Unique Accommodation: An alpine hotel full of surprises
What: Hotel du Lac
Where: Crans Montana, Valais, Switzerland
I love when a hotel or another type of accommodation really surprises me – not with the bill for the mini-bar, but with details that show that the place is run with passion to give the guest a unique experience. Something to remember more than just a comfortable bed or a nice view. Hotel du Lac in Crans Montana sure had both when I recently stayed for one night – but it also had some much more.
This place has authencity as it is run by Yves Klingler, who is the grandson of the original chalet’s first owner. His granfather was a farmer up here in the mountains of Valais, and his chalet was one of the first in the area. Since then, the area has developed into a popular ski resort and the town (a merge between Crans and Montana) has grown a lot, now offering a wide range of outdoor activities in all seasons, from skiing to golf, ice skating, wakeboarding and dogsledding, just to mention a few.
The original chalet has grown a lot too as it has been expanded to an alpine hotel – including its own spacious restaurant and lounge area and a couple of really nice surprises. Because Yves brews his own beer and roasts his own coffee! In fact he has been brewing his own beer for about 10 years, and today his in-house microbrewery produces thousands of liters every year. So much that his La:Marmotte beers with their cool cartoonish labels can be found in many local restaurants and bars – as well as in Hotel du Lac’s own restaurant and brasserie. He naturally had to hire someone to be responsible for the delicate brewing process along the way, which lets him focus on managing the hotel.
I was lucky to be able to bring home a sixpack with different types of beers, and I was positively surprised by the high quality and unique flavours. I honestly wish I could buy them here in Denmark. Meanwhile, Yves has also taken on the challenge of roasting coffee, and now offers his own Café Choucas coffee both freshly brewed and in bags to bring home. A unique and tasty souvenir from your alpine holiday.
The hotel itself offers 30 rooms, and Yves also runs the Auberge Lago Lodge located just across the lake, which could be a good option for groups or larger families. Hotel du Lac is warm and cosy with an interesting contrast between the traditional alpine style and a more modern décor that could be found in trendy city hotels – and it all works really well. Not at least the bright and colourful restaurant and lounge area with stunning views to snowclad mountain peaks. Views that you can also enjoy from the balconies of the rooms facing away from the lake, but really the views are excellent both ways. Furthermore, the service is very welcoming, friendly and helpful.
During sunny summer days you can enjoy the outdoor terrace and a walk around the lake, or go pedalboating or biking. In the winter months you might be more tempted to try the Finnish sauna or the steambath. Excellent facilities in a fantastic location – right in the heart of Crans Montana.
I sure hope to be back one day!
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