If life were a fairytale, the Lenkerhof Gourmet Spa Resort would be our castle! 2.5 hours from Zurich up a windy forest road, the 5-star Relais & Châteaux resort welcomes you to a weekend of Swiss bliss.
Although it takes slightly longer, we love the gorgeous route via Interlaken. Get an energy boost needed after a car ride by stopping to get a rush of adrenaline by booking a Paragliding Experience or for the slightly less brave at heart, indulge in a Swiss chocolate workshop.
Upon reaching the Simmental Valley you’ll soon enter Lenk, a charming little town where you’ll discover the resort adjacent to the Lenk Cablecar and Hiking Trail Starting Points.
One of the oldest hotels in Switzerland dating back 350 years ago, it proudly intertwines its history with modern luxuries. It’s fun to see how many historical accolades to the 1800’s you can spot – from the lobby lounge tables to the bedroom headboards, the romance of days before us are in the air.
The Hotel Director, Herr Stiller, who has been with Lenkerhof for 25+ years graciously guided us on a tour of the hotel sharing some of his secrets for 5* success. He explains how they ensure the upmost quality but with pizzaz and open mindedness vs. bling & stuffiness. He encourages small touches like greeting guests outside the hotel and orchestrating a friendly, casual check-in vs. the typical behind-the-counter white glove type penguin service. He wants it to be not just a building but “a building with soul”!
The Food & Drinks
Prior to dinner, gaze into your man’s eyes fireside as the bar-top candles drip and the piano musician plays. It’s a romantic start to what will certainly be a night to remember! Sophisticated in every way, the Spettacolo restaurant defines fine dining. With hints of sexiness like the dark velvet zipped bolsters and dripping candelabra decor, the gourmet experience ignites our senses from head to toe!
Designed by head chef Stefan Lünse, awarded 16 points of Gault Millau, looking over the menu was in and of itself like sitting on the edge of a juicy cliffhanger novel unsure which way to go but full of excitement and suspense. With 5 courses to select, we mixed and matched with our partner a bit to get a little taste of each and oh my, were we in love! Some of our favorites for the evening included the Burrata with cauliflower and Amalfi Lemon; the Fondue from Lenk; the Atlantic Spicy Lobster with calf’s head from Lenk and lotus; and the Veal from Simmental with romesco and Cima di rapa. As if that wasn’t enough, we could select from a cheese bar of 30+ cheeses and scrumptious desserts like the Berner Leberkuchen and Pineapple with champagne and pandan.
Finishing off the evening in the Cigar Bar with a hand-rolled Dominican Republic Griffin’s Piramides, this is definitly the good life ladies!
The Morning After….no guilt gals. Head downstairs and enjoy a buffet breakfast exploding with Swiss & local flavors. The hotel seems to have integrated their local resources into every item…From the Lenker Quark sweetened with Lenker Honey to the Lenker Salami paired with a Swiss egg, we loved seeing how local flavors lined the buffet tables.
Zuri Girl Tip
Daily at 6pm, the spiral staircase leads you to a wine cellar for a sommelier-led tasting (in German and French). The sommelier presents 3 suggestions to match the evenings meal. If that doesn’t suit your fancy, take a look around the stone walls at the vast supply of European and Swiss wines. We were quite surprised that bottles ranged from CHF 39 to CHF 3,900+ so don’t be nervous about asking for something that fits your lifestyle.
Zuri Mom Tip
The Little Prince Restaurant and their charismatic leader Tom host a kids only dinner daily at 6.30pm followed by fun at the PlayStation until 9.30 (kids can stay later but it’s supervised until 9.30). The menu is pretty diverse for a Kid’s Menu so while you have your usual choices of chicken nuggets and hamburgers we were pleased to also see a fish filet and loads of green side dishes available.
At breakfast, there’s a cute little treasure chest for the kids to pick yogurt drinks, capri suns and other “kid friendly” goodies.
In a perfect day, we’d join the morning Qi GONG OR Hatha yoga class at 11am in the glass-walled Pavilion, refresh in the outdoor sulphur water pool, lazily glide through the 7 Mediterranean style sauna rooms getting a boost of stimulation in the crushed ice splash and lingering a little longer in the floor to ceiling window relaxation room which sits mountainside. We’d finish off the day with a signature massage and cup of ginger tea. Just thinking about this in the height of Christmas stress is soothing!
The Seven Sources Spa is a gem, in the literal sense! Named after the neighboring Simme River and its seven wells and sulphur spring, the 2,000 square meter spa is exhilarating and at the same time calming, utilizing the local natural elements to provide healing, cleansing and detoxification.
The Spa Director Herr Schlimm kindly shared with us some of the treatments unique to Lenkerhof. He explained how annually they select local mountain crystals and stones from the nearby Simme River to use during their signature massage and black river sand for the facial peeling. What really impressed us was that they return the stones after they’ve been used, ensuring not to “mess with nature”.
Zuri Girl Tip
Book a massage with Marco! It was one of the best we have ever had and couldn’t recommend him more.
Zuri Mom Tip
The Pool closes for kids at 5.30pm but before then they can have a blast! There’s an indoor & outdoor heated sulfur water pool and the little ones find the bubbles, steam and water cascades so much fun to swim in and out of in between sliding down the twisty turny 20-meter water slide.
There are 11 different types of room, some of which were renovated in 2002 and some which are scheduled to be renovated in March 2019. We had an elegant 2-room suite that was ideal for a family of 5…equipped with 2 toilets, a peak-a-boo fireplace, high wooden ceilings, mountain-facing relaxation balconies and an entrance foyer grand enough for all the winter gear you seem to need.
Zuri Girl Tip
The in-room pillow menu is more extensive than a homes good store! Whether the car ride got your back in aches or your pregnant belly needs some extra at-night love, Lenkerhof offers you several pillow options to ensure a comfy night sleep. Choose from a neck bolster with duck feathers, an ergonomic memory foam, 100% natural filling and more.
Zuri Mom Tip
Fresh fruit and chocolate desserts welcomed us while bedside stuffed animals and school pencil sets wished us sweet dreams following dinner. Little touches with big heart and go such a long distance with keeping little kids smiling.
The Lenkerhof Gourmet Spa Resort
Badstrasse 20, CH-3775 Lenk im Simmental (map)
Images courtesy of Lenkerhof and David Schlimm
Lockdown was catastrophic for small businesses, but the these trailblazers found strength from within and didn’t skip a beat. We are honored to share their stories.read more
The current health crisis has us thinking out-of-the-box for safe ways to satisfy our Swiss travel desires while protecting ourselves and the community around us.read more