'Absolutely Gorgeous' was the verdict of one of our reporters, and our most recent visit confirms the star rating of this wooden mountain chalet at the highest point of an alpine col, with a terrace overflowing with flowers. Run, with great pride, by a third generation of Veyrats - the chalet was once shared in the summer by the family and their cows - the hotel is cosy and welcoming. A wood fire burns on cool evenings and the sofas and armchairs gathered around the hearth are covered in sheepskin.

The bedrooms are attractively rustic - even in the modern annexe-chalets, which provide adaptable family accommodation with kitchenettes. But what really impresses us is the evident pride of the family and their endless efforts to maximise a guest's stay. The Veyrats love running their hotel and the pleasure shows.

The restaurant, serving nourishing mountain food, has spectacular views of peaks and valleys. Mme Guelpa-Veyrat's brother, Marc, is one of Savoy's culinary celebrities, but the tarte aux myrtilles from her kitchen has many admirers. In summer the Veyrats invite their guests to picnic in the pastures with their cows and swim in the pool; in winter the invitation is to ski.