Touring Spas of Switzerland – First Stop, the Spa at the Victoria-Jungfrau Grand Hotel
Landed in Zurich, rented a car and drove with Peter and his son, Nicholas, to Interlaken where we checked into the historic Victoria-Jungfrau Grand Hotel. (It took us under two hours, which included a stop for my much anticipated first Swiss café latte.) I soon learned that the Victoria-Jungfrau was built in 1865 and used to be two hotels – one the Victoria, the other the Jungfrau. They were later connected. It appears to me that the contemporary arched space which now connects them (effective although unexpected) was also carried into the architecture of the new spa, which was added five years ago.
We are traveling through Switzerland this week as part of preparations for next May’s Global Spa Summit 2009 which will take place at this beautiful hotel. I had been to Interlaken before – with my twin sister post-high-school-graduation – and, no, we did not stay at the Victoria-Jungfrau. In fact, I don’t remember where we stayed, as our budget back then surely must have put us someplace quite forgettable. I do remember thinking that Interlaken was the most beautiful place I had ever seen! (I was 18.) I also remember that we did the full day trip up the Jungfrau and also the trip which takes you to the Shilthorn where you have drop dead gorgeous 360 degree views and where the James Bond movie “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” was filmed.
This time around I learned that Interlaken is known for more than just these Alp excursions. It is an ideal place for adventure-seekers (something I wasn’t then, nor am now). Indeed, Nicholas (who had done his internet research before our trip) was already signed up for sky diving! It all sounded so outrageous when he first told us about it back in New York, but when we got here and stood on our balcony overlooking the park where we saw a bunch of paragliders land in front of our hotel room, it kind of went with the territory.
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