Relaxing on Lake Annecy

by Lucienne Brown
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Abbaye de Talloires is set in a former Benedictine monastery on the banks of Lake Annecy, surrounded by the majestic peaks of the French Alps. The stunning 17th century facade, reflected on the shimmering waters, adds to the ethereal atmosphere that has inspired visitors for years.

We arrived on a warm summer’s day and were shown to our beautiful lake-view room. The sunlight streamed through the shutters, across the opulent fabrics, antique furniture and priceless artworks. The overriding ambiance is one of tranquillity – here we could relax and enjoy the beautiful surroundings at our own pace.

The abbey has a fascinating history, and there are hints to it throughout – the art, paintings and books all tell a story, as does the tranquil silence that pervades. There is so much to do – hiking, watersports, skiing, golf and sailing are just a few options, depending on when you visit. But what really stood out for me were the special moments: sitting by the lake on the sun-dappled terrace, enjoying a glass of crisp rosé under an ancient tree, sunbathing on a lounger on the private pontoon, swimming in the lake, surrounded by alpine peaks – memories that will stay with me forever.

Shimmering lake, majestic mountains 

Thanks to the unparalleled location – set on the banks of Lake Annecy, and backed by the majestic Alps – activities abound. It really is impossible to be bored here. We visited in the summer and so spent a lot of time on the lake. The hotel’s private pontoon is dotted with sun loungers, and swimming in the clear waters, surrounded by the stunning mountain peaks, is a wonderful experience. Adjacent to the hotel is a watersports centre offering a wealth of activities (and discounts for hotel guests). We tried waterskiing and wakeboarding – both great fun. If you fancy something a little less strenuous you can take a rowing boat or pedalo out onto the lake and just soak up the beauty of your surroundings.

During winter the landscape is transformed – and with it the activities. In 20 minutes you can reach the slopes of La Clusaz, which offer wonderful skiing. You are also under an hour away from some of the most celebrated skiing in the French Alps. Abbaye de Talloires can arrange transport to and from the slopes.

  • Horseback riding, hiking, mountain biking, canyoning
  • Watersports, paragliding
  • Skiing, winter sports
  • Picnics, sightseeing
  • Golf, tennis, mini-golf
Romancing the Alps

The hotel offers a number of packages for those celebrating their honeymoon or just being together. The Sweet Honeymoon Package comprises three nights in a lake-view Junior Suite, breakfast, flowers, champagne, a six-course meal, a boat trip on the lake and a relaxing massage. Couples booking the Moonlight Package will enjoy two nights in a lake-view Junior Suite, breakfast, flowers, champagne, a six-course meal and a bottle of wine. The Romantic Outing Package is for one night in a Double Superior lake-view room, breakfast and dinner.

This is the perfect setting for a fairy- tale wedding – imagine making your vows on a warm summer’s day by the shimmering lake, or in winter with snow-clad peaks as a backdrop – unforgettable.

  • Visit nearby attractions, including Menthon St Bernard castle and Annecy
  • Swimming in the lake
  • Sauna, jacuzzi, treatments
  • Cookery courses
  • Walks, picnics
  • Boat cruises, hot-air balloons
  • Aux Jardins des Délices restaurant run by a renowned head chef, serving spectacular gourmet fare and boasting an impeccable wine cellar (which you can tour with a sommelier); Terrace Cézanne for light meals on the patio during the summer
  • Bar offering a wealth of exotic drinks and fine wines; drinks served on the pretty terrace in summer
  • Tennis, golf nearby, watersports, hiking and more
  • Wellness centre

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