It is “THE” top destination for summer 2023! An eldorado for sports enthusiasts and/or wellness cures, the mountains are the perfect place for family reunions or more intimate retreats.
There’s nothing like the immensity of the Alps to (re)find your shape and your forms. Forests, flowery meadows, lakes, waterfalls, hiking trails – it’s all there for a breath of fresh air. Outdoor sports and fun activities take pride of place: guided themed walks at altitude, mountain biking (with or without electric assistance), hiking trails, heated swimming pools, whitewater sports (canyoning, rafting), climbing, horse riding, golf, tennis, accrobranche… A mountain of exciting activities to take your mind off things! Not to mention relaxation and all the indoor sports, fitness, pilates, yoga, meditation…. A boundless ‘playground’ punctuated, of course, by gourmet beaches and essential moments of idleness to stop the clock. Close to Geneva, Lyon and Turin airports and major TGV stations, or just a few hours away by car.
VAL D’ISÈRE CLUB MED EXCLUSIEVE COLLECTION
A free interpretation of luxury
After months of renovation, Val D’Isère is the first Exclusive Collection resort in the mountains. The best of Club Med! More comfort, more service, surprises, experiences and small details: this Resort embodies Club Med’s new approach to luxury. Luxury that is not stuffy, that does not exclude anyone, but that dares to say its name. In winter, we are the leader in top-class skiing holidays,” says Henri Giscard d’Estaing, CEO of Club Med. In summer too, we want to be a pioneer in active mountain holidays. And we give ourselves the means to do so, thanks in particular to the iconic Club Med spirit – festive, friendly, chic – and to our 70 years of experience in tourism. I can assure you it makes all the difference!
With 22 activities included in the all-inclusive offer, this Resort is the perfect base to explore the surrounding flora and fauna. At this altitude, or higher, there are two nearby nature reserves, the Grande Sassisère and the Bailletaz, with breathtaking landscapes for hikers, trail runners and climbers, mountain bikers and beginners. On the programme: first-class rooms, stylish decoration, exclusive, personalised service, original activities… and champagne (complimentary) served by the glass with the aperitif. Don’t miss an outdoor yoga session by Heberson or a heavenly massage at the Cinq Mondes Spa. And don’t forget the unique children’s facilities: the Mini-Club and Junior-Club Med welcome youngsters aged 4 to 17 throughout the day.
FOUR SEASONS MEGÈVE
Golf lovers have come to the right place! Whether you are a pro or an amateur, you can improve your game on the 18-hole golf course of the Domaine du Mont d’Arbois, the oldest and undoubtedly most prestigious golf course in the mountains, founded by Baroness Noémie de Rothschild in the 1920s. Besides all the outdoor sports on offer, the hotel’s other asset is the Spa, dedicated to massages and the treatment protocols of Olivier Claire, a pioneer of clean beauty. This wellness area talks to the mountain, visible from the indoor and outdoor pools, before the misty doors of the sauna and hammam are opened to raise the temperature.
As usual at the Four Seasons, the table is not to be sneezed at. For a Far Eastern-inspired menu, head to Kaïto. There is also the Bar Edmond, where you can enjoy delicious truffle-flavoured scallops on the terrace and sip cocktails in the evening. But the heart of the hotel is La Dame de Pic (Le 1920), a restaurant by three-star award-winning chef Anne-Sophie Pic, who combines “simple” produce of the best provenance with divine “juices” of her own invention. ‘Berlingots’ are the quintessence of Anne-Sophie Pic’s cuisine and she uses them in a multitude of flavour combinations, depending on the season, the region and her inspiration. My favourite: absinthe-flavoured beaufort fondue and a consommé of green zebra tomatoes infused with meadowsweet and ivy. A shot in the arm.
In summer, winter and autumn
Ultima is a collection of ultra-luxury private properties, including city villas, waterfront villas, ski resort chalets and a top hotel in Gstaad. Winter, summer or autumn, this versatile destination offers something for every season. In summer, guests can hike in the high mountains, even swim in the golden blue lakes and experience true tranquillity. In winter, of course, the resort takes on a very different personality, known for skiing and glamorous après-ski. Ultima Gstaad combines the intimacy of a (private) chalet with the luxury of a grand hotel. It consists of three chalets with just 11 suites (said to be the largest in Gstaad) and six residences (fully equipped luxury flats). The idea is to feel ‘at home’ with all the services of a luxury hotel. The hotel’s other asset is its spa. A temple to well-being (800 m²) open to Swiss Perfection treatment protocols and personalised treatments in aesthetic medicine from Dr Xavier Tenorio’s famous Aesthetics Clinic® in Geneva. The clinic offers state-of-the-art equipment for exceptional treatments such as detox, revitalisation, a complete check-up, botox, laser or cryolipolysis treatments, radiofrequency, etc. We also love the Ultima restaurant, one of the best in Gstaad. True to its Italian origins, the chef Andrea Franceschi rediscovers products from the Alps to pamper gourmets. A delicious mix of classicism and modernity.
LA RÉSERVE GENÈVE
City Palace & Country Resort
In Geneva, there are traditional 5-star hotels… and then there is La Réserve. Set on the shores of Lake Geneva in a beautiful park, the hotel combines the advantages of a city palace with those of a country house. With the majestic Mont Blanc in the background. A must: take the hotel’s private motoscafo to the quays of Geneva (in 10 minutes)… in mahogany, just like in Venice!
La Réserve is undoubtedly the place to be before or after a stay in the high mountains. It is also the most refined of the Boot Camps. The hotel offers a method of physical conditioning that takes advantage of this ideal natural environment to do indoor and outdoor physical exercises (modelled on those used by the US Army, “boot” being the name given to young recruits in the US Navy). The goal? To build a perfect body, of course, but mostly to create a group dynamic that encourages members to persevere in their efforts. Where to go. In the reserve’s gardens and the Spa (ranked among the 50 best spas in the world). The result of combining the scientific expertise of the Nescens brand and the medical expertise of the Clinique Genolier’s Centre de Prévention du Vieillissement. A resort where intensive sport, wellness and nutrition combine perfectly. Not to be missed: Le Tsé-Fung, Switzerland’s only Michelin-starred Chinese restaurant. Here, the concept of wellness is much more than a protocol to be followed, it is an entire art of living.
LES FERMES DE MARIE, MEGÈVE
The chalet spirit
Labelled as old-fashioned just a few years ago, the style of the ‘old chalet’ is now one of the most refined in the world. Imagine a Savoyard hamlet recreated (almost) identically, with added comfort and luxury. Les Fermes de Marie, in Megève, welcomes some of the smartest customers around, but the charm of its owners, Jocelyne and Jean-Louis Sibuet, manages to convey a chic, cosy and generous atmosphere. On the wellness front, the Spa Pure Altitude offers à la carte treatments and masterful preparations based on trace elements, clays and essential oils, highlighting the beneficial properties of mountain plants. For your comfort, there are indoor pools overlooking the landscape, a swimming corridor, Japanese bath, Jacuzzi, steam room, sauna and gym, as well as a Leonor Grey hair salon and manicure by Manucurist. There is everything you need to pamper yourself, prepare for the summits or unwind after a day’s exercise. The must: the “White as Snow” treatment… even in summer. This nourishing, remineralising treatment starts with a toning massage to stimulate circulation, followed by an exfoliation with coarse salt and a little honey, and then a packing of Snow Like Cream with anti-ageing edelweiss and soothing Arctic berries. Lying in a warm, weightless bed, the relaxation is deep and lasting.
INTERALPEN HOTEL TYROL
Your body at its best
At 1300 metres altitude, (almost) in the middle of nowhere on a wooded plateau in Upper Austria Tyrol, this 5-star Superior combines the pleasures of outdoor sports with the benefits of one of Europe’s largest and most renowned spas, founded in the 1950s by Dr Hans Liebherr. On the programme: massages, treatments, pilates, aquagym, fitness, swimming pool (indoor and outdoor), a total of more than 5,000 m² dedicated to your well-being and fitness. Before each stay, a thorough health check is carried out by a team of qualified doctors (with state-of-the-art ECG and ultrasound equipment). A special highlight is the “Pantaï Luar” massage, in which pre-heated, almost glowing oil is quickly rubbed into the skin with a herbal pad; the body’s highly efficient repair mechanism then forms new cells after these very light burns. Another local speciality is the famous weibath (mölkebad), a protein concentrate that is rich in minerals and excellent for the skin. In powder form, but guaranteed organic, the whey is lathered in a state-of-the-art hydromassage bath.