If there is one establishment in Combloux that has marked the development of tourism in the town, it is the PLM. Built at the beginning of the XNUMXth century at the request of a wealthy Swiss owner, the Grand Hôtel du Mont-Blanc – later renamed PLM – has played an essential role in the attractiveness of Combloux, summer and winter alike.
Located at the entrance to the village, this large white building is distinguished by its particular architecture, its whitewashed walls, its wrought iron balconies and its huge rounded windows.
Built in 1912 by Phyl Provence, a wealthy owner originally from Switzerland, the hotel welcomed the first tourists to Combloux, mainly in summer, and was quickly full. But the First World War led to a drop in attendance, and faced with the cost price, Phyl Provence had no choice but to sell her hotel. The Grand Hotel du Mont-Blanc then becomes the PLM.
But by the way, what does PLM mean?
PLM for Paris, Lyon, Mediterranean. It was the railway company “Paris, Lyon, Méditerranée” which bought the Hôtel du Mont-Blanc in 1923. The PLM company enlarged the hotel from 50 to 200 rooms and added new facilities added to the luxury of the establishment: skating rink, golf, tennis, etc. A wealthy clientele made up of political and sporting personalities, artists, bankers or wealthy industrialists then comes to enjoy the good mountain air and the exceptional view. Magnificent receptions and gala evenings are given regularly and make the reputation of the establishment.
From luxury tourism to the beginnings of skiing in Combloux
Although skiing was already practiced and Combloux already had its first ski instructors in the 20s, it was the PLM which in 1935 installed the first ski lift in the village with a bra system that will be found in other stations thereafter. This ski lift is installed on the current Route du Feug and allows you to go up to the village of Ormaret. A ski school is organized and a dozen instructors give lessons around this equipment.
The railway company multiplies the advertising campaigns in the major stations of France with the slogans “Combloux, balcony of Mont-Blanc” or even “Combloux, pearl of the Alps in the setting of the glaciers” and seals the destiny of the station. Combloux becomes in the eyes of the general public a winter sports resort.
The Second World War led to the closure of the hotel, which subsequently failed to recover and regain its prestigious clientele. In 1955, the PLM was sold into private apartments, now occupied year-round or available for vacation rental.
Discover PLM in a new light
Stage point of the digital visit of Combloux, the PLM is presented to you directly on your phone thanks to the mobile application “Visite Combloux”.
The application takes you to other emblematic sites of Combloux: the Saint-Nicolas church, the Isidore farm and the old village bistro Le Coin Savoyard.
Download the application for free or go to the Tourist Office to rent an audio guide.