My husband and I spent some memorable days in this fantastic Relais&Chateaux. It sits in the middle of a meadow ringed by snow-capped mountains. The view is just breathtaking. The rooms are comfortable and are all individually furnished with precious antiques. The food and wine list is superb and the spa heavenly. We had a great time and are already planning our return to this wonderful gem of a hotel.
What attracted us to this hotel in particular were the wonderful hiking trails. Within a short hike you find yourself high up in the mountains where ibexes and mountain goats are your only companions. You can almost touch the glaciers and if you chose to do so, you can hike from one valley into the next. The Grand Paradisio is one of Italy's most wonderful National Parks and all the wildlife there is protected. We shoot some wonderful pictures with ibexes sharing our trail and butting horns. We spent 6 nights there hiking a different trail every day and then sinking into the hotel's hot tub and enjoying the excuisite spa facilities. Dinner at the hotel at end of the day was the crowning of it all. What a great place. We can't wait to get back.
By the way, this hotel is also open in the winter and offers magnificent cross country ski trails and even some down hill skiing. The down hill ski area is small but the cross country skiing is superb.
We went to italy last september and had a wonderful time in Cogne. Its a beautiful and very original hotel and you can feel the quality in every detail.Cogne isa nice mix from Switserland, France and Italy, both borders are nearby. We intend to go back there....
Hotel Bellevue. Gem. I echo the sentiments of others, and can tell you that it has not changed one bit.
I just returned from 4 really spectacular days at this Relais & Chateau treasure. What a great break! Cogne is in the heart of the Gran Paradiso National Park in Aosta region in Italy. The park is the first national park in Italy, a gift to the people of Italy from the last king of Italy, the family of Vittorio Emmanuele II. (some history is always value added). We were blessed with fantastic weather, blue skies and crisp winter weather, atypical of the Italian Alps. Aosta is the smallest region of the 21 regions of Italy, named for Augustus Pretoriea, there is an ancient 'Arch' in the capital (of 40,000 people), loads of little castles throughout the region, and is in effect a perfect blend of France, Italy and Switzerland, tucked away in the environmental comfort of the Alps. We were fortunate to be in Aosta during the 1007th edition (yes 1,007 years of tradition) of the Valle d'Aosta fiere di Sant d'Orso (Saint Bear). This happens every year on January 30 and 31, and is a fair of traditional (and appropriately expensive) hand carved wooden sculptures, wooden toys, shoes, copper potsand other northern Italian crafts. I insult the artists --- these were masterpieces, not crafts.
In addition to attending the fair (about 1,000 open air craftsmen and craftswomen), we took a balloon flight with the montgolfiere.it team, a small basket for 2, well into the alps (astupendous flight day -- no needless wind, blue sky, no snow, landing was like landing on a big marshmallow -- very good, and highly qualifiedpilot), sawMont Blanc (Monte Bianco toItalians), Monte Rosso, and soaredto magnificent heights,perfect vision, warm as punch.
What else did we do?Ate exceptionally well (cheese fondue with Fontana cheese, a local specialty) at the Fromage a bar restaurant at the hotel, and at the Bon Bec (also affiliate to the hotel -- a great polenta, which if cooked wrong is like cold porridge, if cooked right, and it was, is comfort food), relaxed inthe spa,indoors inthe warm comfort of the big pool and the jacuzzi, while looking at the 'chill outside', and were treated like welcome family (not all family is always welcome) by the hosts.
Cogne is just full of ways to relax. Good food, wine, and reallyeasy helpful hosts. Lots of activity if you want it, and lots of reasons to enjoy the scenery 'passively' if that is what you need. The folks in Aosta don't have the tension of mostof Italy. They are rightfully proud of their Alpineheritage, and are so easy to be with, you know that you are in a different Italy. A really different Italy. And a whole lot let expensive than Chamonix, which is an hour or so drive away.
I watch the auctions all the time to see if Hotel Bellevue is back. Its exceptional value for money. The rooms are a visual joy and should be granted some 5 star luxury status, the hotel is full of family treasures (same family havebeen 'custodians' of this hotel for many many years ---I dont think that they see themselves as owners, but as keepers of one of the finest places in Italy). Nothing is 'locked up', artwork and antiques everywhere. Each room is a museum of family treasures, and all isa time capsule to the '20s and '30s, with all the modern conveniences anyone could imagine. The room was beyond anything that we had expected. Comfort, function and charm all together, with panoramic view.
I have lived in Italy for many years, and travelled throughout and stayed insome of the more 'hard to know and hard to find' places that are really platinum occasions. Thisplace is head and shoulders above most others, and if you want to go somewhere, 4 seasons, to be treated like casual royalty, nothing stuffy, nothing but relaxed in thealps,this is the one. (That Royals from Italy stayed here in the 20s and 30s says something of the property....)
Take the balloon flight. Between April and October the San Bernardo pass is open. That is where the Saint Bernard dog earned its fame, and where Hannibal marched his elephants through to try to conquer the Romans in the Second Punic Wars. A great hike if you have the energy, and a great drive, if you just want the passive experience .... driving in Italy, however, is never passive.
(The Hotel Palumbo in Ravello, another LL property, is the other gem of gems.... view, elegant staff, perfect rooms, divine food,perfect.....)
(It killed me to write this, knowing that I will likely never win the Hotel Bellevue again, but it was such a great place, the owners deserved to know that every detail that they have painstaking struggled to keep as it always was, was not missed by me. I needed that easy tone, to recharge my batteries. They gave me that. )
Thank you all for 'not bidding against me' on a recent offer from the Hotel Bellevue in Cogne, Italy.
I will be returning in late June, when the San BernardoPass is open for the summer, and will be taking one of the most spectacular drives in the world, hike in the Italian Alps and Gran Paradiso national park, visit a number ofglorious little castles on the way and generally chill out and recharge.
We have been to Bellevue in Cogne a number of times, but always had rented a car. Driving there is pretty straight forward. However, as far as I know you can take a bus from Milan to Cogne. First take the bus from Milan Lampugnano to Aosta, then connect to the Cogne bus. You can book tickets online at http://www.savda.it/ Give it a try. Good luck.... I hope this info helps.
public transport is simple. take a train to Aosta, and then hop on the 2 or 3 euro bus to Cogne. simple, pleasant. have done it by car, and by train/bus... easy both ways, and actually found the train to aosta and the local bus a relaxing start to my holiday.....
We have not been to Bellevue in the winter, but believe that Bellevue is a wonderful resort to enjoy at any time of the year. I came across this great site that should speak for itself. Have a look at Family winter holidays | Cogne, Italy | Hotel Bellevue, Relais and ...There is ample opportunity for cross country skiing, alpine skiing, dog sledding and horse drawn carriage rides. So you should have your fill of activities you enjoy.
The hotel also runs three restaurants one with a Michelin star and the Bar Fromage or La Brasserie du Bon Bec. You can signe up with the Hotel Bellvue at the beginning of your stay for Half-Board or Demi-Pension which allows you to eat in all three of their restaurants. Your package usually comes with one dinner included. This addition of demi-pension is really a great money saver and the food and settings are excellent in all three. I don't quite remember what the price for the add on demi-pension was, but you can ask the hotel Bellevue by dropping them a short e-mail. We enjoyed eating in during our stay, because we used the time before dinner to enjoy the pool and the lovely spa there. Since our days were filled with long hikes and other activities, we appreciated this time before dinner to relax and not having to get ready to go out and search for a restaurant.
However, if you prefer to experience other restaurants in Cogne and Lilaz, the next village up, have a look at these listings here. Prices there can range from inexpensive pizza to expensive, but the Bellevue Restaurants are the best in town in every category.
For what it's worth, here is a Cogne Restaurant Listing below, and I also found a restaurant review by Jen Kalb which I am posting here for you.
RISTORANTI: BAR LOU RESSIGNON jen kalb writes on Jul 23, 2008 06:53PM
In Cogne there are two very delicious D&B and they are really to do not miss !
The first one is BRASSERIE DU BON BEC.
Cogne means one of most relaxed mountain towns of our Alps.
The view of Gran Paradiso in magnificent and you will never become tired to admire it.
Gran Paradiso is a National Park and it is wonderful to visit it in every season (I prefer the late spring).
D&B BRASSERIE DU BON BEC is very well knowm and of total charme.
The Dinner part enables us a jump back to one century ago.
The servers wear ancient dresses but it does not provoke a sense of the fake, it is well harmonized with the atmosphere.
As antipasti, discover please, the teteun !
Then crespelle and several varieties of local cheese Fontina, first of all.
Very good also are several main courses: braserade or pierrade ( a mix of grilled meats).
The second one is NOTRE MAISON; look at its website www.notremaison.it
The Hotel Bellevue is one of my favorite Hotels, and I think obrienkf feels the same way. I think staying there, will make a believer out of you as well. You should have a lovely time there.
Let me know if I can answer any further questions you might have.
Message Edited by LL_Travelfan on 10-10-2008 01:06 AM