Going by a majority of the other reviews and the nice website, we booked this place for a 3 night stay. We decided to check out after the first night, for no fault of the establishment or its owners - the owners were absolutely lovely, in fact. But we made up our mind to write this review to tell everyone what the other reviews DON'T tell you.
First, the PROS:
- Lovely owners, very courteous and welcoming
- Spectacularly clean and crisp place
- Nice views 9though hardly the best in Switzerland!)
- Fairly peaceful
- Pretty nice place for its class (mid-range motel-style living)
- All rooms are identical but use different local wood, which is a nice little touch.
Now, the CONS:
- NOT a design hotel. Yes, it is made of straw. However, does that have any palpable impact on your experience here? No. Does the design honour the fact that it is made of straw? Not really, apart from the fact that every room has a straw "window", where it hasn't been covered up by wood.
- Tiny, stuffy rooms, poor space planning. All rooms are more or less the same size and are pretty poorly planned. At 20sqm, you get two single beds pushed together, a small table, an armchair that is too big for the room, a huge and not very pretty floor lamp, two tiny bedside tables with unremarkable lamps, a "wardrobe" space that is in effect an open shelving system, not quite enough for two adults, and a cramped bathroom with poorly designed drainage and a somewhat fancy but completely ineffective ventilation system. We had to move some furniture around just to be able to walk around the bed, to free up some space.
- All rooms are lined up against two open porches / decks / balconies on either side - exactly like a motel! So you get no privacy whatsoever when you step out of your cramped room. You don't even get much privacy when you are inside your room as the doors are glass fronted, so you have to keep the curtains drawn, which doesn't do much to improve the feeling of claustrophobia in the room.
- The bathroom floods as soon as you start taking a shower. And there is nothing you can do about it. The fancy and massive shower head is in fact disproportionate to the size of the bathroom, and at least in our bathroom, the floor gradient wrong, leaving us with a permanent puddle. Plus, the "shower curtain" is effectively a very narrow strip of curtain that doesn't actually curtain anything. Result: a permanently soggy, partly-flooded bathroom.
- The room was too stuffy and hot in August, and the only way out was to leave the door open - in which case, you had road noise and no privacy.
- While it overlooks a beautiful vista on one side, the property is just by the side of the main village road, which means you overhear all (albeit sparse) traffic that goes past, and again - no privacy.
- The village is pretty characterless - all new-builds and nothing to see or do. We couldn't eat in the in-house restaurant because the menu didn't suit us, so we walked down to the only Italian place in the village on the recommendation of the host. (This meal was amazing and was the highlight of our stay in Nax!)
- The "garden" area is wild grass, un-mowed and full of chirping crickets and bees - if you fancy lying in the grass and reading a book, or even walking barefoot, you do so at your own peril. So your options are: cramped room, shared deck space with no boundaries, or roadside wilderness.
- Poor bedding - while it may be organic and eco-friendly, the sheets were rough-spun and therefore uncomfortable to sleep on, the "pillow" was a large, uncomfortable euro-sham (square cushion style thing) - one per person, the mattress was rock hard (and we prefer firm mattresses!). Did not sleep well.
Cannot comment on the food as we did not eat here.
We were attracted to this place for its eco-friendly credentials and the fact that they sell it as a peaceful haven - it is certainly eco-friendly but very uncomfortable, and peaceful only if you shut yourself in your room, or are happy relaxing communal style in full view of the village road.
Not our thing, unfortunately. To their credit, the owners promised us a refund if they managed to re-sell our room. Again, no fault of the owners, it is just not the type of place we like to stay in.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The award winning Maya Boutique Hotel is the first Hotel built entirely with straw bales. Nestled between fields and meadows it thrones on a high plateau just above the capital of the Valais, Sion. Enjoy the stunning view over the Bernese Alps and the nature around the hotel. Each of the eight rooms is dedicated to a different type of wood of which the furniture was made by hand. The straw bale walls create a very cozy living climate and get you rest and a pleasant sleep. All rooms have their private Italian designed glass bathroom.New! The Scandinavian Barrel SaunaEnjoy unforgettable and relaxing moments in the new Scandinavian barrel sauna with the round panoramic window.The Maya Boutique Hotel is the ideal hide-away for a romantic escape. ... more less
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