Travel

Pitchforks and Mountain Hut Coffee

The Adelboden-Frutigen-Lenk region is an Alpine wonderland that’s earned the international ski area test quality seal, and it’s not hard to see why. The resort offers access to a piste network of just over 210 kilometres, alongside a range of winter activities to enjoy. Winter hiking on the Adelboden sun terrace, cross-country skiing trails, a snow park, freeride arena, hiking and tobogganing trails are all available for the adventurous visitor.

The relaxed resort of Adelboden in the heart of the Bermese Alps is characterised by its friendly and rustic atmosphere. In winter, the village transforms into a winter sports paradise, inviting visitors to enjoy both the beautiful pistes and the resort’s rural charm.

©Switzerland Tourism/Silvano Zeiter

Rustic life on the piste

The mountain guesthouses and Alpine huts provide the perfect location for a well-earned rest, and none more so than the charming Chumi Hut.

The hut is the vision of Hansueli Hari, farmer and hut warden, whose philosophy is one of comfort and service in a laid-back atmosphere. And it’s this relaxed pace of life that makes the hut so inviting and unique.

As a working farm, the hut is home to a herd of Scottish Highland cattle which Hansueli attends to each morning in their field as the sun rises. After switching from dairy cows, he no longer has to get up at the crack of dawn to do the milking; but he’s naturally an early bird, so his quiet journey over the piste to his herd in the small hours is a pleasant and easy part of his day. Once his cattle are fed and watered, Hansueli drives over to the Chumi Hut.

He enjoys skiing whenever he has the time – preferably before the chair lifts start operating officially. On the deserted pistes, he glides down the mountainside, savouring the peaceful moment and the resort’s natural beauty.

©Switzerland Tourism/Silvano Zeiter

Cattle that draw crowds

Hansueli’s cattle are an impressive spectacle for visitors. Along with shaggy coats in black, brown, white, red and grey, their enormous horns with a span of up to 1.4 metres paint a dramatic picture and ensure they are treated with due caution. But Hansueli is quick to reassure: “Although their appearance makes you treat them with respect, they have a docile and gentle character,” he says.

The lush pastures and landscape of Adelboden are the perfect feeding-grounds for these sturdy cattle. They make the ascent up the mountain for three consecutive summers, returning back down to the farm each autumn, and surprising hikers as they amble around green Alpine meadows.

©Switzerland Tourism/Silvano Zeiter

A laid-back atmosphere

The generic format of thumping music and self-service fast-food is nowhere to be seen at the Chumi Hut; visitors enter a warm and relaxed atmosphere with an emphasis on service.

The sun terrace features distressed wooden furniture and comfortable sofas that invite guests to take a moment to sit back and appreciate their surroundings. The rustic charm is completed by the simple hand-written slate boards and friendly, approachable staff, who offer a warm welcome and unpretentious service. On days when the weather makes sitting on the sun terrace impossible, the rustic barn seats 70 guests.

The hit amongst locals is the Highland burger with jacket potatoes; it’s reportedly as much a feature of a day on the slopes as the Chuenisbärgli is of Adelboden. Alongside burgers, the hut’s team serve up Chumi cheese on toast, various cold platters and delicious meringues.

Take it easy

It’s often easy to fall into the trap of overdoing it during an active winter holiday, and Adelboden also offers a wide variety of accommodation options that encourages guests to enjoy a slower pace of life.

The Bellevue Parkhotel & Spa in Adelboden, with its breathtaking views of the mountain panorama, epitomises this local philosophy. For more than 115 years, visitors from around the world have been coming to this lovely yet imposing place to relax. With its idyllic location, bright and airy rooms, charming mid-century design, creative cuisine and the opportunity to bathe surrounded by nature, it’s easy to lose track of time and truly unwind.

Wellness is at the core of the resort’s ethos, and at the spa guests can experience an outdoor bath with a view of the mountains and surrounded by nature. The light-flooded facilities cover 1700 m2 and are marked by airiness and modernity. Extensive glass, terrazzo floors, bare concrete and spruce wood create a unique environment in which to enjoy a treatment from the spa’s extensive range.

Whether you a looking for the perfect accommodation for a family holiday or a wellness weekend, Switzerland has a lot to offer. Visit: www.myswitzerland.com/besthotels

Title image ©Switzerland Tourism/Silvano Zeiter

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