Tag Archives: Hotel Reviews

Switzerland: 7 Activities For a Weekend in Gstaad

1. Snowshoeing & Nature In Sparenmoos

When it is snowing a lot and the fog is falling, I much prefer snowshoeing, or cross-country skiing with an experienced instructor who will be able to choose the right place. Significantly less stressful than being at the top of a slope for skiing without any visibility! So I discover with pleasure the beautiful scenery of Sparenmoos. Big crush on the fir trees, a bit like in Méribel! A fairytale landscape.

2. Visiting The Mirage of Doug Aitken

The Unusual Experience

I really liked the short hike to the Mirage by the American artist Doug Aitken. A visionary construction, located between Gstaad and Schönried. Fantastic! All walls (including ceiling and roof with the exception of the floor) are mirrors. Stunning and fun! A must see and experience! The installation will remain until January 2021.

3. A Drink On The Slopes

Enjoying The Panorama

During this weekend, the weather is pretty capricious, two white days (very foggy) and one single sunny day (the one of my departure, lol!). Finally with a friend and our instructor, we take a long break at the top of the slopes, waiting for a better visibility. The weather darkens and we went back down by cable car. But happy!

4. Sleeping at 1,450 Meters Above Sea Level

In Nature

I spent the first night of my trip at the Rinderberg Swiss Alpine Lodge. A  real change of scenery! You need to take the cable car to access this very welcoming and cozy little hotel, located near the Rinderbergbahn intermediate station. From the small balcony of my room, I have a panoramic view of the mountain and the fir trees. The landscape is a bit magical. Photo above: the spa bordered by fir trees.

5. Strolling in Gstaad

Away From The Hustle And Bustle

The Gstaad I discover (off of the season) is a quiet and charming village. People are relaxed and the general rythm is calm. Perfect when you need to recharge, or if you are agoraphobic. On the shopping side: Hermès, Louis Vuitton, Dolce Gabbana … are installed in beautiful wooden “chalets”. There are plethora of restaurants and some cafes and bars are really cool.

6. Discovering Saneen

The Historic Village

The center of Saanen is charming with small streets lined with wooden houses built between the 15th century and the 18th century. The woodwork (facades and doors) is beautiful. And the al fresco paintings of the Saint Maurice church date back to the 15th century. There are also a few lovely shops with local handicrafts. A nice walk after skiing.

7. The Hype Design Hotel

Where To Stay

The HUUS Hotel Gstaad is defenitely my favorite place in Gstaad! I am absolutely delighted with my two nights there. Awesome design, team and atmosphere! I really liked my room, the common areas, lounge with the fireplace, long bar, excellent Italian restaurant, view, champagne evening, breakfast and location!

Photos : © Mademoiselle Le K – Tous droits réservés

Informations  

www.MySwitzerland.com, www.gstaad.ch, www.visitvalais.ch, www.swiss.com, www.swisstravelsystem.com

Related articles : Destinations & Hotel Review

Many thanks to the tourist offices, My Switzerland and Gstaad for this beautiful invitation. As always, these are my opinions.

Suisse: 7 activités en week-end à Gstaad

1. Raquettes & nature à Sparenmoos

Lorsqu’il neige beaucoup et que le brouillard tombe, je préfère de loin faire des raquettes, ou du ski de fond avec un moniteur expérimenté qui saura choisir le bon endroit. Nettement moins stressant comme reprise que de me retrouver en haut d’une piste sans visibilité! Ainsi je découvre avec plaisir le superbe plateau de Sparenmoos. Gros coup de coeur pour les sapins, un peu comme à Méribel! Un paysage de conte de fée.

2. Visiter le Mirage de Doug Aitken

L’expérience inédite

Dans les activités hors ski : j’ai beaucoup aimé la courte randonnée jusqu’au Mirage de l’artiste américain Doug Aitken. Une construction visionnaire, située entre Gstaad et Schönried. Superbe!  A l’exception du sol, tous les murs et parois, plafond et toit, intérieurs extérieurs sont des miroirs. Impressionnant et ludique! A voir et expérimenter absolument! L’installation restera jusqu’en Janvier 2021.

3. Prendre un verre sur les pistes

Enthousiasmant et agréable

Durant ce week-end à Gstaad, la météo est capricieuse : deux jours blancs (bien bien brumeux) et un jour de grand soleil (le jour de mon départ, lol!). Finalement avec un ami et notre sympathique monitrice, nous faisons une longue pause en au haut des pistes, en attendant une improbable éclaircie. Le temps s’obscurcit et nous redescendons en téléphérique. Mais heureux!

4. Dormir à 1450 mètres d’altitude

En pleine nature

Pour la première nuit : dépaysement garanti au Rinderberg Swiss Alpine Lodge. On prend le téléphérique pour accéder à ce petit hôtel très accueillant et cosy, situé près de la station intermédiaire du Rinderbergbahn. Depuis le petit balcon de ma chambre, j’ai vu une panoramique sur la montagne et les sapins. Le paysage est un peu magique. Photo ci-dessus : le spa à bordé de sapins. 

5. Flâner dans le centre de Gstaad

Loin de l’effervescence et des paillettes

Le Gstaad que je découvre hors saison, est un village tranquille et charmant. Les gens sont relaxes et le tempo général est calme. Parfait, lorsqu’on a besoin de se recharger, ou si vous êtes agoraphobe. Côté shopping : Hermès, Louis Vuitton, Dolce Gabbana… sont installés dans de beaux “châlets” en bois. Il y a pléthore de restaurants et certains cafés et bars sont très cool.

6. Se promener dans Saanen

Le village historique

Le centre de Saanen est très agréable, avec ses petites rues bordées de maisons en bois, dont la plupart ont été construites entre le XV siècle et XVIIIe siècle. Les boiseries (façades et portes) sont superbes. Et les peintures al fresco de l’église Saint Maurice remontent au XVe siècle. Il y a aussi de jolies boutiques, dont certaines proposent des produits d’artisanat local. 

7. L’hôtel design et hypster

Où il faut séjourner!

De tous les restaurants et hôtels que j’ai vus durant mon court séjour, c’est l’endroit que j’ai préféré! Je suis absolument enchantée de mes deux nuits au HUUS Hotel Gstaad. Le design, l’équipe et l’ambiance sont top. Ma chambre, les parties communes, le lounge avec la cheminée, le long bar, le restaurant (excellent!), la vue, la soirée au champagne, le petit déjeuner et la localisation : tout m’a plu!

Photos : © Mademoiselle Le K – Tous droits réservés

Informations  

www.MySwitzerland.com, www.gstaad.ch, www.visitvalais.ch, www.swiss.com, www.swisstravelsystem.com

Autres articles : Destinations & Hotel Review

Un grand merci aux offices du tourisme, My Switzerland et Gstaad pour cette superbe invitation. Comme toujours, ce sont mes opinions.

Japan: Sasayuri-Ann Terrace Villas (Day 1)

The Ozonu Villa

  

The Room

Arriving this morning from Kyoto in the small station of Nabari, we were far from imagining our stay at Sasayuri-Ann Rice Terrace. We are in countryside (one hour by train from Nara), a complete immersion in an authentic traditional Japan. 

We are greeted by Mr Matsubayashi, the owner who, with his wife and two sons take care of the two villas. We stay in Ozonu, the new villa with light woods and opened on a beautiful Zen garden (above, first photo of the article). A smart blend of tradition and luxury, sober and extremely comfortable (modern bathroom and kitchens). I feel like I’m in an Ozu movie.

In the evening, the main space is transformed into a bedroom. We are projected into another dimension, with the backdrop of the lighted garden and the sound of the water. Awesome! Photos above and below: my first fittings of yukata (Japanese summer kimono) in the room.

  

Shabu Shabu

  

Carefully and Warmly

After a long day, we take our first dinner around the “fire”, in the center of the main room. Our hosts have prepared a Shabu Shabu (the famous Japanese fondue). 

Vegetables and beef of the region (cut into very fine marbled slices, like Kobe beef) are soaked in boiling water and then seasoned with sesame sauce. I don’t know the exact recipe, but it’s delicious. Subtle, light and tasty (photo below).

For the desert, a homemade sake ice cream ball served in frozen ceramic cup and spoon (photo above).

Ikebana & Zen Garden

Contemplative Meditation

The garden is the pride of Mr. Matsubayashi who was inspired by the most beautiful Zen gardens. Every evening he meticulously water it. Besides, the villa and the garden are one. 

The garden is divided into three sides: the Landscape Rock Garden, the Pinetree Garden and the Scenery-Borrowing Garden with, in the distance, the bluish mountains. Enchanting setting.

In the afternoon, we attended a private flower arrangement class given by Mrs. Matsubayashi, master of Ikebana. I liked her precise gesture. With few elements, her composition is beautiful! No superfluity, only the essential matters. Japanese minimalism.

 

  

The Tea Ceremony

The Immutable Japan

In another part of the garden, there is a 100 year old tea house (impressive!), With the dimensions of a doll’s house, paper doors and windows. According to Mr. Matsubayashi, the Japanese love everything small.

I feel both like Alice in Wonderland and an elephant in this confined space that seems fragile. As strange as it may seem, everyone quickly finds his little living space. 

Formerly this ceremony was practiced by monks and allowed the powerfuls and gentry to share a moment of peace over a cup of tea. Today, the masters of the tea ceremony are mostly women.

Everything is very codified, the graceful slow gesture is controlled and repetitive too, like a choreography. We hear the sound of water and birds outside. Macha and confectionery are excellent.

To be continued … 

  

    

Photos & vidéos : © Mademoiselle Le K – Tous droits réservés

Informations  

Sasayuri-Ann Terrace Villas

Planning your trip with Exclusif Voyages

Flying to Japan : direct flights from Brussels & Paris with ANA

Related articles : DESTINATIONS & HOTEL REVIEWS

Many thanks to Exclusif Voyages, Ryokan Collection and Mr and Mrs Matsubayashi and their sons for this wonderful immersion in a traditional hedonistic Japan. As always, these are my opinions.