It is in the middle of a forest of chalets, in Reckingen, in the canton of Valais, that the hotel Glocke is located. This family-owned company has won the Bienvenu award for the second time since 2016, in the category “Small holiday hotel”, awarded each year by Switzerland Tourism. But is it really “the most welcoming hotel in Switzerland”? Going there is the best way to answer. At the tiny Reckingen station, Sebastian Schmid, owner of the hotel, is already there to welcome his guests, along with his children, Emilia, 4 years old and Arin, 2 years old. The merry troop starts to reach the hotel five minutes away. Upon entry, a sweet scent of natural wood and organic shop spreads. The whole house exudes durability and authenticity. Guests are kindly guided to their rooms, a haven of privacy. “Our facility was built entirely according to the principles of ecological construction,” says Sebastian Schmid, for whom this criterion is paramount. We can measure the range by exploring the places.
The building is built largely of local larch wood and the clay floor is breathable. A wood chip boiler provides room heating. The chips – from the Valais, of course – are transported to the boiler thanks to an impressive system of crankshafts. There reigns a good smell of forest. The residual heat from the cold room supplies the water heater. No resources are wasted. The hotel uses this principle as its philosophy and applies it to home-made cuisine. “Whenever possible, we make all the ingredients that go into our food and we source local products,” says Sonja Schmid, who runs the family business. In other words, finished products are excluded. “We make our bread from local wheat, ground in our mill. The dishes are always fresh, from vegetables and aromatic herbs from our vegetable garden. The meat comes from the local butcher and cheese from the neighboring cheese factory. The wines are also Valaisan, the spirits and the juices also come from most of the region. “The same evening, tasting of a four-course menu: from the garlic soup of the bears to the sorbet to the rose hip and to the peppermint, minced veal and saffron risotto, the natural and flavor of the ingredients enchant the palate. The hotel also offers a vegetarian menu. “We can offer this quality all year long, because the restaurant is exclusively reserved for hotel guests. We want them to benefit from a resolutely private setting. “The warm welcome and the personal attentions are also very appreciated.
Sitting at the next table, a couple tasted an organic menu. It has been more than twenty years since the Jäggi from Bern regularly stayed at the Hotel Glocke. “Here, we know that calm and rest are at the rendezvous,” says the grandfather with a mischievous smile. With sons and grandsons, it is thus three generations who taste the family atmosphere of the hotel. The hoteliers have been pursuing a goal for years: “Today, people are often alone and we want to encourage meetings. That’s why there are no TVs in the bedrooms and we always sit two couples at the same table in the dining room, to generate exchanges and friendships. ”
Evenings continue in the big living room. Some come to read around the fire, the others share a game of billiards or a conversation. “Once a week, we organize the Aabesitz – the vigil,” explains Sebastian Schmid. My father, who opened the hotel in 1987, comes to tell stories and regional legends; he has been doing this ritual for thirty years. In the candlelight, he also plays old tunes on his eardrum. “The tympanon is a traditional Valais instrument with which Bernhard” Gioco “Schmid likes to perform in public – and it shows! Last December, he passed the torch of exploitation to his son and daughter-in-law, who were already assuming increasingly important responsibilities – some of the hotel’s faithful have known the young couple since childhood. After such a beautiful evening, it is good to fall asleep in the tranquility of the Valais mountains. The wood remains ubiquitous in the 18 rooms, all equipped with fully renovated bathrooms. The hotel has ten double rooms, four single rooms and four mezzanine rooms. Apart from the single rooms, all have a balcony with a magnificent view of the Alps.
Find more infos about hotels in Reckingen here.