Switzerland.. oh that small, neutral and centrally located country in Europe, where everything just works. I was very intrigued how seriously they took skiing (as I am a French Alps girl).. and when Verbier called and invited me to come and experience some serious Swiss skiing, I could only say: “I am on my way, and surely won’t be late”.
And after a short flight to Geneva, an impeccably timed 2-hour train journey to Le Chable, we were almost in Verbier. Given the choice of taking the cable car up to the resort, or try the new Verbier Porsche, I chose the latter and got there a bit quicker.
The newly re-opened Chalet de Flore, a new member of Verbier Luxury Hotels, was our home away from home in the Swiss Alps – and it was indeed lovely. Stylish and uber comfortable rooms, very nicely done common areas and with incredibly friendly staff, I really enjoyed my stay here. We were a bit hungry from all the travel and were delighted with the simple spread we were presented with – great cheese (Gruyere from different years!), cold meats and.. wait for it.. Swiss wine! This little detail was one of the revelations of our Swiss Girls Adventure!
Who were the girls, I hear you asking? Of course you know who they are – my two travel partners in crime, all the way from the U. S. of A., Leah and Lola joined me for this short break. It would be rude of them to leave me alone to enjoy all this.
Dinner was an early affair (jet lag had to be dealt with on the first night) at the newly opened La Cordée des Alpes hotel. Stunning food, but what really got me was the beautiful spa – not too shabby, was it?
After a good night’s sleep, we were ready to conquer the mountains. The funny bit was that we never skied together – and I am not one to ski with groups. I like doing my own thing (I don’t disturb anyone!) and don’t like any pressure. But I decided to go along and needn’t have worried – we were to spend the morning with British skiing legend Warren Smith, who was going to “look after us”. I am not sure what he was told beforehand, but he looked worried – but it turned out we were way better than he thought!
We had an incredible day – and so much fun! Turns out we were all pretty much similar and Warren was the most patient guy in the world – that made us try extra hard and be as good as possible – we couldn’t make him look bad!
We were on the lookout for James Blunt, one of Verbier’s residents – you have heard one of his songs – so we looked everywhere. There is even a chair lift named after him – so I can cheekly say that I sat on James Blunt.. but we managed to get to La Vache, a recently opened restaurant co-owned by Mr. Blunt, Lawrence Dallaglio (English rugby player) and Carl Fogarty (world superbike champion).
After a little rest, it was time to continue our skiing adventure. I must say, the weather was stunning and the snow was very good. We skied like goddesses. We were on top of the Swiss Alps. We felt amazing.. and we didn’t look bad either!
And what did I love too? The après ski. It was a big surprise for me to see so much excitement in Switzerland – and this trip actually made me change some of my ideas about the country. Switzerland is not just efficient and pretty – Switzerland can be a lot of fun!
One thing I loved, was the warmth of the people we met when we were there. At one point, I couldn’t resist asking a particular person: “so, you are in the centre of Europe, surrounded by the top football nations in the world? Why in the world can’t the Swiss throw a football?”. She looked at me, smiled, and said “but we aren’t bad at tennis, are we?”. Match point. I loved the humour.
Verbier’s après-ski and dining scene is legendary, and I can assure you it did not disappoint. We had a great dinner (raclette with Swiss wine, obviously!), followed by a great night out, which went on a bit longer than I anticipated. But I loved every minute of it!
Our third and final day in Verbier was one of mixed feelings – I was a bit tired, but I really didn’t want to leave. And as I couldn’t feel my legs (they hurt so much from skiing the day before), I decided to treat myself to a massage. Not a relaxing massage – a proper sports one, which hurt a teeny tiny bit. But before and after, I got to enjoy the beautiful pool and solarium at the Chalet d’Adrien, a Relais et Chateau hotel, which is “connected” to our very own Chalet de Flore.
After this, it was time to go – and I was seriously very sad. And even my little St. Bernard was sad to see us go…
I loved Verbier and I seriously cannot wait to be back. I may not wait until the next ski season, who knows?
FACTBOX AND DISCLAIMER:
A huge thank you to everyone who made this trip possible. I loved every minute of it as you can tell!
Verbier St Bernard Factbox
Verbier St Bernard is one of Europe’s premier ski resorts with extensive and reliable skiing as well as a town to match with a lively nightlife and good quality restaurants. With Verbier at the centre of events the other areas within the area should not be forgotten with essential scenery and attractions in these small villages throughout the valley. Verbier St Bernard has experienced great early snow this season setting the resort up for an unforgettable season both on and off the mountain.
6 day lift passes start at £237 for an adult Verbier lift pass (£189 for children) and £239 (£191) for a 4 Vallées pass. Ski hire starts at £91.50 for 6 days from Fellay Mode et Sport on www.verbier.ch
For more information and to find out details of accommodation and booking please visit www.verbier.ch
Le Chalet de Flore in Verbier is a 4* hotel right in the centre of the village, just 100m from the Medran lifts. A new member of Verbier Luxury Hotels, the Chalet de Flore**** is joining the Chalet d’Adrien***** in the ranks of Verbier’s charming, luxury, elegant hotels. Linked with the Chalet d’Adrien daily by a permanent shuttle (9h – 22h30), clients at the Chalet de Flore have full access to the Spa and Gym at the Chalet d’Adrien. They also have priority at the restaurants and benefit from all services at the Relais & Châteaux member establishment. For more information visit www.chalet-flore.ch
For more information on the Valais region of Switzerland and events visit www.valais.ch
Air Transportation and First class SWISS Passes were provided by www.myswitzerland.com – prices start at £179 for a 4 day pass with first class passes starting at £285 for 4 days with concession prices available.