24-Hour Room Service: Chalet RoyAlp, Switzerland

Perched on a lofty, sun-baked shelf in the Swiss Alps is the tiny town of Villars-sur-Ollon. With its proximity to Geneva, the area's popularity has soared since the advent of cheap flights from the UK. But Villars-sur-Ollon has long been popular with plucky Brits, who came here in the late 19th century in search of jolly mountain japes armed only with tweed jackets and Kendal mint cake.

Nowadays, it's a town with a year-round soul, rather than a seasonal playground. It is an agreeable place in which to live, with no high-rise blocks and quiet, pine-sheltered residential streets concealing the mountain retreats of the rich and not-wishing-to-be famous. Within the town are a couple of nursery slopes which are perfect for pint-sized learners, and other niceties include tennis courts and pool, an ice rink and plenty of good restaurants.

Now there is a newcomer: Chalet RoyAlp, which opened in December. It is the first new hotel to be built in the town in years and represents a step forward in terms of luxury accommodation, more Vermont Ski Lodge than darkened Alpine retreat. As you walk into the roomy reception, a massive log fireplace is encircled by suitably large Chesterfield sofas. The hall opens up to the main stairwell and then gives in to a double-height ceiling bar with floor-to-ceiling windows allowing for a sweeping view of the Dents du Midi peak. Beyond lies a smoking room and a games room complete with pool table. However, the management insists it is very much a family place. Indeed, it has already hosted a family from Spain – the royal family.

LOCATION

Chalet RoyAlp Hotel & Spa, Domaine de Rochegrise, Villars-sur-Ollon, Switzerland (00 41 24 495 9090; royalp.ch). The hotel occupies its own site, with plenty of outdoor space, and is walking distance from the town centre (although a shuttle bus will whisk you there in no time). It's also adjacent to the train station from where it's a 20-minute, picturesque ride up to the lifts.

Time from international airport: Geneva is 1hr 15mins away by car, or get the train direct from the airport to Aigle (1hr 45mins), from where it's a 20-minute bus ride to Villars, which is included in the train ticket (SFr42/£26 one way).

COMFORTABLE?

The building comprises three five-storey blocks set at an angle to each other, guaranteeing privacy on every balcony. The bedrooms are finished to a high standard with bespoke sofas and armchairs, and the walls are clad in new Swiss fir; alpine, but still fresh and modern. Bathrooms are equally high-spec: grey slate and wet rooms abound.

If you're unhappy with the flat screen TVs in your room, there is a 30-seat cinema that screens current movies and has a special children's programme. Speaking of children, they are made to feel very welcome with their own soft games room and a funky den with iPod docks, sofas and a Nintendo Wii.

The RoyAlp is aimed at those after an indulgent break, whether enjoying the snow sports, or rejuvenating in the superb spa, which has its own 20m pool and a voluminous hot tub. For now, there are two restaurants – one decked out like a mountain lodge serving fondu and other variants on the melted cheese thing that the Swiss do so well; and one with a more international flavour and an excellent wine list. A fine-dining restaurant is set to follow.

Freebies: Swiss sweets, Jardin Des Alpes toiletries.

Keeping in touch: All rooms come with complimentary Wi-Fi and direct-dial phones.

THE BOTTOM LINE

Doubles from SFr407 (£255), room only. Seven-night packages are available via Carrier (0161 491 7670; carrier.co.uk) from £1,970 per person, including flights.

I'm not paying that: Chalet Balthazar offers apartments in the centre of town (00 41 24 495 4586; villarsapartments. com). Rental starts at SFr720 (£451) per week, self-catering.

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Recruitment Genius: Personal Trainer / PT - OTE £32,000 Uncapped

    £22000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The fastest growing fitness cha...

    Recruitment Genius: Membership Sales Advisor - OTE £10,000 Uncapped - Part Time

    £7500 - £10000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The fastest growing fitness chai...

    Guru Careers: Marketing Executive / Digital Marketing Executive

    COMPETITIVE: Guru Careers: A Marketing / Digital Marketing Executive (CRM, Eve...

    Recruitment Genius: Receptionist / Sales / Customer Service Assistant

    £8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: The role is likely to be 4on 4 off, days and ...

    Day In a Page

    The long walk west: they fled war in Syria, only to get held up in Hungary – now hundreds of refugees have set off on foot for Austria

    They fled war in Syria...

    ...only to get stuck and sidetracked in Hungary
    From The Prisoner to Mad Men, elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series

    Title sequences: From The Prisoner to Mad Men

    Elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series. But why does the art form have such a chequered history?
    Giorgio Armani Beauty's fabric-inspired foundations: Get back to basics this autumn

    Giorgio Armani Beauty's foundations

    Sumptuous fabrics meet luscious cosmetics for this elegant look
    From stowaways to Operation Stack: Life in a transcontinental lorry cab

    Life from the inside of a trucker's cab

    From stowaways to Operation Stack, it's a challenging time to be a trucker heading to and from the Continent
    Kelis interview: The songwriter and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell and crying over potatoes

    Kelis interview

    The singer and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell
    Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

    Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

    But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
    Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

    Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

    Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
    Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

    Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

    Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
    Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

    Britain's 24-hour culture

    With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
    Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

    The addictive nature of Diplomacy

    Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
    Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

    Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

    Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
    8 best children's clocks

    Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

    Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
    Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

    Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

    After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
    Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

    How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

    Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
    Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

    'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

    In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea