I’ve been running around quite a lot in the last two weeks. I first had a beautiful three day hike in Vaud, the French-speaking part of Switzerland, finishing up the western part of my Via Alpina hike across Switzerland.
I then spent last weekend hiking between the Blüemlisalphütte and Kandersteg, as part of some work I’m doing for Switzerland Tourism. The weather was incredible for both hikes, and I’ve loved spending so much time in the mountains.
My left knee, however, has not had as much fun.
I’ve had a recurring issue that probably comes from my love for running hard downhill – yeah, I know. The hike in Vaud, especially from Rossinière – Montreux, caused things to flare up, and it got even worse walking down from the Blüemlisalphütte last weekend. My first stop after I arrived back on Sunday was to the freezer for a pack of frozen berries to soothe it.
My plans for the next few days (another hike) had to change, and luckily the hotel I’d booked in Elm was kind enough to let me cancel the evening before I was meant to arrive.
If I can’t hike in the mountains, I can go to the spa in the mountains.
I remembered how I’d wanted to visit Melchsee Frutt for ages, a little “mountain island” 1,920m above Luzern that’s actually just over the hill from here. But as the hills are in the way, if you’re not in the mood for a hike, you need to go from Meiringen to Sarnen (on the Luzern line), get the bus to Stöckalp, then get the cable car to Melchsee Frutt. As expected, it’s a super scenic journey. Even in crappy weather, which I had moments of on the way up.
Arriving there for two nights at the Hotel frutt Lodge & Spa was just what I needed.
My room was really beautiful, and they gave me a slightly bigger one than I paid for (thank you!) The hotel was super quiet the whole time I was there, which I loved. Peace at dinner, while sitting in the bar area, by the pool… bliss.
Speaking of the pool: I’ve never really liked swimming pools much, but that didn’t apply here. There was a view of the mountains!
Through a door on the left, you also have the sauna area if you want some no-clothes time. I spent a bit of time in here, but that was more so because they had dried fruit and a samovar with various additions for fresh tea (including lemongrass, mint, and ginger).
Insider sauna tip: you can trek through the hotel underground tunnel and what feels like 5 elevators to get to the sister hotel, the frutt Family Lodge. There’s another sauna area here and a quiet reading room at ground level, with a door outside. That means lake swimming! So I got all sweaty in the sauna and then leapt in the lake at early evening – it was perfect.
Afterwards, I went back inside to the small fitness area (also here at ground level) and set myself a speed challenge on the rowing machine. My idea of fun might be seen by others as torture; you can of course just chill out by the pool.
Food is another reason to stay here, especially the breakfast buffet with a DIY müesli station and all manner of cheese, bread, pastries, and fruit juices (or prosecco).
Image from the hotel management.
If you want a mountain break, Melchsee Frutt is perfect. If you want to be active, there’s a tonne of hiking trails to choose between, including a four lakes route that’s simply beautiful. There are also a few peaks and lots of climbing routes.
Or, you can do what I did and completely rest and recuperate, limiting your outdoor time to swims and strolls by the lake.
Saying that, I wanted to get quite a bit of work done, and that happened. It was an especially good environment for doing some writing: I love having some peace and quiet and a good view when I write.
With great views, delicious food, a very comfy room and a relaxing but creative atmosphere, I’m hoping to be back sometime soon. There are hikes to come back for!