Enjoy a luxury cleansing spa trip to Switzerland.
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' The spa has a stunning pool, outdoor salt hot tub and some of the most advanced wellbeing programes in the world'
THE HOTEL The Victoria Jungfrau Grand Hotel & Spa, Interlaken, Switzerland
Back in the 19th century, in the early days of Alpine tourism, European travellers seeking a health cure would visit Interlaken to breathe the fresh mountain air and recuperate in the sunshine. It’s easy to see why. Nestled amid the peaks of the Bernese Highlands, between the impossibly turquoise Lake Thun and Lake Brienz (the name Interlaken means ‘between the lakes’), this elegant town exudes wellbeing with a slow pace of life that makes it the perfect escape from hectic city life. Standing majestically in the heart of the town, with jaw-dropping views of the magnificent, snow-capped Jungfrau mountain, the historic Victoria Jungrau Grand Hotel & Spa is Interlaken’s jewel in the crown. Over 150 years old and World Heritage protected, the hotel still retains a romantic belle-epoque elegance. During that era, royals, artists and intellectuals flocked to the hotel, and you can still feel the atmosphere today. Original features such as a grand sweeping staircase, stunning chandeliers and a beautiful ballroom blend perfectly with modern touches like the vast steel and glass atrium that floods the hotel lobby with light and mountain views. My spacious room (one of 224 rooms, including 102 suites and junior suites) is the epitome of classical elegance. Opening the floor-to-ceiling French windows, I find breathtaking views of the Junfgrau which, at sunset, turns an incredible rose-gold.
While 19th century health seekers enjoyed the nature spa experience, these days you can restore with cutting-edge treatments in Victoria Jungfrau’s state-of-the-art Nescens Spa – a blissful 5,000m2 wellbeing palace with a stunning pool, outdoor salt hot tub, a complex of saunas and some of the most advanced wellbeing programmes and anti-ageing treatments in the world.
Padding down in my robe for an earlymorning swim, I luxuriate in having the vast pool to myself and then wallow in the outdoor hot tub, drinking in the mountain views and crystal-clear air. Everything feels sublimely luxurious – this is A-list pampering. You can refuel in the Spa Bistro with vitamin-packed salads, soups and wraps or sip a smoothie on the sun terrace.
One of the world's top cosmeceutical brands, Nescens is known for its antiageing healthcare research and Victoria
Jungfrau is one of two destinations where you can try its advanced therapies.
If relaxation is your goal, there’s a menu of wellbeing massages, from organic aromatherapy to Vichy Shower, where you're massaged on a bed underneath jets of circulation-boosting mineral water. For my De-stressing Signature massage, the therapist gently presses and stretches my body to release tension and prompt relaxation. If skincare is your concern, try the signature Better Aging Signature Facial or any cosmeceutical beauty treatment you could wish for. Also on offer are pampering treats such as personalised scrubs and wraps, physiotherapy, osteopathy and sports massage.
If you’re committed to the cause, book one of the spa’s tailored four- or seven-day Better Ageing programmes. Following a comprehensive diagnostic session with the medical team, you receive a tailored plan of treatments, exercise and nutrition with delicious, personalised healthy menus.
Sweat your stuff in the high-tech gym or book a PT session. We start our day with yoga in the studio which offers 30 weekly classes, from Pilates to Step.
But whether you’re staying in summer or winter, the mountains and lakes call for fresh-air adventures. In summer, join the locals for a dip in the sparkling lake; hike up the two-hour wooded trail of the Harden mountain, just behind the hotel (the super-fit run up it), try kayaking or a tamden paragliding flight. We hop on the cute, wooden train that winds its way up through flower-strewn meadows to the Schynige Plateau where we wow at the views, hike the well-marked paths and refuel in the mountain-top restaurant.
THE PRICE A Deluxe Double Room at Victoria Jungfrau Grand Hotel & Spa starts from CHF849 (approx. £687) per night including breakfast, and use of the Nescens Spa and gym. Visit victoriajungfrau.ch/en.
Mountain-top views at lunch on the Schynige Plateau