Mountain romance: Chalet Hotel Adler.
There is a whirlpool in my room. The room next door has a whirlpool that seamlessly glides onto the balcony at the push of a button. This is clearly a three-star hotel with a difference. "I wanted to do something special," says Andreas Fetzer, owner of Chalet Hotel Adler in Kandersteg, Canton Berne. Of the hotel's 26 rooms, 17 have a whirlpool (14 of which are movable) and all have a balcony. The delicate aroma of geraniums lingers upon my balcony, which overlooks a bustling bakery on the main street. Behind the buildings, sheer cliffs sweep upwards in brushstrokes of steel and pine green, truncated at their summits in jagged horizons.
True to its name, the hotel's interior has all the features of a chalet: higgledy-piggledy rooms, wood panelling, and cute accessories such as fabric hearts and engraved doorplates. My room, however, has some unique touches. Light and bright with big windows and a cream and orange colour scheme, its centrepiece is a surprisingly comfortable circular bed. This is a theme reflected in the sphere-shaped lampshade--that glows against the navy curtains after dark like the moon--and the circular mirror on the ceiling. Known as the 'Loveroom', it is a romantic space for couples--complete with the cheesy 'Adler Love Songs' soundtrack in the CD player. There is no room for inhibitions, however--a large glass panel separates the en-suite bathroom, so the bedroom's large flat-screen TV can be watched from the whirlpool.
Chalet Hotel Adler is entwined in Kandersteg's mountaineering history. Fetzer's great grandfather, Johannes Bohny, was the first man to climb the 3,661-metre Bluemlisalphorn--the highest peak in the valley--in 1865. He owned Hotel Schwarenbach, high on the Gemmi Pass, before building the Chalet Hotel in 1906. The latter is now managed by the fifth generation--Fetzer's son, Janick.
"We don't want to create barriers between ourselves and the guests," says Fetzer. The spa (swimming pool, sauna and steam room) is always open.
Good to know
Unless you pay for a package, spa slippers are not included in the room price.
The no-frills cooking in the restaurant is fresh, hearty and traditional. I try Rosti with smoked salmon. At breakfast, a delightful fruit salad constitutes part of the buffet.
Not so keen
The wellness area is a little dark with touches a la Miss Havisham's Satis House, such as standing chandeliers draped in roses.
Make it happen
Chalet Hotel Adler has 26 rooms and is open all year. Prices start at CHF 210 for two people in a double room with whirlpool including breakfast, resort tax and use of the wellness area. Loveroom packages including breakfast in your room and a four-course dinner are available from CHF 350 for two people. The hotel also has four self-catering apartments.
Chalet Hotel Adler