“Ski-in, ski-out mountain lodge and rustic-luxe chalets in Switzerland’s sunniest resort, where breathtaking views of the Alps reign supreme”
The main lodge has been lovingly restored carved 'love heart' chairs and creaking floorboards that reveal its age. Its 3 basic but comfortable double/twin rooms (known as Skier Rooms in winter and Biker Rooms in summer) make a great-value option if you’re prepared to share a bathroom and TV room, and can be booked together as a self-contained area for families and groups. Under the roof on the floor above are 2 Loft rooms, which can act as a single unit for up to 6; it has 2 double/twin bedrooms, plus a shower bathroom and a lounge/third bedroom with a single bed and a single sofabed.
For more luxury, opt for one of the duplex suites in an outbuilding called Le Grange, which offer a contemporary twist on the Alpine theme (Bang & Olufsen iPod docks, sleek leather chairs, Nespresso machines). Downstairs, each has a living area with a fire, plus a shower bathroom and a garden; upstairs is a romantic bedroom with a flat-screen TV and a balcony. They share an outdoor hot tub.
Similar in style and layout is Le Mazot, a self-contained chalet for 2. We stayed here and loved warming our toes on the soft animal-skin rugs, before curling up on the velvet sofa with a glass of Valais wine. Tall guests will need to mind the eaves in the bedroom, but crisp linens and fake-fur covers mean it’s a wonderful cocoon.
Breakfast at Bistro Les Clèves involves a typical rustic Alpine spread - muesli, delicately cured hams and local cheeses served on a slate platter, and gigantic fluffed-up croissants with homemade jams and marmalades. There’s also the option of eggs and bacon. All in all, it’s a locally sourced feast designed to set you up for the day ahead, and when the weather permits in summer it’s served under the sun on the terrace outside.
In the evenings, the bistro offers a daily changing supper menu, all dishes are prepared from scratch using seasonal ingredients. We had a delicate steak tartare with bread and mustard, and a delicious myrtle soup for dessert. On our second evening, we enjoyed an unusual dish of salmon gravadlax accompanied by artichoke soup served in a jug. We also devoured a crème brûlée and a cooling sorbet, along with hearty glasses of red syrah.
In summer, the bistro tends to close at least one night a week, but you'll find an eclectic array of cafés and restaurants in Haute-Nendaz, just a short walk away.
Hameau Les Clèves also runs a winter bar right on the slopes - a great pit-stop for skiers, with hot and alcoholic drinks, cheese platters and cured meats. You can also order packed lunches year-round, and cakes and drinks are available throughout the day from the bistro bar.
Children are very welcome at Hameau Les Clèves, and there’s an array of accommodation options for all shapes and sizes of family. That said, we’d say it’s best suited to babies and older children, as there are a few safety issues to take into consideration with toddlers (steep staircases, open balconies).
The Nendaz region has been awarded the 'Families Welcome' accolade by the Swiss Tourism Federation and is well geared-up for kids, with slopes and ski schools for all abilities, plus open-air swimming pools and other attractions in summer.
Babies (0-1 years), Children (4-12 years), Teens (over 12)
Le Loft makes a good-value option for families of up to 6, as do the Skier/Biker Rooms if booked together. One Le Grange Suite can take an extra bed, and baby cots can be provided in most rooms for an additional charge. Note that all bathrooms have showers only (no tubs).
A list of approved babysitters is available from the local tourist office.
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking
The bistro has a kids' menu.
The staircases in the main lodge and chalets are very steep (often with a rope rather than a handrail), and the balconies are open on some sides.