48 Hours at The Capra, Saas-Fee
It’s the weekend before Christmas, all Christmas shopping done, gifts wrapped, outfits packed and ready to leave home but still having one more week before the flight is departing. I needed a last minute getaway from Lausanne and I remember there was this chic boutique hotel in that one town I never made it to. It’s the town where the most famous of all Christmas songs was filmed: Last Christmas by Wham. And we are in the pretty ski town of Saas-Fee, not a bit less spectacular than Zermatt. A windy, empty road brought me to the end of a snow capped valley with picturesque scenery and rustic houses, having passed what seemed to be the main town of the valley, the road began to become steeper and I had to unwind a few more meters until I reached a huge parking garage lacking information on how to get into town. So I parked and unpacked my car in the shady, mysterious light of the garage, right before I arrived at what seemed to be the main pick-up/drop-off area of the town. A quick call to the hotel and two minutes later, the driver and the cute electric car arrived and took care of my luggage. Before I even realized where in the world I landed, I was already in the heart of town with pretty shops and plenty of snow surrounding me. In front of a small but brand new chalet, the car stopped and the door opened. A slight: “Willkommen im The Capra” – was welcoming me to the accommodation for the weekend: The Capra Saas Fee.
Me coming from the warmer area of Lausanne, recently switching into the Ugg’s and wearing the Parajumper for the first time of this year, I was not ready for the cold yet. Honestly, it was freezing. Well, maybe someone forgot to tell me that Saas-Fee is at altitude of 1.800 meters and it was something around minus 7 degrees Celsius, so no wonder. Once I stepped into the chic inside, I was greeted by Ms Rebekka who also took care of sending the driver to pick me up. She was welcoming me in the most charming way plus with my last name even tough I did not mention my name before (of course via the phone call when she heard my name and therefore might have been expecting me). I felt totally appreciated as a very valued guest and to all my surprise this feeling was further elaborated with more personal touches and conversations throughout the stay. Ms Rebekka offered me a seat in the ultra cozy lounge with a fire place and asked me for a welcome drink. While I was enjoying the excellent white wine from the Valais area, she took a seat, opened a conversation about my arrival and in between talking about possible activities, the weather forecast and the hotel facilities, she handed over the check-in paper I filled out quickly. She let me finish my drink and came back to pick me up after 15 minutes or so. I can’t remember the last time I had such a relaxing, attentive yet perfect check-in. Honestly, they got how check-in can be done in the most relaxing way.
Before I could even express how amazed I already was by the property itself, we were already on the hotel tour, showing me around the hotel. When the tour was over, I was shown my Signature Suite on the third floor overlooking the town and the glacier. I was a little bit insecure whether I was in a showroom of an interior design company or in an actual hotel room, the details were just on point and the entire property’s design was totally on par with the surroundings and the time it was built. While it does not feel too much Swiss, I rather had a very international feeling – meaning the hotel could also be in Germany, Austria or Colorado. Aside me being impressed, the suite was very spacious, with plenty of wardrobe space and a semi-complimentary minibar (soft drinks and water was free, snacks & wine upon a charge) in the entrée, a sofa with armchair and a working desk in the living room as well as a very cosy and heavenly double bed with another television in the bedroom. My suite also offered a huge balcony with two chairs accessible from the living- and bedroom. The very alpine styled bathroom had a separate walk-in shower with very good pressure, a toilet, single vanity desk as well as a bathtub with Bogner amenities.
Turn-down service was done when I was heading downstairs for dinner and housekeeping service when I went to swim in the newly opened, so there was absolutely nothing missing in terms of room and comfort. Since I arrived quite late and it was already 7pm – with my dinner reservation at 8pm, I headed towards the private spa instead of the newly opened The Capra Spa situated in the other chalet (tough accessible in bathrobe via a tunnel). The smaller, more personal “Private Spa” is actually the first spa that was used to be their only one until the opening of the newer space and features a sauna, steam bath and a hot Jacuzzi with lounge chairs next to it. Even tough it is on the small site, it is ideal to have some privacy and escape for an hour or two. Before I headed to the restaurant, I changed into “Chalet Chic” style to fit the elegant atmosphere of The Capra. I really begin to love hotels that spread a “secret dress code”, meaning they don’t ask you to wear a specific style, tough their atmosphere secretly tells you what to wear. While The Capra operates two different food concepts in peak season, I was only able to try the Brasserie concept (they have a fine dining concept from Christmas onwards). Therefore, I went for a salmon ceviche as a starter before I had the lamb chop with fries, cream spinach and sauce béarnaise. Honestly, the food was on par with the design and fully worth the splurge. I mean I cannot let you go to Saas-Fee without having real Swiss Fondue at least once, however I can tell you staying at the hotel for dinner is an amazing option, too.
The next morning, after the best sleep I have had in three weeks, I discovered the breakfast buffet set up in a small room between the restaurant and the kitchen. I totally loved the small selection on the buffet with high quality products and the option to choose from the menu for all other breakfast dishes. I went for eggs benedict, which again were just perfect and totally meeting my expectations. Service during breakfast was slightly better than during dinner, however to be fair, I think they did not expect to be so full that night. All employees are outstanding, very dedicated and super friendly, they always take the time to chat with you and offer a most personal experience. After breakfast I did some work and then went out to discover the town of Saas-Fee with its shops selling local crafts. Once I came back, I was offered a hot chocolate – of course by Caotina – as it should be for Switzerland. I have to add that this Sunday there was heavy snowfall and the highways were shutting down due to lots of accidents and the massive amounts of snow. I am sure Saas-Fee got between 50-90 centimetres of new snow, fulfilling the cliché of Wham’s Last Christmas and my Winter Wonderland imagination.
Soon afterwards, I was sitting on the refreshing indoor pool in my bathrobe, listening to Christmas music and getting ready to dip into the extremely cosy heated outdoor vitality pool just next to the indoor pool. It was a feeling that was really unique – having snowflakes falling into your face while you enjoy the bubbles of a heated pool surrounded by fresh snow. I mean how picturesque can a ski holiday get? That evening ended with a fabulous dinner including truffle risotto and sea bream. I had a truly amazing stay at one of the most magnificent properties in the Alps and I have to admit that the rates are absolutely accurate considering the personal service and the stunning array of facilities they offer including a design that is on par. I would like to highlight the excellent management which is seen in the little details and the General Manager himself drove me back to the garage when all his staff members were busy for a moment. Honestly, The Capra is not really a hotel as you would expect it, it’s more a private chalet and you are sharing it with a few other guests you don’t know yet. One could also consider it as a private member’s club where you have a high staff to guest ratio. Anyways, I absolutely loved it and I am glad that I had the chance to stay here!
I was a guest of The Capra Saas-Fee and my stay was arranged through Faulhaber Marketing. However all above written expresses my own opinion and has not been influenced. Picture Credits by Luxury Executive