“Magical winter and summer eco-camp in remotest Switzerland, with stunning views, ample activities and a real back-to-nature vibe”
Each pod is made of a robust steel frame clad in white canvas, which is layered with green camouflage in summer, meaning it has minimal visual impact on the landscape. They are also covered in 3 layers of PVC to minimise heat loss; this, combined with the romantic wood-burners, means they’re genuinely toasty in winter. Inside, expect chairs covered in cosy sheepskin rugs, and deerskins on the floor. The furniture is unique to each pod and is mostly sourced from local flea markets and artisans. We had lovely antique wooden armchairs, and rough-hewn tree stumps for bedside tables.
The pods are all furnished with organic luxury bedding, and armchairs and desks located in front of the huge ‘window’. You also get a mezzanine sleeping level, accessed via a ladder, and panoramic wooden decks for sitting out on when it’s not too chilly. Each has a bathroom positioned behind the bed, complete with shower (on an eco-timer, of course), sink, loo, eco toiletries and even a hairdryer.
Family Pods have extra space for kids while Deluxe Pods have extra luxuries: satellite TVs, Nespresso coffee machines, minibars and free WiFi.
Crocs are supplied for walking around in (sanitised for each new guest) and a backpack of kit is handed to you on arrival, which comes thoughtfully stuffed with a map, a pair of binoculars and a head torch (crucial for walking around outside in the dark). The pods also have walkie-talkies for contacting reception - no in-room landlines or wall-mounted TVs here.
Whitepod has a superb restaurant on top of the reception area, 15 minutes down the hill from the camp. It is called Restaurant Les Cerniers, after the immediate area surrounding Whitepod, and it serves utterly delicious traditional lunch and dinner options such as cheese fondue and Valais cold cuts, as well as an excellent à la carte menu. During our stay we dined on a wonderfully cheesy endive tarte tatin with Roquefort, followed by possibly the best slow-cooked belly pork we’ve ever sampled, then coffee with a cute selection of mini desserts including pistachio mousse and truffles. Quite delicious. Not surprisingly, it is run commercially so non-Whitepod locals can book a table, too.
The restaurant policy is true to the Whitepod philosophy. It uses local wine and seasonal produce; local suppliers are used first and other European suppliers only if necessary. The restaurant is open daily in July and August, and Sunday to Thursday for the rest of the year; there are more eateries within a 10-minute drive.
The restaurant can also do vegetarian options and even offers ‘pod service’ (their version of room service), delivering salads and cold cuts via snowmobile.
Breakfast is served in the Pod House in the middle of the camp and consists of a buffet-style selection of fresh pastries, creamy yoghurts, fruit, local cold cuts and cheeses, plus a small number of hot options. Guests staying in the Deluxe Pods get breakfast brought to their room each day. The Pod House also has an informal bar and games area, and serves a complimentary afternoon tea of hot drinks and pastries daily.
i-escape's Best for Kids Awards 2014
Winner: Best For Adventure
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This eco camp is perfect for a memorable family holiday - the setting is spectacular and there is heaps to do both in summer and winter. Children under 12 can stay for free in the pods; they are just charged for breakfast. There are sledges, board games in the Pod House, and a cinema room which shows films and web TV when the weather is bad. Note only one rollaway bed or cot is permitted to be added to a pod.
Children (4-12 years), Teens (over 12)
The Pods are all the same size but the Family Pods can take two additional children. Kids sleep on cute, totally secure, cordoned-off mezzanine platforms on top of the pod bathrooms. Whitepod recommends they should be at least 8 years old to sleep there. Baby cots can be supplied free of charge for little ones, and those between 3 and 7 years are best sleeping in with their parents.
Access to the pods is on foot; in winter the thick snow means strollers or prams are more a hindrance than a help. The Pods are heated by wood-burning stoves and the guests are responsible for adding fuel.