This idyllic retreat is set in the charming town of Villars-sur-Ollon, in the heart of the Swiss Alps. The panoramic views of the surrounding mountains are worth the trip alone; but the rooms and suites—perfectly pitched between rustic comfort and upscale luxury —are especially gorgeous, featuring lovely wood floors and bathrooms large enough to hold corner tubs and walk-in showers.
All the rooms have views of either the Alps or a pleasant park, and the hotel offers apartments for longer or more private stays. Additional facilities include a trio of restaurants, a fabulous spa, and an atmospheric bar. The hotel is well set up for families, too, with a cinema room, outdoor and indoor playgrounds, and a daily Kid’s Club in winter that takes care of children aged one to six.
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The mountains around the hotel provide not just pretty scenery but an endless array of activities. In summer you can take advantage of miles of signposted footpaths and mountain bike routes, or alternatively use the outdoor tennis courts or play a round at the 18-hole golf course (which has impressive views of Mont Blanc). In winter it’s all about the slopes; choose between Villars/Bretaye, Gryon, and Les Diablerets. If skiing isn’t your thing, there’s an ice rink located in the heart of Villars, dogsled rides can be organized on the Solalex plateau, and Villars hosts regular events such as gastronomic walking tours, treasure hunts for kids, and winter markets (December to February).
Need to Know
Rooms: 63 rooms and 30 apartments. From $328. Check-in: 3 p.m.; check-out: noon. Dining options: All three restaurants have terraces opening to spectacular views. At rustic Le Grizzly, you can enjoy typical Swiss food by a roaring fireside; the more informal La Brasserie—open for lunch and dinner—offers Mediterranean cuisine; and for a more intimate experience there’s a “Table d’hôtes” located right in the heart of the kitchen. The Bear’s Bar also serves food during the day and has live music at night. Spa and gym details: The Spa by RoyAlp was awarded a Best European Spa Destination award in 2014. It’s as comprehensive as they come, with an indoor pool, hot tub, relaxation room, sauna and steam room, ice fountain, and a variety of multi-sensory showers. There is also a fitness room (open 24 hours) and six treatment rooms that include a Thai cabin and a private spa.
Who it's for: An all-rounder for those with no budget worries; especially suitable for honeymooners, skiers, and families. Our favorite rooms: The RoyAlp Junior Suite is extremely spacious and has highly memorable views of the Alps. Card carrier: Ask the concierge for a Free Access Card, which covers more than 30 activities and transports in the local area from June to October.