Vals Village – Switzerland

Vals Village – Switzerland

You don’t come to this tiny village in the Swiss Alps to ski. Instead of perfectly groomed pistes, you’ll find a wonderland for design buffs. Built from sparkling gray blocks of Vals quartzite, Pritzker Prize-winner Peter Zumthor’s austerely beautiful Therme Vals houses a warren of steamy hammams and flower-strewn pools.

Last fall, the on-site hotel was rebranded as the 7132 Hotel (7132.com; CHF250), with furniture by Fritz Hansen and Eero Saarinen, a restaurant that serves dishes like Öra salmon with beets and spinach, and new rooftop suites designed by Japanese architect Kengo Kuma. If your taste tends toward fewer hard surfaces and right angles, the four-room Brucke 49 (brucke49.ch; CHF110 per person) embodies the distinctive Danish ethos of hygge, or coziness, but with some Midcentury-inspired flair: Finn Juhl chairs, 1960’s Le Klint lamps, Vola showers and William Morris wallpaper.

ultimate-tree-house-design

This tree house makes guests feel like home in the middle of nature.

Do as the locals do and earn your fondue with a 45-minute hike from the hotel along farm roads to Restaurant Ganni (ganni.ch; CHF100), an 18th-century timber mountain lodge. After a pot of silky cheese spiked with ginger, porcini or traditional kirsch, throw back a vieille prune (cask-aged plum brandy) digestif to fortify you for the walk back down.


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