TAKING WELLNESS RETREATS TO NEW HEIGHTS IN SWITZERLAND: PARK HOTEL BELLEVUE & SPA
October 17, 2017
For over 100 years, word has spread around Switzerland about an idyllic alpine retreat nestled in the heart of the country in the exquisite village of Adelboden. This retreat, the Park Hotel Bellevue & Spa (or the “Bellevue” as it is known among locals), has consistently enchanted guests with its refined elegance, warm and professional service, dedication to wellness and the spectacular mountain environment that serves as the ideal backdrop for the ultimate sanctuary.
Despite the Bellevue’s proximity to some of Switzerland’s most sought after sites (including the local 200km of pistes and the nearby Oeschinensee and Jungfraujoch attractions), the hotel and the village it is located in remain largely private, peaceful and authentically Swiss, setting it apart from some of the more well-known retreat venues. It is this quality, along with the comforts available, that makes it a rare destination for guests seeking a break from the hustle and bustle of cities and a desire to be transported to a surreal environment that simultaneously relaxes and energises the senses.
As a guest at the Bellevue, you will enjoy 1700m2 of spa space, presenting an indoor heated pool (heated to a comfortable 29 °C), an outdoor saltwater pool overlooking the breathtaking alps (heated to 34 °C) an external sauna (heated to 90 °C), a Himalayan salt sauna (heated to 70 °C), a biosauna (heated to 60 °C), two hammams (one with Eucalyptus and the other with alpine flowers), three key relaxation spaces, opulently appointed massage rooms and a fitness room equipped with the latest gym amenities.
While the facts may impress, as soon as you enter the Bellevue spa area, all the facts become irrelevant. You will be driven by body rather than mind as you wander through the modern, warmly lit halls that spread over two levels.
The Eucalyptus scent will draw you into one of the most popular steam rooms, which will be a treat for your respiratory system and your skin. After this, you may find yourself popping into the biosauna which has an alluringly soft natural fragrance that will delight your freshly cleared nose. Unwinding in the Himalayan rock salt sauna is equally blissful, with its light pink glow and subtle fragrances.
After several saunas and hammams, you may find yourself drawn to the inviting indoor pool, where you will have the opportunity to savour the tranquil setting adjoined to a relaxation space. Clever lighting offers a nurturing backdrop that is neither too dim nor too bright.
Feeling rejuvenated, you may then find yourself exploring upstairs, where the outdoor pool with air jets massage and relax your muscles and skin. After this, the hot outdoor sauna may appeal to you, or one of the two nearby relaxation rooms, where you can while away the hours and watch the clouds float by at your level over the mountain tops.
THE EXTRA TOUCHES
In addition to the spa area, the Bellevue offers a wide selection of wellness treatments, daily group sessions and other wellness-related offers.
The spa menu is extensive, ranging from peelings with alpine herbs and beauty treatments to a wide range of massages. I had the good fortune to enjoy a seasonal massage with peppermint and lemon oils and the combination of highly experienced hands, serene modern music and natural products provided a wholesome experience that made me feel fantastic. Indeed, it is fair to say, the Bellevue was true to its promise in providing spa experiences that rejuvenate.
The daily group sessions are also a recommended inclusion within the wellness program. Having experienced the yoga class, I can vouch for the professionalism of the instructor as well as the inviting space, which has an ideal vantage point overlooking the valley of Adelboden. Other group classes include Aqua aerobics, fitness sessions and pilates.
In addition to all of the above, guests will notice a myriad of further standout features of the Bellevue. Above all, the hotel has a level of service that is sure to exceed expectations. Daniel Schüpfer, the light-hearted, exceptionally attentive and genuinely friendly manager brings an invaluable energy to the establishment, which seems to be embodied and passed on by all the staff. It is also impossible to miss the fine dining experiences with seasonable and regional specialities in the signature restaurant (boasting 14 Gault Millau points), the expansive suites and the several annual events, including one night of Swiss Chamber Music every year. Little wonder why I met guests who have returned every year for over 20 years for their Bellevue wellness weeks.
Suffice to say, the Park Hotel Bellevue & Spa is one Switzerland’s best kept secrets. Unfortunately after this article, that’s not the case any more!