Queen of Retreats founder Caroline Sylger Jones and her team explore spas of all kinds around the globe this week she’s travelled to The Alpina Gstaad spa in Switzerland
The Alpina Gstaad opened its doors at the top of the Gstaad in 2012 – the first five-star hotel to open there in over 100 years. With a Six Senses Spa, two Michelin-starred restaurants and sophisticated yet relaxed vibe, it’s a truly indulgent place to while away a few days, whatever the season.
The Six Senses Spa has a 25m indoor pool complex with water walls and Jacuzzis, while sunlight streams through an overhead dome. Younger guests can make a splash in their own separate pool with slide, and outside a further pool is heated to 32 degrees year round.
The majority of the spa facilities, including Turkish bath, saunas, hot and cold plunge pools and experience showers are in the separate men and women’s changing rooms, with the main ‘mixed’ facilities being the pools and Himalayan salt grotto.
fill your lungs with fresh mountain air and hire a bike, or follow one of the suggested hiking tracks.
Twelve treatment rooms include a Floatation Room, Colonic Room, Colour Therapy and a Cave Room for couples. There are a yoga and Pilates studio and a well-equipped gym, but both lack outdoor views. So to burn the calories, fill your lungs with fresh mountain air and hire a bike, or follow one of the suggested hiking tracks.
A mix of Asian-inspired and Swiss alpine treatments include face and body therapies from QMS, ila and Biologique Recherche. Signature massages focus on your individual needs from detox to energising. Relax post treatment with healthy nuts and a fruity concoction from the juice bar.
When it comes to the rooms, Alpina Gstaad combines an intimate chalet vibe with the service and discretion of an ultra high-end, five-star hotel
The hotel takes wellness seriously and recently introduced a Six Senses Integrated Wellness programme. An hour-long wellness consultation analyses key physiological biomarkers of health, including metabolism, heart function and stress. The results are used to tailor make a programme of daily treatments and activities, alongside a nutrition plan. Before you leave, a second consultation will check for progress and provide you with a schedule to continue back home.
When it comes to the rooms, Alpina Gstaad combines an intimate chalet vibe with the service and discretion of an ultra high-end, five-star hotel. Authenticity meets Swiss luxury in a very charming way, and all 56 chic and cosy rooms and suites have astonishing mountain views. Timber-clad walls, farmhouse-style furniture and beautiful antiques provide an authentically alpine yet homely feel. For the ultimate splash out, the three-bedroom Panorama Suite has its own Jacuzzi on the balcony, private spa and gym.
People travel serious distances to visit the hotel’s two Michelin-starred restaurants including Sommet, which offers modern European-style fine dining. If you’re feeling flush, ask the sommelier to hand pick one of the 400 rare wines on offer, or book in for a tasting session in the Cellar which stocks 1,700 vintage bottles.
In winter, a third restaurant, Stubli, opens up to serve hearty fondue and raclettes
Next door is Megu, also with a star, serving up some of the tastiest Japanese for miles. Choose to sit at the sushi bar to watch the action or go alfresco on the outdoor terrace. Finish with a nightcap at The Alpina Lounge and Bar, with its floor-to-ceiling window onto the mountains. In winter, a third restaurant, Stubli, opens up to serve hearty fondue and raclettes, which only a day on the ski slopes could justify.
After your three – or more – course meal with fine wines, there’s nothing better than snuggling down in the private cinema (choose from comfy sofas or armchairs with footstools) to watch movies on demand.
Gstaad has played host to celebrities and A-listers since the 1930s
A playground for the rich and famous, Gstaad has played host to celebrities and A-listers since the 1930s. In winter its chocolate box streets sashay with fur coats and skiwear, while in summer you can take to the hills a-la-Heidi for hiking, biking and other feel-good endeavours. A stay at the Alpina Gstaad is a perfect antidote whatever you choose to do.
Deluxe Rooms start from CHF 850 per night based on two sharing with 100 CHF daily culinary credit per person. Spa treatments are at additional cost and options include 60 min Six Senses Signature Massage (205 CHF), 90 minute Triple Lift Mountain Facial by BR (280 CHF) and 30min Flotation Therapy (120 CHF). www.thealpinagstaad.ch
Caroline Sylger Jones is an author and freelance journalist who travels the world checking out spas, retreats and healthy holidays for international newspapers, glossy magazines and websites. She is the founder and director of wellness travel site Queen of Retreats.
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For more wellness travel ideas check out Caroline’s brilliant site Queen of Retreats at www.queenofretreats.com.
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