow at the foot of the building."

In addition to its architectural appeal, the hotel has a significant advantage: it is located just a few minutes' walk from the funicular, which has a direct connection to the railway, making it particularly accessible from the major European railway stations.

Le Soir n°52

March 2, 2023