Two week vacations in far off destinations are great, but sometimes life and unexpected circumstances mean you just need a small, quick break to clear your head and reconnect.
In our case, summer brought a series of troubling news about our pregnancy that put me on modified bed rest, our parents’ health was an area of concern, and our two year old was starting to show signs that he understood a new baby was on the way and that he wasn’t entirely cool with the situation.
The stress finally caught up to us, so one evening my husband and I sat down to comb the internet for the perfect weekend getaway for our family of three in flux.
We couldn’t go too far (doctor’s orders); we couldn’t go too fancy (two-year-old’s orders); and a spa was necessary (my orders). On top of it all, my husband was suffering from the mountain withdrawal that my risky pregnancy had imposed on our usually active lifestyle, so we needed to be able to get somewhat off the grid and tap into that alpine alchemy (or whatever it is Swiss people do when they’ve been city bound for too long). Oh and we didn’t want to spend a fortune because, you know, budgets (eye roll).
Our extensive internet search led us to the most wonderful weekend stay at the Hotel National in Champéry.
And although The Lausanne Guide doesn’t often cover hotel recommendations, we felt that this one was worth drawing your attention to. A short 45 minute drive from our Lausanne apartment brought us face to face with the Dents du Midi and smack dab in the center of a charming alpine village. Although we arrived by car, Champéry is also easily accessible by train in under two hours from the Lausanne train station.
In the end, we decided to compromise on the budget bit (look, mama needed a break, people), but we were beyond impressed by the hotel, the service, and the view that we left feeling immensely satisfied and a sense that every dime spent had been well worth it.
The hotel, like much of the rest of Champéry, dates back to the early days of English tourism in the alps. It’s been beautifully restored but retains the rustic elegance of those intrepid first foreigners who while seeking to tame the wild landscape never relinquished the importance of tea time with a view.
The building is a classified historic monument, but a particularly elegant renovation in 2015 has given it a contemporary alpine update all while capitalizing on its original charm.
Although the spa is small, it’s the perfect size for a hotel with only 16 rooms. During much of our stay, we were the only guests to use it. The heated outdoor pool (27° even in winter) under the majestic Dents de Midi was the highlight, especially for our toddler.
Note on staying with kids: Since our son is only two, we’ve not yet made the transition into typically “family-friendly” resorts with kids clubs and special amenities. Up to this point, we’ve been hanging on to the more “adult” stays and doing what we can to accommodate our child while making sure he doesn’t disrupt other guests’ experience. As a result, we’ve had a mixed bag of reactions from hotels.
One of the best things about our stay at the Hotel National was just how KIND they were to our son. From the moment we arrived, we felt truly welcomed (they even upgraded our basic room to a suite so that we’d have more space for the baby – a traveling parent’s dream!), and this allowed us to actually relax and enjoy without the judgmental eyes that seem to follow you around until your kids are much older.
To be clear, this is not a specifically family hotel. It’s a boutique adult hotel with a big heart and fantastic hospitality that includes kids of all ages.
So, if you’re in need of a mountain break but can’t travel far, we’d highly recommend considering the Hotel National in Champéry. We will most definitely be back very soon!
**We paid for our own stay at the Hotel National and this post was not sponsored. All opinions are straight from the heart**