A weekend at Le Crans - Crans Montana
After my wonderful stay in Zermatt, I drove to the next destination of the weekend: Crans Montana. Having been in Switzerland for more than two years now, it was actually the first time for some time that I went to a place I have not been before. Being situated high above Sion, already the drive to Crans Montana is really breath-taking. First you drive through a pretty town before you pass by several vineyards until you see the first massive buildings housing winter apartments of posh citizens from Geneva & Lausanne. To say it without fear: these massive post-war buildings don’t blend into the environment in any way and look more than disgusting compared to picture perfect Swiss ski towns as Gstaad or Verbier where the buildings have to blend into the environment by law. Once I drove through Montana and the heart of Crans - which are two independent towns actually, I looked for signage leading me even more uphill towards my accommodation for the weekend. After another five minutes I finally drove up to the parking spot of Le Crans Hotel & Spa. The first thing that came up to my mind was the outstanding view over Valais.
I left the car and went towards the front desk where I was warmly welcomed by an Italian lady that immediately took care of the check-in. Actually there was no formal check-in (love this efficient way), I handed over the credit card, ID and we continued the tour of the property. A few moments the GM arrived to welcome me as well and then we moved to my outrageous suite on the second floor. As a special gesture of the hotel, I was offered an upgrade to a Deluxe Suite called “Les Alpes” which was simply above my expectations. Only once I actually asked for the amount of rooms, I got to know how small the hotel was. With eight suites and seven rooms, it is definitely one of the smallest of the Swiss Deluxe Hotels and I totally loved that it didn’t feel too small however you then realised it at breakfast and at the spa. Most of the rooms have views of the valley and the town of Crans which I would warmly recommend once booking a room at Le Crans, however as far as I saw there are two rooms on the back wing of the house with restricted views of Crans Montana.
Once the kind front desk manager opened the door of my Les Alpes Suite, I was offered a hint that it is going to be a very special room thanks to the staircase in front of me. A small kitchen hidden in a wooden sideboard was the centre of the entree and there was a guest bathroom with single vanity, amazing walk-in shower and toilet on the right side while the main living room was on the left side. I was impressed by the cozy sofa, the magazine selection as well as the cool design of the chairs on the dining table without having seen the vast terrace with two sun beds, dining table for two and again the most wonderful views I have experienced in Switzerland so far. A pleasant amenity was that the soft drinks in the minibar were complimentary, while the alcoholic drinks and snacks had a charge. To all my surprise the minibar was restocked twice daily and I was offered a huge welcome amenity consisting of a platter of sweets along a huge fruit basked with a handwritten welcome letter - I mean isn’t this amazing?
While I was out of breath, the front desk lady still continued the room door explaining that they will be glad to lit the fire in the fire place or explain the touch controls for the suite. Basically everything can be done via the touch pad: e.g. opening & closing the curtains, dimming the lights and handling the TV and sound system. While overwhelmed by the system I found it ground-breaking how Le Crans combined latest technology with traditional and historic touches in the interior design. On the second floor of the suite there was a lofty working space with two chairs and a lamp as well as the master bedroom on the opposite with double vanities, bath tub with en-mirror tv as well as a window in the ceiling to do some stargazing during the nights (I could see the most amazing sky in Switzerland on one night). Next to the bathroom was a separated toilet with a Japanese Spa toilet by Geberit and then there was the actual bedroom with another television, vistas of Montana as well as the best hotel bed in the entire Valais region.
As a hotel aficionado, I am totally in love with hotel branded stuff especially garment bags cause this is actually something you almost always need and you can make the best impression while checking-in. Generally, I was stunned how many branded guest products Le Crans is offering: from garment bags to the biggest hotel umbrellas I have ever seen to the most expensive hangers, branded pillow cases and linen as well as plush bath towels and refreshing towels that were of highest quality. Toiletries of course came by a huge brand, you spotted right: Bulgari. In general, I do not like to have room service as it leaves a strange smell every time, however since the living room was so inviting and far away from the bedroom I didn’t mind and went for a club sandwich that arrived within 40 minutes. In addition to the actual order I was offered bread and butter without asking for it which was a very nice gesture.
On the first evening however I went downstairs to the One-Michelin-starred Restaurant where I wanted to have a light dinner instead of the full gourmet experience so they reserved a spot at the bar where I could just order one dish. I loved their huge selection of open wines so I could get a wine from Israel which was above par and service by the two maître d’ was very tailored and welcoming. Being not that hungry I went for the burger only which was more than enough actually. I have to highlight that even though I did not order a dessert, the service team arranged complimentary sweets for me so I could at least get to try the talent of the chef de patisserie. Overall the atmosphere was really nice with cool lightings and a beautiful interior design. I am sure that the gastronomic menu is absolutely stunning but having been at the two best restaurants in Madrid, I was in the mood for casual food.
After getting up, I had breakfast at the Mont Blanc Restaurant. Again I have to mention the views which were the highlight of the morning with the mountains blending into the blue of the sky perfectly. There’s no need to rush to a buffet as the breakfast is served a la carte. I had a look on the menu and went for poached eggs, cheese platter and salmon. The bread basket consisted of one white bread, one seed bread, a pain au chocolate and a croissant. There is always the possibility to reorder anything you want just like you would expect it not to waste food as most hotels do with massive buffets. When I asked for “some more toast”, they brought me exactly one slice which can be referred to Swiss perfection. I totally loved that perfect start into the day.
Talking about highlights, I have to mention the Le Spa next to the front desk of the hotel. The beautiful indoor pool with a warm Jacuzzi next to it made the heart of the spa. There was also a steam bath and a shower which lost my attention after having seen the heated outdoor swimming pool which was just gorgeous. I love swimming in a warm pool when there is snow outside and the views do the rest. Before the fun comes the work so I tested their gym which was on the small size but considering the low amount of rooms absolutely sufficient and with latest TechnoGym equipment. Overall I loved to see the gym during rush our when everyone was in the pool and then changed to the pool when everyone was getting ready for dinner - this way I had the entire spa to my own. I had an absolutely amazing stay at Le Crans and considering the high prices, they really deliver an amazing service with outstanding interior design. Crans Montana at its best and definitely one of the best hotels I have stayed at in Switzerland. Again a surprise was waiting when I entered my car which was moved to the garage and they offered bottles of Evian water with refreshing towels and mints.
We were guests of Le Crans Hotel & Spa for editorial purposes however all above represents our own opinion and has not been influenced in any way.