COURCHEVEL, France ( MainStreet) -- They're the places most people fantasize about around December -- some well-known ski destinations steeped in glamour and luxury, others less familiar winter wonderlands (including a fresh batch of design hotels hoping to become this season's "it" spot). Regardless of which, they are all part of a jet-set vocabulary that seems to change every winter with bragger's rights for those managing to ski their slopes first or stay at the newest hotel.For those who like a good dose of paparazzi in their winter escapes, there's no ski scene quite like Courchevel. The slopeside yin to St. Tropez's yang, the French ski town is divided by altitudes, with 1850 being preferred by fashionable visitors such as LVMH's Bernard Arnault, Roman Abramovich and Dasha Zhukova. Despite new properties in the past years including Les Airelles, Cheval Blanc remains the top hotel in town (and perhaps all of France) with its eatery by three-star Michelin Chef Yannick Alleno and in-house boutiques by Dior and Louis Vuitton -- none of which seems a coincidence considering the hotel is also owned by LVMH.
|Fans of the Virgin Limited Edition properties will enjoy its lesser-known The Lodge in Verbier in the Valais region of southwestern Switzerland.|
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