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.
- 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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