The skier wedels down the slope with a last effort and comes to a stop on a small hill. His heart is pounding under his thick ski jacket, as the temperatures in March are already spring-like warm. The view of the Eiger north face bathed in evening light gives him pause and he turns around, as if this experience is to be preserved forever in his mind and heart. I watch him almost a little enviously until our eyes meet and he sees me in the outdoor whirlpool of the ASPEN alpin lifestyle hotel and says how much he would like to relax in the hot water right now instead of me. We both know at that moment that we are outrageously lucky to be in this unique place to savor nature, the evening atmosphere and life itself. But tomorrow my friend, we will surely exchange roles, because rarely enough you are offered the luxury of being able to start directly from the hotel to the slopes.
The highlight of my beautiful Deluxe Suite are certainly the two balconies, which present me Grindelwald and its mountain world, in the morning, noon and evening in the greatest light conditions. Now and then it even snows a little and I watch the flakes sailing down, when I’m not sitting at the rustic wooden table, which with a fully functional kitchen, forms a formidable dining room. Next to it there is a cozy sofa corner as well as the separate bedroom, which due to the sloping roof, immediately triggers a climate to feel good. This room you would prefer not to leave, except of course for breakfast, cake buffet and dinner, which are quite extraordinary at the ASPEN.
The duel in the evening could hardly have been tougher, because in the Alpstube today an almost unbelievable bacon cheese burger meets an opulently staged salmon fillet served with beet tagliatelle. Good for the one who is allowed to dine at ASPEN several evenings at once to let off steam on all the delicacies. My conclusion: the burger is one of the best in the Alps and beats many of its renowned competitors from the US. The salmon is a revelation, the mixed appetizer platter is an absolute must, and the sliced meat with Swiss rösti and Brussels sprouts is insane.
At breakfast, I recommend not only the egg dishes, but especially the Kaiserschmarrn (read that right: there is Kaiser for breakfast!) and the outstanding Bircher muesli.
There really is everything here to regenerate an alpine athlete’s tired bones after a day of skiing. From the steam bath to the old wood sauna, from the outside whirlpool to the foot bath. In addition, there is a small relaxation room as well as various massage offers, which bring even a day away from sporting activities, perfectly to an end.
Three ski areas and over 200 kilometers of slopes make the experience of winter sports until April, an unforgettable experience. And if one already lives ski in & out, then I jet directly the runway down to Grindelwald and get on the most modern 3S cable car, the Eiger Express, up to the Eiger glacier, where first of all snowflakes blow properly around my nose. Fresh powder on the slopes is exactly what you need in spring, when the crisp hard snow is freshly sugared and can be skied mercilessly well. One of many highlights for me is the 12-kilometer descent down to Wengen, which ends right in the village center at the gondola heading for Männlichen. There is actually hardly any time to catch your breath, as the lifts are almost empty and there are no queues anywhere. In addition, the panorama of the Eiger, Jungfrau and Mönch is so motivating that at the end of my ski day there are 20 runs and 65 kilometers of piste before I exhaustedly take the valley descent to Grindelwald.
I stand in front of the chalet building of the Aspen alpin lifestyle hotel and pause briefly to soak up the sight of the mighty Eiger North Face once again. It’s nothing short of a miracle that snow, which fell abundantly from the sky this year, can hold on to the vertical rock edges at all. The sunset on the summit has something magical and I have to think back involuntarily to my arrival day. I turn around and see three guests relaxing in the hot tub, enjoying the same view as me. I unbuckle my skis and join them. You have to be outrageously lucky to enjoy both in this unique place.
This article was written at the invitation of the ASPEN alpine lifestyle Hotel in Grindelwald.