The Lodge, a Swiss mountain chalet part of Richard Branson’s illustrious portfolio of luxury retreats around the world, has caught the attention of Europe’s high-flying winter sports elite – and you bet we’ve got our eyes on it for the future.
‘Der Berg ruft’, or so they say in Switzerland when it’s time to hit the slopes, and the athlete in us (no really, you should see us on the piste!) is chomping at the bit to dust off their ski boots and get back out there at the next possible opportunity. Conveniently, Virgin Limited Edition’s perfectly plush Verbier Lodge has recently opened doors again, so our plans for a future Alpine adventure are well underway…
The reopening comes with a special initiative enabling visitors to experience the ultra-cosy billionaire hideaway in total privacy and seclusion. High-flying winter sports (and après-ski) aficionados are given the opportunity to rent out the entire chalet, which sleeps up to 18 guests, for exclusive use over a total of seven nights – a range of shorter stays for smaller groups can be arranged, too, but really, who wouldn’t want to bring their skiing troupe and stage the world’s most exclusive one-week Winter Olympics?
While we appreciated Virgin Limited Edition’s efforts at keeping our minds travelling throughout 2020 (don’t tell us you missed their virtual South Africa safari), it’s safe to say nothing quite compares to experiencing the real thing first hand. At The Lodge, this means giving in to some much-needed R&R while swimming rounds in the indoor pool, sipping on a glass of bubbly as you soak in an outdoor hot tub surrounded by a fairytale winter wonderland, or simply hitting the piste – though it’s unwise to drink and ski, we learned the hard way on a trip to Kitzbühel a few years back!
Something else we learned on that trip is just how invigorating a post-holidays trip to the Alps can be. Sure, many OutThere travellers feel the urge to head for tropical climes during the winter months, and towns such as Verbier rightfully advertise themselves as all-year-round destinations, but we just find there’s something so utterly irresistible about hitting the slopes after the Christmas celebrations – perhaps it’s all those festive treats that need making up for. Not that there weren’t any at The Lodge: in true Branson fashion, world-class wines, house champagne (and a chauffeur, thankfully) are included in the chalet rental. Though The Lodge might currently be off-piste to some travellers, we predict it’ll be a hotspot for OutThere snow bunnies for years to come. Now, if Virgin could build a Hyperloop between Kings Cross and Verbier, we’d really appreciate it.
The ski season in Verbier runs until 25 April 2021. At time of press, Switzerland requires guests from selected high-risk countries like the UK and US to quarantine on arrival. The latest updates for the country can be found here.
Virgin Limited Edition
Photography courtesy of Virgin Limited Edition