The Crans Ambassador is a top class luxury ski hotel in Crans-Montana Switzerland.
Just 7 hours door to door from home to hotel offering exquisite views, genuine hospitality, fantastic food and an idyllic spa.
As a writer and a reader of high end and luxury travel there is only so many superlatives we can take, the most lavish, the most luxurious, for some the most decadent, for others the most exclusive, and then there is the most expensive……
Though these are splendid it’s actually emotions that for me count the most. As with life what most of us are after is love, some want to receive more, some want to give more and most want to be in love. Those of you lucky enough to be in love it’s a most decadent, lavish and exclusive place to be.
So working in hospitality starts in my opinion with love. You need to love yourself, to feel confident and you need to have something within you that drives you to care and look after guests, guests in effect visiting your home. And in many ways some of the best luxury ski hotels have these elements in common. After a long day on the slopes, walking, shopping or meandering, the thought of sitting in comfort with preferably the flickers of a fire, letting one’s body unwind and then tantalising ones taste buds on wholesome, tasty and succulent flavours…… well there is Winter Heaven ……
Growing up in the countryside the wonders of winter were often very simple, a roaring fire, mum bringing in tea, family sat around maybe with Ski Sunday or Rugby Special on…..all gave me glow of love …. That was prior to making the drive back to boarding school!!
And this was my first experience of what would be my home in the Swiss Mountains, which I visited at Christmas. It all happens to us eventually but I arrived, a man who looked like he had trekked through the desert, as I believe my face gave it away, actually my travel problems were due to a simple thing called fog in Blighty. The lady all smiles met me at the top of the Funicular ……. having travelled from Geneva by train ….. a short hop in the car……. and I arrived at the hotel, dressed in its Christmas costume, that being tree lights and seasonal good cheer……. and then another smiley face….. ahhh Monsieur Grenville, oh mais quoi I might have replied trying to show some enthusiasm…. to the front desk with more smiles …..to my room and then downstairs……. all probably within 10 minutes….. The moral of the tale is that we are not in a fantastic mood all of the time for multiple reasons but the skills of being a good host or hostess is not to bombard one with this, that and everything but to show some love, care and let the guest breath and unwind, and most importantly feed, water and let them sleep. This is what makes a luxury ski hotel.
This is exactly what I wanted them to do and what they did, and within a short time, I was sat outside on the terrace, by the fire, talking to Pierre, with a beer in hand being looked after and 1,2,3 breath Michael…. bit by bit the frustrations and tensions were fading and the glitter of the stars in the night sky combined with a cool beer and good company were all starting to take effect.
At this point what had gone before started to dissipate, and I would take in the beautiful scenery and then gorge myself on a fantastic meal in the restaurant.
This is a good moment to mention The Oxford Ski Company whom I visited with. Talking with the owner Rupert Longsdon we commented that our two companies that being Gentlemans Butler and his hold similar values. We believe that Gentlemans Butler readers and clients in the main are looking for excellent service, old school values in a modern world. Luxury travel is just as much about the before and after as it is about the during and the Crans Ambassador embodies this.
It’s about talking to people in the know who can give you genuine feedback, know the people, brands and locations and when you say that you need a particular type of food or Aunt Ethel is arriving from Hamburg and needs looking after and picking up you are met with open arms as opposed to cross armed and a doubting face. I like to think of it as the difference between building a house with or without an architect. A good architect will not only build you a solid house but should save you money and importantly take your wishes and desires and turn them into action.
Think of Oxford Ski as your luxury ski architect.
The Oxford Ski Company – www.oxfordski.com – 01993 899 420. If luxury, service and ski are priorities for you, you might want to put them on speed dial.
If you get the chance book yourself into what is referred to as The Romantic Suite. I confess I did not stay in this suite, obviously not enough romance in me !!! Quelle surprise, but it did look lovely. Either way all the suites are very comfortable and beautifully presented with fantastic views of the mountains.
I love, love, love breakfast all over the world but there is something for me so therapeutic and mesmerising about getting dressed and going down to breakfast at the Crans Ambassador with my mouth watering, the smell of fresh croissant, and hot coffee and the sun rising over the glistening mountains mmmmm
Luxury spas, beauty and grooming are very important to Gentlemans Butler.
We travel the world looking for the best. The spa at the Crans Ambassador hold 2 best of stars in my book. Firstly the swimming pool, a simple statement maybe but like many things in life the simplest can be the best. The pool is just spot on, beautifully presented I swam every morning and watching the sun shine through every bit of the open windows looking out to the mountains really does have an impact.
Before or after breakfast it really is a piece of heaven. The second best of star goes to the Top to Toe treatment I had. As I mentioned at the time, the one drawback to a combination treatment is the individual areas can seem a bit second rate. There was nothing second rate about my treatment. I was looked after by a therapist who was charming, had empathy, knew what she was doing and looked after me.
A top class spa treatment should really treat you like a baby in that there are 2 benefits, one being the treatment itself and the other being the experience. It’s your chance to switch off 100 % so you need to have everything taken care of and you do not want to worry about basically having to think. For those of you who have the ability, emotionally to let go completely, this is really where you will fully understand and benefit from a luxury spa treatment. I will not say it was 100% but I really loved it, felt like my emotions let go and both my skin and body felt alive, soft and fresh.
Head to Toe ….3 hours of scrubs, wraps, massage, facial
This highly customized program will rebalance, nourish, reshape one’s body and facial contour, detoxifying and protecting the skin whilst re-boosting its natural regeneration delivering immediate and long lasting visible results. Les algues oxygénant MC 110 Essentional oils wrap the body, with a BR proprietary scalp massage and soothing and lifting facial will hydrate, reshape and repack the epidermis with essential lipids preventing sensitiveness due the climatic environment (sun, wind, cold, and altitude). A generous double layer of moisturizing, calming, or rebalancing or stimulating (according to your skin instant) creams will be applied. The skin will be radiant with the famous BR natural and healthy glow.
Experience body exfoliation, special glove techniques, heated blanket and plastic film to achieve optimum results.
In the same way that I like having my socks and shoes put on after having a pedicure they went the extra mile with me applying anti uv cream as I was heading up the mountain afterwards. It’s often these little extra touches that gives the luxe feeling.
For me the hotels golden 5 stars go to three areas. The view, which I have mentioned, the pool and spa and sitting out on the terrace having lunch. This I did just before leaving. It was lovely, everyone had vanished out to ski and I had the place to myself. There are moments when us guys just want to eat tasty guy food.
That means not always, but quite often a tasty, fresh burger and a beer. Every top hotel should not feel too proud and should excel. I would not be disappointed, with a lovely local beer and a crepe and jam …I know my diet & fitness …. but sorry I could not resist …was to die for….
Allowing 1 hour from your home to the airport, another hour check-in, 90 minutes flight and just under 3 hours train travel from Geneva to the Funicular station in Crans-Montana
From home to hotel approximately 7 hours
In today’s world we need to plan for the unplanned, or as an ex of mine used to say “Its always good to have options”. We are coming towards one of the warmest winters on record, and though Europe ended up having fantastic snow and will have snow for many seasons to come what does seem clear is we should in general get used to expecting a little more of the unexpected, which for humanity might not be such a bad thing. My trip was not focused purely on skiing at all, though I am a skier but for me Crans-Montana and in particular the Crans Ambassador gives you options. Options that will become a little clearer in our next feature that will cover what there is to do in the resort.
Go to sleep in your luxury ski hotel under the beautiful Swiss Mountains, let Mother Nature do her thing, unwind, relax, eat, drink and be in love.
A little bit more about Crans-Montana….
Perched high on a sun-drenched plateau above Sierre, the linked villages of Crans and Montana have some of most spectacular views in Europe, with a vista stretching from the Matterhorn to Mont Blanc up the Rhône Valley. The ski area is well-geared towards intermediates and is superb for absolute beginners, who can enjoy lessons on the town’s snow covered golf course. You can expect un-crowded slopes and all day sunshine. The scenery of the Plaine Morte glacier, accessible by cable car and at an altitude of 3,000 metres, is not to be missed. Chic boutiques line the streets of the town’s centre and its smart, international clientele can be found soaking up the sun in the many bars, restaurants and cafés. There’s even a casino in the resort.