Telegraph magazine - Four of the best French hotels with great sommeliers

Le Hameau Albert 1er Chamonix. The first thing you notice about le Hameau Albert 1er is the staggering views of Mont Blanc. Then, its hamlet-like layout, with rooms spread between a main contemporary-feeling building and a number of more traditional chalets. Add an outstanding restaurant with a sommelier and wine list to match and this centrally located hotel is a winner. A genuine family affair, the original hotel was built in 1903 by Joseph Carrier and today’s extended version is run by Joseph’s grandson Pierre Carrier, Pierre’s daughter, Perrine, and Perrine’s husband, Pierre Maillet, who is the head chef of its two-Michelin-starred restaurant, Albert 1er. The hotel’s wine cellar holds close to 19.000 bottles and its delightful, award-winning sommelier, Christian Martray, is a great champion of up—and-coming local producers (wines from the Savoie region are both underrated and excellent value) and many others from around the world. He sells 16 wines by glass (from 5€) at the hotel’s Quartz Bar, runs monthly wine-tasting lunches and loves sending guests off to visit local producers. The details : Doubles from €290 in winter, €225 in summer (relaischateaux.com)