The tiny village of Vals may not have been on our list bucket list, but it is undeniable it will be a highlight of our trip to the Alps. The famed baths, Therme Vals baths, and the appeal of a luxury resort at the 7132 Hotel drew us to one of our favorite destinations in Switzerland.
7132 hotel made for a magical getaway in the Swiss Alps. The tiny hamlet of Vals is far from the madding crowds in Switzerland. Nestled deep in a long valley in the mountains, the hotel and spa here feel like a secret—granted, they are most definitely not! It was our first stop on our summer road trip around the country, and we could not have asked for a better introduction.
House of Architects, a 4-star design hotel connected via a sky bridge, offers many of the same amenities, such as restaurants, a spa, a gym, and lounges. The majority of facilities are in the 7132 Hotel.
For our stay, we were in the 7132 Hotel with a Spa Deluxe Room. Entry to the 7132 Hotel features a substantial white architectural arch that contrasts the dark red modern interior. We sat down to a welcome drink in the lounge before retreating to our room. After driving through the winding roads of Switzerland and up the narrow valley to Vals, we needed a refresher.
On entry, it was apparent we were about to enjoy an extremely comfortable stay. A large walk-in closet that has enough room for clamshell suitcases to remain open is just off the entry. Awesome!
On the opposite wall is a tablet containing room controls and hotel information which proved helpful in looking at restaurant menus. Further into the room was the bed, a small sitting area, and an inclusive mini-bar. A good night’s sleep is easy with a smart TV, reliable internet, and an extraordinarily comfortable bed and bedding.
As we had a Spa Deluxe Room, our room featured a spacious bathroom with a soaking tub, steam shower, luxury bath products, lounge chair, dual vanity, and make-up vanity. It was easy to feel refreshed in this room! The room is very well-equipped and will leave without any needs. Furthermore, we thoroughly enjoyed the scenic views of Vals from the expansive balcony. The hotel’s highlight lies in the
We had two dinners at the hotel’s Red Restaurant and De Papa the Italian restaurant. Red Restaurant is an ala-carte restaurant that does many table-side preparations. Granted, we did not order any table-side items. De Papa the Italian restaurant was a pleasant surprise, and we had an excellent meal here for an affordable price, by Swiss standards. We did not have the pleasure of dining in their two-star Michelin Restaurant, Silver, but have no doubt it is exceptional.
As we stayed over the weekend, they had a talented piano player who made for a lovely evening in the hotel bar, 7132 Blue Bar. Those staying in 7132 Hotel are provided a great breakfast in the Silver Restaurant. While all guests are permitted to use the spa outside of opening hours to the public (7:00 – 11:00 a.m.)
The 7132 Therme Vals spa comprises 60,000 slabs of the local Vals quartzite and disappears into the landscape. It is a landmark in the world of architecture, and you don’t need to be an architect to appreciate the building as its fame is apparent. Stone slabs resemble a cave, and its design highlights the landscape outside from within, and the spa’s exterior disappears into the hillside. It’s a spa that allows guests to disappear into the landscape in a fog of steam and natural thermal waters.
Cameras are not allowed in the spa, but we requested special permission as guests to arrive at 6:30 a.m. before opening to take photographs. After grabbing photos, we enjoyed the spa for the next hour with only a handful of other hotel guests. In contrast to the opening times when the spa is much busier since it is open to the public and other hotels in Vals. Several large warm pools, one hot pool, a cool alpine grotto, and a steam bath. It’s easy to spend an hour soaking away the day here.
The NY Times Magazine featured Vals Therme in their special edition of the 25 most significant post-war architecture designs. As the architect, Peter Zumthor drew inspiration from the region’s traditional stone roofs, quarries, dams, and bridges. It was a real privilege to spend our time here. Design is the primary draw of the spa as there are more modern spas that may offer more amenities with varying pools and relaxation zones. However, if you’re searching for relaxation in a work of art, then Therme Vals is a must-visit.
Village of Vals
One of the highlights of the hotel is the village of Vals. It is genuinely extraordinary and blessed with an abundance of natural beauty and charm. The hotel and spa are what drew us to this rustic village, so we had no expectations.
It is a village replete with wooden homes topped by traditional stone roofs and surrounded by waterfalls, alpine lakes, and craggy peaks. It makes the hotel feel like a modern oasis hidden along the verdant valley side. It does not take long to realize where Peter Zumthor drew inspiration for Therme Vals as you explore the valley.
We spent two days exploring the village of Vals, with one of them a significant hike up to see the three lakes of Guraletschsee, Ampervreilsee, and Selvasee. We had no expectations for the walk, but we were blown away by the magnificent Zervreilahorn.
As avid hikers, we did not expect such a wonderful day in the hills around Vals. Altogether, it was the perfect retreat in the mountains. I genuinely hope we can return someday soon!