In the small village of Entrèves, close to the southern exit of the Mont Blanc tunnel, stands Auberge de la Maison, a traditional chalet-style inn with outstanding views of the Italian Alps. Despite the hotel’s rustic style, owner Alessandra has modernised it with lifts for disabled access, a spa, sauna, and mini pool, but with sympathy for the building’s original features: retaining as much of its atmosphere as possible. The cosy rooms vary in size and are each individually decorated with traditional wooden furnishing and vintage-style Alpine-scene prints. It’s worth asking for a room facing the mountain range, so you can wake up to the sight of Mont Blanc.
   Dark wooden walls and furniture in the expansive sitting rooms create an inviting, cosy interior, where in the winter evenings roaring log fires are lit. The food is simple and unfussy: all the ingredients are sourced locally, and it’s served in the atmospheric candlelit restaurant, or on the terrace. The bar’s large selection of speciality herbal teas is a thoughtful touch.
   The hotel’s location means you feel far enough away from the touristic focus of the neighbouring town, yet still within reach of the action. Just 3 km away, in the Courmayeur valley, you can golf, hike, go rafting or fishing, and there are regular shuttle buses running from the inn to the valley and ski lifts. Best of all though, are the luxuries and authentic welcome of the hotel and staff, and the feeling of curling up by a glowing stove fire after a day exploring the slopes.