Small Town Experiences High Above Switzerland

When the first snow falls each winter on the East Coast island I call home, I always daydream off to being atop a mountain. I made a vow to seek out more alpine experiences this year and I began that journey with Switzerland. A lover of small town experiences, I happened upon Whitepod in the Western Alps and I knew I had to spend a night in the region of Valais.

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We made our way up to the tiny village of Les Cerniers (population 70) via bus from the train station and got a warm welcome by school children on their way home who must have been between the ages of two and five. The last stop at the top of the hill and we would arrive at Whitepod. Upon checking in, we traded in our luggage with the concierge for a backpack (with headlamps for night) and hiking poles for a 10 minute winter walk in our snow boots uphill to the main lodge as our bags were delivered to the room.

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It was like Christmas day when we sauntered on the deck of Pod number 6, the white snow globe like dome we would be calling home for the next 24 hours. We couldn’t wait to unzip the flap door to see what awaited us inside. Our newly renovated Deluxe Pod was modern with natural design elements from floor to dome ceiling. A front and center table and chair set-up with fresh juice and homemade sweets to kick back and relax in-room, Nespresso machine for early mornings on your deck, wifi, and a walkie talkie instead of a phone to call for anything you need — like breakfast delivered straight to your Deluxe Pod. The pods are weatherproof for snowy nights and soundproof for late night conversations in bed by the fire with an iMax-like view to where the starry skies meet mountains below.

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Of all of the snow-sport and alpine offerings at Whitepod including 25 kilometers of trails, private ski slopes, and mountaineering for the more extreme, my first time dogsledding was both thrilling and dreamy as we passed through snow-laden pines.

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With all of the on-property activities at Whitepod, you’re bound to work up an appetite. The main lodge is open 24 hours with an honor bar for a night cap or two.

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Breakfast is served downstairs and afternoon tea time on the main floor each day, which are included in your stay. Boil your own egg and choose from an assortment of homemade breads with melon jam and caramel sauce, dried and fresh fruits, fresh juices, hot coffee and cocoa.

The food and wine for dinner just down the hill is sourced from local producers and made on property, themed with sustainability in mind. We left full and happy after ordering a charcuterie assortment, Vacherin and Gruyere fondue and chestnut mousse topped with crumbled meringue.

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Bring the whole family, make it a friend-cation, or couples nature retreat. It’s an authentic place. An eco-luxury experience wrapped in a blanket of white you will never want to end.

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