With Krug in the mini-bar and a goodie bag of Guerlain in your bathroom, Cheval Blanc is as close to alpine ski heaven as a hotel can get.

The ski-in/ski-out set-up gives easy access to 600km of superb slopes in the Trois Vallées, your boots are warmed for you in advance, and your ski instructors are often former world champions.

Most thrilling is the chance to go heli-skiing, where you're picked up by chopper and whisked off to untouched off-piste slopes normally inaccessible to skiers. Although led by experienced guides, these are definitely not for amateurs, so be warned.

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Back at the hotel, your bathroom comes with a chromotherapy hammam (colour therapy + hammam = surreal relaxation), delicious cedar-scented candles and hand creams made for high altitudes. Interiors give a 'sense of place', with animal skins, warm woods and cool cuckoo clocks. Bedrooms are spacious with mountain views.

When your limbs need a rest, head to the sensational Guerlain spa. This is the ultimate ski pad, with a gigantic dollop of luxury.

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WOW FACTOR: Yannick Alléno's two-Michelin-starred restaurant, Le 1947, where the bouillon comes with gold leaf and the bread with truffles.

GO: Oxford Ski (www.oxfordski.com) offers seven nights from £9,400 per couple, half board. Includes flights and transfers.

FLIGHT TIME: 1 hour, 45 minutes

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