We discovered a haven of peace in the heart of the Villars-sur-Ollon resort but also a really fun place for the entire family!
The last week of the summer holidays is always a challenge. We are all tired, the children are bored of all their games and we are starting to get on top of each other.
Luckily for us salvation came in the form of Chalet Royalp Hotel & Spa.
I have to say that while we were desperately excited our our trip (it’s been a dream of ours for a few years now), we were also very worried about taking Elio with us as he has been screaming day and night lately, but we needn’t have worried as we were soon safe in the comfort of the hotel where our every need was looked after.
We arrived on Friday afternoon and received a warm welcome and a quick tour of the hotel. It’s very large and well appointed with a huge number of facilities including a beautiful pool and spa, a play room for small children, a games room for older children and an amazing kids club. We popped into the kids club to say hello and we were introduced to the wonderful Bastille who is the animator there. The space is huge with plenty of space for games and dancing as well as lots of activities and equipment for drawing and creative projects. The kids club is free to hotel guests which is wonderful as it enables parents to have a bit of a break and enjoy the facilities to the maximum. The kids club is open Wednesday to Sunday from 10am to 7pm during the holidays.
Before we even made it to our room, the children asked if they could come back to the kids club that afternoon so we dropped off our cases and obliged them by taking them back to play for a couple of hours.
We were given an incredible suite with separate connecting room for the children so we had lots of space with two bathrooms, two terraces and plenty of space to relax. The decor is cosy, modern chalet style and we were all really excited about the prospect of spending two nights there.
With Jude and Alba happily back with Bastille at the kids club, I managed something I haven’t been able to do in weeks…I sat on the bed with Elio snoozing in my arms and read a book! It was bliss and much needed after an almost entirely sleepless night.
The children reluctantly left the kids club a little later in order to get changed for dinner and were full of talk about the fun they had and how excited they were to go again the following day.
For dinner that evening, we were heading to La Rochegrise restaurant at the hotel. Given Elio’s commitment to screaming, we asked if it would be possible to have a babysitter for both nights of our stay, and were delighted to learn that it would be Bastille from the kids club keeping him company for the evening.
We are always nervous about leaving Elio with babysitters as we know it can be daunting for people who don’t know him well, especially in the evenings, but he couldn’t have been in safer hands with Bastille who took such wonderful care of him, talking to him and reading him stories until it was time for bed.
In the restaurant, we decided to eat outside to enjoy the sunset and it was nice for us to spend some time with Jude and Alba who felt very grown up eating with us. We had a delicious meal and enjoyed each other’s company before turning in for the night. The staff were amazing to the extent that they brought us blankets to finish our dinner as the air started to be a bit chilly and went the extra mile to make sure that we all had everything we needed.
The following day was bright and sunny and we began with breakfast downstairs. The breakfast selection was one of my all time favourites I think, with plenty of choice for everyone, but I especially liked the separate room filled with delicious cheeses, cakes, cereals and plenty of other delicious things to start the day. Elio ate a big bowl of rice pudding, Alba took some eggs and Jude indulged his sweet tooth with some pancakes. The orange juice is delicious so don’t miss it if you get the chance to visit.
Next stop was a trip into the town as we were planning to visit the spa later in the day and Jean forgot his swimwear 🙀. The hotel offer a really practical shuttle service into the town centre which is a great idea to save guests having to get their car out of the garage and find somewhere to park it in town. Swimwear emergency over, we popped back to the hotel to collect the picnic the kitchen had kindly prepared for us and set off for Refuge de Frience.
We took the children sledging here last winter so it was nice to see it in its summer glory. There is parking not far from the lake and after a short walk (its uphill and the path is a bit rough so we took the baby carrier for Elio) we had arrived at the lake. It's a lovely spot with a place to get a drink or rent a parasol and the lake is well maintained and shallow enough at the edges for the children to paddle. We installed ourselves and tucked into our delicious picnic before cooling our toes in the water. Elio was a bit fractious so we didn’t push our luck and headed back to the hotel after about an hour or so. Its a nice place to spend an afternoon and there is a little cafe nearby if you don’t fancy taking a picnic.
As soon as we mentioned going back to the hotel, Jude and Alba started talking about the kids club again so we took all three children down there so that Jean and I could check out the spa. Elio was welcomed warmly and Bastille assured us it was no trouble to have him there which we really appreciated.
Jean and I loved the spa. It’s beautifully decorated, spacious and so peaceful! We tried the hot tub and the sauna and sat down to read our books for half an hour but despite our original plan to enjoy the time on our own, we noticed some children splashing around in the pool and felt slightly guilty about not bringing Jude and Alba, so Jean went to ask if they would like to join us and they were soon enjoying the pool and we were really happy that we invited them.
On the way back to the room, we collected Elio and went to get scrubbed up for dinner. Jude and Alba noticed the large corner baths in both bathrooms as soon as we arrived and we promised them they could take a dip before dinner. We even gave Elio the chance to have a splash about too.
The plan for the evening was to eat in the hotel restaurant again with Bastille looking after Elio but this time we would begin with an apéro at the hotels fabulous beach bar.
The children went to explore the sand while Jean and I enjoyed a glass of champagne each before dinner. We ate well again and were pleasantly surprised to receive a message from Bastille to say that Elio was asleep so we crept back up to the room to maximise our chances of a good sleep ourselves.
Elio allowed us to sleep until 8am (!) so we woke up feeling refreshed before heading down for breakfast.
With the children once again at the kids club, Jean and I set off for what was for us the highlight of this relaxing weekend, which was a 1h massage for us both with in the same room - it was something we had been looking forward to for weeks. The staff were perfect and really cared about helping us to feel more relaxed, and they personalised the massage to our needs and preferences. We came out floating on a cloud and Jean felt like he had a new neck afterwards:-)
Our original plan was to eat lunch in the bar but towards the end of the morning, Elio started to get rather irritable and we decided not to risk it and leave on a high.
We have to say a huge thank you to everyone at Chalet Royalp for making our stay so wonderful, for looking after us so well and reminding us that it is still possible for us to travel with a very volatile 6 year old in tow. The children had a fantastic time and it gave Jean and I the chance to rest after a challenging couple of weeks…we hadn’t dared imagine that might be possible and it really did us the world of good.
To discover everything the mountains have to offer during summer, the Free Access Card is your key to many activities and means of transports without limits from June, 5th to October, 31st 2021. Just ask your card at the reception. There are many activities around the hotel:
Glacier 3000 - (25 minutes to drive)
Chillon Castle - (30 minutes to drive)
Chocolate factory Maison Cailler - (1h to drive)
Salt Mines - (25 minutes to drive)
CHALET ROYALP HÔTEL & SPA
Domaine de Rochegrise,
Route du Col de la Croix
CH-1884 - Villars-sur-Ollon