A number of Swiss hotels - like the Whitepod in Valais - are trying to sustain high occupancy by offering something unique all year round. (Julie Hunt, swissinfo.ch)
Swiss hotels have enjoyed good summer results thanks to the hot weather, but over the past year hotels have been struggling because of the strength of the Swiss franc, forcing them to come up with new concepts to survive.
This futuristic ‘Eco-luxury’ Whitepod hotel perched high on a mountain above the town of Monthey offers en suite accommodation in dome-like plastic structures with their own balconies and mountain views.
At reception, clients are issued with a rucksack containing head lamps and maps, facilitating a hike up to their pod along a mountain path. For evening meals, guests have to hike or sledge down to the restaurant next to reception.
In summer, husky dogs are available to spice up a hike. The same dogs will pull you on a sledge in winter, if you’re not busy skiing on the resort’s two private ski slopes.
Despite the relatively steep price of CHF420 per night for a family pod, Whitepod enjoys at least 65% occupancy all year round.