With high expectations
A stay at Switzerland’s Hotel Weisshorn takes skiers back to the Victorian era
IN near white-out conditions our Ski-Doo driver, Rudolph, steers cautiously along an invisible path.
It is snowing buckets, but he still pauses intermittently to point out, on our left, the sculptures of the planet Neptune and, just around the bend, Uranus, that lie along the space-themed trail, and towards the sparkling assortment of Switzerland’s famous ‘ ‘ four thousanders’’ (mountains higher than 4000m) that loom around us.
It may feel like we’re setting off for outer space, but I am in fact about to travel back in time. My destination is the Hotel Weisshorn, a high-Alpine belle-epoque beauty dating from about 1891. With 30 pine-clad bedrooms, granite stairways and antique furnishings that recreate the style of the Victorian era, it’s a destination in itself.
For snow lovers, it’s also ideally perched above the spectacular and seriously underpopulated slopes of the Val d’Anniviers ski area two hours east of Geneva. As well as having 227km of marked pistes, this is a place for amazing off-piste powder skiing, accessible right from the door of the hotel.
The journey to this hard-toreach hotel is also a real adventure — the perfect antidote to the usual package-holiday coach transfer. There’s no road access, so many guests arrive by randonnee (walking up with skins on their skis); others make the 90-minute j ourney in good boots or in