As we slowly circled up the mountains above Lake Geneva, I was once again reminded of how beautiful Switzerland is. We parked the car at the end of the road at a small parking lot that overlooked a wide valley. Below us in the distance laid Lake Geneva, in which the lights reflected of the villages that were spread out on the mountains around it. A short walk up the mountain we saw an open, snow covered meadow with 15 round, white pods. This was Whitepod.
We checked in at the reception next to the parking lot and the friendly receptionist gave us a map, headlamps, snowshoes, ski poles and spikes to attach to our shoes. Another staff member took our luggage in a snow scooter up the mountain and we started the walk to our pod. The ski poles turned out to be very handy, as were the spikes that provided the necessary grip.
It took about 15 minutes to reach our pod where the staff member with our luggage awaited us. You enter the pod simply by opening a zipper on the side, there are no doors. Once inside, the pod was much larger than I had expected from the outside. There’s an enormous window on one side of the pod, that provided a beautiful view over the outside deck and the entire valley beneath it. From the large bed, we could look up to the stars and feel like we were camping. Which we really weren’t: there were two comfortable chairs, a table and a large bathroom, sheepskin rugs and a wood burning iron stove. It doesn’t get much more romantic than this!
After we got settled in our pod, we walked back down the mountain in the dark for dinner in the restaurant near the reception, which was a truly amazing experience. The lights, ski poles and spikes made the walk down actually quite fun to do. We shared several Swiss fondue style dishes and fresh fish, all absolutely delightful and casually walked back to our pod after dinner. While we were having dinner, a staff member had kept the fire burning in the stove by adding fresh wood every hour or so. So we slept in a pod that was more than hot enough and started a new fire in the morning.
Breakfast was served in the so called pod-house, which is a chalet between the pods with a sauna, a bar and large comfortable lounge and relax chairs on the deck around it to take in the beautiful scenery. Since the pod house is just as isolated as the pods, I didn’t expect much from the breakfast but it was wonderful: a large assortment of fresh bread, croissants, cereal, fruit, eggs, coffee etc. Which is great, because the mountain air at 1400 meter (about 4200 feet) above sea level did make me a lot more hungry than usual.
While I took pictures around Whitepod, the boyfriend went skiing on the private Whitepod slopes. The staff supplied him with great, practically new ski gear and he was off. The operators of the ski lift simply asked him to let them know when he was done and to enjoy it as long as he felt like it. Since we were there on weekdays it was quiet and he had the entire mountain to himself. Now I had heard of private skiing lessons, but never of a private mountain!
All in all, Whitepod makes for a unique alpine experience. The view over the valley, the lake, the snow, the pod with the wood stove, it’s just unique. And I normally hate cold, snow and winter sports! The entire concept just works: it’s nature friendly without being overtly preachy, it’s just great that the use of energy is limited, water is sourced from the mountains and local ingredients are used for all meals.
I’d love to come back here when I have some time and enjoy more of the activities: we would love to go hiking through the forest, dog sledding or perhaps even paragliding. Whitepod, I’ll be back!
For more information about Whitepod, visit the website here