CLOS MARCEL – Annecy
by Vivian Holding
Having a night away doesn’t need to involve a flight or a long drive. As far as I’m concerned, the quicker you get there, the sooner you can start to enjoy it! My husband and I are always on the lookout for a new secret hideaway, for a sneaky night away sans enfants and one of our favourite hideaways is Annecy with its beautiful scenery, amazing architecture, fantastic restaurants and of course, great shops!
Sheer luxury – don’t mind if I do
I came across Clos Marcel, flicking through Down Town (Annecy-Mont Blanc) magazine, which I picked up when staying at the Hotel Héliopic in Chamonix. Located right on the lake of Annecy at Duingt (pronounced something along the lines of dwan), Clos Marcel originally dates back to 1934. Owners Lionel Molveau and Odile Delaune decided to completely transform the hotel and restaurant in 2011. Now a gorgeous 14 bedroomed, luxury 4-star hotel with an amazing view of the lake, beautiful gardens, a separate on site restaurant Comptoir du Lac (which can be booked independently of the hotel), bar, sauna, hot tub, pontoon and private beach, you have all the ingredients for an amazing stay.
Room with a view
Each room has its own private outdoor area, either a garden terrace or balcony – most with amazing views of the lake and mountains behind (be sure to book a lake view room). Our room (one of their smaller classic rooms) was on the ground floor. Decorated in warm neutral tones, with a super cosy bed, L’Occitane bath products and fluffy towels in the bathroom and complimentary Evian mineral water, the room didn’t disappoint. Outside was a lovely private seating area, overlooking the beautiful lawn sloping down to the lakeside. Priced at €175 in the low season (rising to €220 in the high season), with breakfast an additional €16 per person.
Bike ride along the lake
We visited in late October, aware that the temperature of the lake wouldn’t be ideal for a swim, we hitched our bikes onto the car and headed off. After an early check-in just after lunch, we decided to start our bike ride along the voie verte (cycle path) that runs close to the hotel. The cycle path follows an old disused railway line that ran from Annecy to Albertville. We headed south towards the furthest end of the lake, passing through an old railway tunnel, past a former train station (complete with old steam train engine) and rising slowly to reward us with the most amazing elevated view of the lake. On our return to the hotel, we visited their steam room and jumped into their hot tub, which are both located within the gardens of the hotel (super comfy slippers and towelling bathrobes are provided). With any aches or pains from our bike ride now a distant memory, we returned to our room to shower and get changed – we were more than ready for an apéro on the terrace!
Dinner at Comptoir du Lac
Dinner was served in their cool industrial style restaurant. The menus can only be described as contemporary French, with a twist. Two three course menus are available in the evening – the Menu du Comptoir at €35 (with a choice of two starters/mains/desserts) or the MenuZEN at €45 (choice of three starters/mains/desserts). We opted for the cheaper of the two menus, the Menu du Comptoir. Starting with grilled mackerel with a courgette and tarragon marmalade, served with an old style mustard, continuing with a Noir de Bretagne free range Chicken Breast, served with Cherry Tomatoes, Confit Shallots and a Devil Sauce and finishing with a roasted Reine des Reinettes Apple, with Fig and Cinnamon Shortbread and an Apple Cider Sorbet. Everything was simply delicious, everything was cooked perfectly and the service was impeccable.
Late breakfast the following morning was served buffet style in the restaurant (scrambled egg, crispy bacon, delicious pastries and yoghurts). The perfect start to a gloriously sunny autumnal day.
Our visit to the Clos Marcel was just perfect and we will certainly be making a return visit very soon.
Hotel Clos Marcel/Restaurant Comptoir du Lac, 410 Allée de la Plage, 74410 Duingt
tel: 0033 450 686747 (hotel) 0033 450 681410 (restaurant)