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What if you took your winter wonderland Alps fantasy and added a high-concept eco-chalet designed by the same architects known for Los Angeles creative gems like Nobu Ryokan Malibu and The Row? That’s exactly what you’ll find at Whitepod Hotel, which this winter debuted nine luxurious eco-chalets designed by Montalba Architects. In Valais, Switzerland, these eco-chalets utilize gorgeous, raw Swiss materials (including larch wood paneling on the chalets’ exterior) to exalt the mountain scenery through sustainable design. While the first nine chalets began welcoming guests in December 2020, the project will include 12 additional high-end structures for a total of 21 eco-chalets.
Whitepod Hotel, a luxury sanctuary nestled in the Dents-du-Midi mountain range of the Swiss Alps, was known for their major design feats even before they began collaborating with Montalba Architects. The property is already home to magnificent geodesic domes built into the mountain face. While the new three-bedroom eco-chalets each house six guests and feature two bedrooms and large common areas, the domes sleep two and have wooden decks and panoramic views from within the pods. Prior to the launch of the eco-chalets, Montalba Architects actually designed one of these domes: the Zen Pod Suite, which features Japanese-inspired interiors, a striking design contrast against the mountainous backdrop.
From a sustainability perspective, the new, low-impact chalets were built by local contractors using wood sourced from the surrounding region. Breakfast is served from a completely electric 4x4 Defender Land Rover (nicknamed the E-Food Truck) that delivers fresh, homemade pastries, croissants, bread, and jams to each guest’s door. But most remarkably, the pods, chalets, and on-site restaurant, Les Cerniers, are all “energy self-sufficient.” How? The water that runs down the mountain is actually collected to power electric turbines, which then provide electricity to the entire property. And they’re producing enough electricity to power 200 additional households in the surrounding area.
The brand new chalets are separated into a “night” area on one side of the structure with three bedrooms, and a “day” area on the other side with a spacious living area and dining room. Not only were the eco-chalets worked on by local craftspeople, the hideaway’s interiors feature local fabrics and offer an elevated take on a very traditional Swiss chalet design. Bookings for the eco-chalets are completely customizable with luxe experiences, from in-house spa treatments and Suisse dining, to hiking and skiing expeditions with local guides.