A feast for the senses at W Verbier
The distance had not changed, neither had the road, but I had. 25 years of change since I last travelled this road to Verbier. In 1990, I was driving the first car I owned. It was practical, safe and reliable – as a car should be. Now, in 2015, I chose a convertible, top down and allowing the wind to play havoc with my hair. Why not? I have earned this time away to celebrate my success in work and life with a weekend at W Verbier.
Returning to Verbier after a 25 year absence was a surreal experience. Verbier had developed, but great care had been taken to integrate the wooden chalet style of the former village that Verbier once was. I might have lingered in the village to do some shopping, but I was aware that W Verbier had a full program of entertainment, wellness, culinary delights and sensational style and I was more than ready to sample their lineup of ‘Summer Flavors’.
But why had I chosen this particular destination? Some people choose W Verbier because it is the only hotel with an access to the ski slopes literally on the doorstep. Others choose W Verbier because it is the only hotel in Verbier that is open year round. It may also be the destination of choice because it is a venue which allows the guests to combine work and relaxation. I chose it for many reasons, but foremost because I needed a venue which offers everything I need to ignite my senses.
I have always been curious to observe which sense is engaged first when entering a space. It could be anything: the size of the space, the colours chosen, the art and artifacts that adorn the space….no, none of these were the first to ignite my senses at W Verbier. Upon entering the hotel, it is the sense of smell that first grabs the attention. The mid-morning summer air was slightly humid and the fragrance of wood fills the air. W Verbier has managed to honour the beauty of Swiss style and architecture with wood throughout. Nothing could be more welcoming or tasteful.
The truth is – I decided to treat myself to this weekend at W Verbier because I needed to get away – and W Verbier is known for the sensual ‘AWAY® Spa’ – 800 square metres of pure indulgence, rest and relaxation with indoor and outdoor pools, a hammam, sauna, ‘The Chapel’ hair salon and an array of specialised beauty treatments. Not only this, I was keen to participate in the morning outdoor yoga sessions!
Culinary Director, Sergi Arola, took charge of tantalising my taste buds – he is a renowned chef from Barcelona, known for his creative cuisine and has graced many restaurants worldwide with his mainly Mediterranean flare.
This weekend, I had an opportunity to taste his signature tapas – an awe inspiring version of ‘patatas bravas’.
I was dazzled by the attention to detail, atmosphere and nuance which W Verbier has mastered in a fine balance between striking Swiss architecture and the urban style of New York. The result is a trendy chic style with subtle touches of traditional Swiss artefacts.
W Verbier boasts a Resident DJ Jay Castelli, best known for his eclectic rhythms and musical styles. His music performance at the Beach @Place Blanche added a unique flavour to the ‘Funky Brunch’: an array of sounds to accompany the culinary delights.
In short, after spending the weekend at W Verbier, I didn’t want to leave….I just want to live here. To my delight, this is not far from reality: more than 2000 people are living in Verbier – it is a village within a village, a destination within a destination.
So why would anyone choose this destination? I spoke to some of the people who had made this choice – and their reasons for choosing W Verbier were simply too diverse to list: in short, skiers, golfers and downhill mountain bike enthusiasts appreciate W Verbier for convenience and quality. Closer to home, local people come to the hotel to enjoy their croissant and coffee, a BBQ on hot summer days, to enjoy the ‘W Fever’ signature drink – or to participate in the many happenings on offer at this magnet for culture and entertainment.
So why would I recommend this destination during the summer – apart from it being the quintessential feast for the senses? Pierre-Henri Bovsovers, General Manager of W Verbier, summarizes the success of the hotel as the mecca for local as well as international guests in this single statement:
„We are not only a winter destination, W Verbier is a destination within the destination“
Well, I’ll celebrate the truth of that statement with my ‘W Fever’ signature drink in hand and a weekend that satisfied all my senses.