Although not brochured for the UK market there were quite a few British guests, this is because the resort itself has a very loyal British client history being the headquarters of the ‘Downhill Only’ Club. To put together as a package is quite easy – flights into Geneva, Zurich or Bern then a Swissrail transfer ticket which will take you from any airport to anywhere in Switzerland by rail. This ticket will also allow you to use the Post buses and the steamers across Lake Thun ( a nice option if you have all day on the return to get back as you can have lunch on the boat as it goes from Interlaken to Speiz where you can pick up the train again). Children under 16 travel free with their parents. Fly luggage can also be arranged. Total transfer time from GVA or ZRH is about three hours and is very scenic & comfortable.
On arrival at Wengen station there is a CM meeting point with a microbus to take you and your bags to the hotel. The walk is easy enough though and takes about 8 minutes straight through the town.
The check in desk isn’t huge, but the process is very easy and all the speak English, but French, German or Italian is worth a go for the appreciation!
Club rooms are a good size, especially the triples & it is worth paying the extra for the balcony/valley view rooms, but I would say to request rooms in the Palace section from X17 to X32 as rooms numbered X01 to X 116 are over the theatre! There is an annex to the right hand side, these rooms are fine, but avoid 021-029 as these are in the basement!
Ski Room. This is below reception and is pretty efficient, but I would advise guests to go straight there if arriving on a Sunday (don’t waste time unpacking etc.) as the queues on change over day get quite long. Tip: prebook ski hire from UK up to two days before departure as this can be a considerable saving. Service is swift and efficient and the equipment new or a year old. Skis are very well maintained with a service centre in the hotel, should you bring your own.
Ski tuition is via the Swiss Ski School (red jackets, can’t miss them!) which is whom I have used in the past, tuition is very good & in English (bend zee knees!). Whilst I was there the tutor/pupil ratio was better with CM than the groups who went direct. For private hourly tuition and off piste guide – recommend the Privat school which is 100yds from the hotel. NB, if the groups are large then they are split up and more tutors brought in.
Ski Area. The main Mannlichen gondola will take you up to a good region of mainly blue and red runs, open piste down to woodland runs as far as Grindalwald. Exceptionally beautiful, with a couple of mountain top bars to enjoy the view. There are also restaurants further down for a drink etc. Your lift pass also includes the train to Kleine Sheidegg (2660m) which has a wider area with more challenging skiing, including the terrifying world cup downhill course – the Lauberhorn – I dare you!
Entertainment. Very CM – crazy signs etc. for the younger first show. Later adult section more relaxed and mainly centered around the bar (which is next to the theatre). Participation encouraged (won a bottle of champagne in dance contest, with burning thighs!) but not obligatory.
Food. Of primary importance! Quality and quantity as per usual with themed nights. Seating can be a little tight on opening as all the families descend on the place, but give it an hour for an aperitif and things free up a bit! During the day there is a stream of snacks, cocktails, appetisers tea & cake etc. so starvation is not an option.
So who’s it for? Well this is a good 3 trident property that would suit couples, families (some single parents there) who are looking for the scenery and under-developed charm of a car free Alpine resort. Most abilities of skier will enjoy as there is a lot to explore. For non-skiers this is probably the best resort I’ve been to, options include the best toboggan tracks anywhere, snow shoeing, hiking, swimming etc. or just lounging with a gluwein watching it all go by!
If you would like to book Club Med Wegen or have any questions at all please call Sean on 01582 969022 or email him.
Full Circle Travel