A Fairytale Stay in Crans-Montana

Crans-Montana is not just a winter wonderland; it’s also a stunning summer retreat. Known for its elite golf courses, Crans-Montana offers much more beyond the greens. We discovered this while staying at the luxurious Hostellerie du Pas de L’Ours, nestled in a historic chalet. This boutique hotel has become a destination for its exceptional gastronomy and tailored luxury experiences.

The Historic Chalet Charm

Hostellerie du Pas de l'Ours, Crans-Montana

Hostellerie du Pas de l'Ours, Crans-MontanaThe Hostellerie du Pas de L’Ours captivated us from the moment we arrived. Housed in a 110-year-old chalet made of stone and wood, it exudes a sense of authenticity and timeless charm. The entrance is marked by a beautiful fountain & wooden doors that immediately set a welcoming tone. As we stepped inside, the stone walls and intricately painted wooden ceilings enveloped us in a warm, historic ambiance. Each detail, from the rustic decor to the carefully restored architectural elements, told a story of heritage and elegance.

Terrace at Hostellerie du Pas de l'OursStepping out onto the terrace, we were greeted by breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains. A scene that enhances the hotel’s enchanting allure.

The story of the Hostellerie is also worth sharing. It was acquired 30 years ago by Armand Bestenheider, who aside being an ex-hockey player, loved restoring old buildings and bringing them back to life. He passed on the passion of hospitality to his four daughters. One of which, Séverine, run, the Hostellerie right from the beginning. She developed it together with her husband, the renowned chef Franck Reynaud, to the charming status of today.

Unique Rooms and Suites

Suite at Hostellerie du Pas de l'Ours, Crans-Montana

Suite at Hostellerie du Pas de l'Ours, Crans-MontanaWith only 15 rooms and suites, each uniquely designed, the Hostellerie du Pas de L’Ours offers an intimate and exclusive atmosphere. Our suite, the L’Ours Brun, was a true masterpiece. It featured a beautiful salon that opened onto a balcony, providing a perfect spot to enjoy the scenic views. The charming wooden bedroom was cozy yet luxurious, with one of the most picturesque windows we’ve ever seen. The suite also included a spacious dressing room and a bathroom equipped with a jacuzzi, a shower, and a separate toilet. The balcony, situated just above the hotel terrace, offered even more stunning vistas. It made our morning coffee and evening relaxation moments truly special. Additionally, the suite had a dual-sided fireplace that could be enjoyed from both the salon and the bedroom, adding a cozy touch, especially enticing for winter stays.

The Distinctive Pool and Spa

Pool at Hostellerie du Pas de l'Ours, Crans-MontanaWe couldn’t resist the sparkling pool, spotted from our balcony. The hotel is connected by a quaint wooden bridge, and beautiful large stone stairs to the garden and pool, making the entire hotel area feel like a mini authentic village.

Pool at Hostellerie du Pas de l'OursAfter enjoying a refreshing cocktail on the pool terrace, surrounded by a beautiful green garden, we took a dip. The pool is distinctive as it starts indoors and stretches outdoors, a practical design for the region’s variable weather. When it started to rain, we simply moved to the indoor section. The pool and spa are shared with the sister hotel, de L’Etrier, and include a sauna, steam room, and vast relaxation area. The heated pool water was especially refreshing after a few hours of travel, helping us unwind completely.

Gastronomy at its Finest

Dinner at le Bistrot des Ours, Crans-Montana

Dinner at le Bistrot des OursThe Hostellerie du Pas de L’Ours is renowned for its exceptional gastronomy. The hotel’s L’Ours restaurant, led by the Michelin-starred chef Frank Reynaud, offers a dining experience that is both exquisite and memorable. We tasted the menu of Le Bistrot des Ours while dined in the salle of L’Ours, adjacent to the terrace with its breathtaking views. Each dish, from the starters to the main course, was a testament to the culinary mastery and creativity of the chef. The flavors were intricate and well-balanced, elevating our dining experience to new heights. For dessert, we moved to the historic salle, which had a charming and cozy ambiance that perfectly complemented the evening. 

Breakfast with Crans-Montana View

Breakfast at le Bistrot des Ours

Breakfast at le Bistrot des OursMornings at the hotel were equally delightful. The same salle that hosted our dinner transformed into a bright, inviting space for breakfast, offering stunning daylight views of the mountains. The hotel’s breakfast experience is unique, with a personal buffet presented at your table. Guests can choose between the continental and L’Ours breakfast menus. The continental option includes a selection of muesli, jams, croissants, breads, juice, and hot drinks, along with eggs or gaufres. The L’Ours breakfast menu offers additional hot dish options, all beautifully presented and delicious. We took our leisurly time to enjoy the breakfast spread as well as the setting.

Hike and Fondue at La Cabane

Hiking to Cabane des Violettes from Cry d'ErAfter a delicious breakfast, we set off towards Cry d’er. The cable car station going upward is a short walk from the hotel. The ride up offered scenic views of the green hills dotted with several mountain chalets. From the top station, we hiked to La Cabane des Violettes at 2200 meters. The hike took about 40 minutes, with beautiful Crans-Montana scenery guiding our way. As the weather began to change, we hurried to reach the cabane before the rain started.

La Cabane des Violettes, Crans-Montana

Fondue at La Cabane des ViolettesWe arrived just in time and were rewarded with a delicious mixed plate of local cheese and cold meat cuts. The highlight was the special fondue, made with local cheese and topped with nuts and minced bacon crumbles. Watching the rain through the cabane’s windows while savoring the fondue was a memorable experience. We then took another cable car down, which brought us to the other side of Crans-Montana, on our way back to the hotel.

Exploring Crans-Montana

Crans-Montana

Crans-Montana, Etang LongOur first afternoon in Crans-Montana was spent exploring the town. The central lake, marked by the famous Crans-Montana letters, was a peaceful spot where we watched ducks leisurely wandering the lake. We then continued to Étang Long, a small lake ideal for a serene walk. The area is bustling with activities, including an open-air gym, a playground, and a small beach perfect for families. It’s also a popular spot for stand-up paddle boarding and is situated alongside a golf course, offering something for everyone.

A Day at Aïda Hotel & Spa, Crans-Montana

Aïda Hôtel & SPA, Crans-Montana

Pool at Aïda Hôtel & SPA

Indoor wellness area at Aïda Hôtel & SPAOur final morning was spent at the spa of Aïda Hotel, an adults-only luxury sister hotel of Hostellerie du Pas de L’Ours. The spa is state-of-the-art, featuring an indoor pool with beautiful decor and multiple jets for water pressure massages. The facility also includes cocoons and chaise lounges for ultimate relaxation, a jacuzzi, a sauna, a steam room, and a spacious relaxation area.

Lunch at Aïda Hôtel & SPAAfter a morning of pampering, we enjoyed lunch on the hotel’s terrace, overlooking the outdoor pool and observing the clearing mountain views as the fog lifted.

As we descended from Crans-Montana to Sierre on the funicular, we admired the stunning scenery and reflected on our stay. The Hotellerie du Pas de L’Ours and its sister hotels provided a luxurious, refined experience in Crans-Montana. Each boutique hotel offered a unique and exclusive atmosphere, catering to different tastes and needs. This collection of hotels created an unforgettable retreat, blending luxury, gastronomy, and wellness in one of the most beautiful settings imaginable.

What stuck in our heart mostly is the story of a family, that expressed their passion through hospitality. And furthermore, transferred that into a heart-warming & indulging experience that we cherished for couple days in the stunning allure of Crans-Montana.

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