Offering a more relaxed vibe than glossy neighbour Gstaad in the southernmost part of the Bernese Oberland, the traditional Alpine village of Lenk im Simmental is splayed across an emerald valley, close to the source of the Simme River. A tangle of hiking and biking trails are ripe for exploration in the summer months, and later in the year, the powdered mountains are a natural playground for winter sports, including cross-country skiing, snow-shoeing, skiing and snowboarding.
Nestled among towering pines, Lenkerhof gourmet spa resort sits at the foot of the Wildstrubel massif. Apres-ski drinks can be enjoyed in front of an open fire at the lounge bar or on the large terrace, in the fresh mountain air. Before dinner, guests can head to the cosy wine cellar to select a bottle to accompany the evening meal. Foodies will be spoilt for choice at Lenkerhof: light dishes inspired by regional and international flavours are served at the main restaurant, Spettacolo, which boasts 16 Gault Millau points; a feast of Mediterranean specialities is on offer at Restaurant Oh de Vie; while Swiss flavours can be savoured on Restaurant Bühlberg’s sun terrace.
After a day on the slopes, guests of the Lenkerhof can soothe their aching muscles and weary feet at the hotel’s 7sources beauty & spa, named after the number of springs that feed the Simme River. The sauna complex takes spa-goers from a sulphur grotto to a herbal sauna and rock oil sauna, while an outdoor pool is filled with warm water from the sulphur spring — renowned for its healing properties. On the spa menu are a range of facial and body treatments, including a massage using heated river stones and mountain crystals, and a body scrub incorporating a mixture of hey and sand plucked from the Simme.
If the outdoor sports haven’t sated guests’ appetite for exercise, there’s also a gym and an indoor pool.
For younger travellers, a handful of play areas and a Wet’n’Wild section provide entertainment, while a dedicated restaurant and tailored spa treatments — think a nourishing hand soak and manicure or teen facial — ensure kids and teenagers are catered for.
After a day out on the mountains, take a revitalising dip in the warm outdoor sulphur pool, renowned for its healing properties
Need to know
• Ski-in, ski-out hotel
• Complimentary wi-fi and mini-bar
• 3 restaurants
• 7sources beauty and spa, with 7 saunas, indoor pool and outdoor warm sulphur pool
• Kids’ restaurant/play areas