Discovering Chandolin: Authentic Mountain Living in Summer

This summer, we embarked on a journey to uncover one of the Swiss mountains’ hidden gems: Chandolin in Val d’Anniviers. Despite summer’s late arrival this year, Chandolin provided an idyllic retreat, perfect for unwinding and disconnecting from daily life hustle and bustle. Our stay at the Chandolin Boutique Hotel was an integral part of this serene escape, offering an exceptional blend of location and facilities that enhanced our experience.

The Chandolin Village Charm

Chandolin village

Chandolin villageChandolin is a picturesque Swiss village nestled in the Alps, standing as one of the highest year-round inhabited villages in Europe. Public transport only reached this charming village in 1962, connecting it to St-Luc. Prior to that, Chandolin was accessible solely by foot or donkey, adding to its remote allure.

Just a short walk from the hotel, the historic village offers a stunning view of the church and surrounding houses with their classic roofs, providing a picturesque backdrop.

Edouard BilleThe village’s unique charm is truly captivating, leaving visitors in awe. Renowned Swiss painter Edouard Bille found so much inspiration in Chandolin that he spent his later years here, creating masterpieces that depict the historic village and the Matterhorn in the background. Adjacent to the Chandolin boutique hotel, there is a permanent exhibition of Bille’s art, accessible via a key from the tourism office.

Chandolin also drew the attention of Swiss adventurer and travel writer Ella Maillart, who fell in love with the region after exploring half the world.

Breathtaking Views

View from the balcony of Chandolin Boutique HotelNestled at the entrance of the village, Chandolin Boutique Hotel boasts breathtaking views that are simply unparalleled. Our suite featured a bedroom that opened to a balcony with a panoramic view, complemented by a cozy living room and a well-appointed bathroom. The hotel underwent a renovation a few years ago, using natural materials such as wood, stone and leather, reflecting its deep connection to nature.

Views from Chandolin Boutique HotelOur balcony offered a wonderful corner view, allowing us to admire the surroundings from almost every direction. We spent many serene moments sipping coffee and absorbing the calmness of nature. Even during rainy weather, the fog passing through the valley added a stunning, mystical touch to the panoramic view, making our stay even more enchanting.

Relaxation at the Spa and Nordic Baths

Bains Nordiques, Chandolin Boutique Hotel

Altitude Wellness & SPA, Chandolin Boutique Hotel

Altitude Wellness & SPA, Chandolin Boutique HotelThe hotel garden features two delightful Nordic baths, providing a unique and zen-like experience. Relaxing in these baths while taking in the marvelous natural surroundings was incredibly rejuvenating. The hotel SPA Altitude Wellness also includes a hammam and a sauna with mountain views, and a distinctive sensorial shower. It also offers a wide array of spa treatments and uses for facial treatments a range of local natural product line “Belle Luce”. We indulged in a relaxing massage and a facial, both of which were pampering and stress-relieving.

Additionally, the hotel’s cosy salon des étoiles serves as a perfect retreat during rainy days or winter, seamlessly connected to the garden. It features a small play corner for children, allowing parents to unwind. In winter, there’s also a heated ski room for convenient ski storage.

Delightful Dining Experience

Le Restaurant, Chandolin Boutique Hotel

Le Restaurant, Chandolin Boutique HotelThe hotel restaurant, “Le Restaurant” awarded 14 points by Gault & Millau, offers a truly remarkable gastronomic experience. We sampled the tasting menu, which turned out to be a highlight of our stay. The dishes, including Perfect Egg, Appenzell duckling, Grisons Salmon, and Mignon of Veal, were exquisitely prepared. The dark chocolate dessert and sorbet selection provided the perfect ending to this culinary journey. The restaurant prides itself on using local ingredients, listing local suppliers on the menu from meat and cheese to chocolate and coffee roasters.

BreakfastBreakfast is served in the main dining salle, which is connected to the terrace. On a good weather morning, we enjoyed our breakfast on the terrace, soaking in the stunning views. The breakfast spread featured a wide array of healthy options, perfect for starting the day on a nutritious note.

Exploring InAlp and Path of Planets

Inalpe, Rouaz, St-LucOur visit coincided with the InAlp tradition at Rouaz. We made our way to the beautiful village of St-Luc and took an exhilarating funicular ride to Tignousa. At the top, there’s a playground and the intriguing Path of Planets, where you can walk through lush green fields and encounter planet symbols along the way. The mountain is ideal for biking and hiking, offering scenic trails and breathtaking vistas.

Path of Planets, TingousaWe continued our hike, passing two stunning rivers before reaching a farm where cows were arriving from pastures. The InAlp tradition is when the cows are set out on the hills to feed during the summer after being held in winter. In Rouaz, it includes a blessing ceremony for the animals & some local celebration before they are let out. It was so exciting to see the numbered cows cross up the hills from their “winter residence”.  Despite a brief skirmish between two bulls, the farmers quickly restored peace and the tradition continued its pace 😊. This delightful tradition marks the start of summer, with cows returning in late September/early October for another beautiful event, the desalps.

Picnic, Path of Planets, TignousaOn our way back, we enjoyed a lovely picnic, prepared by the hotel, next to one of the thriving rivers.

The hotel is also a short walk from the chair lift which takes you up to Le Tsapé, at 2470m. After a hike there you can reach the beautiful Lac Noir which is one of the gems of the region. Unfortunately it was heavily raining at the time we planned our ascent and we went for a walk in the village instead. Walking and admiring the pristine beauty of the region that got a foggy but stunning look.

A Memorable Alpine Retreat in Chandolin

ChandolinChandolin in Val d’Anniviers and its boutique hotel proved to be a remarkable discovery! This authentic gem of the Alps, with its serene atmosphere, stunning views, and rich traditions, offered us a captivating glimpse into the simple, slow-paced life of the Swiss Alps. It stole our hearts and deepened our appreciation for nature’s tranquility, leaving us with unforgettable memories.

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