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Swiss Ski Slopes & Sleeps At Cordée des Alpes Verbier

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  Site Where: Route du Centre Sportif 24, Verbier, Switzerland, 1936
December 27, 2013 at 7:03 AM | by | Comments (0)

Anyone that went looking for some serious snow action in Switzerland over the holidays got more than their money’s worth: up to three feet of it fell within the space of 24 hours this week. So it did in Verbier, the ski resort in the country’s south-western canton of Valais, long a draw for those seeking a glamorously picturesque setting to enjoy the 4 Vallées (“Four Valleys”) with its hundreds of miles of slopes.

Mostly limited to private chalets so far, (après-) skiers have a few more accommodation options these days, including the year-old Cordée des Alpes hotel, which is where we headed for the opening of the ski season earlier this month, managing to get in and out before winter brought its much-anticipated heavy snowfall. A fifteen-minute walk from the main Medran ski lift, Cordée's first impression certainly didn’t disappoint, from the typical pitched roof and wooden balconies to the rather clever rotating carved panels lining the ground floor restaurant and swimming pool.

Reception is straight ahead as you walk in, with to the left a bar and to the right a lounge area with fireplace. We particularly loved the alpine-rustic meets Swiss / Scandinavian chic look in the hotel’s restaurant, La Cordée. The rotating panels allow for sunlight to be filtered in during the day, replaced by soft atmospheric lighting later at night.

Tables with classic wooden chairs are dotted around a large bar in the centre of the room, with an open kitchen in the corner. A private dining room is available. Also on the ground floor is a spa with treatment rooms, a large swimming pool, relaxation area, and sauna / steam room – no doubt a welcome respite after a day in the snow.

Upstairs, you’ll find just 32 rooms, each different in size and layout. Beds are listed as being Queen-sized, but felt bigger to us. Most importantly, they were super comfortable, with lovely soft white sheets. We liked the rough-hewn wooden planks the wardrobe doors were made of, and small touches like the red tassels hung from the keys. Our Superior Room had a small seating area, a desk, and a balcony.

The bathroom had rather pretty Portuguese tile work; a colorful pattern on the floor contrasted with dark anthracite on the walls, glimmering with hues of green and blue under the light. If you are specific about having a separate shower or bathtub, we suggest speaking to the hotel directly about the best room for you. Suites can be combined with smaller north-facing rooms for families, and on the hotel’s top floors are large (privately-owned) multi-bedroom apartments that can be rented, still benefiting from all the hotel’s services.

A map showing the abundance of choice the 4 Vallées area provides you with is proudly displayed in the hotel’s ski room, a well-organized affair with individual storage and a nifty rack that circulates warm air through your ski boots, rendering them warm and toasty in the morning. We imagine it must get busy here at peak hours of the day if the hotel is at full occupancy though.

Once you’ve had your fill on the slopes, the place to après-ski in Verbier is the Farm Club, and it apparently has been for the past four decades. You’ll find the Farm Club downstairs at sister hotel the Nevaï, which takes you from Cordée’s alpine coziness to straight-up urban design, this year with the ultimate urbanite’s amenity of a new sushi bar.

Verbier is accessible by road or train, with both options taking you to the town of Le Châble. By road, the single access to Verbier climbs up from Le Châble in a series of hairpin turns. The regional Saint-Bernard Express train also ends in Le Châble, after which you can take either a bus or (as we did) the ski gondola for the last bit of the journey. Coming from further afield, flying into Geneva (GVA) is your best option, after which you can take a train from the airport or a direct bus transfer in season.

Rates at Cordée des Alpes obviously vary depending on the time of year, but during peak winter months, expect to pay upwards of CHF600 ($680) a night for a Superior Room.

Disclosure: JasonD was in Verbier as a guest of Cordée des Alpes, but all photos and opinions are his own.

[Photos: JasonD for HotelChatter]

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