Switzerland’s Most Discreet Retreat
The boutique hotel where discerning guests go to immerse themselves in forest bathing, marmot- feeding, exceptional cuisine, story-telling, wines and serious sleeping
Time-honoured, established and to those in the know, the Waldhotel Fletschhorn was one of the first hotels to pioneer the original well-being escape – a magical location in a pine forest in Saas-Fee, in Switzerland, providing guests with excellent Michelin-starred cuisine, to be enjoyed in captivating surroundings. Today, Waldhotel Fletschhorn still welcomes guests and following a two-year break in operations, the hotel re-opened and was rated one of the 50 best 4-star hotels in Switzerland by NZZ – one of Switzerland’s popular newspapers – in 2022.
The largest summer-ski area in the world and known as ‘The Pearl of the Alps’, Saas-Fee – a two- hour transfer from Geneva and just six kilometres from the Italian border –is special. Since this remote, car-free village has not been allowed to develop in the way that many other Swiss villages have, Saas- Fee is uncannily quiet and uncommercial. Here,
the past is present: many of the houses and stable buildings are as they always have been.
Accessible only by way of an electric buggy along a private road, a 15-minute ride from the village, Waldhotel Fletschhorn is the preserve of those in the know. The 100-year-old lodge has a devoted following by those who prioritise peace, privacy, pastoral pursuits, paths to well-being, and the promise of eating incredibly well with a wine cellar of over 9,000 bottles of varying vintages.
Whilst in winter many make it their luxurious base for cross-country skiing from the back door, in summer the hotel comes into its own as a glorious alternative to the Mediterranean’s teeming beaches and oppressive heat. Each of the 13 bedrooms has a balcony overlooking a valley of evergreen pines on the Mischabel mountains, some over 4,000 metres high. Spaces are generous with a strong focus on real comfort rather than impressive but awkward innovation. Bedrooms are decorated in muted, calming tones with splashes of colour on select walls and through furniture and artwork. There is still enough space left over for enormous open-plan bathrooms with powerful showers and corner bathtubs. As you’d expect, bedroom and bathroom linens are by Frette.
With temperatures barely higher than 20°C even in summer –and with always the chance of the mountaintops being snow-sprinkled overnight – Waldhotel Fletschhorn offers soothing summertime seclusion with exclusivity, openness and sincerity all in equal measure.
Spa and wellness
Head Therapist Gergo Aradi – formerly Head Therapist at London’s prestigious Soho House – is an internationally recognised massage therapist, yoga and meditation teacher, and life coach. The Fletschhorn Bespoke Swedish Massage is the one the hotel is famed for, but the treatment menu is all-enticing, including holistic life coaching, and guided meditation and relaxation which couples can enjoy together.
Guests wander in the forest, feed the marmots, read, write, paint and hunt for mushrooms. Some take trips to Mattmark, the largest earth dam in Europe, drawn by its wild and romantic Norwegian- style landscape; explore the area by e-bike; or make the most of the free use of cable cars during the summer season. Others take trips to Zermatt and Lake Garda or hike to local vineyards to familiarise themselves with the history and process of wine- making in the Valais. Cooking classes can be organised at the hotel on request. Guests do what they want when they want and are left in peace to do nothing at all. At night, stargazing with the local astronomer is a glowing prelude to a night’s sleep that’s wondrously deep and entirely undisturbed by light and noise.
Fine food and wine
Executive Chef Zhanna Blashchenko, originally from Kyiv in Ukraine, has over 15 years of experience in some of the Ukrainian capital’s most well-known restaurants. Her menus are Swiss- influenced but also inspired by Italian, German and French cuisine. The freshest ingredients are sourced from the hotel’s local suppliers whom they know and trust, including dairy products from the Simplon area, organic fruits, vegetables and meats, and locally crafted Swiss cheeses and chocolates. Patisserie Chef Yana, also from Ukraine, delights guests with her experiments in taste. The hotel’s wine cellar, aligned with the organic theme, holds over 9,000 bottles of the finest wines from the region and beyond.
Nestled in the charming village of Saas-Fee, the Waldhotel Fletschhorn invites guests to experience a timeless retreat of relaxation and culinary delight. With its serene surroundings, expert wellness offerings, and exquisite cuisine, this historic gem rekindles its legacy as a haven for those seeking a peaceful escape and refined pleasures.
Further information – www.fletschhorn.ch | firstname.lastname@example.org | 0207 184 9837