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“Incredible spa, fantastic food and wine, interesting hotel...”
Review of 7132 Hotel

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7132 Hotel
Ranked #2 of 6 Hotels in Vals
Certificate of Excellence
London
Level 6 Contributor
136 reviews
59 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 104 helpful votes
“Incredible spa, fantastic food and wine, interesting hotel...”
Reviewed February 10, 2013

We picked this as a hotel base for a skiing trip over Christmas, and thought the spa would be an added benefit. I think it's only fair to say at this point that we have booked ourselves in for next year too.
The spa is an incredible space. It's as good as the blurb and the pictures - not often you can say that! Architecture is stunning - not just visually but aurally. There's nothing quite like floating in a warm pool outside as the snow falls, or watching the stars and the moon shine on the snow-covered moutnains (as good as the Blue Lagoon at night). There are a number of different spa spaces: each has its own character, and I particularly liked the petal room and the sound chamber. The hot and cold baths are just that - dare your co-traveller to try the cold bath at 14C! If you can bear to get up early in the morning, experience the baths without the hordes ;)and you must try the late night bathing if you're staying overnight. The spa really made the hotel experience for us (otherwise E80 for two) - without it, might take persuading to return at that price...
I'm going to write about the restaurants separately, but in summary, mostly wonderful! Focus on local/regional food, organically grown/raised where possible. Quality slipped slightly on Christmas day and 26th - it felt a bit pre-prepared - but otherwise would eat there until the cows come home. Which I think is in the spring sometime, if someone wants to pay for me?
The breakfast was great for a contintenal breakfast. If you're expecting sausages, bacon, etc you will be disappointed. If you want a healthy varied typically Swiss breakfast, this is heaven. So many different fruits, cheeses (all local, some organic), meats, mueslis, lost count of the number of breads (ok, croissants wouldn't make it in france), lots of fresh juices, maybe 10 local jams, DIY eggs, hot breakfast on request, great tea options (sadly not boiling water, but I guess you can't expect Europeans to understand ;), although coffee not so great... Oh, no soya milk either, but I'm sure if you asked (we will next time) they would provide.
So, to the hotel and the rooms. I was a bit put off as we walked in: the hotel lobby looks old and smells of old stale smoke. Fortunately that's about as far as the smell goes. The hotel is like something out of the 60s/70s, so if you're into design, you'll love it. The main bar is blue and velvety (Blue Lounge), and the jazz musicians in residence were excellent. Great music to totally wind down after skiing/spa/fabulous meal... We now have all of Ehlan Mehler's recorded music. Bar selection is good, they do room service, and also serve afternoon tea. However, it does feel a bit Swiiss in that all the chairs in the bar/music appreciation area are arranged in very straight lines. Normally I'm fairly conformist but even I had the need to shuffle my chair a bit and move it round 45 degrees.
Hotel room: the only disappointing bit of the trip, although I did come to love our room by the end of 6 days. We stayed in the Temporaries, and to be frank I was disappointed by the level of facilities relative to the price. Maybe I need to recalibrate for Switzerland/on site thermal baths (see E80 per room above). However, at the end of the week I wondered whether the room had been feng shui'd as we were so relaxed. At the beginning I was frustrated by the lack of storage space (looked like Ikea units, one each), the lack of hanging space (about 3' for two, we had to ask for extra hangers), nowhere to put shoes, boots etc, and really not enough for a week including ski gear. The bathroom like something iin my grandmother's 1970s flat - although fortunately C21 plumbing - when at that price I was frankly expecting separate bath, walk-shower, twin sinks, etc. Like I said, maybe I need to recalibrate for Switzerland, and by the end of the week I didn't mind... Bed very comfortable, nice linen sheets. The hotel chooses odd things to focus on, eg changing the flower in the vase every day. Fabulous chocolates apparently made in-house arrived every night, plus free local mineral water and local apples which were truly more-ish. All that aside, slightly small rooms, limited storage, but I sort of got their ethic in the end...
And I want to end on a positive note, or two. The location, at the end of a quiet valley, stunning scenery, some good skiing locally and within 30mins drive, probably about as close to Elysian as you get in western Europe nowadays... And the staff: wonderfully helpful, friendly, individual, wanted to make our stay as good as possible. I suspect that many are local and have an 'investment' in the hotel's success, unlike eg seasonal or large corporate hotels where service may be perfect but impersonal.
So, not a perfect stay (at that price) but somewhere we have already booked to go a year in advance. And I don't think we've ever done that before.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank DH76
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Vevey, Switzerland
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed January 16, 2013 via mobile

Il writing this review whilst still in the hotel. The trip to the hotel was not short of amazing... We had to take a little mountain train that passed through picturesque landscapes. Then upon arriving in Illanz, we had to change to a postalbus which was another 30 minute trip into the heart of the valley - at the end of which the therme is to be found.

A van was ready to pick us up at the biz stop which was an initial very good impression. However the trip was 2 mins long and it confirmed that the huge concrete building that I had seen from the bus stop was in fact our hotel.

The receptionist was very welcoming although she had no concrete recommendations on restaurants other than the red room which only offered a minimum 3 course menu which we didn't feel like. The impression of the lobby were initially positive with live jazz ... However the illusion of the "good hotel" quickly left the moment we arrived into our miniature sized room. We paid an extra tarif of around 30CHF per person to have a room inside the same building as the therme - for a total amount of 320CHF per night! And that is the cheapest rate available!
To start with, to pass to our room from the lobby, we had to take a steel passage that I doubt was insulated. The room itself was extremely small and more camper like style than hotel style. The walls were painted in bright yellow with basic curtains in bright yellow. The beds were clearly individual sized that couldn't even be put together. Instead of a wardrobe, furniture was in the form of a wall unit above and on the sides of the bed. Clearly, the small being so small, the bed alone took almost the whole area.

After our initial deception, we decided to go to the baths hoping that the hotel placed all their emphasis on the therme (and nothing on the rooms).

However upon my arrival at the spa, I was shocked to see that the seemingly nice walls portrayed on the website had four huge yellow patches just below Open taps (deco concept). I couldn't believe how a hotel establishment can let their walls get rusty to that point without taking action and giving such a first bad impression on their customers! Other than the wall which is made of typical Graubunden stone, the spa had nothing special: a small room with almost boiling water, another with cold, another which is an indoor pool, another which is supposed to be a therapy music room which was Infact less than a meter squared and just delivered gong like sounds, another with a sort of well which is claustrophobic to say the least, and a final room which is a steam area... All done beautifully with this local stone. Other than that, the lamps hung on the ceiling where standard bulbs. Whether this was meant to be the style or not, it gave the feeling of being in a hangar, rather than a spa... Not to mention the railing!

The outdoor therme would have been nice had it not been for the huge concrete corridor one storey high that covers the whole view...

An experience to be missed!

  • Stayed January 2013
    • Value
Helpful?
1 Thank VickyMalta
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
switzerland
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed January 14, 2013

Two incredibly contradictory feelings.

The Therme, designed by Pritzger prize-winning architect Robert Zumthor is marvellous. A man-made wonder, combining technical prowess, magnificent materials and the sensuality of waters ranging from 14° (ICEBAD, and it deserves its name) to 42°C (they could call it boiled-lobster bad).
The two restaurants are very good to excellent. Oddly, we preferred Chessio, the Italian mid-range restaurant. The gastronomic restaurant offers a sumptuous dinner, (but who can eat that much for several days running?) OK, that's personal...
Now some objective disappointments.
We reserved by phone about two weeks before arriving on Jan 1, 2013, for a four-day stay. All of the rooms were booked long in advance. We attempted to be put on a "waiting list" for the 31st, a concept no one seemed to understand. As we called several times in the days leading up to our reservation, we spoke with several people. We thought that we had reserved half-board.
On our arrival at 1pm we were told that the room wouldn't be ready until 3 but that we'd have Spa access until then. Fair enough. We then wanted to confirm what was reserved and and at what price (the email we had received was extrremely confused and, it turns out, factually incorrect. A problem of translation?) Basically we had to renegotiate most of our plans for the four coming days. We returned a bit after 3pm, and were given a rather complicated explanation of how to get to our "Design" room. And NO ONE OFFERED TO HELP carry the baggage and bundles that accompany a ski trip.
Once in the room we had to read the instructions on where to put our baggage. It turns out that there a no closets or dressers and only a very small hanger space, but there's a locker room as you enter the floor and plenty of room under the bed. No one had told us!
Breakfast is kind of a joke. There's a free-for-all around an average-ish breakfast buffet. One must order the coffee from a wait-person, and hope he or she remembers your order.
The day we left we asked--early--if it might be possible to visit one of the "studio" rooms inspired by famous architects. We were given an appointment at the desk at noon. I arrived at 11.55 and was told that the person we were to see was at lunch and to come back at 12.30--exactly when the bus left to take us to the train station. (Hence the specific I'd made appointment to visit the room at 12.)
The desk seemed annoyed but called the person with whom we had the appointment. The sprightly and friendly young woman came running, still munching, while adjusting her uniform.
We were able to visit the very beautiful room with great views in 3 minutes. We asked a few questions about the hotel and its history and were told by the young woman (who was not a chambermaid) that she didn't know any of the answers.
We also learned that the hotel was "under new management."
I have 3 pieces of advice for the new management: Training. Training. Training.
But then, if it's fully booked a year in advance, why should they bother?
PS Not to be triffling, but the cost is over $300 per person per day, half board.
There are other hotels in town, and entrance to the Therme is CHF40/day (around $43)

Room Tip: If you've won the lottery or recently inherited, try to book one of the architects' studios...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank petrusswitzerland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed December 4, 2012

This is our second stay at the Hotel Thermes. The first time we stayed in the main building, and this time we stayed in a detached tower.

Even if one isn't that into architecture or design it is difficult to not appreciate the hotel--the rooms are quite unique (our little room had a kitchenette) with a lot of built in cabinetry and lovely balconies with views of the valley and mountains. I have never stayed in the upgraded rooms however, so both times here my partner and I have had two single beds (the beds fold down and can be sofas when not in use). Not staying in the main building wasn't as difficult as I expected it to be--although we had to travel outside along a pathway to the baths, once inside the spa they give you a free little token to put in the locker room so that you can leave your clothes there. Of course it was much easier just to have our bathrobes and pad along to the spas through the main building the first time, but given the savings I don't think it was that much of a trade off.

Of course, the thermal baths underneath the hotel and adjacent were the highlight for us. I completely agree with other reviewers about the "night bathing"-- if you do stay here try to stay for one of the nights that they offer it, since it isn't every night.

The breakfast is also very good--and I think quite complete for hotels generally in this region. We also enjoyed the fixe menu dinner at the restaurant Chessi, as well as sandwiches and very good cocktails in the bar area. The food is excellent and local, the service is expectedly excellent for the caliber and price of this hotel.

We actually were unsure whether we would stay at this hotel again, or try another hotel which was highly recommended to us. Even though some aspects of this hotel are not as comfy as I would like (for example sleeping in separate beds, feeling like the hotel towers are disjointed from each other), I really do enjoy the access to the baths, especially during the exclusive hours for the hotel guests. If you are not going to take advantage of this, it might not be worthwhile for you to stay here, as I think you can get more value at other places. Also, although there were children visiting during the daytime on the weekend, some hours do not allow children, and I don't think there is that much at the hotel to keep younger family members entertained.

What makes this place unique in my mind is that it is a very rare and site specific experience--I constantly felt like I was in a design blog at times--and you have to enjoy socializing with complete strangers in your bathing suit.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Snorkeleyes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Basel
Level 5 Contributor
54 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed December 3, 2012

Stayed in the main building for three days. The room was spacious and exactly as described. The use of crisp white linen bed sheets, duvet cover and pillow cases were a nice touch. We had a welcome house made chocolate truffle, a bowl of apples, and constant supply of sparkling water from the area. The view to the mountain was so peaceful. There was no TV but a selection of Jazz and classical CDs which we played during the entire stay. I rated it higher because of the amenities described. The room design is not my favorite but I knew what it offered and believe the hotel delivered exactly it published.

Buffet breakfast was on par with most of the Swiss lodge that provided variety of food (lots of heathy options) including make to order eggs and espresso. Our half board included a four course dinner at the restaurant Chessi. We choose Chessi because its more causal. Service and food both were outstanding and the daily menu was created based on what's available in the local area.

The theme experience was the highlight. There were many pools each offered special purpose. The 36 degree outdoor pool with amazing view of the mountain was our favorite. Because its so cold outside the steam coming out of the pool made it looke so beautiful. The hotl and ice bayh were used for healing. During the day it was crowded because the theme was shared with non-hotel guests. The night pool (Sunday @23:00) required quiet time and it was a tranquil experience!

Room Tip: Stay at the main building on higher floor. Head to the theme during hotel guests only time especial...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank WorldTravelerBasel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hockessin, Delaware
Level 4 Contributor
25 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed October 25, 2012

Spent most of a day traveling into the Alps to Vals for single
overnight stay. As first visit to Alps, trip in mid-October was
full of great scenery. Hotel itself is a contradictory mix of high
highs and low lows. Did NOT come for the spa or to soak in
the baths, which my companions informed me, were fine.

Access to the hotel lobby for check-in and to the restaurant
for the sumptuous breakfast buffet required a steep outside
hike or a multi-building, elevator adventure. I suppose many
come to the baths for adventure. There are no signs to spoil
the splendid views. Finding the lobby was a game of hide
and seek; returning guests may have no problem.

My room, in the non-premium building, had narrow bunk beds
in the style of a cruise ship, and was delightfully silent containing
no radio, TV or clock. The view to nearby mountains was excellent.
The single person elevator was outdated, overworked, slow
and dangerous.

Dinner in Restaurant Chessi was delicious but exceedingly
slow for our group of 10. So slow that despite numerous
requests to the waitstaff some folks missed the evening
pool session at 10PM.

Go for the adventure, the quiet and the spa. Otherwise pick
a different place with signs, less primitive facilities and a
staff commited to service.

Room Tip: get directions to lobby and know your path to it!
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Simple_Country_Boy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Switzerland
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed October 22, 2012

I have never been to a more stylish and relaxing pool than the one attached to the hotel Therme Vals. The whole interior of the pool area is made of massive granite, designed by the ingenious Martin Zumthor. The dark stones together with the pure chlorine-free water give the pool an almost mystical atmosphere and help to put you in a deep state of relaxation.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Cassandra1504
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about 7132 Hotel

Property: 7132 Hotel
Address: Poststrasse | 7132 Vals, Vals 7132, Switzerland (Formerly Hotel Therme Vals)
Location: Switzerland > Swiss Alps > Canton of Graubunden > Vals
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Ski-In / Ski-Out Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 6 Hotels in Vals
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Number of rooms: 91
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
At the 7132 Hotel highest attention is given to Valsian hospitality. To select ingredients, highest quality and relaxation far away from mass tourism. ... more   less 
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