Whenever possible we try to stay in special, extraordinary and unique Swiss accommodation when out adventuring.
This time we found a real gem high up in the Valais Alps in Switzerland.
How do you like the sound of sleeping in a “Pod” or to be precise, in a Whitepod?
What makes a special accommodation in Switzerland different from others?
When we discovered the Whitepod Eco Luxury Hotel on a photo on social media we immediately fell in love with it, and after having read that not only is it an exceptional style of Swiss accommodation, but also the whole concept is based on energy efficiency & a low impact on nature, we just had to try this out.
Our experience at the Whitepod in Valais
We often measure a place by the check-in. The staff were helpful and very nice. Therefore our expectation level was high from the outset.
When we entered our Whitepod – the family pod, we collectively said “wow”. The kids went straight upstairs to the mezzanine where 2 large beds were made up. The ladder was quite steep so we agreed that they do not climb down alone but call for us which worked perfectly.
There was easily space for 3 persons up there.
The comfortable super king size double bed with stunning uninterrupted mountain views was the perfect place to just take a moment and simply enjoy.
We loved the fact that you see the structure of the pod.
Suddenly the fire came on in the Pellet oven, how cool was this. The oven works like a radiator, it is set to a temperature and when it drops below that it turns itself on. And the beauty is you actually have a real flame. What an amazing accommodation in the Swiss Alps.
We felt so comfortable in our WhitePod, that we did not want to head outside anymore. A beautiful, cosy place with amazing views all the way down to Lake Geneva or its real name Lac Leman and over to the Vaudoise Alps.
But the lure of the complimentary afternoon tea comprising freshly baked cakes, meringue and coffee at the Whitepod house was too much to resist.
Needless to say that the rest of our stay in this beautiful Swiss Hotel – accommodation went smoothly and was as relaxing as the beginning.
Let me give you some facts about the whole setup of the Whitepod, so you get a better understanding of the place.
What to expect from the Whitepod Eco Luxury Hotel
We went with very high expectations especially having seen all the photos! And boy oh boy, it totally lived up to them in every aspect and more.
Perfect weather, beautiful scenery, very nice and helpful staff at the check-in and happy kids! First impression 200%, our little bit of luggage was then transported with a vehicle up to our Family Pod.
Guests walk up, but honestly it kind of goes with the whole setup. It would feel strange to drive up and have cars next to every Pod. This way it stays car free and in the middle of nature. The walk with our kids was no more than 20 minutes uphill.
If you visit like us during the winter be prepared. Everyone had their snow gear on, good shoes and we were in good spirits for a little walk. So please be aware it is NOT push-chair friendly during the winter months, but if you need they will lend you a baby carrier at the reception. It is also not city shoes or high heels adapted 🙂 so come with appropriate footwear.
What is a WhitePod ?
The geometrical shape of a pod is called geodesic: a spherical structure consisting of a network of triangles. Each triangle creates a self-supporting framework which together provides structural strength whilst using the least possible amount of material. The geodetic term comes from the latin, meaning separation of the earth.
Energy Efficient & Low Impact on Nature
The professional says:
There are two reasons domes (pods) are energy efficient. The ambient airflow inside the dome is continuous, with no stagnant corners, requiring less energy to circulate air and maintain even temperatures. The energy required to heat and cool a dome is approximately 30% less than a conventional building. The second is the high volume-to-surface-area ratio, requiring less building materials to enclose more space. The lower the ratio of a building’s outside perimeter to its enclosed living area, the less energy is required for building, heating and cooling. Wow did you know that??
Where do you find the Whitepod Eco-Luxury Hotel
The Whitepod Eco-Luxury Hotel is situated at an altitude of 1400m at the foot of the Dents-du-Midi mountain range in the small village of Les Giettes – Les Cerniers in the Canton of Valais, Switzerland. Pretty much where the Swiss Alps begin.
You leave the valley floor at Monthey (Valais) and drive your way up the mountain. The drive itself is beautiful as well. You will pass through some tiny villages and the higher up you drive the better becomes the view down the Valley and over to canton Vaud. You even see Lake Geneva and pretty much at that point when the view opens up and you just have the urge to capture this view, there is a small stable on your right with super friendly Alpacas and Llamas. The layby to stop and park is pretty much just above their stable.
When you arrive
The reception staff are super friendly and you are greeted with a nice herbal tea and their great Saint Bernard dog. If you make your check-in online prior to your arrival, you will not have to fill in the paperwork.
You will be given a backpack at check in which contains the following!
- Headtorch, for your walk down and up to/from the restaurant for dinner
- Binoculars, if you wish to do some wildlife spotting
- An aeriel map with hiking trails, very useful
- A map with the layout of all the pods and emergency contacts. You will have a radio in your Pod and their mobile phone number in case of an emergency. This surely will take the worry off for many mums as you will be alone (no staff) up at the Pods once service time is finished.
- An umbrella, not that we want to use it.
- And spikes to put on your shoes, an absolute must have item during the time we were there as it was quite icy. But with them on our shoes we walked safely all over. They also had some for the kids down to size 28 🙂
The following items are also available if you need.
- Hiking pools
- Baby/Infant carriers
Everything is very well thought after to make your stay as enjoyable as possible. And the best is you don’t need to take all this bulky equipment with you from home.
The Pods at Whitepod
18 Whitepods are awaiting you. Take your pick…
- You can choose from 4 exclusive suites, each and every one different and unique in its own way. These suites are situated in the upper area and furthest away from the Pod House.
- 4 Deluxe Pods, give you an extra comfort ideal for longer stays. Breakfast in Pods possible. Centrally situated just above the Pod House
- The 6 Cosy Pods still contain all the necessary comfort you need during your stay. Situated close to the Pod House
- 4 Family Pods ideal for up to 5 persons with 2 large beds/mattresses on the mezzanine. These suites are below the Pod House.
All pods have a stunning view over to the Vaudoise Alps and some can even see Lake Geneva – Lac Leman from their terrace.
An additional Pod , Nr 19 is set up for conferences, birthday parties or other events.
The Pod House
A beautifully, stylishly decorated mountain chalet where the complementary afternoon tea and breakfast is served. There is also the access to the sauna and massage area. The sauna is available for all Pod categories.
For any extra services such as pre arrival organisation, special arrangements within your Pods, prices and other questions you may have, contact Whitepod Team directly.
The Whitepod in Valais – History & Mission
I always love to know the why and how behind special places. And especially places that are like Whitepod, unique and successful.
In 2005, there where 3 simple Pods located across the valley from where there are now. One year later they moved the Pods to Les Cerniers, where the restaurant is. Whitepod took over the restaurant at the same time.
It was then, in 2009 where the big change happened and 15 new Pods, where you see them now, were created. At the same time the Pod House got a complete renovation.
With the time some of these pods have undergone an upgrade, such as the suites with full spa area, and lucky for us the family pods were born as well.
Whitepod also started to operate during the summer months and the white Pods transformed in to green Pods to blend in with nature. Now there are 18 amazing Pods plus one Conference Pod.
The concept was the idea of owner & founder, Patrick Delarive. The idea of creating a place which is unique and in harmony with the ecosystem were always the key points when Whitepod was built.
Whitepod’s mission is simple: to prove that hospitality and ecology can work together to offer a unique, positive and luxurious experience.
Les Cerniers Restaurant in Valais
Remember you are up the mountain and I would not recommend to drive back down to the valley floor to eat.
The Les Cerniers Restaurant is part of the whole Whitepod experience.
If you are visiting for a special occasion, why not reserve the Chef’s table which is inside the kitchen? For sure a unique experience to see how the team is preparing your meal. Another great option is the Sommeliers Table where you will be served your meal privately in the wine cellar.
But even to be seated within the restaurant where a large roaring fire provides a cosy, winter mountain atmosphere.
All products, wherever possible, are locally sourced, homemade wherever possible and bio.
Directions to get to Whitepod Eco-Luxury Hotel
Whitepod is located in Valais about 1h30 driving time from Geneva airport.
Follow the A9 highway and exit at n°19 Bex – Lavey.
Head direction Monthey. Arriving at the roundabout at the entrance of Monthey, follow Choëx.
From here you are following the route up hill, follow Les Giettes and then Les Cerniers. Don’t forget to stop at the Llamas!!
The road ends at Les Cerniers where you will find a large parking area, the Les Cerniers Restaurant and Whitepod’s reception. Leave your car at the free car park and start the unique experience.
By Public Transport
The nearest airport is Geneva. Take the train to Monthey- this will be the closest you will get by train to Whitepod Eco-Luxury Hotel. Timetables and prices can be found on www.sbb.ch.
From Monthey train station you will have to change to the bus n° 63 which will bring you in 45 minutes all the way to Les Cerniers Restaurant.
You can either get a Taxi at the Monthey Train station or even from Geneva Airport if this is more convenient for you. The address for the driver is – Les Cerniers Restaurant, in 2053 Cerniers
The surroundings and Day Trips in Valais
If you are lucky and have planned to stay multiple days at the Whitepod Hotel then you might also want to explore the surrounding valleys and partake in some activities.
On winter weekends the private ski piste at Whitepod is open. But before you carry all your gear, give them a call to see whether there is enough snow and if the lift system is open.
- You are only 45 min drive from the massive Ski Domain Porte du Soleil. The drive up the Val D’Illiez is beautiful and I recommend to drive all the way to Les Crosets and ski from there.
- Or you can drive 50 min from Whitepod to Villars in Canton Vaud and ski areas including Les Diablerets and Glacier 3000.
Here are some other family activities you might be interested in if you are staying during the other seasons.
- Family Activities in Valais
- Family hikes in Valais
- In under 50 minutes you can enjoy the Swiss Rivera in Montreux and walk along the promenade right by the lake.
I hope that the information provided here will prove itself useful when planning your stay at the Whitepod Eco-Luxury Hotel.
If I have left anything out, please ask your questions in the comments below so that other readers can join in the conversation and profit from your queries also.
Thank you & Never Forget to Travel
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