Hôtel 4 étoiles, La Clusaz
Life in the mountains through four generations
To step over the threshold of the Chalets-Hotel de la Croix-Fry in Manigod is to enter a magical world, where four generations have left their mark on their family home.
Situated between Annecy and Geneva, in the Aravis mountains, Isabelle and Eric, the children of Marie-Ange Veyrat have projected their own personalities on the property bringing serenity, happiness and hospitality while respecting the history and traditions of Haute Savoie.
The story starts with their great-grandmother, Aline, known as Mémé Karavi, who, at the age of 12, in the early 1920’s, left the mountains and went to Paris to train as a chambermaid.
She returned to Manigod a few years later and in 1937, with her husband François, built an alpage chalet in Croix-Fry. During the winter they would go down to the valley, returning to the chalet in summer with their herd of cows.
Mémé Karavi, wiser for her Parisian experience, had the idea of opening her table to the mushroom pickers and the rambler hikers, treating them to her generous cep and chanterelle omelettes, her famous “matafans”, and delicious blueberry tarts.
Little by little their business as restaurateurs and inn keepers developed as two bedrooms were built in the barn. Their daughter Lina and her husband Pierre joined them, with Pierre constructing a teleski in the valley facing the chalet.
This was an era when city dwellers started to be attracted to the mountains for open spaces, hiking and newly developed Alpine skiing.
As the years passed, Marie-Ange, the daughter of Lina & Pierre, mother of Eric & Isabelle, took over the running of the chalet.
She adored her childhood mountains; it was her world and she knew all its secrets. Passionate about local artefacts, she created them endlessly and transformed Mémé Karavi’s old alpage chalet into a three-star hotel with a celebrated restaurant.
To all guests she provided moments of happiness and dreams by letting her imagination run wild with her passion for interior design.
‘The Chalets de la Croix-Fry are inhabited by a fairy!’
- Olivier Roellinger
From an early age Isabelle and Eric have been affected by this passion and culture, finding their contentment and lifestyle creating many more projects.
When, in December 2009, Marie-Ange left the mountains she loved so much, both combined their energy and talents to continue their mother’s work.
With their cousins, Mireille and Pierre, they continue as the beating heart of Croix-Fry, giving life to a family home, a fourth generation, now with a four-star establishment.
Isabelle Loubet Guelpa, trained as an herbalist, and with the help of Gérard Lucher, a plant gatherer, organises short stays dedicated to plants and their secrets in the magical world of Chalets Hôtels de la Croix Fry.
Two days becoming introduced to the flora of this unspoilt environment, under the leadership of these two enthusiasts. Recognising and picking plants, herbs and flowers in the alpage, learning how to use them, and creating balms, infusions and massage oils.