Time to really relax

Check in and bliss out: if we humans hibernated like bears, these hotels would be ideal hideaways. Here, the emphasis is on cosy comfort: you’ll never want to leave.

No wonder “cocooning” is such a buzzword in the holiday scene: the idea of escaping for a while to a private world of blissful comfort is more appealing than ever. The concept goes further, however, to include total relaxation: the sweet art of doing nothing. This inactivity becomes a chosen leisure activity, and is all the more enjoyable for that. At home this is not so easy: there will always be a pile of washing and other jobs waiting to be done. In a hotel, however, you can let yourself be cared and cooked for, and devote yourself wholeheartedly to unwinding.

Our choice of hotels with cocoon factor makes it easy for anyone – from tired mums and dads or couples seeking precious time together to anyone with a demanding job – to enjoy a well-earned escape. The interiors of these hotels, whatever their price and comfort category, have one thing in common: they make great use of natural materials such as wood, stone, felt and wool, leather and furs, and unashamedly aim for a chalet-style cosiness. After all, an open log fire is an irresistible invitation to linger; views of mountain peaks, snow-blanketed forests and white expanses encourage relaxation. Guests who feel no need to be active outdoors can stay in their hotel cocoon and observe nature through the windows: not only allowed, but strongly encouraged. 

In the spa of the Hostellerie du Pas de l’Ours, for example, you can feel the uplifting energy of nature; over in the restaurant, top chef Franck Reynaud (18 GaultMillau points) promises gastronomic fireworks. At the Unique Hotel Post in Zermatt, choose between three restaurants and five bars and clubs – after you have enjoyed blissful relaxation in the spa. The Art.Boutique.Hotel Beau-Séjour embodies authentic and cosy Valais hospitality combined with an original concept: any of the features with a price tag can be bought. At the Hotel Waldhaus up at Bettmeralp, the “Holz100” rooms have attracted considerable attention: they are completely panelled in “moon wood” according to the patented “Holz100” construction method. Over in the Val d’Anniviers, the Chandolin Boutique Hotel also acquired a completely new look three years ago, and now stands for sustainable luxury and responsible tourism at an altitude of 2,000 metres. At the Romantik Hotel Julen, meanwhile, you can relax in tastefully decorated rooms with a view of the Matterhorn, and sleep on wool from the family’s flock of Valais Blacknose sheep. You can even buy sheepskins as souvenirs and enjoy exquisite lamb dishes at the various Julen restaurants.

Hostellerie Pas de l’Ours

This 5-star hotel in Crans-Montana, a member of Relais & Châteaux, bewitches all the senses. The 15 exquisite rooms and suites ooze tranquillity and warmth; old wood, furs and log fires create a cosy atmosphere. An in-house spa guarantees total relaxation, while the restaurant L’Ours under star chef Franck Reynaud (18 GaultMillau points, 1 Michelin star) promises gastronomic flights of fancy.

Unique Hotel Post

Located right on the Bahnhofstrasse in the heart of Zermatt, the Unique Hotel Post boasts a wide range of facilities including five bars and clubs. These become a major draw in the evenings and exceptionally lively – yet the rooms and suites are a total contrast, decorated in “mountain lodge style” and wonderfully cosy. The decor features natural materials from the region, sand-blasted timber and exposed, 100-year-old stone walls, making for a very special charm – which extends to the spa and wellness area.

Art Boutique Hotel Beau-Séjour

This charming and authentic 3-star hotel in Champéry (Portes du Soleil) is not just a place to stay but also an art gallery and boutique offering decorative items for the home – partly made in-house – and second-hand furniture. Anything with a price tag can be bought! The hotel is a past winner of the Prix Bienvenu prize for Switzerland’s most welcoming hotels; children love the play room, and parents adore the outdoor hut tub (Penthouse Junior Suite Deluxe).

Waldhaus Bettmeralp

Guests at the Hotel Waldhaus in Bettmeralp feel the power of nature even indoors: several of the double rooms have been renovated according to the patented “Holz100” construction method and panelled fully with “moon wood” (harvested according to the phases of the moon). These rooms also boast comfortable Hüsler Nest beds of pine and a panoramic window. The lounge with open fire, the hot tub on the roof terrace, the sauna and wellbeing programme all add to the cocooning experience.

Chandolin Boutique Hotel

One of Europe’s ten best mountain hotels, according to the magazine “GEO Saison”. Located at an altitude of 2,000 metres, this stylish 4-star member of Typically Swiss Hotels offers an almost unbelievably beautiful view of the Val d’Anniviers and the 4,000-metre summits of Valais. Natural stone and untreated wood set the tone of the interiors; in the restaurant, head chef Stéphane Coco (15 GaultMillau points) serves sublime regional cuisine.

Romantik Hotel Julen

Zermatt’s Julen family has been running this venerable 4-star-superior member of the Romantik Hotels group for three generations. The tasteful chalet style makes for a cosy atmosphere. Integrated farming is part of the hotel concept and the great passion of the Julen family, who own the world’s largest flock of Valais Blacknose Sheep. Guests can visit the animals in their barn; their sheepskins and wool decorate the rooms; and lamb meat from the flock is served in the Julen restaurants.

Text: Manuela Lavanchy

Published: Januar 2020

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Philippe Hahn

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