Travelling to Courmayeur and the Aosta Valley always feels like coming home. As a teenager, I spent every summer there at my Grandmother’s house, exploring the mountains and lapping up her hearty, homemade cooking. This time though, I was to experience another, special side of Courmayeur.

The five-star Alpine resort, Le Massif Courmayeur, opened its doors for business just five months ago and has since become one of the most talked-about hotel debuts in the industry. Located on the slopes of Mont Blanc – just next door to my old home – this 80-room hotel and chalet is without doubt an inspiring tribute to Italian hospitality.

Stepping inside, there is this wonderful sense of calm. Logged ceiling and wood panelling, plush furniture and contemporary lines are brought together with the delicate scent of word burning. It’s clear that Italian architects, Fabrizio Gandolfo and Inart Studio truly considered the surroundings, combining alpine architecture and natural materials with minimalist elegance. It’s eco-friendly with style.

I was immediately welcomed and directed to relax by the fire and enjoy a complimentary drink – anything I’d like, no rush; the hotel will take my luggage to my room. I could have sat there all day, listening to the crackle of the fire and snug under a throw.

Noticing how tired I was, Alessandro, one of the members of staff, came over and offered to escort me to my room with my welcome drink. Though a small act, it was one I really appreciated and proved to me just how attentive the staff are.

I was fortunate to be staying in one of the hotel’s suites, which felt like a mini oasis with warm lighting, soft fabrics and a spectacular vista of the Alps. A note from the General Manager and a bottle of local wine was placed on the side – impressive since I only notified the hotel that I would be staying just 2 hours before. Marcello Cicalò, you wonder!

Marcello, Director of Sales & Marketing for the Italian Hospitality Collection, has long been a friend of Connections, and we always look forward to welcoming him at our events. But meeting him in Courmayeur, my second home, was very special. Along with Andrea Tassini, Co-founder of Allure Alps, we explored the opportunity of an exciting collaboration, all while enjoy a local cheese making experience. It is of course, the Connections Way of doing business!

Before I left, I stopped by one of my old haunts. The Via Roma shopping area, which is not far from Le Massif Courmayeur, is home to beautiful jewellers, your favourite luxury names and of course little shops that offer Panettiere bread and local biscuits. It was amazing to see how it’s developed over the years, but it was even better to bump into three familiar faces who still owned their boutiques 25 years on.

It’s clear that there is a real sense of community in Courmayeur. With the new comes the protection of old, to preserve traditions whilst helping its future.

I can’t wait to return.