City Guide

6 Reasons to Make Switzerland Your Next Vacation Spot

An idyllic mountainside retreat is exactly what you need. In collaboration with W Hotels.

By: Hannah Baxter
Photography: Alec Kugler

While we’re all for lying on a beach sipping cocktails somewhere warm and sunny, sometimes the perfect vacation is a little further off the beaten path. In all our travel brainstorming, or what we used to call a productive workday, we’ve admittedly never considered Switzerland as the place to go for a relaxing getaway. Fortunately, our friends Jason and Julie Alkire—the husband-and-wife duo behind luxury womenswear brand Haus Alkire—have convinced us otherwise by letting us tag along for their CFDA Fashion Incubator Inspiration Trip to Verbier, Switzerland, sponsored by W Hotels. Aside from being blindingly picturesque (seriously, just mountains and clear blue sky for days) the adventure north was just what we needed to rest and recharge from our relentlessly busy schedules. Once you’re ready to book your next vacation to the Alps, here’s everything Jason and Julie recommend seeing, doing, and eating.

 

1. Stay at the W Verbier Luxury Resort

“The staff and the service level at the W Hotel were amazing. Everyone we encountered made us feel welcome. You can tell there is a sense of pride in working at the resort, and the attention to detail is Swiss at heart. The place runs like a fine-tuned timepiece. Nothing lacked, and the food at the W Kitchen was outstanding. We almost felt guilty for exploring outside after we had dinner there. The W Insider made sure that we had the ultimate Verbier experience. We will be back.”

 

2. Take a helicopter tour of the Swiss Alps

“We highly recommend booking a helicopter tour—it gives you a perspective of the Alps and wildlife that you cannot get from any other viewpoint. We landed at 11K feet on the shale peak of Rosablanche and buzzed the hiking chalets throughout the other mountains. And we found a rare mountain daisy flora. It was definitely Jason’s favorite activity all week.”

 

3. Go fishing in the gorgeous Lac de Champex

“The gentleman at the guiding service was fit for a movie character—he knew how to communicate without saying a word. He put us in a scenic corner of the lake in Champex, a small village in Valais. W packed us a tasty picnic lunch of salmon, tartines, and local fruit. The picturesque view was a perfect backdrop for a relaxing afternoon. Jason caught a beautiful trout, which he traded to a local for a handshake.”

 

4. Visit a Swiss winery

“We loved our visit to Jean Rene Germanier Vineyards in Vetroz. It was quite a large winery, and the breadth of varieties it produced was a surprise. We enjoyed the Fendant and the varietal reds, as well as the Raclette, baby potatoes, pickled onions, and cornichons we ate during our lunch.”

 

5. Hike through the mountainside

“We could have done this every day. The view was one-of-a-kind from every summit. Each hike for us was a treasure hunt for rare flowers, mountain streams, and creatures. Our favorite hike was the 3D art sculpture tour through La Chaux and Ruinettes. Viewing sculptures in this setting was a spiritual experience. And we found our first mountain plant to study as part of our botanical exploration—the Enziane, Gentiana.”

 

6. Enjoy the local cuisine

“Our first local fondue experience was at Le Sonalon in Verbier. After an apricot spritzer, we indulged in four homemade fondues and thyme ice cream with chocolate soup for dessert. After a traditional dinner of rosti and game at Le Carrefour in Verbier, we ended up at Pub Mont Fort where we played darts and enjoyed tequila into the wee hours of the morning.”

 

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