Swiss hostel turns on five-spa treatment for budget travellers - Halong Junk Cruises

Swiss hostel turns on five-spa treatment for budget travellers

The wellnesshostel4000 in Saas Fee, Switzerland is fitted out with a private spa and swimming pool
The wellnesshostel4000 in Saas Fee, Switzerland is fitted out with a private spa and swimming pool. Photograph: Maxime Schmid/EPA

A youth hostel fitted out with jacuzzis, herbal steam baths and hydromassage facilities has opened in a Swiss alpine village, declaring itself the first “wellness hostel” in the world.

WellnessHostel 4000, in the glacier village of Saas-Fee in the canton of Valais, still offers the traditional hostel features of dormitories, bunk beds and shared showers. But typical forms of entertainment – shared TVs and poorly stocked bars – have been replaced by hot tubs and a tapas bar.

Manager Denise Emmerich said: “We have been open for just over two weeks and have seen a mix of guests through our doors, such as ski teams, older people, as well as groups of young people who are more or less looking for cheap accommodation.

“When you go to a hostel you expect it – how can I say it? – to not be anything like a hotel. But we have fitness and wellness facilities, a swimming pool, as well as a pool table and ping pong table.”

Other facilities include a Finnish sauna, hydromassage showers and an extensive massage programme.

“It is quite a relaxing place,” Emmerich said. “We have the mountain views and it is a quiet location. You have access to the sports and skiing in the mountains but also to calm – also helped by the fact that Saas-Fee is a car-free village.”

Prices for beds start at around 50 francs (£30), offering a cheaper alternative to the nearby resorts of Verbier and St Moritz that, according to 2012 research, are the second and third most expensive ski destinations for Brits.

The wellnessHostel 4000 is part of a growing trend of upmarket hostels, from converted monasteries to “flashpacker pads” with rooms that wouldn’t look out of place in a boutique hotel.

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Travel | The Guardian
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