Verbier is world-renowned as a skiing destination, but as a summer and non-skiing destination, it’s no less an outdoor paradise.
At the apex of accommodation in this exclusive resort is The Lodge, Sir Richard Branson’s nine-bedroom chalet accommodating just 18 guests. The Lodge is perfectly located for the slopes, but the fresh Alpine air with the warm sun makes for ideal conditions for summer fun. Apart from world-class hiking and mountain-biking, outdoor types can opt for paragliding, mountain biking, rock climbing, even white-water rafting.
At The Lodge itself guests can take advantage of the nine-metre indoor heated pool, indoor and outdoor hot tubs, steam room, gym and fully equipped party room, not to mention two bars and plenty of cosy corners for curling up with a book. There is a spa available and it’s a minimal but ever stylish affair. Book a massage or a facial. The Lodge is designed to feel like a family home and guests are welcome to help themselves to drinks at any time.
Intimate yet roomy, The Lodge’s bedrooms would qualify as suites anywhere else with the smallest spread across three rooms. A bunkroom which can sleep up to six kids means that in summer, this is a wonderful family-friendly alternative to fighting for umbrella space on a Mediterranean beach.
The Lodge can accommodate both a group holiday or a private escape. Join the communal dining table or eat in your room, it’s up to you. Dinners are relaxed and casual. Apéritifs and canapés are enjoyed in the lounge area, before seating for dinner. The chef announces his creations for the meal, with vegan or vegetarian options ordered ahead of time. Wines have been selected and glasses are refilled as the night rolls on. Again, if you want to eat in your room, no problem, it’s arranged to your convenience but most guests stay on to share tales of the day’s adventures, and can continue into another bottle of wine or after dinner drinks and cheese plates.
The property was added to Branson’s Virgin Limited Edition stable of luxury retreats in 2007, and conforms to the brand’s template of amazing locations, incredible style and amenity, and superlative service. Believe the hype: – the staff really are a standout. From the moment you are greeted at the door with champagne, the personal attention makes one feel so at home, you’ll never want to go home! Even Pebbles, the manager’s mountain dog, gets into the act, escorting families on mountain hikes, old school. No chance of getting lost as Pebbles comes with a GPS collar so lodge staff always know where you are. Clever, practical and fun.