Discover Germany, Issue 43, October 2016

Page 56

Discover Germany | Special Theme | Best of Valais

A cosy stay for nature lovers and gourmets of wine Situated in the heart of Valais, there is the small but pretty Bed and Breakfast Varen run by Heidi Kuonen-Goetz. TEXT: NADINE CARSTENS | PHOTOS: BNB VAREN

If you plan a trip to the nature park Pfyn-Finges or to the great wine region Salgesch-Varen, the Bed and Breakfast (BnB) Varen is the perfect place to stay. Since 2009, Heidi Kuonen-Goetz and her family have been running the accommodation with loving attention to detail.“Before I established the B&B there was no place where guests, who wanted to visit this wine region, could stay overnight,” the host explains.“I wanted to change this. And as it turned out, not only gourmets of wine like to come, but also nature lovers who for example go hiking in the nature park Pfyn-Finges.” As the four-bedroom B&B is situated in the heart of Valais, it is only 20 minutes to the thermal baths and ski slopes in Leukerbad, and 40 minutes to the famous

golf course and slopes of Crans-Montana. “This sunny region is also known for having a great range of butterflies, birds and dragonflies,” Kuonen-Goetz says. “Some time ago, I even had guests from the USA who just came to take pictures of butterflies.” Those who want to get to know the stunning region, should also participate in a guided tour through the village. Kuonen-Goetz then provides information about the history of the farming village and the adjacent nature park. Guests can also enjoy a delicious breakfast every morning. Regional products like grapeseed-bread, seasonal fruits as well as homemade jam are a real treat.

Hotel Les Etagnes

56 | Issue 43 | October 2016

Since 2009, Heidi Kuonen-Goetz welcomes guests in her BnB Varen.


Switzerland has its fair share of secrets. Take Nendaz, an idyllic town on the lush mountain slopes of the Valais, where Annemieke and Onno van Boxtel run the town’s most charming hotel and restaurant, Les Etagnes, as well as its popular après-ski bar Cheers and four generously sized holiday apartments. Being competitive is vital if you are hoping to compete in Switzerland’s packed ski market, and it certainly applies to this small Dutch-run hotel, now in its tenth year. After spending two seasons as ski instructors in Nendaz – a spot they immediately fell in love with – the easygoing duo seized the opportunity to take ownership of a recently renovated hotel. After further revamping the historical site, the couple pride themselves on offering a ‘one-stop shop’ where skiing and socialising meet. Providing the ultimate ski-in, ski-out luxury, Onno explains with a wry smile that “many people don’t realise that Verbier is connected by gondola; we’re part of Switzerland’s biggest ski area with 412 kilometres of pistes direct from the

The BnB Varen offers two double rooms and two single rooms.

door. Once the car is parked, there’ll be no need to touch it.” Alongside breakfast and lunch, the hotel serves a daily threecourse meal in their chic wood-panelled restaurant, while also catering to a lively après-ski scene. With nine handsomely decorated guestrooms and four smart Alpine

apartments, Hotel Les Etagnes is a discerning getaway for those eager to avoid the crowds – and inflated prices – of the more hyped neighbouring ski resorts. If winter sports are not your thing, Nendaz is a veritable mountain paradise with equal charm outside of the ski season for unspoilt nature, hiking and trail running. Below left: Hotel Les Etagnes. Below right: The hotel runs a popular restaurant and lively après-ski scene.

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