A mythical place with an original concept, it has shaken up the codes of the hotel industry. For almost 30 years, this Megevan establishment has reinvented itself each season, with the Sibuet children now at the helm.
A mythical place with an original concept, it has shaken up the codes of the hotel industry. For almost 30 years, this Mégevan establishment has reinvented itself each season, with the Sibuet children now at the helm.
Few places are true to their legend. Les Fermes de Marie is one of them. As soon as we arrive, we enter an enchanting and warm world where everything is as if imagined.
At this dinner time, all the tables are taken. Families, young couples, regulars and new customers... all amazed. "It's a luxury boarding house", Jocelyne Sibuet, founder with her husband, Jean-Louis, of Les Fermes de Marie, sums up perfectly. This establishment was born from the vision that the young couple, who were at the head of another hotel in Megevan at the time, had of the ideal hotel.
"Our hotel Au Coin du Feu was doing very well, it was a three star hotel with an exceptional clientele, but we were looking for something else and Jean-Louis had this idea..." recalls Jocelyne.
Jean-Louis the builder looked for a plot of land not far from the centre and sourced all the materials that make up this hamlet, which is now a six-minute walk from the church in Megève. He negotiated with the farmers, their old chalet, their barn and their alpine mazot, damaged and unused, to recover each board. He dismantled and then reassembled each of these farms and rebuilt and restored them in harmony with a contemporary spirit. For the rest, it will be up to Jocelyne. She will be hunting for local furniture and country objects? Then she will create a subdued atmosphere. Her taste and attention to detail are legendary. And her "mix and match" decoration is often copied but never equalled. "I decorated the Fermes as if it were my own home," she says. In fact, the Chalet des Fermes is one of those that make up the hamlet, a five-bedroom jewel with its own private gym that benefits from hotel service is where her children grew up. It is rented all year round.
Jocelyne also invented a new generation of spas, long before the trend swept through the hotel industry. She has created her own brand, Pure Altitude, with treatments designed for both extreme skiers and wellness enthusiasts in all its forms. Jocelyne has been testing various massage, detox and retreat programmes around the world. And she comes back with new experiences to offer. This season, a Tibetan bowl treatment is on the menu, Thai massage is always in demand and facials are overbooked. Clients leave the spa laden with home-made products that are proven to be effective.
The food is top notch and the breakfast buffet is probably one of the nicest and best stocked I've ever seen. The dessert buffet is also exceptional. The day is punctuated by highlights: breakfast, tea, pools (two of which have a swim lane) and finally, dinner. And this throughout the year. Les Fermes de Marie is a luxurious and authentic place whose soul is embodied by the Sibuet family. Although they have been separated for fifteen years, Jocelyne and Jean-Louis have continued to work together for their two children, Nicolas and Marie. They have opened other addresses where their customers can find the Sibuet spirit: in Provence, in Ramatuelle and in Saint-Barthélémy. Jean-Louis left the company a short time ago and Jocelyne now says she wants to distance herself from it. Their children are ready: at 34, Nicolas, the eldest son, has worked in all areas of the group and is now the CEO. As for Marie, a young mother, she is the general manager and also in charge. But their mother continues to bring her taste and energy to the business. Leaving Les Fermes is not easy...
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