Sitting high above the Rhone Valley, with exceptional panoramic views stretching from the Matterhorn to Mont Blanc you’ll find the picturesque area of Crans-Montana.
Originally two villages (Crans and Montana), they became the now-famous ski resort around 100 years ago. Situated at an altitude of 1500m, the area is home to over 140km of pistes of varying levels and one of the most advanced ski lift systems in the world, so it’s easy to get around. In terms of skiing, there is something for every level, from the nursery areas for beginners to the wide and long red and blue runs for intermediate skiers. Off the slopes, there’s plenty to discover too. Here we offer our insight into what you can expect from this luxury winter getaway.
Where to Stay
Crans-Montana is widely known for its luxury accommodation. With an offering ranging from private chalets to self-catering apartments, spa hotels and everything in between, you’ll be spoilt for choice. We discovered two of the resorts properties during our stay:
In a perfect location in the city centre, Hôtel Royal is close to all of the area’s amenities. Housed in a traditional style chalet building the hotel features 51 rooms with panoramic views of the Alps, the forest or the ski area. The rooms feature wooden details and most have a balcony allowing guests to take in the fresh air and enjoy the scenery.
For those who are planning to ski, the hotel will organise a short transfer to the slopes and you can visit the nearby shops for all your skiing needs. Those opting not to ski can enjoy the indoor pool and hot tub while they enjoy the views and experience true relaxation.
Le Crans Hôtel
Just outside of town (around a ten-minute drive) you’ll find Le Crans Hôtel. Located high above the mountains and on the edge of a peaceful Alpine forest, the views from this property are a sight to behold, whatever time of year you’re visiting. A haven of peace and tranquillity this five-star property is known for its sense of warmth and a place to unwind and completely relax. It features one of the best spas in the area and is perfect for those looking for total peace.
The rooms are designed with traditional Alpine décor featuring antique pine panelling, elegant colours and cosy textures. With a wide selection of room categories, named after some of the world’s most famous mountain peaks, there is something for every need. Many of the rooms have panoramic views across the mountain tops, inviting you to spend a lazy afternoon, cosying up in bed and gazing out of the window.
Where to Eat
For authentic Swiss cuisine in the heart of the town, Désalpe is the place to be. With a warm cosy setting and views overlooking the hustle and bustle of the streets, it’s one of the most popular destinations in Cras-Montana. The signature dishes are tartars as well as grilled meat, cooked on the wood fire. All of the meats are locally sourced in Switzerland for the freshest, most delicious flavours. Another must-try is the traditional cheese fondue or raclette, Indulge in the flavours of mature alpine cheese – a cheese lover’s dream!
Le Crans Hôtel is also home to one of the most popular gourmet restaurants in the area. LeMontBlanc offers diners an unforgettable gastronomical experience with artistic seasonal cuisine prepared with local produce by the in-house chef Yannick Crepaux. Each dish is truly a work of art created through Crepaux’s passion for food and using local produce. A must-try is LaTable d’Hôtes; a sample menu of some of the restaurants most popular and creative dishes.
For something different, Japanese restaurant Kaizen is a favourite of locals and visitors to the area. One of the newest editions to the resort Kaizen is the brainchild of chef Miguel de Vega. Bringing a taste of authentic Japanese cuisine to the Swiss Alps, the unique dining destination comprises an incredible menu in a cosy setting. Choose from a menu of traditional-style sushi, sashimi and nigiri as well as delicious main courses including Black Cod and Wagyu beef. Be sure to book ahead as getting a table at this hotspot is not always easy.
Home to a menu of freshly prepared Swiss and Italian dishes, Merbé is a typical Swiss “brasserie valaisanne”, located within a chalet, offering beautiful views across the mountains. It’s the ideal place to stop for an après ski bite to eat and soak up the fresh air. Merbé has recently been renovated to a high standard and features traditional Swiss wooden décor.
Where to shop
Crans-Montana has been described as having “the largest Alpine shopping facilities in the world”, and that wasn’t an understatement. The main shopping area Rue du Prado is packed full of locally owned stores as well as dozens of international luxury boutiques. From Hermès to Prada, Louis Vuitton, you won’t have to look far to find your favourite designer brand. The latest addition to the shopping district is Loro Piana whose new boutique is a must-visit. Many of the boutiques in the area offer exclusive designs and capsule collections, perfect for adding to your winter wardrobe once you arrive. There are also a number of luxury jewellery and watch boutiques including Cartier and Omega, in case you are looking for something that extra bit special during your stay.
Where to look after your wellbeing
Whether you are looking for some after-ski pampering or a more in-depth treatment, Crans-Montana boasts a number of spa experiences.
Guarda Golf Spa
The nearby Guarda Golf Spa offers a choice of traditional beauty treatments to meet all your wellness needs. From massages to facials to full body treatments this Alpine beauty experience is truly relaxing. When you’re finished with your treatment relax in the heated indoor pool, whirlpool bath and sauna or opt for the traditional hammam experience.
Summit Clinic is a professional medical clinic specialising in aesthetic medicine and surgery, preventive and regenerative medicine, and ambulatory surgery, especially orthopaedic. Visitors travel from all around the globe to discover world-class treatments and extra-special care. The clinic will offer a chauffeur service to collect you from your destination and ensure a smooth journey for all.
Crans-Montana is around a two and a half-hour drive from Geneva airport or approximately a four-hour driver from Milan. For more information visit https://www.onecransmontana.ch/
With special thanks to One Crans-Montana.