Saas Fee is an apartment and hotel town. You won’t find many catered chalets here, such as the ones you get in Meribel or Val d’Isere. That said, the standard of accommodation here is good – though, with one notable exception (see below), Saas Fee doesn’t do the kind of supercool, high-concept properties that distinguish its neighbour, Zermatt.
What to do if you’re staying in the wrong end of town
You also should bear in mind that the town is long, narrow and linear, and leads away in a straight line from the slopes. If you’re not careful, you could find yourself a 20-minute walk from the skiing at the end of the day – which can easily turn into an hour if you get stuck into the Schnapps-strengthened Gluwein on offer in the bars at that end of town. If you do find yourself staying at the wrong end of town, leave your skis and boots each night in the shop from which you hired them (which must therefore be close to the lifts), or pay for a locker at one of the lift stations.
Ferienart Resort and Spa is the fanciest hotel in town. It boasts five restaurants, and a recently-refurbished spa. The service is charming and painstaking, and the whole place has been newly decorated with a great swimming-pool. It’s a five-minute walk to the main Alpin-Express lift, and ten minutes back from the pistes at the end of the day. Romantic Hotel Beau-Site is a big hotel on the town’s main street (traffic-free, remember). It received high praise from a visitor: “An excellent hotel in all respects, with first-class facilities, high-quality food and welcoming staff”. The handful of Tripadvisor reports are good, too. Best Western Metropol is across the road from the Ferienart. The decor is dated, but it’s a good spot for night owls, thanks to the disco in the basement and the proximity to all the other key bars.
From luxury pads to snowboarder style
Hotel Allalin is more modern than most of the hotels here, with a nice and woody – yet minimalist – design with rooms that include split-level suites. Its Walliserkanne restaurant is panelled in 350-year-old larch wood. Hotel du Glacier is right in the centre of town next to all the shops, and five minutes’ walk from the cable-car station. It is a good choice for families, with pleasant rooms that include family suites and free non-alcoholic minibars. It also has extremely good half-board food. Thanks to its bar, Hotel Popcorn is one of the hubs of the resort’s nightlife. It’s a young, relaxed, kickabout kind of place, with music systems in the bedrooms and a kooky sense of style. Lovers of luxury, and anyone who’s going to be disturbed by the noise should give it a wide berth: and we’d recommend eating out in the evening.
There’s nothing fancy about Hotel-Restaurant Waldesruh except the location – which is a joyous hop, and an “I’ll-be-first-in-the-queue” skip, from the Spielboden lift. It’s a small, unpretentious family-run spot, and most people love it – as the enthusiastic Tripadvisor reviews testify. Hotel Mistral is almost as well-placed, on the banks of the river, and equidistant between the Spielboden and Alpin-Express lifts. The decor is a little sharper than most other three-stars in the town.
The alternative to hotels
Self-catering specialist Interhome has lots of apartments on its books in Saas-Fee. Apartment Old Saas Fee is one of the poshest, set in the heart of the resort. It’s on two levels and sleep six in three bedrooms. Chalet Jessica is genuinely gorgeous – a modern duplex apartment half-way down the high street. Inside, it’s woody and drenched in light, with lots of floor-to-ceiling windows and a cutting-edge sense of style (so, quite a change from the norm in Saas Fee). It has four bedrooms and is run like a catered chalet with a chef and has all those must-have extras. To be perfect, it would need to be closer to the lifts – it’s a six-to-ten minute walk to the main cable-car, depending on who’s doing the counting (so, best to leave your skis and ski boots in a locker there each evening).